types of animation styles

What is Animation & How Many Types of Animation Are There?

Table of Contents

What is Animation?

The word animation means the state of being full of life or vitality and spiritedness. Animation is the art of moving images and text. These moving images and text create a video that helps deliver messages or form an informative platform. Colorful backgrounds and attractive dancing letters add a cherry on top.

Different industries use animation Videos for various purposes. It plays an essential role in marketing a product, conveying messages, educating the viewers, and much more. The art of communicating with fun has made animation attain a considerable reputation.

12 Animation Styles and Techniques You Must Know About

There are 12 types of animation. Each of them has different specialties that make them famous on their own. Some are good for marketing purposes. Some are useful for educating the audience, whereas some are good for communicating and so on. Here are the types of Animation.

  • Traditional/2D Animation
  • 3D Animation
  • Motion Graphics
  • Stop Motion Animation
  • Cel Animation
  • Rotoscope Animation
  • Typography Animation
  • Mechanical Animation
  • Clay Animation
  • Flipbook Animation
  • Audio-Animatronics and Autonomatronics
  • 360 Animation

2D Animation (Explanation with Examples)

2D Animation is a two-dimensional animation where characters and backgrounds are designed on the computer in a two-dimensional flat space.

2D Animation is one of the most significant types of Animation. It is used extensively for creating animated movies, cartoons, marketing videos, advertisements, corporate presentations, educational materials, video games, and so much more.

Some well-known popular 2D animations include:

  • SpongeBob SquarePants (Patrick Star, SpongeBob SquarePants, Squidward Tentacles, Mr. Krabs)
  • Looney Tunes (Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd)
  • The Simpsons (Homer Simpson, Bart Simpson, Marge Simpson, Lisa Simpson)
  • Tom and Jerry (Tom Cat, Jerry Mouse, Topsy Cat)

3D Animation (Explanation with Examples)

3D Animation is when objects generated on the computer move in a three-dimensional space. This movement or rotation of the items gives a real-life movement feeling. The animation uses 3D computer graphics to formulate two-dimensional moving pictures that portray three dimensions.

3D Animation is used in various industries like gaming and medicine etc. It is ordinarily used for presentations and marketing crosswise all industries.

Some well-known popular 3D animations include:

  • Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Donald Duck)
  • Toy Story (Sheriff Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Mr. Potato Head, Hamm)
  • Despicable Me (Dave the Minion, Stuart the Minion, Felonious Gru, Vector)
  • Big Hero 6 (Hiro Hamada, Baymax, Honey Lemon, Wasabi)

Motion Graphics (Explanation)

Motion graphics are bits of Animation or digital footage that formulate the vision of motion or rotation followed by suitable audio for multimedia projects. Text is a significant component in Motion Graphics. It is an excellent way to communicate with the viewers and add intensity to the video.

Audio plays an important part to make the video entertaining. Motion Graphics has proved to be a good source in conveying messages. It is a good origin of storytelling.

Businesses often use Motion Graphics Animation for explaining their product/services to the audience. It is also utilized to create Ads, the title sequence for movies, and videos, and share information.

Stop Motion Animation (Explanation)

Stop motion is an animated filmmaking technique in which objects are corporally moulded in miniature supplements between exclusively photographed stages so that they will perform to exhibit self-governing motion. When playing back the sequence in prompt progression, the objects appear to move fluidly over the screen.

Cel Animation (Explanation)

Cel Animation (also known as frame-by-frame animation) is a profoundly labor-intensive 2D animation method that involves hundreds of complex, diverse structures. One follows the other in insignificantly modified postures. Too much amount of work is required to produce a gorgeous Cel Animation.

People or businesses often don’t understand which animation suits their brand the best. Every animation has an entirely different purpose of going with. Anideos plays a vital role in explaining which Animation best suits your brand and provide all these types of Animation with supremacy.

Animated Video is a big source for companies to explain or market their product, and effortlessly bring it to the audience’s knowledge. Animated videos are increasing day by day as it has proved a useful tool for companies and beneficial for every industry, including Education.

Did you know: The animators don’t redraw everything for every frame. Instead, each frame is built from layers of drawings.

Rotoscope Animation

Rotoscope animations work by tracing human movements from film images to create naturalistic animations. In other words, it takes live-action footage and traces it over a rotoscoping tool, similar to traditional styles of animation. Other than that, rotoscoping is widely applied in circumstances when the animated character must interact realistically with the surrounding environment. Besides, this animation type is often less expensive than traditional 3D animation and is ideal for commercials and feature films.

Typography Animation

Typography animation, also known as kinetic animation has the power to enhance a written or spoken word. It uses animation as well as the movement of text with visual effects to bring the words to life. This animation technique is ideal to communicate statistical data or survey findings in a simple yet creative way.

Besides, typography animation is one of the most cost-effective types of animation styles that drive impactful results. Businesses may utilize it to create many types of explainer videos, training materials, presentations, etc. 

Mechanical Animation

Mechanical animation typically breaks down the functions of mechanical products and shows how it works. It involves a 3D visual representation of a product, device, or service for creating informative visualization. 

Demonstrating technical products and services is the most obvious application. It’s a shorthand way of describing how technical solutions improve performance or solve a problem. And, transmit technical information in a few seconds. Besides, it’s ideal for product demonstrations and training videos.

Clay Animation

Often known as Claymation, this animation style involves creating characters with clay and photographing their movements in sequences, much like traditional stop motion animation.

This is a unique and playful animation style that appeals to children. One common example is its use in classic children’s movies like Chicken Run. However, clay animation is very time-consuming. Thus, it is best suited for short commercials and projects.

Flipbook Animation

Flipbook animation is one of the oldest but most interesting kinds of animation techniques. This animation technique has been quite popular even long before the time of computers. And, it is still in practice today.

Put simply, artists used to carry a small flip book or flick book with them and draw a sequence of images with little difference in the photographs. So, when the book was flicked quickly, the series of images would move in a fluid motion, attempting to animate a scene. 

Audio-Animatronics and Autonomatronics

The signature audio-animatronics is a form of robotics animation, which is installed in Disney theme parks, and was designed by Walt Disney Imagineering. Otto is a robot that can detect people in a room, communicate with them, and determine whether they are pleased. 

Besides, audio-animatronics and autonomatronics are not the same things. A pre-programmed display is repeated over and over using audio-animatronics technology. Otto can make decisions about what to say and do because of autonomatronics technology, which is driven by powerful cameras and sensors.

360 Animation

360 animation is one step more advanced than 3D animation. It allows the audience to see the whole circumference of an item. They are very interactive allowing users to interact with important information, video guides, and more. Instead of watching the video animation, users can be a part of it. Moreover, 360 animation videos use satellite imagery to depict locations, scientific data, walk-throughs, tours, etc.

Work With a Professional Animator Only!

Now that you’re aware of the different styles of animation, it’s high time you select the best one for your upcoming project. We gave an overview of the 12 different styles, yet, go for the one ideal for your business purpose.

Still, confused about which animation style to pick? Contact an expert explainer video production company right away! They’ll help you walk through the process and pick the animation style that best fits your needs. By employing a professional, you’ll be able to create engaging and unique content to captivate your audience.

Wrapping Up

Choosing the animation style is the most important step of the animation production process. And, when you do it right, the entire process ahead becomes a breeze. While there are plenty of options out of there, read above for know-how on the best animation styles to get started!


Q: What are animation styles?

A: When looking to create an animated video, the first thing you need to decide is the animation style. There are plenty of popular animation styles to choose from ranging from 2D animation to stop-motion, and much more.

Q: What are the three basic types of animation?

A: Traditional, stop-motion, and computer-generated animation are the three basic types of animation. 

Q: Which is the traditional style of animation?

A: Traditional animation (also known as classical animation, cel animation, hand-drawn animation, or 2D animation) is a type of animation in which each frame is produced by hand. Until computer animation, this was the most common form of animation in movies.

Q: How many different types of animation are there?

A: Broadly speaking, there are four main types of animation. These include 2D animation, 3D animation, stop-motion, and motion graphics. 

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Adam is a copywriter and content specialist with years of experience in the digital industry. She has a knack for blending creativity with strategic insight that leads different businesses, particularly animation and tech, to success. Her persuasive and impactful content not just inform.