Video or Animation? How to Understand the Difference

What is the difference between video and animation? 

It’s one of the questions most frequently asked by clients who approach us to help with content output.

Luckily, as both a video production house and animation company, we can create both content formats in-house, so a flexible, adaptable and exciting approach to your content strategy is an absolute given.

To help you get the most from your content – and to understand more about how both formats can work for you – let’s look at the differences, similarities, and strengths of both animation and video.

What is video?

Video, at its most simple definition, refers to the recording, presentation and broadcasting of moving images. The thing that sets it apart from photography is, of course, that the visual image is moving, and not static (like a photograph).

We know what you’re thinking. But animation is a moving image too, right? So isn’t that video as well?

You wouldn’t be alone in your confusion between video production and animation. In the video production and animation industries, “video” tends to be used to reference media produced and recorded with an electronic camera. A further distinction is made by some production houses, including reference to is between live action video – a video produced with moving images, created via the filming of talent (humans, or otherwise!).

Here’s a fast-paced, action-packed video we produced:

What is animation?

Animation, on the other hand, is generally understood as the computer manipulation of objects – whether digital or drawn by hind – to create a sense of movement. In a word, movement – in most animations – is created by using a computer, while the natural condition of live talent – in video – creates an alternative sense of movement in the format.

Here’s a gorgeous, colourful and community-minded animation we produced:

Which format is better for my business: video or animation?

While each medium can be manipulated to fulfil similar purposes, most video production and animation companies will argue the two are better understood as separate entities.

Why? Because when offered proper care and understanding, you can make use of both to work just as hard for your content strategy.

What are the benefits of animation?

Animation can bring literally any idea, concept or project to life. Why? Because with animation, you’re not bound by the limitations of human talent, COVID, restrictions, and more.

This means you can easily create a 3D animation prototype for a new product, complex piece of equipment, and more. You might even decide to create a wonderful, community-minded explainer animation depicting characters from a huge range of diverse backgrounds.

What’s even more impressive is that animation also allows you to showcase your business’ branding, highlighting key branding colours, fonts and more in the animation’s design.

With animation, the world is your oyster!

What can animation be used for?

Try animation for:

  • Onboarding communications
  • Explaining new projects and concepts
  • “How-to” videos
  • Safety inductions for buildings/new workplaces
  • Reducing complex information into a simple, easily understood and negotiated resource

…and much, much more!

What are the benefits of video?

While animation transcends the kinds of natural, human hurdles we’ve come to know and love as producers of video and animation, video – on the other hand – the power and huge engagement potential of human nuance.

A major advantage of the video format is that it relies on human talent presenting authentically, and with an emotional connection to the key messaging. As such, this makes video an excellent choice for humanising businesses and connecting with new or prospective clients.

What can video be used for?

Try video as an option for:

  • Creating branded, emotionally engaging content
  • Celebrating the great humans of your business
  • Great social media content
  • Time-effective note-taking (ever thought of producing visual minutes of a meeting instead of those costly, ineffective written minutes very few people are likely to read?)

…and much, much more!

Of course, if you need any help with either video or animation, you know where to go. We can’t wait to help.