Complete Guide to 2.5D Animation

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Want your advertising to look artistic and unique? Want an animation style that can help you draw focus to specific products/items? Looking for an approach that doesn't cost as much 3D animation but gives you more freedom than 2D animation? Consider 2.5D animation! 

Combining aspects of 2D and 3D animation, 2.5D offers the best of both worlds and is being widely deployed in advertising, cinema, and the gaming industry! Want to learn what is 2.5D? What distinguishes 2.5D from 2D and 3D? How to take advantage of it in your own business? We'll go over everything you need to know!

Complete Guide to 2.5D Animation

What Is 2.5D Animation? 

Dimensions don't come in fractions, and the term "2.5D" confuses many people. Rather than being literal, 2.5D animation refers to a style of animation that, through careful perspective adjustments and adding shadows and outlines, gives depth to 2D images and gives off the impression of a 3D scene despite the use of 2D objects.

There are two types of 2.5D styles. One adds 3D objects and projects them onto 2D backgrounds. This is the most common and has a variety of applications from advertising to explanation videos and art. The other is putting 2D characters and objects in 3D environments. This is typically used in video games!

2.5D vs 2D and 3D Animation: Advantages of the 2.5D Approach 

To understand what is behind the meteoric rise and sudden popularity of 2.5D animation, we need to dive into what the 2.5D approach offers that the 2D and 3D approaches don't:

2.5D vs 2D 

  • Better Focus

2.5D animations have more freedom over how they integrate shadows, lighting, and depth vis-a-vis 2D animation, which is limited to the use of a flat background. The 2.5D video style can draw better attention to certain objects/characters/products through expert lighting and shadow design, creating a less cluttered and more focused approach that is perfect for product advertisements and explainer videos.

  • 3D Environment

The ability to use 3D environments in 2.5D art gives you more space to express your vision. Whether this is the inclusion of more characters and objects or it is more expressive, animated backgrounds, 2.5D brings your project to life in a way that's more difficult to express through 2D art.

2.5D vs 3D

  • More Affordable

With 2.5D animation, you don't need to create fully 3D models of objects and characters, which cuts down on costs to a meaningful degree when compared to 3D animation. If you don't want to commit to a fully 3D production, 2.5 animation is a great compromise. It allows you to create a stylised video that grabs people's attention and gets across your message without the need for substantial capital that only large businesses can readily spend.

  • Idiosyncratic

The more common 3D animation art styles are virtually ubiquitous and can be observed everywhere on the internet, in cinema, on TV, and in video games. This has created fatigue among viewers and customers as they perceive all the projects to be "samey"/monotonous. 2.5D animation is a great solution to this problem. Its style is far more unique and idiosyncratic and can help your brand, product, or NGO stand out and make an impression instead of being 3D animation #52528.

When Should You Consider 2.5D Animation? 

One of the major reasons for the popularity of the 2.5D animation style is its versatility. You can use 2.5D animation virtually everywhere:

  1. Advertising

A 2.5D animated video is a great way to introduce your brand/product. It is unique, it demands attention, and it gives you a platform to innumerate your business's many unique selling propositions (UPSes). Many companies, both large and small, have used a 2.5D animated video as advertising to great success!

Whether you want to expand your brand's reach or you want to bring people's attention to your latest product, a marketing campaign incorporating 2.5D animated videos could help your company see significant boosts in revenues. It is markedly more effective than traditional text and image-based ads.

  1. Explanation Videos

Having the freedom to move objects in 3D space, make use of complex lighting and shadows, and animate complex movements makes the 2.5D animation style a great vehicle for conveying complex information. Whether it is a SaaS tutorial explaining the unique features of your service or it is a public service announcement, a 2.5D animated video can help you reach tens of thousands of people.

  1. Social Awareness Campaigns

A greater animated video can do wonders for both the reach and crowdfunding abilities of NGOs and CSOs. A detailed report can put forward all the information and statistics on why your campaign is necessary and meaningful, but aside from satisfying a few people who are already dedicated to the cause, this report will scarcely reach anyone.

A great animated video, on the other hand, can get across the same message in less than a minute and reach a much wider audience, all while costing less. International NGOs and CSOs have increasingly relied on 2.5D animation in their fundraising campaigns, and if you want your social awareness campaign to have a broad reach, you should consider it as well!

  1. Short Films

Being affordable, new, and focused, 2.5D makes for the perfect tool for short film storytelling. From action to drama and tragedy, many artists have seen great success in international and local film festivals with 2.5D animated videos.

Though 2.5D animation is sparsely used in Hollywood-level productions due to the novelty of the approach, if you are not sure which art style to choose for your animated short film, it is an art style you shouldn't discount!

  1. Video Games

2.5D animation arguably became popular due to its increasing use in the video game industry, where 3D environments give players more freedom over movements. Today, there are incredibly popular games from both large and small video game companies that exclusively rely on a 2.5D animated art style. In often cases, the art style itself is one of the game's major selling points!

Pigeon Studio Can Help with 2.5D Animation! 

If you are looking for artists to bring your 2.5D animated project to life, if you want a company that has worked with industry leaders to create highly successful animated ads, and if you need a partner you can trust to meet your If you are looking for artists to bring your 2.5D animated project to life, if you want a company that has worked with industry leaders to create highly successful animated ads, and if you need a partner you can trust to meet your specifications and requirements to the letter, you need to get in touch with us at Pigeon Studio

Our portfolio includes everything from commercials and explainer videos to video game teasers using cutting-edge techniques, mixes of 2D and 3D animation, and motion graphics. From the colour scheme to the art style and graphics, our talented team of artists is capable of creating stellar 2.5D animation for businesses, media organisations, and NGOs! 


2.5D animation is a relatively new art style that combines 2D objects with 3D environments, projecting depth through artistic and expert use of shadows and lighting. Popularised by video games, the art style is now used across various sectors and industries. It is a great vehicle for both storytelling and advertising. If you've ever what is 2.5D and what are its uses, this blog post has hopefully answered all your burning questions!

About the author

Pigeon Studio

Through motion, we translate brands, products, and ideas into captivating and impactful content.

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