Economic sectors

2D animation and 3D animation


The smaller the project the less you gain from working in 3D animation. 2D is a long process, hand drawn animation will need specialists in this subject – currently not as popular / relevant as 3D in this generation (and so the lack of traditional animators). 3D will let the animator re-use the rig (for a series or movie)  and more access to moving camera around in scene – things can be easily changes and Pre-viz, can show the most cost effective angles for the client. There is alot more option and tricks to save time and money in 3D however you have to remember that there will also be in need of a 3D animator, or and a small team which can texture, model, rig, light, and render. Rendering takes a lot of time and is a slow process. 2D animation doesn’t need hardly the same time to render.  3D animation can be cheaper than hand drawn animation and faster however not as cheap as digital 2D work in a programme like after effects- there are alot of factors which contribute over the pricing of work with these medias:

“How do you decide? A lot depends on your visual preferences, but also consider questions such as:

  • Do we plan on re-using this animated character in future videos or advertisements?

  • Are we looking for a (potentially) permanent mascot or symbol for our brand?

  • Do we want to experiment with different characters in the future to target other segments?

  • What’s our timeline?

  • What’s our budget?

  • Where will these animations be displayed?

  • Should our animation be character-based, or information/process-based?”



The 2D film industry has more or less come to a close.. with a stop from Disney – retiring the 2D department and opting for the future with 3D animation. However instead a new era has taken place, or experimentation of art styles and mix over between the two. Small businesses and others are exploring and experimenting with the tools – as well as creating new ones to create imaginative and beauty work which captures the personality of hand drawn and the accessibility of 3D animation / freedom it gives to play around with. We are at a stage now which is a era or innovation and the possibilities which the internet / software can give us. Creating new tools, interactivity and software which can combine 2D and 3D together is the future (and even know from the Paperman short – we can note how new processes are being created to create hybrid animation which is a complete cross over of 3D and 2D – as innovative as Pixar and 3D – could this be a life line for animated film industry – new direction: “It seems that the director John Kahrs wanted to bring back more of a 2d look and feel to the short while still keeping a 3d digital base. What resulted what something pretty unique and certainly very creative, not only artistically but technically too.”  (


“It’s just going to take a really amazing 2D film to come out with a really good story, interesting characters and look, and all of a sudden 2D will be back,” says Acker, whose film earned $15.3 million in its first week of release.

Lasseter, who studied under the tutelage of veteran Disney animators, promised fans more traditional efforts in the future, saying hand-drawn films can deliver certain things computer animation can’t.

Writer and animation veteran Mark Evanier echoes that sentiment.

“What’s driving 3D is that since everyone is deciding it’s the wave of the future…new animators are learning CGI instead of hand-drawn…so hand-drawn is simply being neglected,” says Evanier. ”Which is a shame because there is so much it can do that CGI can’t.”

“I love 3D. But the 3D we have today, with glasses, is a gimmick,” says Beck. “It’s a gimmick designed to get movie theaters to convert to digital projection… It’s just that the public is being misled into thinking 3D is the future.”



“In technique 3D is becoming more adaptable all the time, and if necessary toon shaders can achieve something of the look and feel of drawn animation, but essentially all a toon shader can do is define outlines and fill in a completely logical way. 2D animation doesn’t have to be logical, it can be abstract and inspirational (usually derived from lack of sleep, caffeine and alcohol), and has a long history. Imagine a Tom & Jerry cartoon being re-made in 3D – all the exaggerated extremes would be lost, the timing would become too smooth and there would be more in-betweens than necessary (if you’ve got ’em use ’em). We can all still spot a gratuitous 3D insert into a 2D film.

Essentially, 3D is just a tool to help in the process of filmmaking, like any other. We certainly use it and choose to use it where it best suits the project, but essentially it should not be the medium that dictates the final result. The best starting point for a film is ideas, pencils and paper.

Above is an argument over 3D not having as much personality of what 2D animation has – alot of people still feel storngly over this median being the best because of hand drawn aspect to it – even if 3D animation looks and feels better there are those which still consider 2D as superior. It shows the impact which 2D has had on the industry after its long reign has finished (for now.)


“Although this does raise a lot of interesting points, it seems to ignore the largest part of the 2D animation industry, the internet. While 3D animation is definitely the future for large companies like Pixar, the online 2D animation industry is rapidly growing. 3D animation requires larger budgets and more people to work on, whereas 2D animation is much more readily available to new animators and independent developers, sites like YouTube can allow for large numbers of people to view animated series and shorts from around the world. Small budgets and small to single person teams allow for greater risks to be taken, and therefore a much greater variety of shows are available. If you ignore the online community, then yes 2D animation may be on the decline but with Networks and massive sites like YouTube in existence, which far outweigh the popularity of any cable network and companies like Frederator with over 4 billion views across the network, it cannot be ignored.”

There will always be a love of 2D animation and so it will never die – or though currently in feature films is not longer created by the larger companies in the west. However there is not doubt in the future it will make a comeback.


“I think one of the most exciting aspects of the future of 3D and digital is in the creative blend of mixed media,” states Hendry, explaining how traditionally mixed media has always looked quite collage-heavy and flat. “Now it is possible to do mixed media that doesn’t look like collage,” he continues.

“I think this is where animated feature films will go. I believe that the visual style will be driven purely by the sensibility of the filmmaker; animation will no longer mean hand drawn, 3D or stop-motion. Instead it will be a combination of everything.”

Why does it have to be one or the other? At the end of the day, 3D, stop motion, 2D are all tools used for story telling – instead of choosing just one, can’t we adopt several medias and combine – an experimental age is upon us. There are new ways which is presented to us depending on if its digital printing to make a stop motion and 2d animation, a  3D and 2D mixed style or a mixture of all – or even till we don’t recognize what medium it is.


Animation and the Economy


  • “Growth of almost ten per cent in 2013, three times that of wider UK economy

  • Accounted for 1.7 million jobs in 2013, 5.6 per cent of UK jobs

  • 2015 set to be another bumper year for UK creative output

New figures published today reveal that the UK’s Creative Industries, which includes the film, television and music industries, are now worth £76.9 billion per year to the UK economy. This massive contribution is an all-time high and equates to £8.8m per hour, or £146,000 every single minute, playing a key role in the Government’s long-term economic plan.”


This shows the size of the industry and its important role that it plays on the British Economy – it is the largest and employs 1 in 12 UK jobs. The creative industry is still improving – which is excellent news for when I go into this industry. It also shows how the industry that I want to go into is a major contributer to our economy. 

-Creative industry in the uk

    • Gross Value Added (GVA) for 2012-13 increased by 9.9 per cent – more than three times that of the UK economy as a whole, and higher than any other industry.
    • GVA of the Creative Industries was £76.9bn in 2013 and accounted for 5.0 per cent of the UK Economy. For the fourth year running, the Creative Industries proportion of total UK GVA was higher than the year before, and is now at a record high.
    • The Creative Industries accounted for 1.71m jobs in 2013, 5.6 per cent of total UK jobs; and a 1.4 per cent increase on 2012.
    • The value of services exported by the Creative Industries was £17.3bn in 2012, 8.8 per cent of total UK service exports.
    • Between 2011 and 2012 the value of service exports from the Creative Industries increased by 11.3 per cent. This compares with an increase of 2.8 per cent for total UK service exports.


Above are more statistics that I gathered on the creative industry and its contribution to our economy. It shows positive reports on the creative industry improving.

Job Roles

Animation market

“The UK animation industry employs nearly 5,000 people and generates about £300m in revenues every year. UK companies produce animated content for:

  • television
  • feature films
  • commercials
  • websites
  • mobile phones
  • computer games.”


Other than above I have created a spider diagram of other areas which 2D and 3D animation can apply too. I wanted to look at a variety of things to learn the different pathways which I could look into for this project and maybe as a career path way.



Working in animation can mean working extra and unsocial hours especially close to the deadline.- however it means you can have a job in a career you actually really enjoy.  The starting salary for an animator in the UK usually starts around £12,000 – £20,000 a year and this can vary. With experience this could increase to £25,000 – £30,000 or even more a year. Bonuses can also be given at an end of a project depending on where you work. The amount of money that freelancers are paid in this industry is hard to determine – as they decide on their own price range for the work that they supply. As a freelancer you have the opportunity to work at home. Working for company would see you in a studio / office.

“Skills for job

  • illustration
  • graphic design
  • computer programming
  • model making or sculpture
  • rigging
  • storyboard
  • 3D design
  • maths or physics
  • multimedia design.


  • Flash
  • Maya
  • 3D Studio Max
  • Motionbuilder
  • Lightwave 3D
  • After Effects.”


How to get into it

There are many ways that you can get into the animation industry – such as becoming a runner for an animation studio and slowly working up their pipeline before becoming an animator. However there is no guarantee to the length of time which you would spend as a runner before you move onto another area of animation. You don’t need any qualifications for this job, a lot of the typical runners are graduates. You move up the ladder to jobs such as storyboard assistant, digital painter, inbeteweener and assistant animator..

“Around 3,000 people work in animation in the UK. About 300 companies are involved in animation, including small production companies, larger studios, CG post-production facility houses, computer games developers and interactive media designers. The main centres are London, Bristol, Manchester and Dundee. Although there are some permanent jobs in animation, many animators work on a freelance or contract basis.”

The animation industry is 49 percent self employed and 15 percent part time – therefore animators must learn to freelance and look for work after one job is finished. The animation industry is alive through major cities in England and so means more opportunities in working there (especially if you live away from the capital city- there are other jobs which are on offer.)

“The animation industry in London is a fairly tight-knit scene, consisting of many well-connected firms like Aardman Animations and community groups like the London Animation Club, which meets in rather clandestine locations so that attending a meeting is like playing a game of espionage. Other London-based animation studios include Chapman Entertainment, Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, The Moving Picture Company, Cosgrove Hall Fitzpatrick, Studio AKA, Seed Animation, Blue Zoo, BE Animation, Cake Studio, Unanico Group, Klacto Animations, Ashley Baker Davies Ltd., Picasso Pictures, Trunk Animation, Red Star Studio and many more. And of course let’s not forget the BBC.”,1

There is an array of animation studios in London which meet up and give animators the chance to network and apply for a chance to work with them.

Amount of freelancers 

1 2

(Image source – BFI


(Diagram source:

Above are the several diagrams outlining the state of the animation industry currently – it shows how animation currently employs only 36% into full time, 15% in part time and 49% in self employment. Animation jobs tend not to take on permanent staff and instead use freelancers – animators which will stay at a company for a couple of months to years before leaving the job. Its a difficult industrial (however thanks to tab breaks – it could see a rise in employment as more work is being given tot he country.) A large percentage are self employed – therefore understand how they survive is a crucial understanding in my research.


  • The uk are exported minded – experts in trading and exporting out work throughout the world we understand because of the experience that the UK has gained over many years. It is able to use strategies.
  • Trends- The UK are trend setters for many.
  • Top Universities – top educations which are recognsied as some of the best in the world.
  • market for creativity – we worked this market for a long time and know how to work it.
  • innovation nation – well known for leading innovative ideas and projects which will progress technology forward in the right direction.

Future of creative future

Cultural Importance of Animation in the UK

For children growing up, animated programmes are apart of our culture, Mr Ben, BagPuss, Thomas the Tank engine, The Clangers, Postman Pat and so many more are a vital part of what creates out country’s identities. Without knowing it these animations live in the hearts of the children which watch them and being able to relate to the culture is especially important. Without a strong animation industry in the UK then we could loose a very important children’s programme industry – animations being imported from abroad. It is less likely that animation will reflect out culture here without that animation industry. The UK is well known for its ore-school storytelling – even as far as japan and china.


UK Tax Relief – What does this mean for us

What is Tax Relief?

In 2006 the Film tax relief was introduced through the Finance act 2006. From its incredible success in 2013 a similar tax relief was generated and aimed at High-end programmes and Animation which structure was like that of the already existing Film tax relief. The reliefs were available on 1st April 2013 and after. And has been described by some as the most ‘generous’ in the world – it will give those producers and creators away from the UK an incentive to come and employ staff here as well as spending in the UK economy. It is a deal which will mean a better chance for our creative industry to compete with other countries which already have similar tax breaks already such as Canada and Japan. The aim of of this new structure is to gain that extra employment for a business (animation) which is struggling already to compete on a global scale – employment as well generating more business in the UK, which will create more jobs for those hopefully employed – and drive much more money into the UK economy.  The creative sectors in the United Kingdom are one of the most important to our economy and brings 36 billion into the British economy each year and employs around 1.5 million – Our creative industry and services are some of the greatest and our high quality productions – therefore the use of Tax reliefs or otherwise know Tax breaks, will mean that more investment will be built here instead of elsewhere for a cheaper price. To protect our world renowned success and see it continue – for animation in particular it could restore and help keep it afloat. Even though our animation industry is extremely successful and the use of technology its being persuaded elsewhere for a better deal.


(source of quote:

“20% of a film’s expenditure to be incurred outside the UK without affecting the maximum tax relief available.

Producers will benefit from a payable tax credit of 25% of the lower of:

(a) the programme’s UK qualifying expenditure, and

(b) 80% of all that programme’s qualifying expenditure;

which means that 20% of a programme’s qualifying expenditure could take place outside the UK without affecting the maximum tax credit available.

As an alternative to claiming the payable tax credit, producers have the option of benefitting from an additional deduction from their corporation tax. This is on a par with the existing film tax relief, although producers have almost always opted for the payable tax credit.

The Reliefs only apply to qualifying expenditure in the UK, being production expenditure on pre-production, principal photography and post production of the programme. “

Qualify as British

In order to gain British Animation Tax Relief, productions must qualify as British. There are two ways which this can be done: Either through the Cultural test OR by gaining a UK’s official bilateral co-production agreements which will allow the television co-production. In order to pass the cultural test and apply for the Animation programme to be British they must pass something known as the cultural test. They must gain 16 points out of a possible 31, which will qualify the work as British:

“To apply for the cultural test for animation, there must be one animation production company (APC) that is registered with Companies House and within the UK corporation tax net. The APC must be set up before key animation begins and have responsibility for all aspects of the programme-making process from pre-production through to delivery.

The cultural test for animation programmes is a points-based test where the project needs 16 of a possible 31 points to pass. It comprises four sections:

  • Cultural content (up to 16 points).
  • Cultural contribution (up to 4 points).
  • Cultural hubs (up to 3 points).
  • Cultural practitioners (up to 8 points).”

Below is the detailed table of these 31 points (taken from the BFI website) which these productions can try to gain in order to get the Tax relief for animation. One of the good points which is noted on the first two points in section A (A1 &A2)  expresses that the animation must be ” Set in the UK or an EEA state or (Up to 3 points will be awarded for set in an undetermined location… Lead characters British or EEA citizens or residents (or characters from an undetermined location),” which will mean that productions can also set there animations in made up or undetermined lands (therefore not tied down to created a fully British animation around just our country. This is a very important point as it will be a lot more popular from those across the world. The other points in the Tax relied, cultural test highlights and promotes the use of British staff in the production of animated programmes and promotes the creativity of the English – all of these points show that the tax relief isn’t just bring money to the UK but also promoting the British creative Industry and the ideas which we carry.

Section A -Cultural content
A1 Set in the UK or an EEA state or (Up to 3 points will be awarded for set in an undetermined location) Up to 4 Points
A2 Lead characters British or EEA citizens or residents (or characters from an undetermined location) Up to 4 Points
A3 Animation based on British subject matter or relates to an EEA state or underlying material 4 points
A4 Original dialogue recorded mainly in English language Up to 4 Points
Section B – Cultural contribution
B Programme represents/reflects British creativity, British heritage or diversity Up to 4 Points
Section C – Cultural hubs
C1 At least 50% of the animation shooting or visual design or layout &storyboarding or VFX takes place in the UK 2 points
C2 At least 50% of the music recording or audio post-production or picture-post production or voice recording takes place in the UK 1 point
Section D – Cultural practitioners
D1 1 of the 3 lead directors is an EEA citizen or resident 1 point
D2 1 of the 3 lead scriptwriters is an EEA citizen or resident 1 point
D3 1 of the 3 lead producers is an EEA citizen or resident 1 point
D4 1 of the 3 lead composers is an EEA citizen or resident 1 point
D5 1 of the 3 lead actors/voiceover artists is an EEA citizen or resident 1 point
D6 At least 50% of the cast are EEA or residents 1 point
D7 At least 1 of the 7 key HoDs is an EEA citizen or resident 1 point
D8 At least 50% of the crew are EEA citizens or residents 1 point
Total 31 points

(Table Source:

Requirements of using Tax Relief:

  • Must be intended for broadcast
  • Must qualify as British from one of two ways (e.g Cultural test)
  • 25% (at least) of core expenditure must relate to goods and services consumed in the UK
  • The production must be a company which is taxable in the UK and must be involved in the Production.
  • Must be animated but can be ‘mix medias’
  • Must comply with the animation exclusions: cannot claim tax relief for advertising, game show, variety show, panel show, broadcasts live, news, current affairs, competitions, animated pornography and training videos



  • Reduction of the minimum expenditure requirement from 25% to 10%.


(All information and diagrams taken from BFI overview:

in the UK in 2011 was approximately £46 million. The fact that animation programme production expenditures during 2013-14 were £51.7 million suggests that the additionality rate during the first year of the ATR was 11%…In total, the animation programme sector generated 4,700 FTEs of employment, £171.1 million in GVA and £52.0 million in tax revenue for the UK economy in 2013 …  animation programme production, we estimate that £51.7 million in production expenditures would have triggered £10.3 million in claims. Based on an additionality rate of 11%, the ATR generated £10.9 million in additional GVA in 2013- 14.

Therefore, £1 of tax relief resulted in £1.06 of GVA for the UK economy…When considering that the economic activity generated by animation programmes resulted in an estimated £29.7 million in tax revenue, then it can also be concluded that the £10.3 million in estimated ATR generated £3.3 million in tax revenue (11% × £29.7 million). Therefore, £1 of tax relief returned £0.32 to the Exchequer.”


Animation Magazine stated: “A total of 16 animation programs have received official certification from the British Film Institute, the first step in accessing the U.K.’s competitive new tax relief, and a further eight have received letters of comfort confirming they qualify as British and will be eligible for the tax relief.” ( Already animated programmes are being put forwrd (which before the tax relief were either cancelled or sent to other locations around the world. Tax Relied has been an important incentive bringing work to the UK – and so the animation industry is again soaring for a country filled with high quality track record for animation. This will mean more jobs and prospects to animators. Some of the programmes in line for the UK animation include The Clangers (Co- produced among Cbeebies, Coolabai, Smallfilms and sprout), Danger dog (Cornwall based company), and many more from an array of companies from all over the UK. The projects for the UK has defiantly increased due to tax relief which was only introduced by the government in 2013 – the keen interest in creating works in the UK can only mean positive things for the animation industry. The industry over recent years, (before the introduction of tax relief) has been a tough fight, as sending work to Canada and to the East has been a issue where work can be created for less. However – the UK has a reputation for high quality animation and film – and so surely (and what is evident) the introduction of Tax Relief will mean a boast in the animation industry and to the economy / creative sector. Popular and top children’s channels such as Cbeebies were noted to be repeating the same programmes over and over such as Teletubbies and the Tweenies – however now they have been able to start creating new ideas for a new generation.

Above is a diagram and case study of the benefits that Tax Relief has had for our creative industry. We can also see the impact of tax relief in all areas of animation: The main being: TV broadcasting, Merchandise, Video Platforms, Multiplier effects and Production. Although it is only the smallest one on the list there is no doubt that the tax relief has created more opportunities in the UK. Furthermore there has been an increase in those employed within the animation sector.