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The different types of animation styles and how they work

There is a reason why animation projects are increasingly popular. Animation in all its forms helps to make your brand stand out from competitors and cuts through the noise on social media as they are much more visually appealing than a simple image or plain piece of text.

It also helps to generate engagement and interaction between you and your audience and which boost your rankings in search engines as more users click on them.

What animation types do I need to know?

There are two main types of animation: 2D and CGI – also known as 3D animation. But which one is right for your project? All animation productions need a storyboard to begin with, but what you choose to bring to life is entirely up to what you want to achieve. Read on to learn more about the different animation types, their benefits, and how they can work for you.

2D and 3D Animation Services graphic Icon

CGI animation

What is CGI, and how does it work?

Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) is a 3D animation that involves using imaging software to augment and manipulate 2D and 3D objects. The result? CGI creates a real-life version of your product. With CGI, we’re able to showcase how your product works, feels and looks from every angle. We can create explainer videos to help demonstrate to your customers how your product works, as well as CGI photography that allows us to create photo-realistic images to advertise your product. At Magenta, we have CGI experts who do it all!

What are the benefits of CGI?

CGI animation has many benefits. Not only does it produce realistic imagery, but it also reduces the time and resources spent to showcase your product in the best light. Here are a few more reasons why CGI is a keen choice for marketers.


CGI gives brands an uncanny mock-up of what their products look like in every size, colour, texture, and angle before they manufacture it. This is a cost-effective way to see what changes to make before the product goes into production.

CGI can also help to make savings on advertising and marketing products. Generally, traditional product photography and video set-ups require studio space, a team of experts, and expensive equipment. There is no need for any of these when creating a CGI product. At Magenta, we have a team who is able to create CGI animation from scratch, using sketches and measurements if you don’t have a CAD file.

Make quick changes

CGI imagery also allows you to make changes to your product without having to reshoot the whole animation or video production. This is because the digital file that’s used in CGI imagery can be reused and amended. So, changing the colour of a button or you playing with the lighting effects can be done in a matter of seconds in the digital file.

What can CGI be used for?

CGI animation has many purposes. While it’s often used in films and TV productions, it can be an effective way to demonstrate and market products.

CGI explainer videos give an unparalleled level of creativity that allows the customers/client/management team to view and be informed about the important features and make-up of the product. CGI videos also mean that the product can be put into any type of environment – it’s all virtually possible! Whether you want to demonstrate how your product looks in-situ, as part of a web page, or how a customer uses it, we can help put it into action.

CGI can also be used in product photography. The advances in software mean that photo-realistic images can be produced from a computer without the need for a huge team, a set and studio space, technical equipment, and time out of the day to shoot.

Learn more about the benefits of CGI and our expertise on our CGI Animation page.

Sebon-3D Animated Product Photography

2D animation

What is 2D animation, and how does it work?

2D animation is one of the most accessible types of animation. It’s an art style that uses illustrations to create a movement in a two-dimensional space. Traditionally, 2D animations are created frame-by-frame, which means drawings are shown in frames per second to create a movement of objects and characters.

What are the benefits of 2D animation?


Again, 2D animation is a cost-effective way of producing an engaging piece of visual content. Generally speaking, it’s usually cheaper to produce than other forms of animation because it doesn’t require complex software or the need for a big team.

What can 2D animation be used for?

Typically, 2D animation can be used to create visual content for a range of subject matters and industries. Whether you are an independent retail business that wants to promote your latest clothing collection or a law firm that wants to educate your customers about your new legal service, a 2D animated video is an effective way to capture your audience’s attention in less than a minute. 2D animation is also used to create animated GIFs and infographics, which are great for communicating your brand message or your latest research in a fun, inspiring way. We created a series of infographics for Admiral Insurance. Take a look at them here.

Still from animation for AMPLYFI

3D animation

What is 3D animation, and how does it work?

3D animation is a high-end, technical style of animation. Although it’s widely used for films, cartoons, but mostly video games, at Magenta, we use it to create effective and engaging content to communicate with your customers.

The difference between 2D and 3D animation/CGI is that 3D animation requires more complex software and planning.

The process of creating a 3D animation is also complex and takes longer to produce. While 2D animation requires scripting, storyboarding, editing, and reviewing, the process of producing a 3D animation involves a few extra steps with a storyboarding and a modelling phase.

The process of producing 3D animation is:

  1. The script is written
  2. A storyboard is created
  3. Pre-visualisation/animatic
  4. 3D models are made
  5. Texture and lighting are added
  6. Rendering
  7. Special effects like sound are applied in post-production.

What are the benefits of 3D animation?

3D animation is a great way to stand out from your competition. The number one benefit of 3D animation is that it provides a real-life experience for your audience as it gives a life-like visual of your product or service by using a photorealism technique. From a quality perspective, 3D animation is more visually appealing as the movement is more natural and realistic, resulting in a more convincing experience. At Magenta, we have animation experts who create both photorealism and stylised animation.

What can 3D animation be used for?

3D animation/CGI can be used to showcase your product in a dynamic and engaging way. CGI can be used to create state-of-the-art explainer videos, promotional videos, and film, as it gives a realistic experience of a product or an object.

What type of animation should you choose?

If you’re looking for the best video animation to help promote your product or service, then we can help. At Magenta, we tackle 2D, 3D, and CGI animation projects and have the team, expertise, and software to turn your idea into a visual reality.

We can help with producing product explainer videos, promotional videos, infographics, and CGI photography to support your advertising campaign. Whether you have a creative idea in mind or would prefer a little guidance, we work with you from the concept stages right through to the illustration and animation (we can create custom illustrations for you) – and we do it all in-house.

Take a look at our services to see how we can help you or get in touch today to start a conversation.