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defago
10-25-2005, 04:44 PM
Im currently working on a paper regarding the relationship between the 3d and 2d animation industries- specifically why 3D has now overtaken 2D in the mass market.

I figgured this would be a good place to get some good, professional, or even just arbitrary opinions on the matter. I'm mainly interested in the business end of the two. How do their budgets compare, profit turn around, how today's audience feels about the two, production timeline on each, why 3D is now king (why disney dropped their 2D department), etc.

jd

Totoro
10-26-2005, 10:52 AM
I am not a seasoned pro. But here are my 2 cents on why 3d is getting more popular than 2d.

Budget: it costs more time and money to produce a 2d animated show or feature than in 3d. With 2d I mean classic cel/paper animation. But even if you do everything digitally in 2d then it's still a lot of work. Simply because you'll need a lot of animators to do the job and to finish the job on deadline. Because it's more work to draw every drawing again than animating on the computer. In 3d you'll have to build everything you see but after that you can use the characters and props as many time without rebuilding it.
In 3d the animator can just focus on the animation without worrying to much about the camera. You can always change camera shots without having to redraw everything. In 2d every shot has to be planned because if you change something the animator has to start over again and that takes time and time is money.


How today's audience feels about the two?
Imo I think today's the audience is a bit spoiled, they want to see fancy effects and all kinds of camera movements like in the movies. It's harder to animate an action sequence where the perspective moves all the time. Storms on the sea like in Sinbad or Iron Giant are more difficult to do in 2d. Especially if the audience expect some realism in the animations. Now I am not saying that 3d is easy and that you'll have animated a storm in just a push of a button but the software helps you a lot with these things.

Why 3D is now king (why disney dropped their 2D department)?
I think people sometimes want to see more realistic stuff and as I said before it takes less time to produce animated series in 3d. Disney dropped there 2d department because it didn't make as much profit as it used to be. And seeing Pixar and Dreamworks scoring that high in the boxoffice they wanted to be upto date I think.

But I think that it doesn't really matter if you make something in 2d or 3d. If the story sucks you can never capture the attention of the audience even if it's made in 3d with al the fancy effects etc.

JMcWilliams
10-26-2005, 11:01 AM
From what I gather, it does not take more time to make a 2d movie in general. I don't think it's cheaper to make a 3d movie either.

I've posted this link before, but download this video... it's worth it.
http://www.computerhistory.org/events/index.php?id=1114720561

It's basically an interview with the founders of Pixar...These are pretty much the leading guys in 3d films at the moment and they don't think 2d animation is dead. The reason you are seeing no 2d feature films at the moment is discussed in the video.

Disney dropped thier 2d studio because they came to the misinformed conclusion that the films were bombing because of the medium and not because they began to rely on the same trite formula for every story.

daevid
10-26-2005, 11:24 AM
I believe that the smaller the project is, the less you'll gain from working in 3d.

The advantages are mainly that it's more scalable for larger projects:
- you can re-use character models, character rigs and props
- you can hire different specialists for modelling, rigging, animation and texturing but still maintain a consistant style since they are all working with the same assets.
- you can more easily have a non-linear workflow, that is you can change camera angles, dialogue etc without having to scap the entire scene.

/David

Quizboy
10-26-2005, 11:38 AM
3D looks a lot cooler than 2D. (because the lighting gives the scenes actual sense of depth, it is imposible to render this kind of lighting consistently in 2D)

JMcWilliams
10-26-2005, 12:20 PM
:rolleyes:
..................

ssalo
10-26-2005, 12:24 PM
:rolleyes:
..................

Agreed 100%

jeremybirn
10-26-2005, 02:24 PM
1. Executives covering themselves for poor performance decided to blaim the medium for their failure. They told investors that "The Road To El Dorado" and "The Emperor's New Groove" didn't do as well as "The Lion King" or "Little Mermaid" because the public had stopped liking 2D, not because they should have made better movies. Because of this, the executes kept their jobs, and only the 2D production crews got laid off.

2. A generation of kids grew up while a lot of their favorite films happened to be made in 3D. Meanwhile, most 2D features in the US were either stuck in a rut with the same kind of musical format people were bored with, or were cheap TV-spinoffs like "rug rats" and "kim possible." Once kids had "learned" that the 3D films were the cool fun ones and the 2D films were just for little kids, it would be hard to market any 2D film to them.

3. The "tradigital" disaster. In a mis-guided attempt to jazz-up their 2D features and make them more competitive, more and more of the sets, props, and effects in many hand-drawn films were being done with 3D graphics - leaving the characters as the least dimensional part of the scene. You see a trailer for a film like "Treasure Planet" and some shots are fly-throughs of 3D environments, with a character surfing on a 3D board, but the character himself is this flat little sprite that looks as if he could have been cut out of "Alladin" and comped into the wrong film. Making the sets come to life in more dimensions than the characters just made the 2D animation look flat.

4. 3D films had a "special event status" that 2D films had lost. Up through 1994, everyone would be talking about the new Disney film, in part because it was the only animated film coming out that year. From 1995 on, the market for 2D films got more and more flooded, but for a while at least, 3D films were the special event that represented new breakthroughs and years of work. (Now this situation is changing, in that the 3D market is getting flooded too. We'll see what that does over time.)

5. No matter how you slice it, 3D is a richer medium. The public often doesn't know or care much about how animated films are made. They don't think of 2D as a separate artform from 3D. To an uneducated eye, the 3D films just look as if the animators have done a better job of bringing the characters to life, while the 2D films look like the older cartoons on TV, flat looking and not as fully colored in.

-jeremy

Chris Bacon
10-26-2005, 02:30 PM
Some good points there Jeremy...

Kanga
10-26-2005, 02:38 PM
I don't believe 3d is king at all.
I feel audiences are struggling to come to terms with the look of 3d. When high res animations are aired they still look kinda wierd no matter how technically wonderfull they are. To stay in business I think studios still have to make cg characters cartoonesque or ausiences feel uncomfortable. My preferance goes out to 3d cause its what I love but a kick ass story and style will win everytime.

Maybe its also a bandwagon thing if 2d is experiencing a bit of a lull ATM.:cool:

arvid
10-26-2005, 03:37 PM
3. The "tradigital" disaster. In a mis-guided attempt to jazz-up their 2D features and make them more competitive, more and more of the sets, props, and effects in many hand-drawn films were being done with 3D graphics - leaving the characters as the least dimensional part of the scene. You see a trailer for a film like "Treasure Planet" and some shots are fly-throughs of 3D environments, with a character surfing on a 3D board, but the character himself is this flat little sprite that looks as if he could have been cut out of "Alladin" and comped into the wrong film. Making the sets come to life in more dimensions than the characters just made the 2D animation look flat.I think 3D helped to improve the visuals in for example "Beauty and the Beast", but you're right about "Treasure Planet", it was way over the top at that point.

Rakile
10-26-2005, 03:37 PM
I think that most of the success of 3D comes from the ability to change shots without having to completely redo the scene, as mentioned earlier. Also, it seems like the majority of 3D films that have come out recently have very good writing in them as well. Actually, now that I think back to the latest 2d film I saw, Howl’s Moving Castle, that’s not entirely true. Howl had quite a bit of clever dialogue, and it had that strange element that made it seem like every fairy tale, yet unique. I don’t think a purely 3D movie could really bring that same kind of feeling.

jeremybirn
10-26-2005, 03:54 PM
Yes, a selective use of 3D in Beauty and the Beast worked well, although the integration got better in The Lion King. The term "tradigital" was one that Jeffrey Katzenburg started using later in reference for the hybrid productions they were making, where the amount of 3D frequently went over the top.

"Howl's Moving Castle" is a great example of limited CGI. Miyazaki said in an interview that he limits his films to no more than 10% 3D graphics. Actually, most of my points above don't apply in Japan.

-jeremy

pwallin
10-26-2005, 04:52 PM
Final reason is that 2D is for loosers!

What a clever answer for such a stupid thread...

Pasi

Shaderhacker
10-26-2005, 05:08 PM
Final reason is that 2D is for loosers!

What a clever answer for such a stupid thread...

Pasi

How is this thread "stupid"? He's working on a paper for goodness sakes!

-M

pwallin
10-26-2005, 05:13 PM
How is this thread "stupid"? He's working on a paper for goodness sakes!

-M

It's stupid because someone can't see humour behind my post...

And working on a paper is lame and stupid too. Get it?

pasi

JMcWilliams
10-26-2005, 05:14 PM
:D I think that's what smiley's are for.

pwallin
10-26-2005, 05:16 PM
:D I think that's what smiley's are for.

Yeah, but I do not believe in them...and they are evil and stupid too.

Pasi

Bsmith
10-26-2005, 05:17 PM
I love 2d. I acutally think most 2d looks better than 3d with exceptions of course. I really wish disney would get back in the game. It's sad that the next generation is going ot miss out on it.

pwallin
10-26-2005, 05:31 PM
I love 2d. I acutally think most 2d looks better than 3d with exceptions of course.

Actually, most of your 2D stuff you have seen is actually done with 3D. Also 3D stuff is presented on a 2D screen...so we are running a circle.

As mentioned above on a previous post, I should use smileys. So I will add a one smiley for this one...right here...somewhere...damn I lost it!

Pasi

ArtisticVisions
10-26-2005, 07:22 PM
Actually, most of your 2D stuff you have seen is actually done with 3D. Also 3D stuff is presented on a 2D screen...so we are running a circle.
How would you know what he has or hasn't seen? (perhaps you're the one running in circles :rolleyes: )

Bsmith
10-26-2005, 07:59 PM
what? I'm soo confused

mangolass
10-26-2005, 08:22 PM
Howl’s Moving Castle... had that strange element that made it seem like every fairy tale, yet unique. I don’t think a purely 3D movie could really bring that same kind of feeling.

Agreed ~ there are some things that can be drawn certain ways and wouldn't come out the same in CG. There are some things ~ like realism and perspective and texture ~ that 3D does better, and there are other things, like the quality of a hand~drawn line or a painting, that 2D does better.

LT

slaughters
10-26-2005, 08:24 PM
I think 3D helped to improve the visuals in for example "Beauty and the Beast"...Agreed.

Notice how in film work 3D can be used seemlessly without any evidence that 3D was used at all (re: work in Panic Room, etc..)? But, for some reason the integration of 3D into 2D is almost allways jarring and unprofessional looking (this was getting a little better toward the end).

Think of the impact if the integration of 3D into films had been done as poorly as the 3D integration into 2D features.

JMcWilliams
10-26-2005, 08:26 PM
How about that parade scene in Ghost in the shell - Innocence? Wha? Nice but... am I in another film?

paperclip
10-26-2005, 09:43 PM
I agree with Jeremy re the 'tradigital'. I like the look of trad, but some elements of 3d are better (the lighting, real world look, etc) so a good combination of the two can be just beautiful. One example I can think of right now is 'le building'. www.lebuilding.com (http://www.lebuilding.com) The cyclist in there is animated in 3d, with 2d cellshading and a 2d bg, but it integrates so smoothly that it puts forward an incredibly difficult scene to animate with the look of trad.

BTW- Jeremy, I'm reading your book (digital lighting & rendering) at the moment, it's very good! :thumbsup:

ntmonkey
10-26-2005, 10:25 PM
I loved Emperor's New Groove, and I so wished that it would do well. I thought it was generally well-received from everyone that watched it.

In regards to 3D vs. 2D, I think the best way to sum it up is that 3D tends to have more possibilities. I mean, you can change the look and feel, even fake a 2D-ish look with toonshaders, or make it painterly. Whatever you want, there's a way to do it. The flexibility is definately there. We have some people here that started in traditional 2D, and have grown to enjoy what 3D can do in terms of art and look.

I still love a good 2D flick though. Hell, even the Cube (featured short film) was very enjoyable. It's just sad that some suits decided to kill off an artform perfected over generations so a few of them could save their jobs.

peace,

Lu

Pavlovich
10-27-2005, 01:35 AM
my favorite 3d film to date has to be triplets of bellville. there, i said it. :love:

Brettzies
10-27-2005, 03:41 AM
I know I'm in the minority when I write this, but I really loved Treasure Planet. I thought the cyborg pirate was just amazing. But that's not really the point of this.

The Disney 2d "event" movie did die(or was killed off really) as Jermey mentioned. Just seemed like they stopped pouring resources into their films. They use to be fairly rich in shading, light, and depth. Their last few 2d films got flatter and flatter. Maybe it was a style choice but I think audiences picked up on it as being cheap looking. Like a saturday morning cartoon. Tarzan comes to mind as being the last "event" Disney film with a look to match. Lilo and Stich was good and fairly successful but took a different direction. Everything after that was either not widely accepted or just flat looking. And then they stopped which is a shame.

However, the Pixar films still have that "event" feel. That high quality big budget but will deliver feel. So they have replaced the 2d event film. Even in an increasingly saturated market, I think Cars will still be "the animated movie to see" for most people. The average Joe knows and trusts Pixar to deliver them an entertaining and pretty looking film.

In any case, 3d is seen as successful where as 2d was losing its appeal. It's probably easier to get a sophisticated look out of 3d on a regular basis, but it's still a pain in the ass. 2d didn't help itself by making cheaper and cheaper looking films either. The tools to put together a 3d film are also much more accessible giving more people access to try. You have small independent studios putting together films with virutally zero experience, and I mean zero. That would be next to impossible with a 2d film. So, when the studios that could afford to make 2d pictures decided to give it up, the 2d film is all but dead....at least in America.

In the end, what makes a good movie is not whether it's 3d or 2d, but whether it's entertaining or not. Let's not forget The Iron Giant, a 2d / 3d mix which is pretty much universally loved among those who saw it.

JWRodegher
10-27-2005, 03:56 AM
Pavlovich beat me to it! I was gonna mention the ´triplets of belleville´. I think both 2d a 3d coexist really smooth and perfectly in this movie.

For everything else, I think there isnt much more to say. I can´t imagine to completely re do something because the "client" didnt like the camera angle. I work a lot for publicity, and this people change so many things in the course to finish it, that it give´s me headaches just to think to be doing the shots in 2D.

Artistically speaking, I think 2D can be very beautifull, and definetely NOT replaceable for 3D. It´s like sayin that electronic music will replace the old guitar. Anyhow, 2D fans have to admit that it´s just too hard to make a decent and complex 2D, and 3D fans, that it is hard to give life to some type of characters, which in 2D look SO natural.

It´s useless to face eachother when they can really live together to generate unbelieveable shots and movies, my 2 cents...

beaker
10-27-2005, 08:20 AM
Let's not forget The Iron Giant, a 2d / 3d mix which is pretty much universally loved among those who saw it.Agreed. The Iron Giant himself was 100% cgi and he was amazingly animated and read as a hand drawn character. Also the cgi in Lilo & Stitch was really nice.

Too bad Dreamworks doesn't have them on their website anymore, but the few full cgi shorts they did with toon shaders were great and very convincing as cgi 2d for 3d looks: Gas Planet, Fishing, and Metropopular.

JohnnyAlucarD
10-27-2005, 08:43 AM
My view: judging by my 2 children (3 & 5) and their friends - the preferred medium is 3D over 2D - when they watch tv they prefer stuff like Barbie (3D) Noddy (3D) compared to stuff like Duck Dodgers etc - they are the future and their viewing habits are being set by their preferred choices of 3D over 2D - I think todays youngsters (who now have the choice - where as old codgers like me never did - it was all 2D stuff!!!) prefer one medium over the other so I think that will affect us more and more. Personally I think it's to do with change - look at other mediums - like comic books - no where near as popular as they used to be - there are other more exciting things for kids to do just like the transition of childrens tv from solely 2D cartoons into 3D.

I don't necessarily agree that better stories (ie from Disney 2D) would equate to better selling films. I think you have to look at kids TV and what children prefer to see. Children now are like the "playstation generation" they look for certain stimuli and I don't think 2D gives that to them anymore.

JMcWilliams
10-27-2005, 09:37 AM
Sod the kids. Animation is not just for kids. Man, I'm moving to Japan if this keeps up. :)
I was a kid who was amazed by and grew up with computer games but that doesn't mean I cannot appreciate other mediums. 2D can be just as spectacular as 3D and remember that 2D can also benefit from digital technology as we have mentioned.
The more and more I think about it, I think I'd like to ditch doing our short as a soley 3D animation.

Whilst we are at it, shall we ditch stop motion animation? :scream: ;)

bruizar
10-27-2005, 10:01 AM
I think JohnnyAlucarD made a valid point here. Even though the industry might have pushed 2d in a corner and shoved 3d down our throats (Same in the game industry, sadly), eventually the biggest market is kids. If kids like 3d, thats what they are getting cause that´s what brings home the bacon.

What I would like to see is that companies would evaluate the additive effect of using either media better. It seems they just make everything 3D because it´s ´hot´, even when it´s poorly done and could have been done better in 2D. Howl's Moving Castle was a great example of a movie that evaluated and achieved a great product by using 2D. One of the primary questions remain if it could have sold more if it was made in 3D. If you are looking to produce a piece of art instead of a blockbuster movie, the room for that evaluation becomes much wider because money isn't the criteria. Sadly, in a business environment, people want to make as much money as possible, thus serving what the public wants.

Brettzies
10-27-2005, 07:49 PM
I don't necessarily agree that better stories (ie from Disney 2D) would equate to better selling films. I think you have to look at kids TV and what children prefer to see. Children now are like the "playstation generation" they look for certain stimuli and I don't think 2D gives that to them anymore.I agree that kids may not be into stale looking 2d as much as they are entranced by 3d. However 2d can look really beautiful and rich when lots of effort goes into it. Personally, I didn't mention anything about better stories, though that is important. I said they just need to be entertaining. Whether you are blown away by the visuals, the action, the humor, the story, songs?, whatever, it has to capture the audience some how. Better stories usually help...a lot.

But you are right, kids are big on the visuals and if 2d isn't doing for them for whatever reason that just contributes to it's down fall in feature film.

NOOB!
10-27-2005, 09:21 PM
lol,i know this forum is pretty biased,*or maybe i am*

but anyway,europe is open to all type of animation,2d,3d,stop-motion.

its seems most of the 2d/3d (which one is better blah) is happening in the u.s.

but i'm only seeing that from my perspective *over here in the u.k.* someone who lives in america might want to inform on how it goes down there.

Both Mediums can be eqaully as great.Just need to get em stories going,and stop being so goddamn lazy,*whhaaaaaa 2d takes to long,whaaaa*

and since when is 3d animation cheaper than 2d lol,they both take the same amount of stress and pain outta ya,both are enough to make u sweat blood.
........

plus people need to wake-up and see where in the friggin golden age of 3d now,i'm glad that 2d is in the shadows,because now it has that *rare* edge, and it will be noticed more in the future,kinda like stop-motion.

only time will teeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeellll!!

daevid
10-27-2005, 09:21 PM
Now if children really do prefer 3D visuals, why aren't there more 3D-based (not only CG, but puppets etc) illustrations in childens book's? Why does Pixar make a lot of childrens books where their characters are painted instead of rendered?

/David

Bentagon
10-27-2005, 10:31 PM
There is no "better" in this so called battle to me. There's just easier. I've gotten two great insights about this from two animators.

First is something Anthony Ho Wong (former 2D Disney animator, now at Pixar) told me at AnimationMentor: a lot of the 2D animation is on 2's. 3D doesn't have that anymore. On top of that, 3D allows you to be much more subtle than 2D. This means the spacing between the frames is much smaller in the 3D films. And thus the audience's brain doesn't have to work as much to fill in the space between two frames. But subtlety can get the exact same results as broad movement. So: Less Work + Same Information = More Pleasant.

Second is from living legend Eric Goldberg. I didn't hear this directly, but I've heard people say that he said this: In 3D there's obviously much more visual depth, so it feels much more natural to people. As a result, the audience sees 3D grass, and instantly know it's grass. In 2D, you see it, and you kinda have to think "So that's a stylized green surface, that looks a bit like... grass. Okay, I'll presume it's grass."

So both these things just make it subconsciously easier to the untrained eye... and since people are lazy, that obviously results in people prefering the easiest form.

- Benjamin

Trenox
10-27-2005, 10:40 PM
I think the keyword here is "Production value".. 3d just looks more 'expensive' and thus has a competitive advantage over 2d.

I think that 3d also is a more flexible approach that allows you to do basically everything (a camera move is very expensive in 2d, but wont make 3d much more complicated). and its much easier to change stuff and tweak it to perfection. The advantages of 2d are much less tangible (characters has more "soul" so to speak)

That being said im definitely no fan of 3d taking over completely, and Disneys decision to scrap 2d was very sad and misguided.

NOOB!
10-27-2005, 10:40 PM
i think they shud make any form of animation that isn't 3d illegal for like a year.lets see how long a world with just 3d lasts before people start to say *yo man.. i'm like...bored..what happened to those other...*

i think all mediums compliment eachother.:thumbsup:

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