2021 Animation Trends
MINIMAL AND SIMPLE
One animation trend reflects this, a more minimalist animation style, often involving clean building blocks and lines. Using this approach of visual design is a great way to stir emotion and convey new ideas. These animated videos build off of established design principles to create something that is elegant, clean, and profound.
For Inspiration check out this Global Common Alliance’s explainer which starts with a silhouette of planet earth as the main building block and begins to build around it with circles, lines and spheres. The end product is a minimal and simple animation style that effectively explains a complex topic.
Motion Tracking Over Live Action
Motion tracking compositing used to be a tedious process that has become a thousand times easier to do thanks to exciting new advancements in motion graphics technology. This dynamic technique allows for a variety of futuristic-looking animation styles that are mixed with live-action footage. Whether it be text messages popping out of someone’s phone or map overlays on the sidewalks of NYC, this trend will impress both your viewers and your clients.Check out the chilling series open to Dark Net which uses motion tracked overlays that interact with the actor. An otherwise simple set of shots comes to life with an overlaid set of digital webs that devour the actor and leave the viewer wanting for more.
Utilizing thin lines in an animation can give it a hand drawn feel while keeping it clean and modern. Thin lines function as direction-givers, shape-definers, and mood-setters. It is an understated style that is functional and elegant at the same time. The ‘thin lines’ animation style makes it easy to transition between subjects or elements while making it easy to follow. Much like the minimal and simple animation style, it can be utilized to create something clean and profound, making it an animation trend for the times. Check out WebMD’s 2D explainer on “How RA Progresses”, which uses a clean illustration style to build an easy to understand video on a complex topic.
2D frames that feature 3D objects
In a very Inception-like manner, this animation style features frames within frames with featured 3D objects. Transitioning through multiple frames is a great way to tell a story and switch between perspectives while converting a variety of new ideas within one seamless viewing experience. The 3D objects add an extra dimension to movement while surprising your viewers and giving the whole style a futuristic look. seamless viewing experience. Take this “IBM + Watson Video Services” explainer for example which takes the viewer through fully realized character scenes with zooming 2D / 3D transitions.
Full World Building
This immersive approach takes the viewers on a journey through vivid renderings of a particular story or anecdote. To pull off the ‘full world building’ animation style, attention to story detail is key. It is a way of creating a world from scratch or reimagining a past event in a way that most effectively portrays the story at hand. A great example of this exciting style is Western Union’s “Bicycle Coin,” which uses a fast-moving camera to follow the journey of a gold coin moving through immersive, stylized backdrops that mix solid shapes with gritty textures.
Photo-Realistic Product Visualization
Dynamized Period Art
One animation trend that we’re likely to see this year is a move to dynamized period art. This style takes art from any time period and brings it back to life with the magic of 3D animation. Similar to the way colorized pictures create an entirely new appreciation for old photographs, dynamized period art peaks the interest of viewers by appealing to their nostalgic senses while fascinating them at the same time. With so many art styles to choose from whether it be Van Gogh, Picasso, or cave paintings, this animation style is a sure fire way to catch your viewers attention. Check out this reel from Curiosity Stream’s Edad de Bronce (Bronze Age) Series which features an beautiful array of ancient Egyptian art in motion.