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The Best Way Forward

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The Best Way Forward

Thinking about the recent post I read discussing transitioning from 2D animation to 3D, I had to look back over my own experience and consider a few things. I started out, as a kid, drawing comics on paper, usually in my school notebooks. When the Amiga computer rolled around, I saw a possibility to be able to make the kind of animation I always aspired to make, using digital technology.

Using software like Deluxe Paint, for those who remember such a dinosaur of the digital painting world, I started creating my own little animations. I just dived right in and started creating,and it went this way for years. I dabbled in 3D too, but it was always drawing my animation that dug me deeper into digital technology.

As I began working in the industry, 3D pretty much took over and I found myself doing only that for some time. To add to that effect, along came cel shading, NPR or cartoon rendering, or whatever name one prefers to call it. Now 3D could almost look like 2D drawn animation.

Inspired by a desire to create more, as I was always interested in long animated series rather than features, I embraced cel shading and did my first few projects this way. One day I remember reading a comment by an old time 2D animator who mentioned that while the 3D may be faster on the back end, when you factor in all the time upfront for creating models, texturing, building environments and rigging characters, it would be just as fast to draw it. Never mind the fact that I personally, though I enjoyed the speed of it, never got it to really look like I wanted it.

In recent years, I have been doing more 2D again, using the techniques I talk about in my Final Independent Animation Training but I still go back and forth. Then, one day it hit me. If you just look at the total number of minutes of animation I did in a given period, particularly a year, there is no reason I could not have done it all in 2D. Not only could it have been done, but it would have saved me much of fighting against the technology trying to make my cel shading look as 2D as possible.

I'd be curious as to your thoughts on this? Anyone else have experience in both methods. Which do you use for which purpose? Going forward, if you were to choose only one, which would it be?

3d is faster. its hard to get around that. the problem with 3d lies with the motion not the rendering. as far as your mind and eyes are concerned. if an object doesnt change shape. it is not moving. or its a mechanical movement and not a motion.

2d drawings are shapes that are constantly changing shape or morphing. which equals motion. a 3d character using bones just moving from point a to b. without changing shape. will never be accepted by your mind and eyes as anything other than movement. cardboard like hinge movement, which is exactly what bones are setup to do.

its up the animator to be aware of this and make his 3d animation as appealing as 2d animation

this is a subtle example of it hit p to stop the secondary motion a to start it again

in the 3d player shockwave, it will auto install

in regards to rigging cat character animation toolkit, essentially solved that problem years ago. somewhere around 2003 it may have come out. since then other companies have made their own version of cat. but with it, you rig anything in a couple of minutes. cat did for animation what sculpting programs did for modeling really made the tech not an issue. you can see it on youtube or the autodesk site

with the 2d look you should try just rendering the lines only and the color as a seperate pass or layer. then combine the two later. you can edit each in your video editor to get whatever look your after