What is the Difference Between Video and Animation?

If you’ve found yourself Googling this question, you wouldn’t be alone.

In fact, the difference between video and animation is one of the most widely-searched topics when it comes to video production. 

Most video production companies will offer both of these formats – video, and animation. But have you ever stopped to wonder which is best for your specific needs, interests, and business goals? 

Let’s take a look!

What is animation?

Animation is an artform which utilises one of two specific approaches. The first is a more traditional form of animation: drawing or creating (e.g. from clay) inanimate objects, then photographing or capturing them in a series of fast-moving frames in a way that’s designed to mirror real-life movement when played back.

The second approach is more contemporary and involves the use of digital technologies. In both 2D animation and 3D animation, computers create and generate the movement of images in different dimensions, creating a digital render that can combine an unlimited number of individual elements, animations and designs.

In animation, the idea starts in the mind of the animator, often a member of staff at the video production company you’re hiring. 

So it is that animation, overall, can be understood as a creative method in which figures are manipulated to appear as moving images – either using traditional or computer-generated approaches. 

An example 2D animation produced recently by Pickle Pictures.

What is video?

Videos, on the other hand, are made by using a camera which captures real-life footage and imagery, often featuring live talent (humans). 

Are video and animation the same thing?

Not really, but many people get them confused.

Why? It’s often because the final product (what’s called the “rendered file”) has a very similar look at the feel. Essentially, once converted, there’s virtually no difference in format between a video and animation: you can upload, download and publish the file much like you would any other moving image.

When should video and animation be used?

This is a critical question! 

The first thing to realise is that the animator or specialist video production company you’re work with should be able to help you understand the best-fit content format for your needs.

That can often mean discussing questions like: 

  • What do you want to achieve with your content?
  • What key messaging do you want to get across?
  • Do you need to feature human talent?
  • Where will the content be published, and for whom?
  • Do you need to feature text on screen/close captions?
  • What concepts do you want to cover?

This last questions is a particularly important one, especially given the pros, cons, strengths and weaknesses of each format. 

An example video produced recently by Pickle Pictures.

When should I consider using video for my digital content?

Video is an awesome digital content format that’s perfect for:

  • Showcasing human stories
  • Humanising and infusing your brand with warmth
  • Documenting real-life events or celebrations
  • Showcasing the people and stories that lie at the core of your business
  • And much more

Be wary that in the COVID-era environment, videos featuring live human talent can be risky, especially with restrictions and isolation requirements. Speak with your video production company about the best video production plan to suit your needs.

When should I consider using animation for my digital content?

Animation, on the other hand, is a great content format to use if:

  • You don’t want to be limited by the availability of human talent, employees, cast etc.
  • You have a complex concept that you need brought to life
  • You want to feature a diverse range of characters so need this created and shaped by your specialist animator
  • You’re looking for a colourful, engaging and inspiring content format that has the ability to engage a wide range of audiences of different ages

Are you confused about what you need, and which content format you want to go with?

Or, do you simply want to discuss your ideas for creating more engaging, inspiring and uplifting branded content?

We can’t wait to meet you – reach out to our friendly Pickle team today!

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