Creativity has no limits. There are various types of animation techniques practiced by film makers all over the world. Classical and digital 2D animation, digital 3D Animation, stop-motion, clay animation, cut-out animation, paint-on-glass animation, drawn-on-film animation, and experimental animation are just a few among the many existing forms of animation.
Deciding a suitable animation technique for your project depends on various factors that include budget, look and feel, output quality, aesthetic, stylization, and story requirements.
Classical 2D animation is also known as hand-drawn 2D animation or traditional animation. In this technique animators need to make at least 12 drawings on paper for one second length of film. The drawings are later scanned or captured for post-production using computer. This technique was the dominant form of animation in film and TV series, until the development of CGI animation.
In digital 2D animation technique, animation frames are drawn directly on software using mouse or pen tablet. This technique is used mostly for TV series and web animation.
Digital 3D animation is one of the sought-after techniques in the current scenario. Using this technique, 3D models are created, textured, rigged, and animated in the virtual space.
In stop-motion animation, one needs to set the character or object, in the desired state or pose against its background to expose a frame, and then do slight modifications in progression and take another frame. The process is repeated until the desired length of animation is achieved and shot.
Clay animation is one of the many forms of stop-motion animation. Because of its popularity and the extensive use of clay, usually plasticine, it is recognized as an independent technique and genre.
Cut-out animation is a stop-motion technique for producing animations, using flat characters, props and backgrounds made out of different materials such as paper, card, stiff fabric or even photographs.
Paint-on-glass animation is a technique for making animated films by manipulating slow-drying oil paints on sheets of glass.
Drawn-on-film animation is also known as direct animation or animation without camera. Here footage is produced by creating images directly on film stock, as opposed to any other form of animation where the images or objects are photographed frame by frame with an animation camera.
Experimental animation has no limitation in terms of techniques or ideas. Animators use their instinct to use materials of their choice to achieve the final animation.