Animation Art Style Guide and Medium Finder

With so many different animation art styles, methods and mediums to choose from it can be tough choosing what style you like or how to describe what you are looking for, so we put together this visual based animation style guide. This is to help you check out a variety of options and then learn more about the techniques, equipment or software used and find more works with a similar visual feel. Start by choosing the thumbnail below that most closely matches what you are looking for, then refine your options to get your results.

1: Choose the closest image match.
2: Refine your choice.
3: Results.
Style: Realistic character visual effects.
Source: Avatar.
Typical software: Maya. 3DS Max. Zbrush. Nuke.
Search for more in this style.
Style: Fantasy character visual effects.
Source: Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV
Typical software: Maya. 3DS Max. Zbrush. Nuke.
Search for more in this style.
3: Results.
Style: Product/ engineering visualisation.
Source: Airsite.
Typical software: Maya. 3DS Max. After Effects. Photoshop.
Search for more in this style.
Style: CGI product demonstration.
Source: BIC Kids Drawy Book App.
Typical software: Maya. 3DS Max. After Effects. Photoshop.
Search for more in this style.
3: Results.
Style: Automotive visual effects.
Source: Williams F1 FW37 Concepts.
Typical software: Maya. 3DS Max. After Effects. Photoshop.
Search for more in this style.
Style: Aerial visual effects.
Source: Mountain Helicopter.
Typical software: Maya. 3DS Max. After Effects. Element 3D.
Search for more in this style.
3: Results.
Style: Anthropomorphic (talking) creature VFX.
Source: The Jungle Book
Typical software: Maya. 3DS Max. Zbrush. Nuke.
Search for more in this style.
Style: Realistic creature visual effects.
Source: Jurrasic World.
Typical software: Maya. 3DS Max. Zbrush. Nuke.
Search for more in this style.
2: Refine your choice.
3: Results.
Style: Disney/ Pixar 3D animation.
Source: Wreck It Ralph
Typical software: Marionette. Maya. 3DS max. Renderman.
Search for more in this style.
Style: Heavily stylised 3D animation.
Source: Madagascar
Typical software: Premo. Maya. 3DS max.
Search for more in this style.
3: Results.
Style: 3D animation in a 2D style.
Source: Meet Buck.
Typical software: Maya. 3DS max. After Effects. Nuke.
Search for more in this style.
Style: 2D and 3D mixed medium.
Source: The Iron Giant
Typical equipment: Pencil, ink, paper. Toon Boom. Maya. After Effects.
Search for more in this style.
3: Results.
Style: Claymation
Source: Chicken Run
Typical equipment: Plasticene. Clay. (Metal Armature). DSLR.
Search for more in this style.
Style: Armatured stop motion animation.
Source: Paranorman
Typical equipment: 3D printer. Metal armature. Foam. Latex. DSLR.
Search for more in this style.
3: Results.
Style: Realistic 3D character integration.
Source: Messy Goes to Okido
Typical software: 3DS Max. Maya. After Effects. Nuke
Search for more in this style.
Style: Stylised 3D integration.
Source: The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water
Typical software
Search for more in this style.
2: Refine your choice.
3: Results.
Style: Vector based, rigged, 2D animation.
Source: Mr. Bean: The Animated Series
Typical software: Celaction. Toonboom. Flash. After Effects.
Search for more in this style.
Style: Animation with live action integration.
Source: The Amazing World of Gumball
Typical Software: Flash. Maya. After Effects. (Video/ Photography).
Search for more in this style.
3: Results.
Style: Traditional 2D animation
Source: The Jungle Book
Typical equipment: Pencil, ink, paper.
Search for more in this style.
Style: Anime
Source: Studio Ghibli
Typical equipment: Pencil, ink & paper. OpenToonz
Search for more in this style.
3: Results.
Style: Cartoon motion graphics.
Source: Best Rate Deals.
Typical software: Maya. After Effects. Celaction.
Search for more in this style.
Style: Paper motion graphics
Source: iHeed Educational Animation.
Typical software: After Effects. Photoshop.
Search for more in this style.
3: Results.
Style: Rigged 2D animation.
Source: Peppa Pig.
Typical software: Celaction.
Search for more in this style.
Style: Toon shaded 3D animation.
Source: BIC Kids Drawy Book App.
Typical software: Maya. After Effects.
Search for more in this style.
2: Refine your choice.
3: Results.
Style: 2D/ 3D motion graphics composite
Source: Nikkei Marketeye Intro. (Compositing showreel)
Typical software: Maya. Photoshop. Illustrator. After Effects
Search for more in this style.
Style: 3D typographic/ logo animation
Source: Image Search.
Typical software
Search for more in this style.
3: Results.
Style: Whiteboard animation.
Source: Image search.
Typical software: After Effects. Photoshop. Illustrator.
Search for more in this style.
Style: Hand drawn sketch animation
Source: Music video test.
Typical equipment: Pencil & paper, After Effects.
Search for more in this style.
3: Results.
Style: Typographic motion graphics.
Source: Kommando Marketing.
Typical software: After Effects. Photoshop. Illustrator
Search for more in this style.
Style: Character based motion graphics
Source: Skype for business.
Typical software: After Effects. Photoshop. Illustrator
Search for more in this style.
3: Results.
Style: 3D product visualisation
Source: GetWrightOnIt Veeso VR headset
Typical software: Maya. Photoshop. Keyshot
Search for more in this style.
3D Automotive Product Visualisation
Style: 3D Automotive Visualisation
Source: GetWrightOnIt F1 Tech animations
Typical software: Maya. Photoshop. After Effects
Search for more in this style.

Of course we cannot cover every possibility in this quick art style picker, so if you don’t find exactly what you are looking for, make a note of the art style you like and get in touch with us today or request a quote for your next animation project. If you are wondering how much these different art styles cost, check out our previous post on the cost of 3D animation to learn more.

Posted on October 25, 2016 in blogPosts

About the Author

Dean Wright is a 3D artist and film maker. He writes about the VFX industry, Motorsport and working life in Japan following his time there in 2013-2014. Having worked internationally at major studios, he now lives in London freelancing for a wide range of clients.

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