When you think of animation, you might think of Disney films like Frozen or Fantasia. Or perhaps you'd imagine Japan's booming anime industry. The first animated films were made at the turn of the 20th century. But animation is not a type of film. Rather, it's simply a technique.

As a result, animation makes a great addition to your marketing toolbox. Adding animations to your portfolio makes it easy to promote your real estate developments.

But what kind of animation should you choose? What is 3D animation? What's the difference between 2D and 3D animation?

Read on to find out more.

What is 2D Animation?

2D animation refers to the kind of 'flat' animation you watched as a kid. Think of Tom and Jerry or the early Disney cartoons.

Animators create a series of static images where each one is slightly different from the next. When replayed at speed, it creates the illusion of movement.

Here, animators achieved the impression of depth with shading and using layers. But the image is still ultimately flat and rendered in two dimensions.

It works well in explainer videos. Here, a character or series of infographics guide a customer through a process.

What is 3D Animation?

Animators follow a different process for 3D animation. First, they model the 3D objects. These models carry weight and form. They're considered three-dimensional because they have a sense of depth.

Next, they use layout techniques to position them within the scene. In real estate terms, this is where they 'dress the set' of a home or office.

Then, the animators give the objects life through animation. The objects are moved and repositioned within space. This is what enables them to move.

Finally, the animator renders the scene to create a video file that people can watch on devices or online.

Use 3D animation to create virtual simulations of what a property will look like when it's finished. Potential buyers can 'walk through' the animation to see the rooms.

It can also be used to create moving models so partners or buyers can see the exterior from all angles.

How Is 3D Animation Different from 2D Animation?

There is some crossover depending on how the 2D animation is created. But in general, there are 3 main differences between the formats.

1. Space

One advantage of 2D animation is that the animator only needs to draw what can be seen. The animator draws the key poses and then creates the in-between frames. This is what creates a sense of movement.

But in 3D animation, the animator needs to create the entire model. In 3D animation, the animator is more like a puppeteer, manipulating the model in three dimensions.

This also gives you far more control over camera angles. Say you've created a living room and you want to animate a walkthrough.

You could start the movement by the window, facing into the room. If it needs to be changed so it starts by the door? No problem. The 3D environment already exists - all you're changing is the viewpoint.

3D animation can take time to create because of the rendering process. That means the animator needs to meet the client's requirements before this happens. 

2D animation is generally a faster process because there is no rendering involved. That said, animators may need to redraw elements in order to meet a brief.

2. Texture

The other major difference is texture. 2D animation is largely flat. Shading can hint at texture but it never seems real or convincing.

But 3D animation gives you the opportunity to add texture. You can create more realistic models that fit seamlessly into video footage.

This is invaluable within real estate development. It gives buyers a better impression of the textures you've specified within each property.

That means grass on the lawns, rugs in the living room, or even different types of stone countertop in the kitchen.

3. Frames

Films display 24 frames every second to give the impression of movement. But in traditional 2D animation, animators don't draw all 24. They may only draw 12 because that's all they need.

3D animation runs more in real-time. If a frame is held for longer than 1/24th of a second, it looks too static. So you end up with a smoother and more realistic video experience.

How Do You Choose Between Them?

Much of the time, the choice comes down to stylistic preferences.

But clients should also take the purpose, timeline, and budget into consideration before they decide which form to commission. If the animation is intended for a website or social media, 2D animation can work well to create a friendly, welcoming atmosphere.

Here, you might use 2D animation as an explainer video on your website to show how the buying process works for new buyers.

But if you want to sell properties, 3D animation is a better choice. It gives a more realistic feeling of how a space feels and how you might move within it. Even the most talented 2D animator would struggle to render the real world in this fashion.

This is a great way to pre-sell properties that aren't finished yet. Potential buyers can view units and put down deposits based on the 3D animations on your website.

They're also a good way to address objections to planning applications. Neighbors can see how you plan to use the site. 

Choose the Right Animation for You!

2D animation creates flat, cartoon-like videos. They're ideal for explainer videos or social media teasers. These animations are often friendly and approachable.

Meanwhile, 3D animation creates more lifelike environments that you can navigate. You can choose camera angles, lighting, and even texture to provide that seamless viewing experience.

Either of them can help to boost the online presence of your properties. But choose the right one to suit your sales goals.

Are you looking for a 3D render to add to your portfolio? Contact us today to request our portfolio and a quote.

About The Author

Hi, we're the Designblendz team! Our mission is to raise the standard of how the built environment is designed, visualized, and constructed by blending overlapping design disciplines that merge the virtual and physical world together.