What Is 2.5D Animation? (And When To Use It!)

20/09/23         Author: Florencia Corazza         8 min reading

interactive video

You might’ve seen the term 2.5D animation when researching different animation styles for your next marketing piece. If you thought that was a typo, you would’ve been mistaken. (No judgment here; I thought the same when I first came upon the term! 😂)

So, what is 2.5D animation, exactly? Well, to put it simply, it’s a hybrid of 2D and 3D animation. And what can I use it for? Hey, hold your horses! I don’t want to spoil everything for you just yet — I did write an entire post about the topic, you know 😜.

So, let’s just get started, watch some examples, and discover together what this style is all about. 

What Is 2.5D Animation?

Simply put, it’s an animation style that stands between the 2D and 3D video styles. This distinct animation technique combines 2D objects in a 3D space to give the impression of a 3D scene.

That doesn’t sound ‘simple’ at all, right? But bear with me for a second, and I promise everything will make sense.

Imagine you have a great video concept, but you think it’d look better in 3D. However, you don’t have the time or the resources to make an entire 3D animation video. So, what can you do about it now? Well, here’s where 2.5D comes in to save the day.

With this animation style, you can make 2D objects look like they’re in 3D. Through the clever application of shadowing, layering, and perspective adjustments, among many other techniques, an animator can add volume to a 2D object and completely change how it looks.

The result is a cool illusion that makes your characters and objects look like they’re in 3D. This video style comes quite handy when you want to create more visually engaging content but don’t have the option of animating in 3D because of time or budgetary constraints.

What’s the Difference Between 2D, 2.5D, and 3D Animation?

Once you know the answer to the question “What is 2.5D animation?”, you might be wondering about the features that set it apart from other styles. So, here’s a quick summary of the differences between the 2D, 2.5D, and 3D styles and what each of them brings to the table.

  • 2D animation: In this type of animation, you’ll have a flat background and flat characters conveying your message. While the 2D style might look simpler than the other two, it’s still highly effective for captivating your audience through storytelling. After all, there are plenty of successful 2D animation studios out there.
  • 2.5D animation: It’s a blend of 2D and 3D animation techniques. You still have a flat background, but your characters and objects look like they’re three-dimensional. This way, the 3D elements become the focal point of attention.
  • 3D animation: Out of the three video animation styles I’ve mentioned here, this is the most time-consuming one. The production process of 3D videos involves many more steps, which is why it can offer great character and background depth. But while it might be the most visually appealing animation style, it’s also the most expensive. For that reason, it’s mostly used for healthcare video production and other niches that require the more realistic and detailed look.

If you want to know a bit more about each of these styles and see what they look like, you can watch this fun video we made about different video styles:

.14 explainer video styles for 20 34

Why Should You Consider 2.5D Animation?

If you still don’t know which option to pick, let me give you my top 3 reasons why 2.5D is your best choice.

Make Things Easy

Visual content is processed faster and easier than written information. So, when you have a complex product or service that you want to present to your audience, you can use one of these videos as the medium to carry your message. 

This way, what would otherwise be a dull delivery of information becomes an entertaining experience, as your characters and animations will do the job for you.

Save Time and Money

Whether you’re a startup or don’t have a big budget, you can still leverage this video style to boost your marketing efforts. This type of video poses a budget-friendly alternative to 3D and live-action videos, as it doesn’t require complex equipment or actors (check out our article on explainer video pricing to know more about the topic). Moreover, it’s simpler to make, so you won’t have to wait for ages to get the final piece.

Engage and Captivate Audiences

The particular aesthetic of 2.5D videos makes them an eye-catching solution you should definitely keep in mind if you want your business to stand out from the rest. Moreover, having a great animated explainer video can get people to watch your piece and make them stay till the end. 

Video Marketing Trends


5 Best 2.5D Animation Examples

I know, I know — what was meant to be a simple answer to the question “what is 2.5D animation?” became a lot of text and information! Don’t worry; we’ve finally reached the fun part: the examples! Here are five wonderful pieces of promotional video production that can help you better understand what this cartoon style looks like and maybe even inspire your next video 😉. 


1. WSP — Yum Yum Videos

.ss wsp explainer video

To start off this list, I’d like to share this fantastic video we made at our animated video company, Yum Yum Videos, for our friends at WSP. This brand is one of the world’s leading professional services firms, and they trusted us to illustrate their message in this animation style.

I believe this is a perfect example of how 2.5D explainer videos can easily communicate technical or complex topics in a way anyone can understand. The combination of eye-catching animation and smooth transitions will definitely keep the viewer glued to the screen. 

Moreover, the visual tone and integration of 2.5D elements gave this video a unique look suitable for all kinds of services, regardless of the industry.


2. Sargon Arcadia — 2.5D Animated Video

.sargon arcadia a collaborative w

Here’s a great example in the tech industry. What I really like about this video is how the animation accentuates the objects and makes them the piece’s focal point. The result is an elegant style with a distinctive and futuristic look that will make an impact on the viewers’ minds.


3. Revo Testing Technologies — 2.5D Ad

.introducing the revo iq flowback

Like the examples before, this piece features 2.5D characters and objects from the very first frame. But to me, what makes this video different from the rest is the use of brand colors from the start until the very end. This can be a great strategy in corporate video production for when want your viewers to be able to instantly associate the video with your company.


4. Uncomplicate Your Tech — 2.5D Video

.uncomplicate your tech cloud hos

This 2.5D animation example shows how shading and perspective adjustments can give the illusion of depth. You might notice that there’s not much going on in the background, as it’s simply a gradient, but that’s purposely done to add more dimension to the whole scene while keeping the focus on the objects.


5. Microsoft Kaizala — 2.5D Commercial

.microsoft kaizala product story

At first glance, it might look like this animated commercial is not a 2.5D animation example at all. But did you notice anything special about how the app’s interface comes out of the device? No? Well, take a look again and pay attention to how it looks like it’s popping out of the screen.

While the devices’ animation is 3D, that of the interface is 2.5D. This is done to guide the audience’s attention to the examples being shown on-screen and make the piece more dynamic and entertaining.


Need a 2.5D Animation Video? Here’s How We Can Help!

Being in the industry for over a decade now has allowed us to put together a professional team with the skills and passion to produce fully customized, effective videos that can bring your message to life.

Do you want to know our secret? 😉 A solid compromise for genuinely listening to our client’s needs and goals

With your marketing objectives as the compass to guide our process, we tailor-make each and every piece we work on so they fit your brand and your tone perfectly. No matter what niche you operate in or whether you need training videos, video promos, or any other type of marketing video,  our unique pieces can help you tackle even the most complex or abstract concepts to effectively convey your message.

At Yum Yum Videos, our passion and dedication drive our work. We love what we do, and we make sure our videos show it 😃. So, if you’re ready to get that awesome video for your company, send us a message, and let’s talk about it!

.explainer video reel 2023 yum yu 68

Wrapping Up

I hope I’ve cleared any doubts you might’ve had regarding 2.5D so you can evaluate whether this is the right style for your project. If you’ve already produced a video in 2D and 3D, then I definitely recommend you give 2.5 D a try, especially if you’re in the tech, finance, and healthcare industries. I promise you won’t be disappointed with the results!

You can take the examples I’ve shared here as a starting point and let your creativity do the rest!

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Florencia Corazza

Florencia Corazza – Content Writer and Co-Editor

A skilled writer, translator, and co-editor for our web and blog content. As a self-defined "wordsmith," she’s talented in adapting the latest marketing news into all kinds of digital formats. If she’s not watching the latest Sci-Fi show on Netflix, then can find her tending to her perfectly reasonable number of plants.

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