View Full Version : 2D character animation plug-in for 3D app?

12 December 2006, 01:58 PM
At the moment I'm working at a 2D television series, animated in a 2D animation package. A lot of people are not too happy about the quality of the software, so we find ourselves often wondering if we could animate our 2D characters in a 3D package.

However, to turn, say, Maya or XSI into a usable 2D animation package, it would need some plug-ins written, the interface partially re-designed... I'm sure that all that can be done by a good programmer(s). The question really is: how realistic is that scenario?

- Most studios will design characters in separate layers either in photoshop or illustrator. Importing these graphics as layers is essential.
- You then need to rig these characters in a way that constrains your choices to a 2D environment.
- Animating in 2D is really just a form of compositing, so you'd need to be able to change layer-ordering and have it as an animatable property.
- Furthermore, you need to be able to mask layers and apply at least all the basic effects: blur, colour correction. Modes like "multiply", "screen"... would also be very handy
- You'd still want to use the 3D environment to do multi-planing.

Any thoughts on this? I'm not even too sure this is the right forum to ask, but I wanted to start somewhere.

01 January 2007, 05:17 AM
I would post in the general discussion... there are a number of "2D" animation shows on TV that use 3D applications to do them... though I can't seem to find any links offhand. :/

Several shows use Maya.. I want to say that I read somewhere that the show Wonderpets uses it, and I know that South Park uses Maya as well. Again, I'd suggest posting (or having an admin move this thread) in the main general discussion forum for more help.

01 January 2007, 07:46 PM
using isometric cameras would give a perfectly flat render, and animating depth (or any other axis) would change the layer orders (but wouldn't decrease the size of layers in the back as the camera is isometric)

sticking alpha'ed images on image planes should do the trick and would be easy to set up, and IK chains shouldn't be too hard to make as there is no soft deformations

01 January 2007, 11:00 PM
Okay, thanks for the responses. I may have to take this further into the general discussion forum as suggested.

01 January 2007, 11:42 PM
You should try Creatoon or Moho, they do exactly what you look for.

Creatoon is now free! :thumbsup:

01 January 2007, 12:03 AM
Um... yes and After Effect too! More expensive (than free) but cheaper still than Maya!

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01 January 2007, 12:03 AM
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