3D versus 2D Camera Movement

One of the biggest differences between 2D and 3D animation is camera movement. Understanding why will help ensure your budget is focused on only the smartest, most cost-effective visual approach to winning your case.

2D vs 3D Camera Movement

Compare the two spine surgery animations below.

Notice how the camera in the first (3D) animation is able to maneuver through and around objects in smooth, continuous motion without having to make dramatic jump cuts between different perspectives.

In the 2D animation, whenever a perspective needs to change, it must quickly cut or fade to a new perspective, without the same camera dynamic camera movement as above. You can see this in the example below when the perspective quickly cuts from a side view of the spine to a top view of the vertebrae.

This is because the camera in the 3D animation is moving around an actual 3D object we created with three-dimensional context and texture you can see from every angle. If we were to try to make a similar camera movements in the 2D animation, the spine would look like a paper-thin, two-dimensional illustration (see below).

What are Pros and Cons to each approach?

  • The 2D animation was created and rendered in a fifth of the time and cost of the 3D animation.
  • The 3D animation helped return a $2.1M verdict for a routine case involving a herniated disc after a rear-end collision.

Choosing the right approach ultimately depends on what you need to show to make your point, and the level of quality you’re willing to invest in achieving your target settlement value.

2D Animated Fixed Perspectives

2D animation may be a smarter option if your case involves subject-matter that does not move or fluctuate very much, and can be presented from one fixed perspective. This is especially true when animating surgeries on fixed areas, such as the skeleton or intestines below.

Notice how everything can be seen from one perspective, with very minimal changes or fluctuation in what is happening. This is because much of what you’re looking at are 2D illustrations, similar to the 2D animated spine surgery above.

The primary benefit of 2D animation is that it’s usually faster to produce and less expensive - but this also comes with much stricter limits that require smart planning to avoid unnecessary change-order costs down the road.

For example, if you start the animation process in 2D looking at one perspective, and you later decide you want a different perspective, we would have to completely illustrate the new perspective from scratch. If the subject-matter was created in 3D, on the other hand, the camera can be moved around the environment, showing any perspective in a fraction of the time.

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