8 Lesser known differences between VFX and Animation

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The animation industry is moving forward and new techniques and technologies arrive every other day. Animation and visual effects (VFX) are indeed related fields but have distinct differences.

Animation has diverse applications in film, television, advertising, education, simulation, and digital media platforms. It enables storytelling, character development, and visual communication.

VFX is used in TV shows, commercials, video games, VR experiences, and other media forms. It creates or enhances visually stunning elements like creatures, environments, explosions, and fantastical events.


Animation involves creating the illusion of movement through the sequential display of still images. To produce the appearance of movement in an animation, a series of still images called frames are created and rapidly displayed. The planning and creation of the visual components come first. Important poses are established via keyframes, while intermediate frames are used to fill the spaces between keyframes. Realistic motion is achieved by adjusting timing and spacing. After adding finishing touches like expressions and effects, rendering and post-production come next. A compelling animated video is the outcome. The final result is a captivating animated video.


VFX primarily focuses on manipulating or enhancing live-action footage using computer-generated imagery (CGI) or other techniques. VFX is frequently combined with practical effects, which are typically completed while live-action footage is filmed with a camera. It involves planning, capturing, or creating elements, and integrating them in post-production. This includes preparing footage, creating assets, compositing, simulating effects, and finalizing the visuals. Skilled artists and advanced software work together to bring imagination to life in films and other media.

8 Lesser known differences between VFX and Animation:

The animation's main goal is to entirely produce motion and images digitally.
In VFX, computer-generated components are frequently used with live-action footage.
Realism vs. Artistic Style
Animation allows for more artistic freedom and can explore a wide range of styles and aesthetics.
VFX often aims for realistic visuals, seamlessly blending computer-generated elements with live-action footage.
Animation, while collaborative as well, relies more on the creative vision of the animators and storytellers.
VFX often requires close collaboration with live-action filmmakers, directors, and cinematographers to ensure the integration of visual effects with practical elements.
Production Time
The thorough design of characters, environments, and motion frequently results in extended production periods for animation, especially complicated 3D animations.
VFX shots can involve extensive post-production work and may have shorter deadlines due to their integration with live-action footage.
Tools and Software
Animation utilizes software like Toon Boom Harmony, Autodesk Maya, or Adobe After Effects.
VFX commonly employs software like Nuke, Maya, and Houdini.
Lighting and Rendering
Animation allows for more control over lighting and rendering, as every element can be digitally manipulated to achieve the desired look.
VFX pays great attention to lighting and matching the lighting conditions of the live-action footage.
Performance Capture
Animation can also use performance capture, it is not as prevalent and often relies more on keyframing and manual animation techniques.
VFX often incorporates performance capture technologies like motion capture to capture realistic human movements and performances.
Industry Applications
Animation is also used in film and TV and has broader applications in gaming, advertising, education, virtual reality, and other interactive media.
VFX has a significant presence in the film industry, creating visual effects for movies, TV shows, and commercials.

What is the future of Animation and VFX?

The line separating live-action content from animated content is becoming more and more blurred due to VFX and animation. Automation with AI boosts productivity and opens up new creative possibilities. Stories can be told interactively using immersive technology like VR and AR. The future brings exciting visual experiences and quick technological breakthroughs.

Do thorough research if you are looking for the best 2D 3D animation agency. USA has loads of companies and online businesses offering creative animation services, read clients’ reviews and check out the samples before hiring one.


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