What is more difficult? Do 2D or 3D?

Frequently, the people ask me: What is it more difficult ?, do 2D or 3D?… these questions always are on reference to budget and  working time…with typical comments, like..”Surely it is cheaper to do in 3D, because it is done by computer” ( In the studio we have a button that calls “Films Pixar”, you press it, choose the theme and you always get a  pretty, pretty movie!) the other comment is … “2D is much more complicated to do”.If you are someone from the sector and have worked the two techniques, you probably know the answer, but this article is for some of my colleagues out of this world, knowing that I dedicate myself to animation, every time we meet, they ask me how I carry it. ” … that of the comics. “, The first 7 years I still tried to explain the difference, the next 13 years later I limit myself to tell you that my most personal work is Watchmen and that you can find it in Fnac !, I lose it and hey! … I cultured them a little at least!


Well, Let’s come back to 2D and 3D for amateurs. The basic difference between these two techniques is that 3D animators animate virtual puppets while in 2D they animate by drawing. Obviously, the production processes are different, but in essence, it is exactly the same. if we talked about stop-motion, something that I do not know completely, I’m sure it will be very similar, (I promise to interview Sam the next day of Conflict Productions and Pablo Llorens de Potens who are the maximum exponents of stop motion in Spain. (Note for my friends: These are the ones who dedicate themselves to “that of the comics” but in plasticine).

(Yes …I know, I could use a more modern image… ) Ok guys! now the animators use a Cintiq, very pretty screens to draw and saves you paper and troubles.

In the screen on the right, you can see the controls (synoptic) to handle the expressions of the characters.


Under my experience in the productions of Hampa Studio, it is exactly the same. The Preproduction of 2D consists of preparing Story, Concepts, Color scripts, Character Design, Props and Backgrounds, Animation Test, Animatic, and Layouts.

While 3D is all this, plus the Modeling, Textures, Shaders (materials) and Rigs (skeleton of the characters and props), this makes the 3D Pre-production become longer, much more technical and harder.

However when it comes time to animate, the process is “very fast” in 3D, “only” consists of posing the character, pulling it like a dummy (blocking) and smoothing the intercalations (polish or refine, each one calls in a way, in fact, those of one side and those of another are at night to stick, well this is not true, it only happens in my mind).

One who is hitting is from the “Polish” trend, the other that is clearly seen to be from the “Refine” part.


In the 2D technique, the first thing is to do the Animation (key drawings), then the Clean-up of these key drawings (that is, clean them so that the lines do not vibrate and look nice), later the smoothing of the animation (Intercalation ), then Clean-up of these intercalations and finally ink and paint, that is to give color to both the filling and the contour lines (something optional, but I recommend you, if you want to propose to your producer to paint the lines of the characters, you should go talk to him/her with a suit of those who wear the tedax, if you want to stay alive). All this drawing frame by frame by several different hands with the difficulty that this entails, (although, not for a friend out of this, when she came to the studio and saw the tables of light with the drawings, he said “ahh, you trace? it’s super easy on this way! “). Except for her… for the rest of  the people, the problem and the danger of 2D with large teams, is the model of the character, there is more to see the beauty and the beast, there are plans that sell beautiful and in others, sale the far distant cousin, who has a wine to visit or something.

Here, we can see a clear example of how well Bella and her cousin of 45 years old are spending it.

In summary

Therefore, in the end, the 3D and 2D about of time and costs are the same. But it is true that in the final steps of production 2D is lighter since 3D needs to illuminate and render, but instead of 2D it has been necessary to paint the backgrounds by hand with its light and its color, something that takes also a long time.

To give you an idea, in Hampa Studio, it cost us the same to do Margarita (2D) as The Shadownsters (3D), in time and budget, although Almax and Omeprazol level we spent more on Margarita, really!


Alex Cervantes / Ceo – Director / Hampa Studio

Alex Cervantes

Author Alex Cervantes

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