2.5D Animation: A Dynamic Dimension

In our blog post, 2.5D Animation Explained, we explored the differences between 2D, 2.5D, and 3D animation techniques. Not long after posting, we noticed a lot of interest from our readers.

We don’t blame you—2.5D animation is cool! But not only is 2.5D animation cool, it’s also a common technique used in digital media every day. So let’s drop a few dimensions and explore 2.5D, find its best use cases, and share some more examples!

No Need for 3D Glasses

Let’s start with a quick refresher: 2.5D animation is when an object moves in relation to another object, creating the illusion of depth, sometimes referred to as the ‘parallax effect’.

This makes things that are 2D appear as if they are 3D. Now, keep in mind that 2.5D means different things in different design spaces, like computer game design. For our purposes, we will refer to how Motion Graphics nerds—like us!—use 2.5D in video production.

What makes 2.5D animation so great? Well, it’s dynamic! 2.5D animation is amazing at infusing life into static scenes, like a photograph. By adding motion to elements within a still image, 2.5D animation helps to add heaps of visual interest to your video content.

Creating a Dynamic Scene With 2.5D

2.5D animation image
We took this photo behind-the-scenes at a WKP video shoot. The image captures a videographer in their natural habitat. A nice image, but nothing to write home about. Watch what happens when we separate the foreground and background and then add subtle movement.

Moving visual interest brought the previously static image to life! When editing video, it’s good practice to avoid static images wherever possible. Static images are boring content, and video production is about creating engaging content. Video editors and motion designers do this by using an array of creative tools in their toolbox to boost a video’s appeal. Chief among those tools is 2.5D animation.

Video Need Not Apply

At White Knight Productions, we often get clients who think their project needs to involve video shoots. As a result, they’re unsure they can afford the costs of a high-quality video produced at a production company. That’s not the case. 2.5D animation can be cheaper than live video or even remote video shoots. And just as importantly, 2.5D animation that uses relevant and engaging images can have just as much impact as a costly video shoot.

Scenario: your video script calls for a scene that shows a person walking their dog down a snowy trail (you’re a winter apparel company!). The logistics for this shot can take time and can be exceedingly expensive. You might nix the shot altogether. Don’t do that! Instead, let’s use all that we’ve discussed with a little motion graphics ingenuity and the right photo. This is the power and simplicity 2.5D animation can bring to your next video project.

Explaining Explainer Videos

We’ve been talking about how 2.5D animation works magic with still photos, helping to bring them to life. But what if you were looking for colorful graphics and visual flair for your next video project? Perhaps you have a great idea that needs explaining. Well, you could make an Explainer Video! These style of videos are popular with organizations and businesses because of their eye-catching nature and ability to break down complex concepts into easily understood visuals.

Explainer videos can be 2D, 2.5D, or 3D—sometimes all three! Usually, explainer videos are graphics and illustrations animated using software like Adobe After Effects. Motions designers animate those graphics and illustrations to bring them to life, and one of the best ways is to create a parallax effect with our friend 2.5D animation. We use this effect in many of our explainer videos. Give them a look and see if you can spot them! Here’s an example of a colorful cityscape showing this effect in action!

Think of all the possibilities you could use 2.5D animation for your video!

If you want to learn how to bring 2.5D animation to your next video project contact us! We’d love to chat with you!