3D animation is the process of bringing to life a variety of different characters, props, settings, and other objects in a visual piece that appears to be moving in 3-dimensional space. Rather than some creations which operate in 2D space with flat images on a 2D plane, 3D animation provides a thickness to the image that gives movement in 3 dimensions. Creators and studios in this space use a variety of different softwares to achieve this end goal, including Blender, Audotesk Maya, and ZBrush to name just a few.
Utilized in a plethora of digital mediums, from TV shows and video games to movies and commercials, 3D animation is a must for animated storytelling across the industry. Whether it is to better market a new product or bring your favorite cartoon on screen, some of the best 3D animation has come from studios both big and small.
If you are working in the 3D animation space or looking to get started, there is no shortage of great content out there to check out for inspiration. Here are Vagon’s top picks for 3D animation studios to follow for creative motivation for your next project.
Working across industries in everything from film and advertising to TV and immersive augmented reality, Framestore consists of over 3,000 artists and producers around the world. There expertise in the field is in no need of defense, as they have produced pieces for a number of Hollywood movies including Mulan, The Midnight Sky, and Wonder Woman 1984, among many others. Whether you are working primarily in film, advertising, or some other digital medium, there’s quite a bit of content from Framestore’s portfolio worth exploring.
Self-described as an “independent team of talented & ambitious creative minds crafting distinctive visual campaigns for the world’s most progressive brands”, London-based Art&Graft works across an array of digital mediums, producing 3D animation in a wide range of visual pieces. With clients such as Google, Cartoon Network, BBC, Apple, and CNN, to name just a few, there is no shortage of high-quality animation production with this studio. And as of June 2021, if you are currently looking for a place to launch your animation talents, they’re also hiring too!
Jellyfish Pictures 🔗
Founded in 2001, UK-based Jellyfish Studios quickly rose to prominence with their production of the TV series We’re Number One in 2005 and the BBC show Fight for Life in 2007, to more recently producing animation pieces in films such Rogue One, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and Solo: A Star Wars Story. Related specifically to their animation work, Jellyfish Studios utilizes a team made up of directors, producers, animation directors, and CG supervisors to create compelling 3D stories for a variety of different cartoons, TV shows, and films.
As a studio dedicated to motion graphics, Otok creates animated moving images for television commercials. Combining different mediums and styles to bring together striking colors and visually appealing sets, Otok has produced a variety of content for the screen such as MTV Sports, BBC World News, and ITV. If your workflow is based primarily in TV advertising, this is one studio you’ll definitely want to keep an eye out for!
California-based VeracityColab is centered around telling visual stories that bring products and brands to the forefront of customer experience. Creating 3D animation with VeracityColab is only one part of the process, considering they tailor their production pieces directly to the message the audience is supposed to receive. Some notable companies in their portfolio include Adidas, Microsoft, and Eventbrite, to name only a few. If you’re creating primarily for the product marketing field, this is one studio to definitely take a bit of inspiration from.
Explain Ninja 🔗
As a subsidiary brand of Fireart Studio, Explain Ninja is a video production studio exclusively focused on creating animated explainer videos for companies. With a team comprised of animators, producers, and award-winning directors, along with voiceover professionals in a variety of languages, Explain Ninja has worked to bring animated pieces to target audiences for companies and organizations around the globe. If you are focused on brand recognition through your animated work, this is another studio that is worth the follow.
Yum Yum 🔗
Producing pieces for advertising agencies, global brands, and production companies, Yum Yum is a creative studio founded in London by animation directors Beth and Jonny. Specialized in 2D and 3D animation, 3D modeling and printing, and character design, Yum Yum has created for some notable brands such as MTV, Lyft, Xbox, and Nickelodeon, to name only a few. Their work largely follows a light-hearted design of lively colors and vibrant character, bringing an intriguing mix of both captivating and fun visualizations. Follow along on their animation journey if you are interested in more cartoon-based visualization.
Passion Animation Studios 🔗
With over 30 years of experience in the animation industry, Passion Animation Studios has created Oscar-winning stories and notable characters that we can all remember. Whether it’s a production piece for advertising or a more personal depiction for TV shows and film, Passion Animation Studios is one larger entity in the industry that creators in the field can learn from.
Self-described as living and breathing design and animation, Brisbane-based Explanimate works to create visual content and storytelling for a variety of brands and companies. Specializing in everything from explainer videos to television advertising and brand animation, the seven person team at Explanimate has been centered around good communication between their client and audience. With a wide ranging balance in everything from vibrant colors in cartoon-like visualization to striking highlights in realistic animation, there is no shortage of expertise here!
Based out of Buenos Aires, 2veinte is a production company internationally recognized for creating visually striking and detailed animation and design pieces. Primarily working with cartoon animation and visualization, 2veinte has created pieces used in music videos, TV shows, commercials, film, and brand recognition to name just a few. If you are focused on character design in your workflow, this studio is definitely one to check out.