# What is the difference between 2D and 3D art?

What is the difference between two-dimensional and three-dimensional art? You’re probably thinking that the obvious answer is that one is 2D and the other is 3D. However, when we explain the appearance or existence of a certain object in space, we use terms like two-dimensional or three-dimensional to describe its structure. It means that the object is either existing in two dimensions (length and breadth) or three dimensions (length, breadth, and height).

Let’s break down exactly what these terms mean in terms of art sculpture.

## What is the difference between 2D and 3D?

2D-shaped objects are made up of length and breadth, visible to our eyes. They are plane figures or flat shapes because their dimension is limited to two-dimensional structure, not extending to height. A 3D-shaped object consists of length, breadth, and height. Unlike two-dimensional structures, they do not appear flat or plane. Common examples of 3D structures can be a cube, cuboid, prism, pyramid, and cylinder. A 2D or a two-dimensional structure is an object existing in two dimensions to define its structure, that is, it exists in two planes or axes, x-axis, and y-axis, to deter its shape. A 2D figure has only length and width in the x-axis and y-axis respectively. Since two-dimensional figures can exist on a flat surface, they are also called plane figures or plane shapes. These figures do not have any volume, unlike 3D figures. They exist on flat surfaces. They do not have any volume due to their restricting shape.

The types of art sculptures we are familiar with are also 2D and 3D objects. Some examples of 2D forms are sheets, circular objects, rectangular objects, square objects, and pentagons. You can explore examples of 2D works of art in the David Kracov collection.

## What is 2D and 3D?

For the sake of clarity here are the main differences between 2D and 3D recapped:

• A two-dimensional structure uses only two axes, the x-axis, and the y-axis. A three-dimensional structure uses three axes, x-axis, y-axis, and z-axis respectively.
• A two-dimensional structure has only two surfaces; length and breadth. A three-dimensional structure has three surfaces; length, breadth, and height.
• Two-dimensional figures are also referred to as “plane” figures or “flat” figures due to their appearance. Three-dimensional figures are only referred to as 3D figures.
• Examples of two-dimensional structures are circle, square, rectangle, and pentagon. Examples of three-dimensional structures are Prism, cuboid, pyramid, and cylinder.
• A two-dimensional structure has no volume. Whereas, a three-dimensional structure has volume.

### What is a 2D work of art?

A 2D or a two-dimensional structure is an object existing in two dimensions to define its structure. A 2D figure has only length and width in the x-axis and y-axis respectively. Since two-dimensional figures can exist on a flat surface, they are also called plane figures or plane shapes. These figures do not have any volume, unlike 3D figures. They exist on flat surfaces. They can take up as much space as possible, but they certainly do not have any volume.

Good examples of 2D structures can be sheets, circular objects, rectangular objects, square objects, and pentagons. These objects exist strictly within the periphery of the x-axis and y-axis. They cannot cross or overtop these two margins. Geometrically speaking, two-dimensional objects can be seen as existing in between two imaginary dimensions/planes, the x-axis, and y-axis.

### What is a 3D work of art?

A 3D or three-dimensional art sculpture is an object existing in three dimensions to define its structure. This means that it exists in three planes or axes: x-axis, y-axis, and z-axis. Characteristics of a 3D artwork:

1. A 3D figure has length, width, and height in the x-axis, y-axis, and z-axis respectively.
2. Unlike 2D figures, 3D figures exist beyond the margins of a flat or plane surface, they have a defining depth to their structure. This actually extends to a new dimension called the z-axis. This z-axis is to deter the height of the figure.
3. Since they do not exist within the parameters of two dimensions, they are not plane or flat figures, instead, they have volume in them which is a major point of difference in 2D and 3D structures.

As mentioned earlier, we have a variety of shapes and intangible structures surrounding our daily lives. Out of these various shapes, 2D and 3D objects are the most common type of structure we usually come across. Good examples of 3D structures can be sheets, cuboid objects, pyramids, cylindrical objects, and prisms. Examples of 3D works of art can be seen in David Kracov‘s 3D sculptures collection.

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