4 main types of animations to enjoy and learn to create

4 main types of animations to enjoy and learn to createIn the current creative industry, there are 4 main types and style of animation you can learn to create. Expose yourself to these 4 genres of animation so you can better understand and appreciate animations in different form.




4 main types of animations to enjoy and learn to create

  1. Flipbook animation is a very primitive way that creates animation purely with pencil, eraser and a stack of drawing pads such as post-it pads. This style can be very experimental and creative as you can draw any thing you can think of.

    Pros: It is cheap and readily available at all stationary stores. You can make use of your existing drawing skill and you can start almost immediately. This methods gets you to churn out the rough idea you have for animation very easily.

    Cons: You have to be prepared to erase and redraw when you make mistakes because you do not have an undo button for this style. Adding in details such as color and shading can be very time consuming because details have to be added in each page of your animation.

    Industry: Seldom do creative house creates flipbook animations mainly because it is not easy to create quality flipbook animation. As flipbook animation is a very old technique, it is not efficient to create one.

    An example of a flipbook animation:

Here is a quick tutorial on how you can create a flip book animation by yourself!


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  1. Stop motion animation makes use of figurine and physical objects to create animation. You can start with using toys and posable figurine and capture them as photo images. Once photo taking is complete, you use a video editing software to compile these photos into a moving image video.

    Pros: The visual of the animation will look relatively appealing if you are using toys because they look real life! All asset are physical and there is not much tools to learn other than pressing a button to capture the photo.

    Cons: Posing the toys frame by frame might be tedious and not accurate if the toys are not placed correctly compared to the previous frame. Toys posing to fly or jump can be tough too, so you need to be a little more creative in execution when it comes to creating stop motion animation.

    Industry: Occasionally we see movies created using stop motion animation. Corpse Bride, Frankenweenie are examples of stop motion movies. This is not a popular style of animation because of the cost and human resources to create frame by frame animation.An example of stop motion animation:


  1. 2D animation is a digital method of flipbook animation where visuals are created by drawing in a software. Drawing skills are preferably required but there are a lot more convenient tools within the software help you draw faster. Animation eventually will look much more smoother because you can adjust the timing of your animation easily.

    Pros: Animation can be created efficiently and there is saving and loading functions which helps you back up your work. Using 2D software, your animation can look much more polished because you can add in more details and visual effects.

    Cons: You will need to be proficient in using computers and invest in buying a computer and the software. Learning curve can get steeper with 2D softwares when it comes to using the right tool to achieve the appropriate result because sometimes there are just too many tools available for you.

    Industry: 2D animation is very popular in the creative industry because it has its target audience. Anime and recent cartoon series on TV are very good example of 2D animations. Some web games are also created using this style as it can be integrated into web applications and games. 2D animators are versatile because they can apply their animation on many platforms from multimedia to broadcast video.

    An example of a 2D animation:

Check out how I create simple 2D animation using Flash.


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  1. 3D animation creates animation using three dimensional virtual space and has potential to create realistic and aesthetically stunning visual. 3D software is able to do so because of its calculation which can render images as realistic as real life images. This is why many block buster movies such as Batman and Transformers make use of 3D software technologies to bring fiction stories to life.

    Pros: Final artwork can be very realistic and real. 3D software makes this possible because of the amount of tools made available for the artist to use. Tools such as lighting, bone structure, rendering calculation, etc are some examples of power tools to create animation.

    Cons: With so much tools made available to artist, the learning curve to understand 3D software can be tough if you try too learn it yourself. It is highly recommended to learn 3D software by guidance or taking up a course to speed up the learning process. 3D softwares are also expensive to start with. As a student with no income, it can be quite a tough decision to make on top of the handful of software to choose from.

    Industry: 3D animation is just as popular as 2D animation because of its realistic appeal. Although 3D animation is not efficient for small projects, it is can be very efficient for large scale movie or game projects.

    An example of a 3D animation:Find out how to create your own 3D Walk Cycle Animation with Maya here!

Now that you have explored and discovered these 4 main types of animations, tell me which is your favourite animation using the comment box below! Also share with your animator's friend what you have learnt today!

Next I'll talk about the different animation softwares available to choose from.

Exclusive Bonus: Download the recommended 20 animation video list to watch more examples of animation types.


NEW! Spinning Slam Kick Animation!



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