3 emerging technology and commercial trends shaping the Animation Industry in 2021

Updated: Jul 28, 2021

The total value of the global animation industry reached $264 billion in 2019 with most of its segments growing at an annual rate of around 2-3%. Growth is steady and margins are healthy, but with the increasing access to multimedia devices and Internet penetration, certain trends are looming to make major impacts in all corners of the Animation Industry.

The first of which is no other than the influence of augmented reality (AR). Gone largely under the radar, thanks to the similar focus and interface design of virtual reality (VR), AR is predicted by many experts to have a much higher significance in the future of animation than VR.

First created in 1968 by Ivan Southerland, a Harvard Professor and computer scientist, AR was originally computer-generated graphics that enhanced the sensory perception of the user.

Fast forward to today, AR is a highly accessible, interactive and enhanced experience of the real physical world that is produced by the use of visual digital elements, sound or other sensory stimuli delivered by technology.

Perhaps the most famous applications of AR in the public realm is PokémonGo, where players can locate and capture Pokémon characters that pop up in their real world surroundings – for example, at home, on the road or even in your car.

With major multinational technology organisations like Google and Apple making AR available for hundreds of millions of users, certain companies like IKEA have taken full advantage with their slick use of product animation on their customer’s mobile devices.

Watch this video to understand fully the IKEA Place application that is changing the retail industry forever:

Due to AR, IKEA can now provide 3D models of their product to a customer’s device as a virtual preview before deciding whether or not they are actually going to purchase it. Cool, right?

Another emerging trend that is forecasted to influence the Animation Industry is the increasing demand for data driven animated infographics.

Videos like the one above can help to make complex and obscure information palatable. There is a synergy of imagery, illustrations, charts, graphs and sound, which means that the content is more shareable, interpretable and engaging.

Data driven infographics are growing and thriving with recent studies showcasing that 90% of information being transmitted to the brain as visual. Furthermore, visuals are known to improve learning and retention by a staggering 400%.

Animated infographics offer an opportunity to highlight specific words or numbers that have an enhanced meaning, making the content clarified and distinctive.

Animators may choose to use animated infographics for their own marketing purposes; with a variety of images and visuals you can have what would normally be a ‘boring’ statistic speak to the emotional centre of the brain, increasing customer conversions.

With operations within the Animation Industry being more aligned with the consumer than ever, it won’t be long before animated infographics become the norm, if they’re not already.

Our third emerging technology trend in the Animation Industry is the utilisation of 3D characters and storytelling. Like AR, 3D characters provide an interactive and direct approach with the user experience.

3D animation itself has been around for quite a while – whether it be in movies or VFX. But there is an increasing demand for ‘unorthodox’ 3D character work.

A tendency for dynamic and fast-moving animation using the whole three dimensional space from animation consumers has instigated the use of 3D to become a lot more mainstream.

3D characters allow companies or content creators to create brand awareness with relatable and personal expressions whilst still advertising their services. Seamlessly making their campaigns more memorable.

With the prices of software and computers going down, the development of 3D characters in story telling or online marketing will become more practical than ever.

And with the demand for animated content being insatiable, 3D character animations look to be a major cast member in the story of the future.

If you are your business are looking for 3D character animations, for either online explainer videos, mascot branding or story telling purposes, then please fill out this form today to see how our services at Lead Balloon Studios can help transform your game-changing idea into a reality.

3 emerging technology and commercial trends shaping the Animation Industry in 2021. 3D mascot from Lead Balloon Studios, animation studio, UK.