Animations via images vs. animations via engine movement

Hi, I’ve been looking at animations in different games, particularly with background animations with environment assets, and I wonder how much of it is done with image files, and how much is done with in house animation done by the game engine, and ultimately which one would better affect game performance.

A good example would be environment assets in a game like Ori and the Blind Forest (like grass and tree movement). Anyone have any insight on this?


Ori and the blind forest is a 3D game presented as 2D.

While Ori themelf had 30fps animation, the world is actually 2D art on 3D models at 60fps. (They actually did this to Ori as well in the sequel)

They basically combined 3D with 2D to build out their animation method.

This is opposed to other games, like say Hollow Knight, which are full 2D games using art/umage animations in general. Most of the time microanimations (running water, falling leaves, etc) are part of the source images. Certain things like doors opening are animated using engine events/code.

Oh you’re right, I looked into it last night and saw that Rayman Legends, Ori and Dragon’s Crown were done in 2.5 D.

Hollow Knight uses much less moving environment assets like plants and what not, but they have slight physic effects when they’re touched, so do you also think that was done via source images?

Thanks for the help!

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I believe HK uses image files along with their physics engine for those specific items, but I’m not able to find any hard confirmation.