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Corporate Communication

2D Graphics vs. 3D Graphics: Which is More Effective?

Animation connects with people on a deep emotional level, evoking instant feelings of nostalgia, humor, and excitement. People simply love seeing animated graphics - so if your company can use them effectively to convey information, customers will pay attention and enjoy the experience.

This might leave you wondering: What kind of animation should we use? 2D graphics and 3D graphics are two popular forms - but which is most effective? Here’s a closer look.

Defining 2D vs. 3D

2D and 3D Graphics are quite different from one another, in both their creation and their end result. On the most basic level, 2D graphics have height and width, and 3D graphics add a layer of depth which provides an element of realism.

People are most familiar with 2D graphics in traditional cartoons. 2D graphics are widely used in animation and video games, providing a realistic, but flat, view of movement on the screen.

3D graphics provide realistic depth that allows the viewer to see into spaces, notice the movement of light and shadows, and gain a fuller understanding of what’s being shown. 3D motion graphics work with the brain’s natural tendency to explore what we see and enrich our understanding of the world.

How Companies Use 2D and 3D Graphics

Companies use motion graphics to educate, entertain, and connect with people on a deeper level. Animation enhances messages, making them much more memorable than simply reading text.

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Here’s a short list of ways a company can use animated graphics:

  • Title slates, charts, and captions for promotional messages and commercials
  • Animated logos that twist, flip, bounce, or flutter
  • Characters that serve as a mascot for the business
  • Educational and instructional graphics, including training videos
  • Diagrams that show proper assembly
  • Animations that demonstrate a procedure or process
  • Virtual tours and walk-throughs
  • Internal tours that show things otherwise hidden from the human eye

Effectiveness of Graphics

There’s no question that motion graphics help people learn and remember information. In fact, many people would rather see a video than interact with your brand in any other way.

  • People remember animations 21 days longer than static images and text.
  • 72% of people would rather watch a video about a brand than read text about it.
  • 85% of people wish companies would share more videos, rather than create other types of content.

Research has also shown that 3D experiences make people people feel more emotional than 2D graphics. When people were shown holographic and virtual reality images during an experiment, they reacted by exclaiming, moving their hands, and even crying.

While both 2D and 3D graphics can connect with people on some level, richly-detailed 3D graphics are more effective at communicating complex information and inspiring genuine feelings. They illuminate abstract ideas, providing a much richer experience that feels real.

Next Step: NextThought Studios

If your company needs to train employees, educate buyers, or communicate creative concepts, consider using 3D graphics. The animators at NextThought Studios produce 3D videos using Cinema 4D, a world-class professional animation package.

No matter how complex or creative your idea is, our animators can bring it to life in rich, realistic 3D. Connect with NextThought Studios for a custom quote, and let’s start brainstorming.

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About the Author

Janelle Bevan, M.A.

Janelle has produced and project-managed a wide array of videos ranging from corporate commercials to long-form documentaries. While completing her Master’s degree at the University of Oklahoma, she served as the graduate assistant to the department chair for the Creative Media. Janelle has worked with many nationally recognized organizations, creating documentaries for the National Association of Broadcasters, designing and editing instructional videos for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, as well as producing the 2015 Broadcast Education Association awards show in Las Vegas. Janelle is a six-time Telly Award winner and won a 2016 Emmy for her documentary featuring a collaboration from three executive producers of AMC’s The Walking Dead. Janelle has since served as NextThought’s Director of Post-Production and Media Management and helped facilitate over 1,000 videos in the last year.