A DECISION TO BE MADE

There are a lot of considerations when deciding whether or not to go with 2D hand drawn or 3D cel shaded for an animation project. A lot of it depends on what the goal is, the type of story being told and the style that best fits it. A lot also depends on the abilities of the artist doing the work…

Poser 3D cel shaded work


There are a lot of considerations when deciding whether or not to go with 2D hand drawn or 3D cel shaded for an animation project. A lot of it depends on what the goal is, the type of story being told and the style that best fits it. A lot also depends on the abilities of the artist doing the work. A mechanical, sci-fi door slowly opening would be amazing to see in 2D, but it would undoubtedly be easier to pull off in 3D.

A lot comes down to preference also, both in what one likes to watch and how one likes to create images. For me, 2D will arguably take longer, but will look better in the end. I say arguably because I once did a short animation called GMO 少女, using cel shading techniques like the Anigen Final Secrets method. I wanted to achieve a very 2D look with it, and, because of the action sequences, which are really short, it took about a month to do this less than three minute little video. When I say arguably for 2D looking better, it's because I prefer 2D with rough sketchy lines and a painterly style, which some people just plain hate.

A lot depends on tools also. That video was done using Poser. Character animation in 3D is easier and faster in a software like Maya than it is in, say, Lightwave 3D, which is easier and faster than it is in Poser. Of course, many other things are astonishingly difficult for the lone artist trying to use Maya, which is why you don't see many "one-man" films done with it. Which tool will be the fastest and easiest will depend a lot of what kind of scenes you are doing.

If you are doing a soap opera type of drama, you can't really beat Poser because it offers so much automation for human characters. If you were doing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, on the other hand, which has few human characters, you would be wasting your time to even look at Poser. I guess the same could be said if you were doing something very stylized like Pinocchio. You would lose all the advantages of Poser and have to model everything from scratch.

Project for Kevin Quattro


The greatest advantage of 2D, of course, is that none of the above matters. You can do anything. You just have to put in the time and work. You also need to have the skill. I wish I could draw like Kim JungGi, but that's not going to happen, assuming it was humanly possible to animate drawings like he does anyway. With 3D cel shading there are limitations. You have to work with what you have, or are willing to model. With 2D there are no limits. It's all about time.

Finally, there is the greatest consideration; which one you enjoy doing more.

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