animation boat in ocean

A Helpful Guide to Choosing an Animation Style

The Right Animation

Here at Blueforest Studios, we’ve been doing video production in Raleigh, North Carolina for a long time. And, we’ve realized that animation is here to stay and it seems like it is getting even more popular. So, if you have asked yourself, “Is animation right for my business?” and answered “yes,” you are in the right place. We have compiled some of our favorite animation projects over the last year. There is a huge variety of animation styles out there but what is most important is to pick the style that best speaks to your audience and your brand story. It can also be hard to know how to describe a particular style, so we will show you. We’ve found the best way to know the right animation style is to find examples that you like. Then we will use those animation styles as a reference. Take the time to find what you like. Just like Pablo Picasso said, “Good artists copy, great artists steal.”

The Secret Formula

There are many ways to create 2D and 3D animations, and this is how we make ours. Most of the animation work done at Blueforest Studios is through Adobe After Effects with some help from plugins. We also use Photoshop and Illustrator to create the assets that are animated in After Effects. In the end, you shouldn’t worry about having the correct method in mind of how to make it happen, leave that to us. Finding the style that fits best is key.


Pick Your Style

There are so many different animation styles out there ranging from a vector based clean-cut look to a more hand-drawn pencil style and everything in between. Some of our animations are vector style animations with a grain layer added to the top to bring all of the elements together. Here is a clip from a project with CPESN to promote community pharmacies. Notice how the texture of the blue background. The sleek design is very symmetric and pleasing to watch.


You may also find this vector style of animation used for ScottMadden to be bright clean and modern. This was for a project about Shared Services with ScottMadden. We used a visual metaphor of going on an ocean journey to depict the topic of the video. The shipping containers on the ship float around in a playful manner organizing themselves like so. Both the animations above and below are a vector style of animation, but give a different feel and mood for the video.


This next animation was a vector style animation for a company called Pre-Switch. They make power converters that are used in electric cars and other high voltage applications. During this section, we were talking about the history of electricity and how it spread across the world. That’s a map of NYC. The blue lines flow out into the city similar to the flowing of electricity.


Hand-Drawn Style

This is another ScottMadden animation completely different from the one above. This animation story is about data security. We used a visual metaphor of a security guard protecting a priceless artifact in a museum and data thieves trying to break in an steal it. Most of the elements were hand drawn in Photoshop. The sketch marks and shading add a level of roughness to the scene. There are so many different styles of animation out there and the team at  Blueforest Studios are ready for any idea our clients have. That’s the fun part about animation, you can create your own world.

Here we have another form of hand-drawn animation called Whiteboard animation. Whiteboard is simple and easy to digest as the viewer. There is less going on which allows the viewer to stay focused on the topic of the video. This is 2D animation and is one of the most popular ways to show explainer videos. This would be a great style of animation for educational videos.


Let’s do this together!

If you have an animation project in mind but you just don’t know where to start. Reach out to Blueforest Studios and we can bring your idea to life. We will help you get from start to finish and help tell your brand story (we really like brand storytelling). Check out our full animation reel.


If you are interested in talking about an animation video for your company, fill out our video personality quiz, or email our creative director, Ammon.

Blueforest Studios is a Raleigh, North Carolina Video Production company.

best animation studios in north carolina - blueforest studios

Different Animation Styles Available For Your Video


Even the greatest animation studios in North Carolina may be missing the ideal animation style for your brand.

Animation videos are created often, but aren’t always used to their full potential. Many buyers order a video style without understanding its strengths or weaknesses. The result is a film that packs a weakened return-on-investment. That’s not something you’d want to hear if you just spent tons of money to boost your brand.

In this animated video explainer, we will work to make your options simple for you.
Meanwhile, we’ll discuss a handful of common animation questions.

This includes:

  • What is an animated video?
  • What are the differences between animation styles?
  • Which animation style should I use?

Let’s start with the basics.

What is an animated video?

Animated video is a form of videography that plays individual images together to simulate motion. Animation is the reverse of traditional film, which breaks movement down into separate images to record it for playback. There are a number of animation studios in North Carolina.

Animation can come in a few different forms. Depending on your message, tone, and audience, you’ll want to find a style that complements your vision.

To properly pick the type of animation for you, you’ll need to learn your options.

the princess and the frog kissing- animation style gif for animation studios in north carolina

What are the different types of animation?

The five main forms of animation include: traditional, vector, computer generated, stop motion, and motion graphics. Some of these artforms mingle to emulate older styles through computer production. Modern animated footage is mostly created and played back in digital formats.

Each type of animation has its own history which differs from how we use it today. The earliest forms were drawn on paper in a time-consuming tracing process.

On the flip side, modern animation relies on computers for a timely, sharper product. Additionally, some methods can combine to create hybrid techniques.

To keep things simple, let’s focus on how to use it in your current video.

Nowadays, traditional animation or “hand animation” use computers, rather than paper. Each frame would be drawn out in the past, but new technology has made this style obsolete. The change is due to the increase in time and cost efficiency. Disney’s “Steamboat Willie” cartoon versus the “Princess and The Frog” film is an example.

Computers create digital animation (2D) to effectively mimic the old way of making frame-by-frame hand drawings. However, “computer interpolation” can calculate and fill in the movement frames between key positions. This is known as “vector animation,” an option that eliminates the need for drawing all individual motion frames.

Computer generated (3D) uses three-dimensional digital figures that move like puppets. Since this method requires no hand-drawn models, artists save even more time. The increase in realism on these models allow for use within live action footage. Modern cinema uses this very frequently.

Stop motion uses individually-framed movements of static objects to show motion. A physical figure (versus hand-drawn or computer generated) is manipulated in small movements. Each change in position is captured on film for rapid playback.

Motion graphics are based around animated texts, images or video snippets. The visuals are edited with transitions and frame scenes for a naturally-moving result. Advertisements and various promotional materials widely use this type of animation.

How do I choose the best animation for me?

Base your video animation choices on your needs and message. Firstly, your budget decides if you can use time-consuming styles like hand animation. Finally, animated film is most effective when taking the “less is more” approach.

Vector animation and motion graphics provide adequately for your brand without breaking the bank. They require less time (relatively) and are less likely to overwhelm the core message of your video.

In summary, you have many animation options to bring your video vision to life. You may want to spend some time viewing styles to decide what your brand needs.

Ultimately, you’ll want to talk with a team that’s experienced with using the right tools for stories like yours, so do some research on the different animation studios in North Carolina. We at Blueforest Studios love to have visitors–set up a chat to see if we’re a match today!