The animation industry is in a constant state of evolution to keep up with the times. What started at the start of the 20th century as a series of sketches rolling in sequence has adapted and morphed into a mind-boggling array of styles and endless stream of opportunities. We’re talking about everything from wacky TV characters to entire digital universes. One of the animation themes that we have seen take a drastic popularity boost in recent years is 3D character animation.

People often presume that with the awesome technology behind it that 3D animation is a new phenomenon. Unfortunately, that isn’t quite correct… In fact, 3D animation has been around since the 1900s! Although back then it was in the form of claymation. Despite its incredibly standout aesthetics and unique movement dynamics, claymation character animation is an extremely slow process. To give you an idea – the first Wallace & Gromit film took seven years to complete. SEVEN YEARS!

3D Character Design

Time has seen the format become more computerised and with that comes an increase in popularity. Skip to the present and it is predicted that the 3D animation market will be worth a whopping $40bn by 2028.

But what is it that makes 3D animation so popular? And 3D character animation in particular? Well here are a few advantages to using this trendy animation tech…

3D Character Animation is More Realistic

With the third dimension comes an extra element of realism. While 2D animation does have an undeniable charm to it, its 3D equivalent allows animators to make things look more organic. Think detailed textures, an increased range of movements and life-like expressions.

Through this realistic look comes the opportunity to connect with the viewer more effectively. This in turn will be more likely to draw your audience into what is happening on screen. Adding this extra layer of empathy gives rise to the opportunity to connect on a deeper level, therefore creating a stronger association with your brand and its characters.

A good example of this is the 3D character animation that we created with production company Gold Wala for popular kids channel CBeebies. The characters not only had to be colourful to appeal to a younger crowd, they also had to encourage engagement. This was achieved through each character’s expressive reactions to what was happening on screen.

Superior Character Movement Options

Not only does the latest tech open the door for meticulously detailed facial expressions, it also brings with it a wider range of movements. As the animation is created within a 3D space, your character can be “filmed” from any camera angle within that space. This means that you have the option to make stylistic tweaks without scrapping all of your earlier work.

Take this project that we did for digital tool construction agency YAYA as an example. We were able to create two characters – Mr and Mrs YAYA – bring them to life and implement them into a number of animated clips. This in turn helped to portray the agency’s different offerings by placing these two snazzily-dressed 3D characters into a range of quirky scenarios. A prime example of using 3D-rendered characters in a range of different animations.

3D’s Rise in Popularity

Ever since Toy Story became the first ever feature length 3D animated film in 1995, the style has taken the world by storm. Having been a relatively niche format 25 years ago, 3D characters have recently become the norm for many animation projects. As such, demand for the format has skyrocketed. And we only see this popularity increasing further as time rolls on.

With an increase in the use of futuristic, hi-tech instruments like Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and even the Metaverse, demand for 3D animation as a service will only grow bigger. Therefore, anyone looking to jump on the bandwagon with this space age tech will also need to embrace 3D animation. The pair come as two parts of the same futuristic package of sorts. And if we had to guess, we would say these platforms will become the norm, sooner rather than later.

If you need help designing your very own 3D character animation, get in touch with our friendly team here. We have extensive experience in the creation and implementation of characters of all shapes and sizes.

Whether it be for TV, a company explainer video, brand animation or anything else, we are here to help. Contact us on +44 (0) 207 2886 319 or email us at