2D or 3D: That is the Question

The industry is on an incredible trajectory towards creating immersive 3D worlds in metaverse-like settings, but before sinking the company budget into realistic landscapes and shiny 3D objects, you need to think long and hard about what you’re trying to accomplish. 

Generally speaking, 3D events cost more because you’re rendering elaborate scenery, but they do create a more immersive experience. 2D, best described as flat, usually live video conversations, is more like watching videos, but the 2D platforms are more robust when it comes to integration of things like polling, networking and analytics. 3D will need more hand-holding from the vendor; 2D can be mastered pretty quickly.


Zoom is a good example of a 2D platform.


rooom’s 3D landscapes are more than just pretty. They let you explore objects up close and personal.

Here’s my two cents. If your presenters and content are top notch then skip the theatrics, save yourself some time and expense, and stay in 2D. If you’re doing a product showroom, a sales demo or something where immersion is central to the experience, you’ll have a great result with 3D. And for apres-event parties, 3D environments with avatars are such a hoot.

But mark our words, the tools for creating vibrant 3D worlds will quickly come down in price, and just as quickly become easy enough for mere mortals to use. This week Nvidia showed how it is able to quickly convert 2D images to 3D. And we all remember Mark Zuckerberg’s fantastic demo of verbally describing a scene (such as this beach scene) and having it render. So don’t go hog wild on 3D yet, but do check out the platforms and tools in our database. Check out this wonderful series called two minute papers that showcase how neural networks and AI turn stick figure doodles into stunning art. 

  • 2D environments include Zuddl, WebEx Live, Hopin, Hubilo, and Brella
  • 3D environments include rooom, Virbela, Topia, NewSky XR


Do a drawing in the rough and it turns to a stunning mountain landscape on the right. Image credit: Nvidia.

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