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Please, I need an advice

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Please, I need an advice

I'm studying traditional animation. I want to work as an animator 2D. Look at my doubts:
- I live in Brazil, and here, the only way to get money with animation is advertisement, and this one is changing to 3D.
- I saved some money becouse I was intending to study animation 2D in another country, have some experience (becouse here in Brazil, it doesn't have a good one) and then return to Brazil to work.
- Maybe I should study 3D here in Brazil (with the money I saved) and stay around here. I love 3D too, but I prefer 2D traditional.
- Or I should go abroad and try to get a job. Could you please tell me if my artwork is good enough to go abroad start working? (

What do you think about it. I'm so confused...


Alan Camilo's picture

Yes. Since the mid 80s 3d computer was used in drawn animation. Before Mouse detective
A sheridan grad 1983 used 3d in his drawn film (It was of a then complicated camera move in perspective with minaturised charcters running across flat playing cards). They are complimentary and equals. "tradigital" has been around a long time. It's the narrow minded studio heads who lately are perpetuating this either-or attitude. If you know or could learn both more power to ya.

Pulling up an old post here to give credit where credit is due.

The Sheridan grad (1983) who used CG in his hand drawn film with a complicated camera move in perspective of characters running across playing cards was Cam MacMillan . The film was "Good Trick" and it won some awards at film festivals and played on HBO cable in the U.S. It was a cartoon about the misadventures of a pretentious stage magician and his rabbit assistant. At one time I had a 16mm print of the film , but it seems to have gone missing over the years. I was Cam's assistant on that film , doing clean- ups of his roughs (cleaning up with felt-tip pen on paper, which was later colored with Pantone markers -- from the reverse side, bleeding through , so as not to mess up the line inked in felt tip pen-- ) and I also did a little bit of animation of the rabbit . I was second-year Sheridan and Cam was third-year. I was amazed when Cam showed me the CG shots he had worked out on an Amiga (or maybe it was an early Apple Mac computer ?) with the wire frame 3-D sets of the giant playing cards turning in perspective . Cam printed those off on large paper, we pegged them up , and then traced off the CG wireframe animation on to clean sheets of animation paper, inking in felt tip pen and coloring in Pantone marker as with the rest of the film.

As Graphiteman points out , this was several years before Disney did essentially the same type of shot (in "The Great Mouse Detective") and I think Cam MacMillan should get the credit for being the first (to my knowledge) to do this type of combination of CG and hand-drawn elements. .

"EustaceScrubb" has left the building

....And it was a certain Jim MacCauley who told me he thought that the assistant animator was a better animator than the senior student.:)

....And it was a certain Jim MacCauley who told me he thought that the assistant animator was a better animator than the senior student.:)

Oh, pshaw ! Go on with you ..... :o

(seriously, thanks, G, that was a nice thing for you to remember. )

"EustaceScrubb" has left the building

Hi alancamilo.

Welcome to the Desktop. (s)

I'm afraid your predicament is a common tale of woe right now. Essentially we have a world where 3D animation is the dominant approach and 2D is pretty much non-existent in a major, professional way. You talk of traveling to somewhere to study 2D... but where? To my knowledge, other than low quality TV work, I know of no 2D studio that is offering work (let alone an apprentiship position for learning) at the level that I think you want to go. Even in 3D it is very difficult to find consistent, inspirational, instructional work! I guess the only 'ideal' position would be Pixar (that is, IF you can ever get in there?).

Your work looks really good... good enough to work outside of your country, professionally in an ideal world. But, again, I just don't know where you might go that will push you and take your work to the next level? (I don't even know if there are even any specialist 2D colleges that teach advanced animation... now that the Disney 2D studio is non-existent!)

Anyway, I'm sorry to sound so depressing but until someone, somewhere breaks the apathy that abounds in Hollywood (amongst other places) about 2D animation, then I can only advise you that you should work hard at improving your 3D skills, take the advertising work that is available in your own country and then, in your spare time, work on what is closest to your heart. (I assume that would be 2D animation?) Who knows, what you create for yourself could be the foundation for a new 2D revival, eventually?

Sadly, although I believe that high-level 2D animation has hardly reached its full potential… even now… I still can't see any hope for it in the immediate future. So, just in order to survive, I strongly advise you that 3D is the route you should go for the time being... as excellent as your drawing skills are!

Sorry to be so negative alancamilo... but I think your needed a realistic assessment of the current situation! (s)

Tony. :^{)}=-

Personal Blogsite:

"The Animaticus Foundation"

Dear Alan and Tony,

there is hope, and the hope is us. Can you imagine if Ub Iwerks, Max Fleischer and Winsor McCay gave up because there wasn't an industry to work on? They went there and made it, and that's why everything happened.

I ask you two to never give up, and don't buy the "2d is dead, 3d is the only way" phallacy. With hard work we can do anything.

By the way, Alan, I heard that Fundação Padre Anchieta is launching a 100% brazilian animation cable TV channel in the next semester. Moves like that only prove that brazilian animation is expanding and growing stronger. I count on you to help this movement grow.

Tony, last tuesday I went to my school's library to make some research for my book, and I was very glad to find out that the copy of your book that exists there had been restored two days before. It looks nifty, and it's been thoroughly used by dozens of students! It must be great to have this kind of feeling, I hope I will know how it is in a few years from now...

Which reminds me I must go back to my book.

You two, and all of you who read this, remember: "Get up, stand up! Don't give up the fight!"

Thank you both. I'm very thankful. For now, I decided to go on studying 2D animation. After all, I know it can help me a lot to study 3D if it were my way in the future.

The future's bright - the future's 2D, 3D - AnyD....

Hey there, everyone who's following this thread.....

My name's Fraser MacLean and I'm writing this from the UK.
I've worked in a number of different areas of commercial animation over the years (on both sides of the Atlantic) with screen credits ranging from "Roger Rabbit" to Disney's "Tarzan". I've also worked as freely with computers as I have with pencils and paper and I've spent a lot of time teaching/helping/instructing people in as many different areas of practical work - in as many fields (hopefully) as I'm qualified to offer an opinion on.

I guess my own response to the idea that (and I quote), "2D is pretty much non-existent in a major, professional way" would be this: go tell that to Hayao Miyazaki!!

In other words, with the greatest respect to Tony White (for whom I have the greatest admiration, and to whom I have to say "thanks" for introducing me to this thread in the first place), I worry that so much of the current "debate" about 2D versus 3D is tremendously Western in its bias.

If "Spirited Away" and "Princess Mononoke" occupy first and third places resepctively in all-time Japanese box office takings, how can we all be wailing and moaning in America and Europe about the "death" of 2D....globally??

Also - as I think a number of other people have pointed out in a number of different contexts recently - when Walt and Roy Disney set up their first store-front studio in Los Angeles - the entire American animation industry was on the East Coast, in New York, four days' journey away by train.

"Disney" may be a huge corporation today, but it was effectively lines in the dust back then - an idea and nothing more.

If we ourselves are in countries (like Brazil, Scotland or so many others) which, at this present moment, have no major commercial (internationally recognised and truly competitive) animation industries, then it's up to us (surely?) to do something about it.

My own feeling is that we must also, along with the practical, technical and creative skills, begin to teach (and respect) the PRODUCTION and money-management skills that underpin a healthy industry of ANY kind.

In Europe I believe we also need to take David Puttnam's often unpopular advice (PLEASE would more people find and read his excellent "The Undeclared War"...) and wake up to the commercial and business realities of the world BEYOND production and post-production. It's not enough, in other words, just to MAKE films - we have to know how to sell them too.

Disney do this one way - while Miyazaki and his Studio Ghibli colleagues takes an altogether different approach.

Both approaches (to production techniques and to sales of the final product/attendant merchandising) are valid - and both approaches are there for us all to learn from if we take the trouble to.

We must be unashamed and imaginative about all aspects of marketing and distribution if we are to create industries with futures. Anyone who believes or imagines that any artist, working in any field, has ever been able to work productively without some kind of financial and organisational support - has not, I think, read the history books carefully enough.

Film is a technical medium - but it is a financial medium too. And there's no shame in it. Indeed, without an open recognition of that fact, where are our creative "freedoms" ever going to come from?

Even if we DO want to live "by subsidy alone", where do we think THAT money is coming from? Trees?

Whether it's Lottery money, government/"culture" money, Film Council money or private investment, somebody, somewhere has had to work to earn and administer it.

Getting back to the question about studying 2D (sorry for ranting), I would say "Yes!" - go ahead and work your butt off to prove what you can do in this (or any) field. I'm with Tony when he says that there is still PLENTY of ground to be covered in this area.

And if there are some people who can't (or won't) see that - then let them get on with what matters to them. It's a free (in the non-financial sense of the word) world after all.

Whether you want to work in sand on glass, pencil on paper or pixels in an x, y, z axis-based world - you do what matters to you, what you reckon will move your audience, and don't let anyone put you off or discourage you on ANY grounds, whether they be technical, cultural, financial - whatever.

Anyway - that's more than enough from me....

But I really do refuse to tag along with the idea that 2D has "had its chips" in the West. That will only ever become true if enough people buy into the idea - and the MOST dangerous thing would be for people in the colleges and universities to stop teaching perspective, life drawing, composition - ALL the essential first-hand observational skills that support people in their study of movement and performance for animation and film design.

If we begin making films in any medium based on second-hand observation of any kind, we'll be making weaker films (I reckon).

Now I need to go and either sleep or dig up some appropriate quotes to frame (or maybe even back up) my own ranting and pontificating!

All the very best to everyone out there who's struggling to make their mark in any area of the industry right now - no matter HOW many dimensions they're working in......,

over and out,


I'm not an animator, but a computer technician.
It blows my mind when you guys say 2D is dead.
I guess you mean on a whole.
I'm looking at it from this point.
I see 2D cartoons (Hey Arnold, The Simpsons, Rugrats, etc.) all over the place.
So I'm thinking there must still be a need for 2D animators.

There is an urge for good movies. Wether they're made in 2d, 3d, 4d or Xd, it's up to you... :)

Alancamilo, are you asking where can I go, or what can I study that will guarrantee that I can pay my bills and more? If this is your question...even if you were a doctor or a lawyer there are no guarrantees. There are no sure things in life.

Pat Hacker, Visit Scooter's World.

2D is not dead. It just has a premature autopsy from those trying to kill it as the scapegoat for their studio woes.

I am a professional 2d/3d animator. As my experience doing 2d, I learned it only when the studio hired me as a trainee inbetweener. I guess that was the practice before, but now you need to go to school. That is because a lot of studios nowadays are not keen on hiring amature artists, they don't like to train anymore. Maybe too many of them already. Alan, I saw your drawings, and you have potential to becoming a good animator, is the but, you need a good teacher. A lot of animators with years of experience still have amaturish drawings and animation, because their directors or supervisors are not really qualified to be a supervisors. So if you decide to go to school, try to get your teacher's records, what has he done, how are his experiences. Make sure you get your money's worth.

i am also think that 3d animation is really irritating,
i mean, nothing compares to traditional hand drawing 24/fps 2d animation.
all the 3d tools ..etc are somewhat ment for 'lazy' people ;)
even with great movies like shrek/finding nemo, i still think 3d is a time waste.
anime on the other way has strong feelings for traditional animation where the anime market is really big with all the shows/movies..etc.
like mentioned above 'Spirited Away', which is an OK movie (more personal taste) still gives hope for 2d animators.
personally, old 2d movies like 'The Lion King' / 'Alladin' / 'beauty And The Beast' and toei's studio old movies like 'Transformers The Movie' / 'GiJoe The Movie' are the ones that still in my heart, to how real 2d animation should be done even today with all the 'fancy' tech.
the use of modern computers (Software) for layer(s) coloring in 2d movies really pays off to the studios, but makes the movie it self lifeless, 'dead' movie feeling, where hand painted movies brings the best out of the movie with cool old 2d techniques.

the button line is that 2d animation didn't die, but it has transformed into unknown form where it has no need in the end.

Visit my site

Oh man this thread is soooo refreshing for me and all others who

I must say all this advice has gotten me yurning to produce an all cel hand-painted short. I love all the intellegence that has been shown in this particular thread. What w/ the advice from so many professionals and non-professionals alike. It just really gets tome as well when people try to bash and promote the ideals of an unpossitive attitude of leaving 2d animation alone and try to just be at peace w/ the two trying to co-exist w/ eachother. I am loving all the realisticism and also the positive "gun ho" kinda "aggressive" attitude we need to see more of here in the states. Thinking off the top of my head, there are at least 8 award winning television 2d great shows that just kick so much well u know. But ya Alan, i'm almost ready for art school myself and I will be attending an excellent art academy by the name of CALArts. There they still teach great traditional animation as well as ground-breaking 3d courses. Me myself, I am trusting in the awesome talent that has once been seen in full-length productions from 2d movies with the whole cel idea in mind. I too have witnessed your tremendous work and I believe you've truly made 2d your own to the point of having the know how to be in a postion to produce more excellent works such as your current project. That is just soo mind-blowing how good you are at the accurecy and smoothness manifested in your work. I too want to bring back the original NON-LAZY traditional smoothness that was once so revered and longed after by all those who viewed it. So good luck to everyone that wishes to bring back that awe inspiring talent of traditional animation and don't let anyone tell you that 2D is dying, dead, or ceases to exist because it's simply not true my friends.


After all these advices and ideas, I got a conclusion: Like the softwares that came to help animators, 3D is just a tool (an incredible one!) that the animator have to express their ideas. There are situations you may use 2D traditional and there are others you may use 3D CGI. 3D didn't come to kill 2D, it came to add to it. Am I right?

........... 3D didn't come to kill 2D, it came to add to it. Am I right?

Yes. Since the mid 80s 3d computer was used in drawn animation. Before Mouse detective
A sheridan grad 1983 used 3d in his drawn film (It was of a then complicated camera move in perspective with minaturised charcters running across flat playing cards). They are complimentary and equals. "tradigital" has been around a long time. It's the narrow minded studio heads who lately are perpetuating this either-or attitude. If you know or could learn both more power to ya.

If it's a good story, anyway you tell it it'll be great

I've not really been in the animation industry yet, but I'm really involved with children and have been creating characters and stuff for quite some time. The reaction I've seen on people, mainly kids when you tell them a good story is overwhelming. You see their eyes glow, and if you tell it by parts, they start asking for more any time they can.

2d or 3d is a good question when you want some money, and well, we all want some :D . But there are several ways to earn money, and several ways to do what we love. In any case, a true balance of monetary benefit from an activity we like can give us the power to do an activity we love. 3d or 2d would just be a matter of choosing the one you like best.

I know it sounds a bit utopic, but if we want a 2d revival, we're gonna have to start making stuff for the fun of it, and for free. REACH FOR THE PEOPLE, THEN REACH FOR THE STARS my friends.


I don't know why I didn't visit your site earlier, (Maybe because I was on another more unstable computer that has browser / virus software conflicts) But I think your stuff is flipping awesome.
I think we are just in a weird time for drawn animation. Hollywood does not wish to invest in it as they did before. Here in North America we have more "animators" being churned out every several months but less work.
Truth is, personally I really don't know as I have my troubles too with the current state. My impression is that what is out there is so competitive too...and not necessarily for the best but the quickest....which I ain't. ( or young with no responisbilities or cheapest...)
I know gaming companies still have needs for those who can draw and previsualise.
Maybe inquire in Europe if you speak a language or two?
3D route is not a bad idea? Knowing the foundations of animation, could you save money and teach yourself?

Well, I've got to join in with the chorus of "2D is not dead..." It still is and will remain the basic building block for any kind of animation. As Director of the School of Animation and Visual Effects at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco (and also a former member of the fated Florida branch of Walt Disney Feature Animation), I have been preaching and supporting 2D animation as not only the training ground, but also as a remarkable and unique art form. Just look at the pencil test of Pinnochio on the Frank and Ollie video! In fact, I had one of my 3D students exclaim "It's moving art!" I could have kissed him for that! It's like trying to compare a watercolor to an oil painting--neither replaces the other...Poor business decisions, story choices, and implementations are what I believe has caused the supposed "downfall" of the 2D medium...must agree with Fraser--look at "Spirited Away" and (my new fave) "The Triplettes of Belleville" and tell me 2D animation is dead--NO!! In "some companies" just good story telling and character development is dead! It's not about the medium, it's about the film making...


...we must all face a choice, between what is right... and what is easy."