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Author Topic: 2D on the rise?
Charles
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A conversation with a friend the other day left me with the impression that there's more activity in 2D animation than I may have previously thought. From what's happening with plans for Disney's Frog Princess and other projects in the works at various places.

I'd like to invite ANers to contribute to this topic and share what they may know concerning news and developments about 2D productions that we can look forward to in the near future.

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Greg B
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There probably are more 2D projects than we're aware of.

It's now de facto that CG animated movies are far from the sure thing money makers their overzealous investors and office suits had calculated for.

The costs of CG features exceeds the cost of 2D and it makes no sense to produce them if there's no solid ROI.

People love 2D animation and with a great script and acting you can't lose. My biggest laughs of the week are Family Guy and American Dad and Johnny Test.

I think the next time a well done 2D feature hits big making mincemeat out of the CG competition you'll see even more of a 2D advance.

CG kills itself. It's not the cheaper, faster, better it was touted to be.

I wish WB would go back to some Looney Tunes shorts of high end quality. I think they would be spectacular and a big kick at the theatres.

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Floyd Bishop
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quote:
People love 2D animation and with a great script and acting you can't lose. My biggest laughs of the week are Family Guy and American Dad and Johnny Test.
Thanks for giving me my biggest laugh of the week. If you're looking to a show or style to revive 2D to the place it once stood, I think you need to keep looking.

CG doesn't kill itself any more than 2D killed itself. Like a fish, the decay starts at the head. Many of the 2D killers are now present in 3D... it just took a little while for the blood in the water to attract the sharks.

For 2D to be successful (at the risk of sounding dramatic) the creators need to be more proactive and stop looking for execs to hold their hands and guide them. There are more media outlets than ever before, and I'm not talking TV stations.

If the artists want 2D back, they need to take it back.

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Floyd Bishop
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Paburrows
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Actually Frog Princess is now called The Princess and the Frog I guess a lot polically correct groups are already getting angry at this movie. The french are angry with the title, thinking that its making fun of french royalty so that was changed and now the main characters name Maddy is change to Tiana since Maddy sounds to much like Mammy a slave name andalso the fact that the character starts out as a chamber maid.
Sometimes the PC police can be overly sensitive, but I can somewhat see their point. Anyways heres the Jim Hill article that I got it from http://jimhillmedia.com/blogs/jim_hill/archive/2007/05/11/why-for-is-disney-already-doing- damage-control-on-the-princess-and-the-frog.aspx

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Floyd Bishop
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Disney should just release "Song of the South" as a diversion.

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Floyd Bishop
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Mr. Fun
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What goes around comes around.

I enthusiastically welcomed the move to digital film making, but became soured on the whole process when I saw certain "tech heads" within studios eagerly move forward with their own personal agenda.

I watched talented animators who had spent a lifetime developing their skills pushed out the door as though they were simply greeters at WalMart. Greedy producers embraced young digital talent because after all, they were talented, but mainly because they were -- cheap.

No, the CGI money is not pouring in as all had expected. Because as good as some of this product might be, it still ain't Pixar.

Don't get me wrong, because I love this incredible new medium. However, what the studio bosses did to their gifted and talented traditional artists will always be considered by me -- a sin and a shame.

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Greg B
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I thought 'mammy' was an English/Scottish derivation of mama.

I know people who still call their mothers 'mammy' and they're white!

Anyhow, it's scaring me wondering who's on the story developement of the Princess and the Frog project.

Anyhow to Floyd Bishop, glad I made you laugh this week. Unfortunately I don't agree with you. Artists can't take it back. Artists need to take the 'business' back by knowing and applying successful business procedures. You can spend all day drawing but if you ain't spent time selling you end up with lots of great art but empty pockets.

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Ryan Fox
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Well 2D is on the rise. Thanks to ToonBoom ^^
It supports IK systems on 2D vector graphics giving it a serious advantage over Adobe Flash

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Floyd Bishop
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GregB, that's what I meant when I said that the artists needed to take 2D back. The Homestar Runner guys didn't wait for an exec open doors for them, and Bill Plympton has been putting out independent 2D pieces for decades now. The artists I've mentioned are making things happen for themselves, and should be looked to as examples for the rest of us.

The "return of 2D" will be nothing more than the studios realizing some of the things we've been talking about here all along. I don't think 2D ever went anywhere. The animation medium is larger than Hollywood, despite what Hollywood would have us believe.

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Paul D
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I know that we're hard at work on Sylvain Chomet's follow up to "Triplettes of Belleville." We've assembled some great talent and this thing is going to be beautiful on the big screen! Incidentally all you talented folks... we're still looking for animators!

Sounds like Disney is producing shorts as well as their feature. That's good news.

Heard someone say that Don Bluth is finally going to take a kick at a Dragon's Lair feature. Has anybody else heard that.

Mick Jagger is producing a 2D feature called "Ruby Tuesday" written and directed by Paul and Gaetan Brizzi.

Good time for 2D animators!

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Mr.U
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Incidentally....Somehow I thought that "offending" the French was some kind of a trend in the US. This title, knowing the premise, was not "offensive" at all. And I never heard anything of the sort in France.
Besides, some of these brainless Political Correctness Checkers should realize that about 200 years ago the French royal family was captured, thrown out in jail, and beheaded. A few of their descendants still survive, but their anger means nothing, simply because they are a bunch of inbred and powerless idiots.

Anyways....

We are busy completing "Lucky Luke - Go West !" here in the land of bread, cheese, rats that cook and long-dead kings. It will be released in December.

"Nocturna" is also due soon, next September.

"Persepolis" will be released in June, and has been selected in Cannes.


There you go. 2D aplenty.

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Mr.U
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I forgot...

Brendan and the secret of Kells

While I'm at it, it's worth reposting the trailer from Nocturna

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Greg B
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I can admit even I've got a 2D project that debuts in a few weeks. It's the animated opening to a new tv show and website. I can't go into further details but I designed the characters and the producer had it animated much to my surprise. I didn't know it was for a tv show until a few days ago.

If all works with that I'm sure the character that is very funny looking with lots of character will branch off into shorts or more.

Luckily the producer and owner loves 2D and he even is a fan of AN which I didn't know til a few days ago.

Bill Plympton is successful because he's not only a brilliant artist but has sound business practices and contacts.

There are business people out there that can help out but you have to reach out to them. I've said this umpteen times already.

If you don't know about basic finance stuff and have credit issues, student loan problems, business credit questions there's a great group of proactive pros and citizens at a website called www.creditboards.com What they do there is astounding. Just astounding. It's about studying and applying successful procedures and knowing the right places to do what's necessary to handle first your personal finances and then move on to learning about and handling the fundamentals of life like mortgages, medical bills, college loans etc. instead of paying ridiculous amounts of money from so-called experts you get it there for FREE. No get-rich quick stuff, just the best and latest ways to do things right.

Artists need that info. I wish I had known what I've studied the past year years ago. I would have been so rich it would have been sick.

Here I thought a small project of designing a toon was just that but instead it turned into something huge I hadn't expected. When I found out the finance/management team's true identities I flipped! All that came from a simple post to a message board asking a simple question. That money was a lifesaver and a great start on other things.

ToonBoom and the new photoshop features as well as other software advances are going to make our lives much easier. I was about to move back to NY as I needed a quiet studio to work from. Now I'm looking for another place here in LA. Anyone know of something quiet lemme know.

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Mr. Fun
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Even though the show I'm working on is digital, I still applaud the return of traditional.

Let's hope the producers realize it's not whether a movie or TV show is digital or traditional. It's whether it's any good!

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Greg B
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Right on Mr. Fun!

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knowledge
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Hey Paul D. let us know when you guys can finally freelance some work! I know that up until now you've said no, but if things start to get behind - let us know!
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Hockey Frog
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quote:
Thanks for giving me my biggest laugh of the week. If you're looking to a show or style to revive 2D to the place it once stood, I think you need to keep looking.

Uh...actually...there's more 2D animation being watched by American audiences NOW than anytime in history...

Mind you, so-called "quality" 2D is definitely in a slump...(but, IMHO, so is so-called "quality" 3D, though not so dire as 2D).

Which brings me round to my main point...It's QUALITY that's in a slump...2D, 3D, it doesn't matter, there are so few studios producing quality films in animation. Financing a building full of computers and digital technology and animation grads does not a quality film make...

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Johann Sebastian Bach

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Greg B
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Frog I have to agree with.

We might be moving toward the Japanese love of 2D. They watch toons all day and with the alternate video choices a guy at home could host and broadcast crazy amounts of video for anyone with a broadband connection or even a sufferable 56k.

Now, here's something we've discussed at meetings for years. Fiber optic cables.

Years and years the phone companies laid down enough fiber optic cables to go to the Sun and back umpteen times. Mind you just ONE fiber optic wire, not cable, has the capacity to send every single phone call on Christmas day and we have BILLIONS of cables. If we're using a low end 2-3% of our fiber optic potential or else internet access costs would drop like a rock. Can you imagine using that broadband for tv broadcasting? You could produce and broadcast endless content.

The key is funding for and manpower to produce profitable 2D content.

Not all Japanese stuff is excellent 2D but the focus on story and storytelling far surpasses what we produce here.

We get lazy once the momentum gets going on a project. Once we capture the audience with it initially we then get lazy and figure the audience is so hungry for the next we just do a sloppy follow up, the audience gets disappointed and then things crash.

Always do each job like it's your last.

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LeftyMcKay
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quote:
If we're using a low end 2-3% of our fiber optic potential or else internet access costs would drop like a rock. Can you imagine using that broadband for tv broadcasting?
It's already happening. I had AT&T's U-verse installed last week. But don't expect prices to be much different than cable or satellite.

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Greg B
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Lefty, yes some of it is being implemented and the big hold off is due to wireless access. See, some cities use free wireless and it's making them money through ads but the fibre optic potential is still astounding.

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Joris
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Mr.U,

Thanks for the link on Brendan! I've some friends working on the project, but untill now I had only seen what was on the director's blog and the cartoon saloon website. This 'trailer' looks really promising! A very own and unique style that perfectly fits the story's theme.

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dermot
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yay 2-D is back ?....what DO you call this non-drawing / bezel-point-adjusting form of limited stuff ( toonboom ) anyway? If you don't love it you're out on your ass....and the kids need braces ( with few artists on company health plans )

I thought I loved the advent of computer help....but then it's turned out to be more of a cost-saving , drawing saving thing after all .

Boy....imagine what you could do if you got one good artist to sit for 3 weeks on a freelance job....you might be able to turn those few designs into an entire "pipeline" of "assets"that a cheaper crew could "animate" for many seasons of gauranteed low-cost fun and profit ! ( that was sarcasm )

Remember that thread on favourite words we hate to hear !?....I think "2-D" is going to show up on my new list.....since it now has little meaning compared to what it used to .

I think it's great for "toon"-type animation ( Flash and Toonboom ) but Floyd's right....gotta use the computer and get those great shorts done to promote yourself .


If you can do better you have to prove it .

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Nandy
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2D classical feature animation as we know was at its peek in the 80's and 90's. We are currently witnessing a resurgence of 2D once again. This time however, with the pluthera of 3D films flooding the market, audiences (particularly parents) are paying more attention to the storytelling and message behind the films.

Families and fans alike miss what was once a tradition of watching a cartoon that looked like a cartoon. A good example is while at a film festival I saw an animated short about a puffer fish. Very well animated 2D short that had a message that children and adults can relate to. This is how this medium will have a stronger audience.

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Jody
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I just saw MTR and it was funny that it opened with a 2D Disney short (did not expect that). It seemed weird and out of place. I began to wonder if there were some opinion pollsters watching the crowd through a one way mirror somewhere.

I was surprised the kids in the audience laughed more during ten minutes of Boat Builders than through most of the main feature. In fact as usual with the 3D features I've seen in the last few years (Chicken Little, Over the Hedge, Happy Feet) duped parents were walking out half way through clinging to their freaked out 3yr old. Walt Disney would be horrified wouldn't he? MTR was beautifully animated and designed but IMO suffered from the "bigger, splashier, whooped up FX" syndrome. This is fine for animation buffs but it only succeeds in numbing the ordinary person in the theatre. (btw did anyone notice resemblances to Robots in gags and imagery in places?)
No memorable songs, lame slogan, completely forgettable. Thankfully 'Surfs Up' looks like a kid friendly show in the same spirit as Madagascar. We'll see.

If 2D is to make a decent comeback it should at least reach out to those alienated kids in the audience. Maybe give them a catchy tune to sing for a change (and maybe not rely so much on just the animation to carry the bag?, that doesn’t seem to work).

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Tobias A. Wolf
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I've yet to see a performance in 3D that matches Mark Henn's work on Jasmine in Aladdin. Man, he knew his sister and had the tool set (drawing skills) to convey that care with such extraordinary precision. Almost all of the 3D performances I've witnessed have mostly paled in comparison to the acting and empathy I've seen in the best 2D work. The distraction of process in finding a coherent message is still there for most work these days in 3D. The coattails of the medium as message can only last for so long. And that time is running out quick like.

Keyframing and the eye of the artist in the process of performance will never die. At least for those that want to make money in the movies. Live actors are not artists, and their eyes don't equate to the same kind of trained looking by and large. I'm sorry, maybe I'm an elitist, but unless you've painted fruit for at least a six months you aren't an artist. Actor or not. It's all about staging, light, composition, and understanding how the performance of shapes commingle with those attributes in service of the story. Yes, even a basket of fruit tells a story.

With all the performance capture productions starting up these days, I hope that is understood. But then again, maybe it's better if it isn't. As such a thing isn't about understanding but knowing from the gut that it should be approached that way based on history and deeper knowledge. Fools will never stop looking at the gold that was hard fought for and think it was just laying on the ground to be found by the next Jamoke, and anyone that would put their money in that kind of endeavor deserves what comes out; fools gold.

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knowledge
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Hey Tobias, check out Mr. Smee in Peter Pan, where the pirates are messing around with him - that's some sweeeeeet stuff!
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Greg B
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Tobias that's because hand drawn gets the artist closer to the illusion platform than CG. Some CG does very well and of course I'll tout Chicken Little because the addition of squash and stretch caused more of an interaction of artist to illusion platform.

That hand-drawn with brilliant key frames are the kind of thing that separates the fine from the familiar.

That's why I live for pencil work. Comics pencils and animation pencil tests. Nothing compares to them for power and life and energy. It is still the most amazing thing I can think a human being can achieve to convey the inner thoughts onto paper so convincingly that it appears to have life of it's own.

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hcjehg
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Here is another one that should be listed:

Chico & Rita

Here is a link to a TV transmission about it. It is in spanish, but very intersting

http://www.tv3.cat/videos/1075779/Mariscal-i-Trueba-associats

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HoBSoft is working on this production.
http://www.hobsoft.net

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siskavard
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I'm currently animating on a privately funded 2D show in Toon Boom. It's extremely cartoony & actually funny & appealing. Hopefully it will be on TV within the next year.
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EustaceScrubb
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re: an earlier comment in this thread (from May 14, 2007 , so it's old) :

quote:
"Mick Jagger is producing a 2D feature called "Ruby Tuesday" written and directed by Paul and Gaetan Brizzi."
Can anyone confirm whether the Ruby Tuesday project is still alive and whether it is actually going to be hand-drawn animation ?

Thanks.

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