3D animation is a useful tool to boost awareness of a brand, product, or service in a fun and engaging way that can inspire the target audience. Video is an incredibly powerful medium in terms of its ability to captivate our attention for long periods of time and remain in our subconscious long after.
This is because it brings together sight, sound, and motion which can trigger emotional responses in our brain. Studies have shown that people are 85 percent more likely to buy a product after viewing a product video and that 70% of B2B buyers and researchers watch a video during their purchase process.
As with all video marketing, you need to have a clear objective so that your message is aligned with the goals of your business. There are many different types of animation techniques used for advertising purposes such as cartoon animation or whiteboard animation videos and so on. You should choose one that best suits your objectives and brand.
Animation has grown in popularity in recent years, particularly throughout the pandemic when live-action shooting was considered unsafe. It is particularly useful in presenting complex ideas in a simplistic, easily digestible format so if you are looking for a way to get noticed, you should consider contacting a 3D animation company to give you a helping hand.
In this blog, we’ll discuss our top animation trends of 2021, ranging from minimalistic visuals that utilise thin lines and restricted colour palettes to complex textural designs featuring grain or hybrid animation.
What is 3D animation?
3D animation is the process of creating moving images in a three-dimensional form. This content can be used for digital advertising, billboards, social media marketing, web development video games, Youtube, e-learning or explainer videos, and even in the creation of movies like Toy Story.
What makes animation so effective?
Animations are highly effective in reaching consumers because they are able to engage audiences by drawing them in and holding their attention for longer.
While all forms of creative video have this effect, animations are particularly useful in bringing to life complex ideas and storylines that would be impossible to demonstrate in live action filming.
Animation is regularly used by larger companies to produce digital ads and brand awareness collateral that fosters a deeper feeling of trust and loyalty because they provide visual and audible stimulation which is much more effective than plain text alone could ever be.
Animators are always creating fresh methods to bring products and storytelling to life in engaging and memorable ways. Our team use 2D and 3D animation to turn any idea – no matter how extraordinary – into a reality.
While new approaches to animated video are introduced every year, not all of them are original, effective, or impactful enough to elevate the industry’s bar. Here are a few of our favourite trends from 2021 that we believe will help you elevate your motion graphics and video production.
You’ll notice that many of the motion design trends in 2021 are for the most part minimalist in style and use retro undertones in their colour palettes. This should be no surprise since graphic design trends often coincide with the latest styles in fashion and media.
Minimalism in art and design has been a continuing theme this year with more artists and animators implementing it in their work every day.
This trend focuses on simple but impactful designs that utilise thin lines to mimic a hand-drawn artwork giving it a simplistic, yet modern feel and is most common in 2D animation. Thin lines function as direction-givers, shape-definers, and mood-setters.
Line art can be used to design a black pen on a white paper effect whereby it brings doodles to life in a sophisticated and clean way. When accompanied by a compelling script and voice-over, this approach is ideal in creating training videos, social media content, or explainer videos.
Restricted Colour Palette
Put simply, a restricted colour palette means working with as few colours as possible. Colour has tremendous storytelling power. It can express emotion, clarify motivation, and even dictate the entire meaning of a piece.
By restricting your colour palette, you will avoid overcomplicating the graphics and ultimately distracting your audience from the key focus. An accent colour within your restricted palette will help to draw attention to the key areas of the motion graphic while creating harmony and rhythm throughout.
Restricted colour palettes are commonly used by large companies in their animated videos who typically stick to just 2-4 colours to achieve a satisfying contrast. Deciding on a limited colour palette can be difficult if you don’t have an in-house design team to help. If you are looking to create a modern, minimal 2D or 3D animation, then consulting a professional animated video production company to assist you in the creative process would be the best place to start.
For several years now, animated logos have remained high on the list of animation trends, and 2021 is no different. Motion designers develop various logo animations by combining diverse visual effects: spinning, morphing, concealing and exposing, expanding, hard-drawn effects, and 3D animation with computer generated imagery to bring their logos to life in a visually fun and stimulating way.
When visiting a website, the company logo is often the first thing that’s looked at. For that reason, it should be distinctive, eye-catching, and use typography that conveys the essence of the brand.
We know that movement gets attention, so why not get the focal point of your brand in motion. Using animation may help highlight elements of the brand’s personality be that playful or corporate.
Background Animation Videos
Background animations are a key feature of highly produced websites. Its purpose is to help visitors understand complex services and ideas that are otherwise difficult to visualise.
Background animations are a great way to impress visitors and convey the right message about your company. It can also help enhance user experience as it allows users to navigate through information without distraction, which is always beneficial when trying to engage an audience or sell services online.
It’s important that background animations be relevant and visually effective so as to complement the website design, rather than become a distraction.
There are several ways to include animation on the backdrop of a website. Websites that feature motion backgrounds may be found in a variety of sectors ranging from financial institutions, banks, and healthcare providers to eCommerce shops, restaurants, and B2B service providers.
Kinetic typography, also known as “moving text”, is just that, an animation style that brings the typography to life through motion. This method isn’t new. It’s been around since filmmakers began using moving text in the opening credits of their films.
But it has become more and more popular a time has gone on and is now widely used through a range of mediums. You have probably seen it today in at least one form. Perhaps featured on a web page, advert, or even explainer video. It has also become very commonly used in social media marketing.
This technique helps to inject energy into something that is ordinarily stagnant with makes it far more engaging. It’s fascinating to see how carefully chosen words when paired with the right tone and typeface can elicit strong emotional reactions. The addition of movement to this specific area of digital marketing helps to drive that message home and improve retention.
This type of animation is simple enough to implement if you are just looking to spruce up the content on your social media page, but when it comes to developing professional kinetic typography as part of your wider digital marketing strategy you really ought to consider bringing in the expertise of a video production agency.
Combining multiple animation techniques in a single video production has been a popular trend this year for 3D animation companies. A mix of 3D, 2D, and stop-motion animation is a very typical example of this hybrid technique.
Blending 2D animation with components of 3D animation, as well as live action videos will help demonstrate many parts of your brand and appeal to a variety of consumers. This makes it an ideal method of animated video production to include in your digital strategy.
The mixed-media method employs a distinctly diverse combination of graphics, film, and pictures, which are purposefully complementing or contrasting. To swiftly communicate a tale, the digital collages combine real objects with motion graphics.
AVC Immedia offers 2D & 3D animated video production services, providing a range of solutions for your brand, from technical visualizations to mixed-media explainer animations and animation production. Our specialists can advise on the best medium to fit your message and work with you to turn ideas into reality.
Morphing & Liquid Motion Graphics
Morphing is an after effect that adds motion to an otherwise still graphic and is typically used as a transition that guides the viewer from one scene to the next.
Morphing has continued to gain traction in 2021. It’s a transition effect in motion pictures and animations that uses reshaping to guide the viewer from one scene to the next, bringing seamless storytelling to life.
Morphing is a frame-by-frame method that involves breaking down forms into a liquid-like look and seamlessly mixing the pieces in and out, bringing animation back to its organic beginnings.
Audiences enjoy this technique because it involves cleverly transforming one image into another. The viewer is enticed to see how the shapes will be adapted next, making this a gripping animation technique.
A great example of morphing can be seen in the Unmasking a Killer animation commissioned by the New York-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City which explains how immunotherapy helps your body find cancer and destroy it. Using animation in this instance was a great call by their marketing director, as this allowed them to break down and simplify a complex topic in a way that was easily digestible and memorable.
Liquid animations, observe the same frame-by-frame animation method however the liquid-like motion is not typically used to morph one shape or graphic into something else entirely.
Rather, liquid animations are screen motions that have a watery quality to them. These animations often feature a satisfying, flowing movement that ripples or ebbs and flows.
The imagery and movement of this style invoke all that is synonymous with water flowing; calming, cooling, refreshing, and flexible. This style draws in the audience and is a good choice for promotional marketing videos, particularly in the drinks industry.
Liquid and morphing elements can look dreamlike and surreal, which can be great for animated loops and short, attention-grabbing ads. If you are looking for an animation style for your business video that can captivate an audience, then you should consider using this technique.
Textured 3D Animation
As the software becomes more available, 3D animation has grown in popularity and is increasingly being utilised in marketing materials. 3D animated videos are images that have been animated after being modeled in a three-dimensional setting. You may rotate the components in 360-degree space to get the composition at whatever angle you like.
3D animation is best known for its use in the motion picture industry where entire movies are developed in a 3D animation studio. However, if you are looking for professional video production services, you’re better off seeking out an animated video production company as they’ll have more experience creating promotional animation videos that focus on consumer products and services.
3D animation is visually limitless, dynamic, and offers more cinematic possibilities. This style has been trending since its inception and has continued to evolve rapidly as new technology develops. This year we’ve seen a real emphasis on textures within the scope of 3D animation.
3D texture is all about taking the basic elements of graphic design, iconography, UX/UI, and artwork and molding them within a 3D space to create a 3D animation that is so much more effective than if it were 2D.
3D animation gives businesses a visual edge and is a fantastic way to stand out from the crowd. If you are looking for a 3D animation company that can turn extraordinary ideas into reality contact the video production team at AVC Immedia.
Animating in Virtual Reality
Virtual Reality (VR) is a cutting-edge, immersive type of entertainment that is fast gaining popularity. VR was first popularised in the 1990s as a lighthearted, somewhat gimmicky type of digital entertainment that thrived in the gaming community. What began as “futuristic gaming” in arcades and virtual sports stadiums has grown into a widespread technology capable of producing professional, high-quality media in a brand-new way.
More and more animators are investing in VR equipment like Oculus and Hololens bringing creators into the heart of the digital environment, developing everything at scale, rather than 3D modeling on a screen.
Animating in virtual reality is a great way to create an immersive experience for the audience. This technology gives audiences the opportunity to step into your brand, product, or service in a more engaging and personalized way than ever before.
After Effects, Cinema 4D, Houdini, and Maya are just a few of the software that can bring animation to life, but we’re starting to see a growth in animating in a virtual reality environment. Animating in VR eliminates the need to hop between several programs since it allows storytellers to be immersed in their digital realm and make rapid, real-time modifications.
As this technology continues to evolve we can expect to see advancements in intuitive user interfaces and an expansion in the capabilities of animation software. Their usage and application will become more common, and their quality will surely improve. VR and other XR technologies will undoubtedly make significant progress in the animation industry during the next several years.
For now, animation in VR is made possible using software such as Quill, Oculus Medium, and Tvori but we expect to see new programs cropping up in the near future.
2D & 3D with scene transition
Another interesting trend we have seen in 2021 is the use of 3D elements to transition between 2D animated scenes. These videos allow animators to convey a variety of new ideas within one seamless viewing experience. Instead of moving from scene to scene, animators can establish a link between them using animation principles.
For example, you may have an introductory video that is entirely in the style of hand-drawn or traditionally animated cartoons. This opening sequence will introduce your brand and product but then transition into a fully rendered CGI animation for the remainder of your video content.
This is another example of how a video production company can use a hybrid animation method to enhance their 3D animated videos.
Quick digestible scene loop
This type of video production is most impactful when used as part of a social media marketing digital strategy.
When scrolling through social media, users demand content that is brief, entertaining, and easily digestible. Users scroll through their news feeds at a rapid speed so if your content fails to capture their attention within the first few seconds then your brand doesn’t stand a chance of getting noticed.
This is where scene looping can be incredibly useful. By creating a quick digestible video that loops you’re able to grab their attention and keep it long enough to engage your audience.
Looping scenes give animators more options when it comes to their digital marketing campaigns as they are better equipped to fight user fatigue.
A basic 2D animation on a scene loop is enough to achieve this. If you are a creative director who’s looking to elevate your company’s social media presence, it may be worth consulting a video production agency to help you produce a final video that will enable your business to stand out.
An unexpected pop of colour
Using bright, surprising, and loud colours is a great way to grab the attention of your audience, particularly if the colour isn’t usually attributed to the object it is depicting.
While we expect to see this trend continue into 2022, bold colours such as orange and yellow will continue to be used in motion graphics, graphic design and 2D animation.
The best way to highlight a bold colour is to position it alongside softer, more neutral tones like whites and greys, which we have seen a lot this year.
One of the reasons for using unexpected colour is that it can add a sense of uniqueness and interest to an otherwise bland object or scene.
You might remember that earlier we mentioned that textured designs within 3D animation have become a fast-growing trend that a 3D animation company might want to consider employing. Grain has become a popular design option within the textured animation space.
In motion graphics, animated grain is a popular style. Surprisingly, there is no specialised grain in motion tools in After Effects, but you won’t have to search for long to find a number of tutorials explaining how you can achieve this look. If you’re not used to animating or editing motion graphics then you are better off leaving it to a 3D animation studio or video production company.
Grain texture enables 3D animation companies to breathe life into otherwise bland designs, giving them a more realistic feel and aesthetic.
Animated grain is a popular style choice and one that we expect to see continue expanding in the coming years, particularly within textured animation.
Impactful Animations in 2021
Our team of talented animators are always on the lookout for new methods to tell stories and provide our clients with creative motion graphics that reach and engage their target audience. 3D and 2D animation production has become a powerful tool to help companies create more engaging advertising and marketing content. Animated videos are reshaping the way that a business presents its products and services within the modern digital space.
Our team have put together a list of some of our favourite animations from this year.
B&Q: "Later Means Never"
This year B&Q launched a truly heartwarming animated ad. Inspired by traditional techniques that used silicone puppets to form the main characters, each sculpted by hand, cast in silicone, and hand-painted before being brought to life by the animators frame by frame in a professional animation studio.
The stop motion picture has a nostalgic look that harkens back to those all familiar British animation classics.
Disney: "The Stepdad" Christmas Advert
Disney was one of the first companies to kick off the festive season this year with their latest Christmas ad, entitled, “The Stepdad”. The campaign was led by Disney EMEA’s in-house creative team and animation studio partner who sought to send a message of togetherness in their 3D animation using a combination of classical 2D animation intertwined with 3D elements to bring those nostalgic and iconic characters to life within a 3D landscape.
Hendrick’s Amazonia Gin: "A Tropical Adventure"
Hendrick’s Gin’s Tropical Adventure ad was another fantastic example of mixed-method animation, combining real footage with out-of-the-box animations that utilise thin lines, and various textures to create a hand-drawn effect on screen. As always, their 2021 motion graphics were strung together using seamless transitioning, which kept us captivated and left us wanting more.
Barbour: Paddington, Please Look After This Bear
This year Barbour and Paddington teamed up to craft a beautiful animation, lovingly rendered in the classic style of Peggy Fortnum. Utilising thin lines and a restricted colour palette this animation depicts a classicly hand-drawn cartoon that is nostalgic, humorous and sentimental.
Fugro - Blue Shadow Animation by AVC Immedia
The team at AVC Immedia produced a business-focused 3D animation video this year for Fugro, the world’s leading Geo-data specialist. The aim was to display their complex services in a way that was visually compelling, and easily understandable using instructional design. Our animation production team worked closely with their managing director to bring these motion graphics to life through realistic 3D animation explainer video content combined with live action video footage.
Which company is best for video animation?
If you are looking for a reliable 3d animation company that can use a range of 3D and 2D animation production methods to bring your complex ideas to life in an exciting and captivating way, then get in touch with the AVC team.
Our team can provide your business with a range of services, from technical 3D visualizations to 2D animation explainer videos, and can advise on the best medium to fit your brand and messaging, turning your wildest ideas into reality. Let’s create magic.