Difference Between 2D vs 3D

Difference Between 2D vs 3D

Today we uncover the difference between 2D and 3D and finally clear up any confusion over this hotly debated subject. If you’ve ever played a video game or used computer or screen-based technology of any kind, then you’re very likely to have heard these terms before. But what are they and what do they relate to? It’s time to get to the bottom of this comparison.

Definition of 2D

2D is: “Any shape or object with 2 dimensions or anything that possesses the quality of being 2 dimensional.”

The above description very simply explains what 2D is. But if you don’t understand what a dimension is, then you’re probably going to be none the wiser about what a 2-dimensional object is or how it functions.

A dimension is just a measurement. So anything that is 2 dimensional features two measurements. These measurements are length and height, and any picture or object that has been created using them will appear two dimensional to the eye.

This means that when you look at a 2D object or hold it, it’s going to appear flat. Television screens, for instance present images in 2D by default (unless you have 3D-equipped technology.) Paper and wall stickers are also 2D in appearance.

It’s by using visual real world references that we can easily define the difference between 3D and 2D as you’ll see objects belonging to both categories almost every second of every day. Let’s check out the definition of 3D for more clarity.

Definition of 3D

3D is: “Any shape or object that has three dimensions.”

After reading through the last section, we know that a dimension is a measurement, and we also know that the two measurements that go into making a 2D object are length and height. So what’s the difference with something that is 3D?

It turns out that it’s all about width. Any object that has length and height plus added width then has three measurements and therefore three dimensions. To the eye, an object like this will appear solid as opposed to being flat.

Pretty much anything that you can grab and hold is a 3D object. To be held or grasped in the first place, it needs the addition of a third dimension. Even human beings are three dimensional in appearance because you can measure them using length, height and width!

Other classic real world examples to help you separate 2D vs 3D include boxes, wardrobes, cars, and pens. All of these objects have been created using three dimensions.

Main Differences Between 2D vs 3D

We’re now going to provide you with a quick reference table to fully separate these two terms in a simple and accessible format.

Any time you find yourself lost on this subject, come back here for a quick refresh.

Basis of Comparison 2D3D
DimensionsLength and heightLength, width, and height
AppearanceFlatIrregular, sloping, slanting, curved, lumpy, textured etc.
Number of measurements23
AxisX and Y axisX, Y and Z axis
Real world object examplesPaper, stickers, card, wall signageBoxes, fruit, appliances, technology
Associated shapesSquares, triangles, circles, and rectanglesCylinders, pyramids, cubes, and prisms

On the whole, these comparison points clearly separate 2D vs. 3D effectively and allow you to see their differences clearly.

Difference Between 2D and 3D: Conclusion

We hope that after reading through today’s post, you now finally have all the clarity you need on this hotly debated subject.

You can see examples of 2D and 3D objects and images everywhere you look and in every part of your life now thanks to advancements in technology that accommodate the use of 3D in environments that have traditionally always been governed by 2D.

This can unfortunately lead to added confusion when discussing both terms. Just remember though:

“You can only see a 2D object face-on, but you can walk around a 3D object.” This is quite an easy way to remember the differences between the two!