What’s the Deal with 2.5D Animation?

In this article, we will explore what 2.5D animation is, how it works, and its advantages and applications.

So, let’s delve into the world of 2.5D animation and find out what the deal is with this type of animation.


What is 2.5D animation

2.5D or isometric animation is 2D but looks 3D thanks to software manipulation.

This animation technique was commonly used in early video games. It has stuck around ever since.

But 2.5D isn’t just limited to the 8-bit visuals you grew up with, it can be much more refined and sophisticated.

Just take a look at one we made for a client!

If you’re interested in creating a video like this for your business, our team can help.

Contact us today to discuss your project and how we can help you achieve your goals.

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Difference between 2D, 2.5D and 3D animation

Animation has come a long way since traditional hand-drawn animations. And today, there are three primary animation techniques: 2D, 2.5D, and 3D animation.

While all three techniques involve creating images and characters that move, they differ significantly in terms of style, production process, and final output.

Let’s find out the differences between each of them.


2D Animation

2D animation is the most traditional animation technique that involves drawing and animating images in two dimensions.

Animators create characters, backgrounds, and other elements in 2D first. Then move them across the screen to create the illusion of movement.

2D animation is a versatile technique for different industries.

Here’s an example of 2D animation. Our video animation company made this for a client.


2.5D Animation

As we’ve discussed earlier, 2.5D animation is a technique that combines 2D and 3D elements to create an illusion of depth and movement.

To create a this type of animation, animators first draw or create 2D images and characters using traditional or digital techniques.

They then use 3D software to manipulate the position, rotation, and scale of the 2D elements to create an illusion of depth and movement.

The 3D software simulates a camera moving around the 2D images, creating a parallax effect that gives the illusion of a 3D environment.

Let’s watch an example of 2.5D animation.


3D Animation

3D animation involves creating 3D models of characters, objects, and environments in a three-dimensional space.

Animators use specialized software to manipulate and animate 3D models. They create movement and depth that is not possible with 2D animation.

3D animation is often used in films, television shows, and video games to create realistic-looking environments and characters. These are difficult or impossible to achieve with traditional animation techniques.

Here’s a simple example of 3D animation. It is fun and engaging.

Related: Types of Animation for Businesses


Uses of 2.5D animation

2.5D animation has a wide range of uses across various industries, including advertising, and video games. Here are some of its uses.


Film and television

It is often used in film and television to create dynamic opening sequences, title cards, and credits. This technique allows animators to create stunning animations that grab the audience’s attention.



2.5D animation is also used in advertising to create animated commercials and explainer videos. This technique allows companies to showcase their products or services in an appealing way.


Video games

Video games utilize 2.5D animation to create 2D game environments with a 3D look. It helps game developers to create immersive gaming experiences while reducing the amount of 3D modeling required, making it easier and faster to develop games.


Virtual reality

2.5D animation benefits virtual reality by creating immersive environments. It helps developers to create 3D environments with 2D characters and objects, creating a unique VR experience.

Read more: History of Animation and its Evolution in Film


Advantages of 2.5D animation

It offers a variety of advantages over traditional 2D and 3D animation techniques. Here are some advantages of 2.5D animation.


Fast production time

It can be produced more quickly than traditional 3D animation techniques. Since it requires less modeling and rendering time. This makes it an ideal choice for projects with tight deadlines.


Enhanced visual depth

With 2.5D animation, enhanced visual depth is guaranteed. This results in characters and objects having a 3D appearance while retaining the charm of 2D animation.


Improved flexibility

2.5D animation offers improved flexibility, allowing animators to combine 2D and 3D elements to create unique visual effects. This allows animators to create a wider range of visual styles and techniques.


Easy integration with other software

It is easy to integrate with other software, allowing animators to work seamlessly between 2D and 3D software. This makes it easier to create complex animations with multiple elements.


Versatile applications

Because of its versatile use across industries, it is an ideal choice for a wide range of projects.


How to create a 2.5D animation?

Creating a 2.5D animation involves combining 2D and 3D elements to create a stunning animation. Here are some steps you can follow to create a 2.5D animation.

Develop the concept

The first step is to develop a concept for your animation. This involves creating a storyboard that outlines the story, characters, and setting.

Create the 2D elements

Next, you need to create the 2D elements of your animation. It involves drawing the characters and background in a 2D software such as Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator.

Convert 2D elements to 3D

Once you have created the 2D elements, you need to convert them to 3D. Importing the 2D elements into a 3D software such as Maya or Blender and creating a 3D model of each element are part of this step.

Add camera movement

The next step is to add camera movement to your animation. Creating a camera path that moves through the 3D environment and captures the action are taken care of during this step.

Add lighting and shadows

Once you have added camera movement, you need to add lighting and shadows to your animation. This involves creating light sources and adjusting the shadows to create a realistic look.

Render the animation

The final step is to render the animation. It involves exporting the animation as a video file or image sequence.

Creating a 2.5D animation requires a combination of 2D and 3D skills. By following these steps and practicing your skills, you can create visually great animations.


That’s a wrap

In conclusion, 2.5D animation is a unique and versatile animation technique that combines the best of 2D and 3D animation.

It offers enhanced visual depth and flexibility while remaining quick to produce. Its versatility allows it to be applied across various industries.

As technology continues to advance, it will be exciting to see how 2.5D animation will continue to evolve and be used in new and innovative ways.

Read more: 2D vs 3D Animation – Which Is Better?

If you are looking for someone to make a video for you, reach out to us. Our team of professionals would love to assist you.

Want a video for your business?


Posted by Samra Tiwana

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