Animation or video?


Animation or video?

First things first: what is the difference between animation and video? At its most simple definition, animation is the art of drawing or creating objects and crafting these into a series of frames, giving the impression of movement. Video, on the other hand, is a recording made in real-life settings.

An animation is largely created using a range of different software. The animator works from a storyboard, crafting designs, assets and other elements to bring a concept to life. Once the animation is put together, other effects such as music and text are added to finalize the animation.

For videos a script needs to be written, studio and actors booked. A director decides on the spot how the actors play-out the script. Afterwards an editor creates the end product: compiling the recordings, adding audio and images, subtitles if needed.

What would fit your purpose? Let’s have a look at the time investment, the benefits and best use of both which might help you decide which type fits your purpose.

Time investment

Animators create everything from scratch. Animations can take weeks or even months to complete.

Some types of animation attract a greater workload than others. 2D animation is more simple than a highly detailed 3D design and animations involving complex character movements take more time and budget. However, the options for creating an animation to your requirements are totally endless and even on a limited budget, it’s possible to create an engaging end product.

Videos, on the other hand, can be created within a couple of days. Everything captured at the video shoot is in real time which allows you to make any necessary adjustments or even improvise on the spot. The shoot itself might only take one day; time consuming can be the editing process afterwards. What would you like to add to the recordings? Subtitles in other languages, images and texts to stress what is said or played, audio fragments. Also, here the options for editing are endless and can influence the production period.

Benefits and best use

Both animation and video can be used for various purposes and projects. Although, there is a range of factors you should consider when deciding on what to make.

With animation, you have the key benefit of being able to bring any concept to life. For example, visualising a complex piece of equipment. You can craft even the most abstract and complex messages into a visually engaging animation. Or perhaps you want to make a more educational video? If you want to explain a tricky idea or subject, animations can simplify the process. Among other things, animations are great for:

  • “How to” instructions
  • Safety inductions
  • Education

Video, on the other hand, is effective for other reasons, with the value and authenticity of watching a real person connecting with the audience, be it an authentic interview in a work setting or having an engaging actor present directly to the camera. Video embraces the power of human nuance. Its a medium that relies on people-focussed authenticity. Great for humanising businesses, connecting teams across offices for internal and external comms alike, or role plays for educational/training purposes. Try video for:

  • Educational role plays
  • Recruiting new employees
  • Company culture and communications
  • Expert interviews
  • Motivation and inclusion

In short: when human interaction is needed to bring your message across.

Your purpose

One of our clients needed to work on the awareness of the safety rules within the company. People needed to go from unaware to at least being aware and understanding the rules. In this project we used both: animation to explain clearly the safety rules and video with the human nuance to explain the urgency of following those rules.

So it’s not a question of choosing one or the other, it is the question what fits your purpose will determine your choice.

Marcus Alkemade

Marcus Alkemade

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Arjan Toet

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