The Cutting-Edge Animation Styles You Need to Know

Kenny.b
8 min readFeb 6, 2023

The constraints of reality don’t bind animation. It’s the ultimate tool for communicating your message and captivating your audience, with the sky as the limit.

This is why animation is a game-changer in video marketing. It’s versatile and flexible, perfect for crafting fun and shareable content for social media or breaking down complex ideas like the inner workings of a turbojet engine.

But with so many animation styles to choose from, it can be overwhelming. That’s why we’re here to guide you through the process.

From the most popular methods to the hidden gems, we’ll cover all the essential information you need to make the best choice for your brand.

Join us as we explore the exciting world of animation and discover how to create a video that captivates and converts.

2D Vector Animation

This is a top choice for marketing videos and a good reason. With the power of computer software and vector graphics, you can effortlessly animate shapes and bring your images to life. Say goodbye to manual updates and hello to seamless, dynamic visuals.

2D vector animation is a must-have tool for anyone looking to quickly and easily communicate ideas through animation. Its smooth and crisp visuals make it the perfect style for simple storytelling and straightforwardly conveying ideas.

In addition to its versatility, 2D vector animation is budget-friendly. Compared to 3D animation, the process is more streamlined, allowing you to turn your concepts into engaging videos at a fraction of the cost. Get ready to make a big impact with 2D vector animation.

Motion Graphics

Transform boring data into a visually stunning masterpiece with Motion Graphics! This dynamic graphic design style uses captivating shapes and text to bring stories and messages to life.

Remember the iconic movie intro sequences from Saul Bass in the 60s, like Psycho and West Side Story? Motion graphics take it to a new level with digital tools’ power.

With their dynamic text, fonts, and simple shapes, motion graphics is an affordable yet impactful way to communicate your message. And when paired with music and narration in perfect harmony, it creates a video that will grab attention!

Say goodbye to dull presentations and hello to an engaging mix of text, charts, and graphs that will keep your audience entertained.

Hand-Drawn Animation

Step into the classic world of hand-drawn animation, just like in the golden age of Disney movies. Each element is expertly crafted by talented artists, infusing your videos with a unique warmth and character that can only come from the human touch.

Traditional animation is the way for character-driven content and videos that aim to spark emotions and connection. Its hand-drawn nature adds a personal touch that’s impossible to replicate digitally.

Experience the magic of traditional animation today! Gone are the days of conventional animation being a slow and expensive process. Thanks to technological advancements, digital tools now make it possible to achieve the same look and feel in a fraction of the time without sacrificing charm.

3D animation

Gone are the days of hand-drawn animation, and welcome to the world of Computer Generated Imagery (CGI). This innovative format is taking the animation world by storm and has become the most popular choice for animated movies.

With 3D animation, you’re not limited to flat images; instead, you can bring characters, props, and locations to life in a whole new dimension.

And with software handling the movements between each frame, you can quickly bring your creations to life with ease.

Think of the iconic movies from Pixar, such as Toy Story and The Incredibles, and you’ll have a good idea of the type of magic that 3D animation can create. But this style is constantly evolving and can handle any look or style you can imagine.

Whether you’re looking to showcase products or designs or create engaging and informative videos, 3D animation has you covered. Get ready to step into a world of endless possibilities!

Live-Animated

Bringing digital magic to real-world footage, this technique allows you to integrate graphics and animations into your video seamlessly. With the power of motion tracking technology, you can effortlessly tag on-screen images with captivating graphical elements that move with the camera.

Say goodbye to manual tracking and hello to endless creative possibilities!

Whether infusing infographic data with real-world elements or visually demonstrating how a product works, this technique can elevate your videos to new heights.

Unlock the Magic of Realistic Movement with Rotoscoping!

Step back to the early days of animation, where Rotoscoping reigned supreme. This revolutionary technique traces human movements from film images to bring characters to life with naturalistic movements. Just imagine Disney’s classic “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” or the futuristic sci-fi film “A Scanner Darkly,” You’ll see the impact Rotoscoping can have.

The tedious tracing process has been automated thanks to digital advancements, making it easier to bring your visions to life.

Don’t let weeks of work hold you back, harness the power of Rotoscoping today! Transform 2D sequences into a 3D world with realistic movements that will leave audiences in awe.

Cut-out Animation

Get ready to enter the whimsical world of stop-motion animation!

South Park is a shining example of this classic technique, where Trey Parker and Matt Stone brought their vision to life by cutting out paper shapes to create characters and backdrops and capturing the magic with a stop-motion camera.

But this style has evolved! Today, it’s all digital, bringing the charm and warmth of a storybook to life on your screens easily.

This is why it’s a popular choice for explainer and narrative-based marketing videos, where a touch of personality and simple character animations are needed to captivate the audience.

Get ready to be transported to a world of paper-cut-out magic!

Retro Animation

Get ready to tap into the power of nostalgia with retro animations! These animations bring back memories of classic arcade games with their heavily pixelated look or recreate the beloved style of your favorite childhood TV shows.

Retro animation is the way to go when you’re looking to connect with a specific demographic. This approach hits the right note by visually connecting with people through a style they love.

With the ease of digital tools, recreating the simple styles of retro animations has never been easier. Strike the right chord and harness the power of nostalgia, delivering an emotional punch that takes your audience back in time.

Stop Motion Animation

Bring inanimate objects to life with stop-motion animation! This timeless technique has enchanted audiences for decades, from classic children’s TV shows like The Clangers and Magic Roundabout to modern-day masterpieces.

While digital animation methods have evolved, stop-motion continues to capture the hearts of animators and audiences alike. Its tactile, homespun quality gives it a charm that’s hard to replicate digitally, and its accessibility and versatility make it a playground for creative expression.

Use stop-motion to bring your characters and narratives to life, or to showcase real-world products in a whole new light. With its simplicity, stop-motion invites you to explore innovative ways to animate the world around you and bring your imagination to life.

Pinscreen Animation

Discover the mesmerizing world of pin animation, a captivating predecessor to modern computer graphics! Pioneered by French animator Alexandre Alexeïeff in the 1930s, he used a board with thousands of metal pins to bring his animations to life.

As objects were embedded, the pins displaced, creating an image much like pixels on a computer screen. With the help of his assistant, Claire Parker, they crafted otherworldly animations that have since remained a niche technique.

But now, it’s being rediscovered and reimagined with large, digitally controlled pinscreen displays at shows and events.

Get ready to be transported to a whole new dimension!

Screencast Animation

Unleash the power of simplicity with screencast animations! Transform mundane screen captures into dynamic, captivating videos showing your software or services in action.

Say goodbye to boring screen recordings and hello to an immersive experience complete with overlays and narration that bring your digital offerings to life.

Embrace the simple yet effective way to showcase your digital services with screencast animations! Adopt the “show, don’t tell” approach, and let your audience see your software UI in action.

This engaging approach can skyrocket your conversion rates and is perfect for a tutorial or informational needs.

Typography Animation

Bring your words to life with kinetic animation! This technique combines the magic of movement and visual effects to elevate the written or spoken word. Say goodbye to dull presentations and hello to a powerful way to communicate your message.

Master the art of 2D vector animation, a popular technique in kinetic animation.

Use it to bring statistical data or survey findings to life or visually highlight an inspirational or emotional recorded speech. The possibilities are endless with kinetic animation.

Not only is it simple, accessible, and cost-effective, but it also requires the touch of a skilled animator to turn your text into a visual masterpiece. Unleash the full potential of your message and create impactful results with kinetic animation.

Mechanical Animation

Get a closer look at how things work with mechanical animation! This technique brings your product, device, or service to life with a stunning 3D representation that goes beyond the surface. Explore the inner workings, and peel away the visual clutter to uncover the true magic of your offering.

Perfect for demonstrating technical products and services, mechanical animation is the fastest way to explain how your engineering solutions solve problems and enhance performance.

Say goodbye to boring technical presentations and hello to a vibrant, engaging experience with voice-over and music.

Make a lasting impression and share your knowledge with training or informational films that showcase the inner workings of your offerings. Whether it’s for promotion or education, mechanical animation is the ideal tool to get the job done.

Resources for exploring different animation styles:

  1. Animators toolkit — https://www.animationtoolkit.co/
  2. Animation techniques — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animation_techniques
  3. Motion Design School — https://motiondesign.school/courses/
  4. Lynda — https://www.lynda.com/animation-tutorials/
  5. Skillshare — https://www.skillshare.com/browse/animation
  6. Blender Guru — https://www.blenderguru.com/tutorials/
  7. Digital Tutors — https://www.digitaltutors.com/
  8. The Gnomon Workshop — https://www.thegnomonworkshop.com/
  9. School of Motion — https://www.schoolofmotion.com/
  10. Animation Mentor — https://www.animationmentor.com/

These resources cover various animation styles and techniques, ranging from 2D vector animation, stop-motion animation, and 3D animation to kinetic typography, motion graphics, and more.

You’ll find tutorials, workshops, online courses, and other resources to help you get started with animation and develop your skills.

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Kenny.b

Hi there! My name is Kenny, and I am a massive fan of animation, cartoons, and all things creative. Can visit my site for more: https://cartoonvibe.com