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» AnimationNation   » General Discussion   » Is 2D dead? The question came from an animator

   
Author Topic: Is 2D dead? The question came from an animator
Greg B
IE # 118
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I was chatting with a former Disney animator this weekend and she mentioned how 2D was dead. I hadn't heard it was as there are several 2D shows on television and Disney has a new 2D feature coming out.

So is 2D dead?

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Metsys
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Around here I think asking that question is like beating a dead horse. [Smile]

2D is perfectly alive and well. It may have slowed down a bit in the US, but when that was the case it was thriving elsewhere.

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JDC
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nope.

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Greg B
IE # 118
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It didn't make sense to me either seeing all the 2D on television and the web. I think she just had a fixed idea that 2D was dead.

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jeffnevins
IE # 247
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2-D animation studios have shut down & moved from the S.F. area over the past few decades, but some people manage to go indie, or find work in other areas.

L.A. is going strong, but it seemed crazy- competitve for jobs the years I was there-

Similar topic at the Bluth Forums:
http://donbluthanimation.com/forum/showthread.php?t=11

Take care- [Cool]

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Mr. Fun
IE # 63
Member # 352

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The one thing that clearly is dead is the “leverage” traditional animators once had.

Not so long ago a talented 2D animator could name his or her own price, but no more. Digital technology eliminated that -- and at precisely the time when animators were beginning to make real money.

The days of the “million dollar animator” is gone forever.

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ColorInAble
IE # 68
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I HEREBY CERTIFY THAT 2D ANIMATION IS OFFICIALLY DEAD!!!

O.K., now that I've caused a lot of anger, how can I say anything other than, "What a silly question!!!"

2D will continue to live, as a visual style. It can't die, we as humans have far too much invested in 2D rendering to give up it's many manifestations as a style and means of expression.

Is the traditional process (Cell animation) dead? No, but it's dieing. Just like pottery, at one time them main storage container worldwide, now relegated mostly to fine art, 2D Cell animation has been replaced with 2D and 3D CGI in more and more projects, and soon CGI will be the can and the plastic bottle and traditional cell animation will be pottery...

Is this a bad thing? Yeah if you're a crane operator, or develop film for a living. But other than that, the need for 2D animators is more or less what it always was and is, and that is not enough to hire up all the supply, no matter what the process used.

Am I sad about it? Not like some here...
To me communicating the content is the goal, be it 2D or 3D animation, by hand or not, or even (dare I say it) using Live Action. And I don't have a problem with "Factory Animation". Just like I don't much care about the pot and am just interested in the Olives contained inside much of the time, I'm not so concerned about the animations raw beauty, but instead I care about the content it communicates.

To me King of the Hill is wonderful, I don't use the same yardstick or have the same expectations as I would of Fantasia. And it'd be silly to make KOTH as beautiful as Fantasia, because the content and the characters of KOTH aren't beautiful like Fantasia, they are REAL, like your and my ugly butts are real.

At the same time, I don't think KOTH could have lasted a season as a live action show, the fact that it is drawn 2D is what allows them to really beat on the characters, and yet the audience who empathizes with them doesn't get too upset. I think Texans would have burned down the FOX affiliates statewide (with the exception of Austin) if KOTH was live action. They kick Texas a lot (not that they don't kick L.A. and N.Y.C. too), and the fact that it's a drawing that is making these denouncements against the Texas lifestyle, keeps it from hitting home too hard for people to take.

Please don't think I'm picking on KOTH, I usually have this discussion (argument) at Animation Nation or ASIFA Hollywood over Family Guy, but this pretty much applies to, say the whole FOX Adult animated slate (and much other adult animated content).

And to see how much 3D animation they use in shows like The Simpsons or Futurama, and how much work they put in to make it look 2D, I feel confident in saying, as a visual style, 2D will stay until we forget the cave paintings in our DNA...

How we make those animated cave paintings will be very different in the future though...

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E. Allen
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Hmmmmm. I never thought of it that way. Yes, I suppose that the technique for producing 2-D animation is dying, but the style will long live.

It has become easier to eliminate the mess associated with it, although I am learning that mess was arguably part of the charm of the method.

Computers make the process more efficient than it ever has been, and that I think is part of progress. Like Color said, I believe that as long as the stories are strong, and you're not just using it to sell another Battle Cruiser to kiddies, that's what matters. Content is king, regardless of medium or style used to showcase it.

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Greg B
IE # 118
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Mr. Fun, what about guys like Seth MacFarlane? His two tv shows "Family Guy" and "American Dad" have made him 100's of millions of bucks.

Maybe it's because instead of just being an animator he's a creative, the type of being that AN has been nurturing. The past few months have seen present and former AN'ers present their own 2D and 3D features and games.

Maybe it's way past the time that 2D animators stopped looking at themselves as handymen and move up a notch to owners and bosses. Leadership may well be the ingredient and the courage to take that step.

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tstevens
IE # 234
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Seth McFarlane is not exactly your average animator. The average aniamtor gets paid a fair amount but nothing that will buy them a fancy condo in the Hollywood hills.

Is 2D dead. Yes: No: Not really. You have to consider that the process, as mentioned, has changed dramatically. 20 years ago the idea of not using exposure sheets, Layouts, and Storyboards would have seemed like the surest way to fail thought today you see a lot of Flash shows heading this direction. What is almost dead is the process of inking, painting, and shooting on camera. However, I can't say I/m all that dissapointed about that. Being limited to 4 levels or so is no fun once you have the freedom of the digital camera. Animating on paper is slowly becoming a thing of the past as well though I think many people are sticking to it because it offers a lot of simplicity that the computer can't really compare to. There is a different feel that you get when flipping a stack as opposed to scrolling back and forth on a monitor.

Overall, the methods of creation co exist and often work with one another. There are a lot of people who like to see these things as being binary when in fact they aren't. A lot of the coolest stuff being made is a combination of multiple techniques. A lot of folks in the feature world see things as being all or none where as the commercial world (what is left of it anyway) gets to experiment with all of it.

Just because the feature world isn't kicking out 2D films doesn't mean that there aren't people who are!

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Greg B
IE # 118
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I "shudders" to think of not working on paper. ( had to add that Popeye lingo as it's his birthday )

It's sort of a detachment from the equity of artistic effort.

Like Color In Able mentioned Mike Judge and I mentioned Seth MacFarlane, these are artists in 2D animation who've made monster killings. Few years ago that Simpson's movie beat out several CG movies in Box Office receipts. I think we all know the flood of CG movies is just a double-knee-jerk reaction for the purposes of making money only. Greedy investors greenlight it just on the fact it's CG and studios greenlight it because it gets investor money and distribution flows.

Money is tight nowadays but the movies still make even fatter pockets.

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ColorInAble
IE # 68
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At this point, there is no reason why you can't work on paper. I gotta say, working on cells, maybe not, but for getting it down, if you use paper (it's going to be fun saying this) THERE IS NO SHAME IN THAT!!!

The real truth is...
It's what ever it takes to get the look you want, to tell the story you are telling, within the budget and time constraints of the project...

And it is a shame that Cell Animation is going away, but people who paint cells want to get paid a living wage, as do people who run the cranes.

And when Illustrator can take your hand drawings and ink and paint them, and then export them as cells with transparency and everything, into whatever you want to animate with, that's your ink and paint department, and you are almost "Crane" ready. (You could use Flash for this process and skip the export...)

And a copy of Illustrator and or Flash is a lot cheaper than some paint artists mortgage and car payments (did I mention food?, etc...)

Yeah, the people who did the "Heavy Lifting" in Animation are being replaced by Software. But the animators who made the characters move, they are different now depending on the work flow, but those jobs still exist. It's a lot of work to get a static drawing (3D model, Flash Instance, whatever) into a vibrant living character, and while there isn't need for people to ink 10,000 cells for 7 minutes, there still is the need to make Homer, be he 2D or 3D, eat the doughnut. That's animators work.

As for the content creation and ownership. Yes, that's great, I wish you the best, wish me the same, I have my "Properties". If everyone only made their own content, there would be very few animated feature length movies. Probably only 1 or 2 per person, and it would take their whole lives. That's for a traditional cell animated movie.

But not now though, with software it only takes about 4 years. If you were really prolific and only worked on your own projects, you might be able to make 10 feature length movies in 40 years. I've worked on stuff approaching this, and as nice as some of it is, it can never be a "Bolt", or "Beowulf", because that level of animated filmmaking takes more than a two dozen people.

It's silly to depend on you having a hit property. It's like being in high school, and depending on becoming a NBA player just because you play basketball on the varsity team. I'm not saying "Don't Try", but maybe you want to have a somewhat deeper portfolio than that.

I've known people who just crank out properties here in L.A., trying to have a hit one. And some of them can't draw a lick, and need artist. And I hate to say it, but some artists properties are really bad and boring.

Just because you can draw (model, whatever...) a wonderful character, and make it jump flawlessly through a flaming hoop, doesn't mean you can put words in it's mouth, or plan an interesting adventure for it to have.

If you bank your whole life substance solely on your property, it better be great. Or you'll be really hungry your whole life.

Especially since the reality of all the artists here who have been lauded and admired (Judge, McFarlane, etc...) may be able to write, but note how they work with writers.

And you know, just like those writers on those shows, sometimes what you could add to a production, even if it isn't of "Ownership" level, can make a real difference in the final piece.

By the way, did I ever mention, How is anyone ever going to learn and grow, both themselves and the art form of animation, if everyone only works on their own projects and never collaborates.

BTW... Traditional Cell Animation was much worse for the environment, but the biggest part of that is film processing, and we can get around that now...

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EustaceScrubb
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Is ART dead ? Only if the artists roll over and die.
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Greg B
IE # 118
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Right on Eustace!

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Charles
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Wondering how many of the million dollar animators actually ventured out and started their own studios, or produced an independent project or film?

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