Monthly Archives: October 2012

Back in 3D

haven’t used a 3D software since around July so thought i best do something, so started modelling a doodle i did a couple of weeks ago, still needs arms and details added but here it is so far..


Thursdays Tutorial

In Thursdays tutorial the question came up ‘why not just use a 2D animation software?’, which is a fair question because, why am I trying to take the long road round to achieving a 2D look in 3D, when I can just use a software like Toon Boom and have my own drawings animated. I’ve looked into softwares like Toon Boom over the summer break before starting my masters and I think there really two main reasons that I’m continuing to use 3D softwares. the first reason for this is that with 2D animation softwares animations feel really flat, seeing each separate drawn layer and you can tell straight away that they are done with a software like Flash or Toon Boom, I don’t know if this is because I just haven’t come across an animation done in these softwares that does look different or if there isn’t really a way to get away from the flat generic look that you get with these softwares. The second is that I’m comfortable using 3D softwares and 3D softwares give a lot more flexibility to how you produce your animations. using 3D softwares you can have the ease of changing a camera angle without the hassle of figuring out the right perspective to draw the character or object at and then re rigging that character in a 2D software, whereas with 3D software you can use the original modelled and rigged character and just add a new camera to the scene.

I think overall both 2D and 3D softwares have their limitations and feel if you were to create a standard animation in either of them they will give you a generic looking piece of work but now I know all the basics of 3D softwares and have research into different techniques people have used to produce work in 3D softwares that look and feel like a 2D animation I feel more assured that I’m going down the right path. An example would be The Pearce Sisters by Luis Cook, that when I first watched it I didn’t know that it was made using a 3D software for the characters, as it looks like a 2D animation. I feel using a 3D softwares allows you to do a lot more for a character in the sense of animating it, and the overall ease of using a software I’m already comfortable with and the ease of having multiple camera angles etc. really seems like a wiser choice than throwing in the towel on using a 3D software and moving to full 2D animation.

Disney’s Paperman Breakdown

I just came across this video where it gives a quick breakdown of how the look of Paperman was achieved and how the 2D drawn lines were added using their own custom 2D painting software. The software seems to have a sort of tween feature between key frames, which looks interesting but still it means you wouldn’t get the movement in the linework unless you were to draw each frame, which at one part of the video it looks like they have done. The video is here.

Three Animations I Like and Why

I’ve decided on the following three animations on based more on the aesthetics of the animations rather than the story and animation aspects, even though all the animations have good storylines and animation. All three animations have a stylized look to them keeping to the a style that echoes the drawing styles of the animators. I’ve picked these three animations as well because they all try to achieve the same goal but have gone about achieving it with different techniques.

The Backwater Gospel was my first choice because this was one of the first animations I saw that managed to keep a 2D drawn style in 3D animation (Codehunters ( being the other one). The look of the animation is achieved by modelled planes overlapping each other with drawn jpg images on top of them with opacity maps to give the rough line edge of the pen and ink line. the only problem with making using the plane technique is that you don’t get the movement in the lines that i think add to the animation if you’re using outlines.

Matter Fisher


In David Prosser’s animations he goes about combining 2D and 3D in a different way to The Backwater Gospel, coming from more of a 2D animation background a lot of his animation in 2D drawn animation with odd areas of the animation being made up of 3D models and hand drawn textures on the models. rather than the plane technique it means that the objects need to be modelled with lines like they would look if they were hand drawn.

Like David Prosser’s animations, the Pearce Sisters combines both 2D and 3D animation together. for the animation basic 3D models were made rigged and animated for the character with basic textures applied to them, and then frame by frame were down over the top of to give the drawn look to the character, having all details including the facial expressions drawn traced onto the frames of the 3D models and then added in post production. I think this technique works really well for what I want my animations to look like because this way it isn’t a computerised line as if you were to use Ink and Paint it is a hand drawn line and using this technique also gives movement to the line, which I think was missing in The Backwater Gospel.


On the side of the three animations I like and why, that we were given in our tutorial on Thursday I thought I would add some extras that I thought would be good to share, looking a bit more on … Continue reading