How to create animated videos - summary of the 4 previous techniques

image credit:
Disney Studios - Illo - Pixar - Aardman
minutes of reading
Now that you know exactly how to animate, here's a quick summary of the 4 techniques described above, to help you find your way around.
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1. Frame-by-frame animation

Snow White and the Seven Dwarves by Walt Disney

As you now know, frame-by-frame animation is long and laborious, but well worth it when it's done right. Let's summarize:

Advantages :

  • Transcribes a great deal of emotion
  • Unlimited creativity
  • Allows for error and imperfection
  • Unbeatable human aspect
  • Requires relatively little equipment

Disadvantages :

  • Labour-intensive
  • Expertise required
  • Time-consuming to produce

Target audience:

  • Audiences sensitive to cartoons
  • Cultured and curious public
  • Middle class

2. Computer-assisted animation

illo.TV animation studio

As we saw earlier, this is the most common technique used today for making motion design films, because it's quick to set up and accessible.

Advantages :

  • Relatively quick to produce
  • Smooth animation
  • Many software packages offer ready-made animations (even Powerpoint!).

Disadvantages :

  • A little too smooth and perfect
  • Limited originality
  • Technical capabilities of software sometimes limited

Target audience:

  • Young, dynamic audience
  • Companies
  • All audiences, depending on the graphics used

3. 3D animation

Toy Story 3, by Pixar Studios

This is a very time-consuming technique, so choose it if you want to reach a higher technical and creative level. It also simulates reality, which means it can sometimes replace film or stop-motion.

Advantages :

  • Visuals can be highly realistic
  • Easy to differentiate thanks to its complexity
  • Virtually unlimited creativity
  • Viewpoints can be changed very easily

Disadvantages :

  • Many production stages (modeling, texturing, lighting and final rendering)
  • Demand for high-performance, expensive equipment
  • Expertise required

Target audience:

  • Young, dynamic audience
  • Sensitive to new technologies

4. Stop-motion

Wallace and Gromit, by Aardman Studios

Much less popular with corporate films, it is more widely used in the artistic sphere of cinema films (short or feature-length). Click here to find out more about this technique.

Advantages :

  • Incomparable originality
  • Very regressive handmade look (reminiscent of our old comforters) and therefore very human.
  • Virtually unlimited creativity
  • You can start with almost nothing

Disadvantages :

  • Can require a lot of up-front work for a professional look (making models, skeletons, lights, controlled cameras)
  • Can request expertise
  • You may need a lot of material to make it.
  • Can quickly look amateurish

Target audience:

  • Open and curious public
  • Sensitive to the arts
  • Older audiences


So that's the basics of animation techniques, to give you an idea of what you can achieve.

Budget is the only thing that can limit your creativity, because today's technology makes it limitless, thanks to 3D printers, controlled cameras, modern materials (for making puppets) and increasingly powerful, accessible and scalable post-production software.

So have fun!

But what would you be most tempted towards 🙂 ?

Photo de profil d'Alexandre Sobrier, motion designer freelance
Alexandre Soubrier

Alexandre Soubrier is a freelance motion designer with a passion for illustration and animation. He created the podcast Exquises Exquisses in which he interviews author-illustrators, and produces this blog.
‍Contact him here or on Linked In.

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