Animation Techniques

Top 7 Animation Techniques that Every Beginner Should Know

Have you watched the cartoon shows like Doraemon, Shin Chan, Mickey mouse, Noddy, Ninja Hattori etc. ? Do they exist in real? Of course not. They were invented out of the crazy imagination of some people. Then how did this imagination took the form of a character? This is done through animation. Animation is not just limited to cartoons. It is used for educational and marketing purposes as well. We shall now proceed towards learning more about animation techniques and it’s various types.

Animation is the process of manipulation of pictures so that they appear in motion. The images may be hand drawn or produced mechanically. Nowadays, images are drawn through CGI i.e. computer generated imagery. 

Types of Animation Techniques Useful for Beginners:

1. Traditional animation

2. Stop  motion animation:

  • Puppet animation
  • Clay animation
  • Cut-out-animation

3. 2-D animation

4. 3-D animation

5. Motion graphics

6. Typography animation

7. Sand animation

Types of Animation Techniques

Let’s have a deeper look into them.

Traditional animation

It is also referred to as cel animation or hand drawn animation. In traditional animation all the frames are drawn manually. The images are slightly different from each other. The images are placed one top of the other and observed through light table. This helps the animator to see the previous frame and design the next frame accordingly. The early editions of cartoon series ‘Tom and Jerry’ is created in this manner.

The animator can keep  the imaginations flowing in and paint any sort of character. There is no boundation. It gives creative freedom. It is easy to understand and therefore beginners should have a look into it before diving in further.

Although, traditional animation is good for beginners, it can be sometimes very cumbersome. It demands precision and lots of handwork. Along with this it is very time-consuming. Therefore, it is now done with the aid of computers. The evolution of computers has made this process easy.

Stop motion

Stop motion uses still photographs of objects, puppets or clay models. They are combined together in a series and played together to depicts motion.

Though, the animator is not compelled to draw each image by hand but still stop motion can be challenging. It requires good photography skills. Each image has to be captured at different time spans. Plus, only real life objects can be captured using stop motion. Objects need to be prepared and modified for different images. 

Beginners should seek for this category if they have people with knowledge of photography and creative people for creating models. Once you have captured a image you need to wait until it’s form transfers naturally of artificially and then only you can move forward for the next short.

Different types of stop motion animation-
Puppet Animation

As the name suggests, puppet animation uses puppets to construct scenes. This form of animation tracks its roots to the puppet shows. It can be 2-D or 3-D type of animation. But it’s use is limited because of the difficulty of its execution.

Clay Animation

The use of clay to develop characters and structures is known as clay animation. It is popularly known as claymation. 

It is very cost-effective. Hence, preferred by beginners. Clay can be moulded infinitely to produce enormous shapes of different sizes. It just requires a skilled person.


This category of animation traces it origin through cut outs. It was one of the initial forms of animation. Cut out animation is also one of the oldest form of animation.

The characters are created by cutting pieces of paper, cardboards or photographs and sewing them together to produce motion.

This form of animation is now done using software. The images  are scanned and operated through computer software to produce the final product.

2-D Animation

2-D animation is not at all difficult to understand. Imagine drawing a few drawings with little differences and placing them together to create motion. That’s it. This is 2-D animation. It may also be done using photographs. This type of animation  has only 2 dimensions.

The famous Disney cartoon character ‘Mickey mouse’ is a gift of 2-D animation.

It can be used conveniently by beginners. It is a great way of appealing people.

3-D Animation

The arrival of 3-D animation is solely dedicated to computers. It came into being all thanks to computer graphics.

Went to a movie theatre to watch an animated movie and were offered a 3-D glass?  The movie must have used 3-D animation to make unreal objects appear lively. 3-D animation has taken over other modes of animation. It is easy and attractive. It’s popularity among the masses has increased it’s demand several folds. It is the most widely used animation type. It will surely find a place in the future also.

Uses of 3-D animation-
  1. It is used to bring life to imaginary creatures. In movies and cartoons vivid characters are created for entertainment purposes.
  2. 3-D structure of buildings are used by architects to analyse the internal structure of the building.
  3. It is widely used in medicine to study the functioning of different organs. Using living samples for the analysis is not feasible. Killing small creatures for studies is unethical. 3-D animation bought a revolution in the field of medicine because concepts became easy to demonstrate and understand.
  4. It is utilized in marketing and for promotion. To demonstrate the working of equipment, to show the manufacturing process of a product, reveal composition of products, to the consumers. All can be done using 3 dimensional animation.

For beginners, 3-D animation can open the doors for new avenues. It will attract the attention of potential consumers and will in turn generate high revenue.

Motion Graphics

If you are looking for an animation technique most suitable for marketing, you found your answer. The usage of motion graphics is in explainer videos, advertising, brand videos, promotional videos, commercials, presentations, pitch videos, sales, demo videos, etc.

They use text, shapes and symbols to deliver a message. Audio can be added to them in the form of voice over or music to make them more penetrable.

White-board Animation

Who knew simple drawings created on plain background would be used as a form of animation?

In white-board animation a 2-D image is created on a plain background. It can be used to form images of  fictional as well as real life objects. Images have to be drawn manually using simile tools like paper, pencil or paint brush. 

They are pocket friendly, easy and doesn’t require much efforts. One just needs to be creative with white boards as they can be used for marketing and promotion. This allows the scope of presenting something out of the world to the audience. You may use it as a tool to attract people and stand out from others. It also adds a personal touch.

Typography Animation

It is a style in which moving text is used for animation. It is therefore, some times referred to as kinetic typography. It is preferred by business for displaying data statically. It also finds versatile use in the field of education. Students can be taught using kinetic text, making studies interesting.

Few key points to remember while creating typography animation are listed below.

Font is the main thing need to be kept in mind along with the background. The font needs to be eligible for reading. The background should be chosen in such a manner that it makes the text pop. The speed of moment of the text should also be regulated properly.

So many great options can bewilder the mind. For beginners it is very difficult to choose the right type of animation. For this short list the ones which you think are suitable for you. Do a thorough research on them and come to a conclusion. Also, keep the interest of your audience in mind. Find the right people to accomplish the task of animation. Beginners have a tight pocket.

So, carefully select the one which suits your budget. Don’t get outshined by the huge variety. Let others do what they want. You just mind your own business. What suits others may not be able to fulfil your demand. So, search for the best yourself. Don’t just blindly follow what others opt for. 

One may also prefer 2 or more types of animations simultaneously. It will help you increase versatility. You may use 3-D animations for marketing and motion graphics for displaying your growth. 

Whatever you choose, remember to put in your best effort. Just by choosing the right mode doesn’t ensure success. If a particular type doesn’t get attention, switch to another. Be open to experimentation. You never know, what may grab the attention of the masses. At last, be consistent. Some day or the other your strategies will show the result. You will earn the fruit of your hard work.

Looking for animators to create your video? Contact Satva Design Studio today!

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