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Cool stuff in here! I dig your style, and hope to see more!
I've been meaning to ask for a while ... do you see 3D animation overtaking 2D on TV over the next couple of years, the way it took over features? I've heard that might be happening, and I'm asking others in the industry for their insight. I'm considering learning 2D animation, but if 3D is going to dominate soon, well, what's the point? I think I've read on here that you do some 3D as well.
Sin Eater: Thanks ^_^. I was in such a funk recently I decided to just do fun stuff for a while. I've had an interest into expanding into flash-game art for a while - so that's where the isometric stuff came in.
There are some pretty good links on going about it. It's easier than I thought it was, when you find the right approach.
Thanks Whirly -I had fun drawing him
diamandis: Animation in general was really weakened by the tough economy. Arts are the first thing to get cut in the budget, so a lot of subsidies and funding that animation relied on got cut.
It is recovering though, and the demand for jobs in my area is really taking off. (My field is 2D television shows animated in Toonboom Harmony)
Computers are taking over the industry- but I don't feel like there's a shortage of 2D - just traditional animation. Anything hand drawn is done on a cintiq - not paper.
A lot of 2D animation now is cut-out, so there's less demand for high-skill drafts people. It's actually making it easier to get a job in 2D. Many of the people I have worked with cannot draw very well, or not at all.
*random note -- Cut-out is frequently misclassified as "Flash animation" because that's the most common software. Toonboom's Harmony is really starting to gain ground though- and that's what I specialize in. Conveniently there's a big shortage of people with in-depth knowledge of Harmony so I'm finding myself turning down job offers instead of scratching around looking for one.
Anyway- I've wandered away from your questions -
Is 2D disappearing? Nope. The more the echonomy recovers, the more work there's going to be. 3D is hyped up, it's newer and flashy - you can do crazy shit with it -but when the money starts kicking around, and people aren't hand to mouth- they're gonna care about art again. 2D will be back in features for sure.
2D is cheap- tv loves it. I don't think there will be a huge surge in classical hand-drawn animation- but 2D cutout stuff is not going anywhere. Can't do Spongebob in 2D. Plus there's lots of jobs in flash games, and online stuff.
Why learn 2D? It's much easier to tranition from 2D to 3D. You don't have to pick one. If you study 2D they don't lock you out of the 3D clubhouse - but if you learn 3D, you might not have the skill set for 2D.
2D = stronger drawing skills, You've learned to look for silhouette, balance, rhythm and movement. It's very easy to translate that into 3D - you learn the software, and move the puppet.2D forces you to be more economical with movement, each pose is important because you don't get an endless amount of time to do tonnes of crazy things. It makes you work more.
3D, you get used to the computer translating the movement for you. The endless possibility for camera angles takes away the emphasis on silhouette. The puppet can do anything - gymnasitc flips- foreshortened poses, upshots, down-shots. Most of my time in 3D is spend in the graph editior - tweaking curves.
I can work in 3D - but I don't enjoy it. There's no artistry left for me. Here's a puppet move it around. meh.
Speaking of being swamped with work! I'm working on 3 shows right now so today's update is WEAK! All my professional work is tied up in NDA- so this'll have to tide everyone over.
Thanks! You're always very generous with your help. I've said it before, but it'd be great if there was a button on here to tip people $1 if they're giving out useful info. I feel guilty getting this free. I'd lose a lot of money, though.
Anyway, when you say "cut-out," I'm guessing you mean vector? You can't possibly mean a literal paper cut-out? I know South Park started out with paper cut-outs, but they use Maya now, I think (which seems like overkill).
If you don't have to draw with these new 2D workflows, who ... draws? Just the character designers? They do model sheets that the animators trace or what? Or the designers create the cutouts themselves?
I hear you on 3D. I've tried to teach myself a couple times over the years, but I get tired of it really fast, because my influence on the end product seems so ... indirect. There's so many intermediaries between me and a rendered frame of animation. I like drawing better because it's the opposite: I make a mark, and there it is. And you can have a finished drawing way faster than you can a model. AND you have to know so much about 3D modeling/animation before you can do anything at all. With drawing, even if you can't draw so well, you can at least draw something relatively easily, even if it comes out looking wonky.
Re: graph editor and curves: don't you deal w/ the same things for Flash / ToonBoom?
EDIT: forgot to add, the face of the fireball girl in the upper left is great, along w/ the guy on the far right. The woman in the lower right has some, uh, pretty intense child-bearing hips.
Last edited by diamandis; March 17th, 2013 at 12:10 AM.
great work as always Rhubix , and great advice too! i dont know why but in the last post my favorite sketch is the one on the bottom left with the goatee it makes me think of that one animated movie, i think its called Sinbad or something. I think my favorite part of your characters is how you get such diversity with their noses, a lot of artists draw noses that are quite similar but every one of your characters seems to have a unique nose. just an observation
"Art is never finished, only abandoned." Leonardo Da Vinci
Its awesome that you swamped with work and working at three shows at the moment!! Hope it stays that way!
Thanks so much for your write-up on the sate of 2d animation and 3d it was really interesting. I am a professorial 3D Artist by trade (senior 3d artist in a studio). Considering my favorite artists are Glen Keane, Andreas Daja and Milt Kahl (what James Paick and Feng Zhu a close 4th and 5th) despite this I have so far stayed away from learning 2D animation despite probably really loving it because I was worried there simply wont be any work in it but maybe I am wrong? I am looking at doing environment design instead but if I am wrong about animation it would be amazing!
As it happens as a 3D artist I find character animation the least interesting thing (Lighting and rendering being my favorite). I couldn't agree with you more about how character animation in 3D feels.
Just a super quick question is toon boom vector based? I don't like perfectly clean lines and prefer watching the pencil tests rather than the finished cleaned-up/inked. animation.
Haha, thanks Diamandis - I actully enjoy helping people who are interested in cartooning quite a bit. I didn't have many resources where I grew up - so I know how valuable it can be.
blazingdimensions - noses are my favorite! people don't give them enough credit.
Thanks -Whirly- rumpenstiltzkin
Animation rant continued lol:
Cut-out and a lot of traditional animation is done in vector now.
Cut out is basically when a character is pre-drawn by the designer and then a "breaker" takes that character and creates a 2D puppet for it. I've done quite a bit of work as a breaker
Depending on the production, either the Designer or breaker will do the mouth charts, blinks, and things of that sort- it's all done by the time it gets to the animator.
Wildkratts , a show I did special FX on, is entirely cut-out. The animators don't draw anything. Each character has about 50 hands to choose from- and 10-12 feet. The blinks and mouths are done by designers.
Most television shows are hybrids. The animators work with cut-out puppets and redraw what they need. If a character is just standing or sitting there is very little drawing. In the action shots they probably have to redraw the whole thing. They usually get a bunch of stock hands and a dialogue mouth chart. But to avoid that really stiff look like 6teen has they have to draw quite a bit. It's just not the old-school way of re-drawing the whole thing every time. Now they can just draw arms, legs, or whatever the movement needs. Really heavy action scenes will need a tonne of drawing and coffee.
The two big software giants right now are:
Ugly Americans- heavy drawing in Flash
Motor City (on Disney XD) is also heavy drawing in flash.
Wak-fu only-in french, another hybred- and in my opinion the best looking flash work I have ever seen.
Almost Naked Animals
I think My little pony... not 100% sure
Ruby Gloom (pretty sure all cut-out)
And Practically any of the recent Nevlana shows, 6teen, Total Drama Island - These are often falsely labeled as flash because they are cutout.
Harmony was also used in parts of The Princess and the Frog - I think Inking, colour and maybe FX - but I'm not 100% sure.
graph editor and curves: don't you deal w/ the same things for Flash / ToonBoom?
They exist, but I don't use them much. They're not nearly as refined and I like to do my ease ins-outs by hand. I tend to draw more than I need to, because I'm a fast drawer and I wont fall behind doing that. Most TV shows want 40-50 seconds of animation a week, so you have to balance what you want to do with what you can get done in the time given.
That's why cut-out is so prolific. It's fast and fast means cheap.
Is toon boom vector based? Yes, but the drawing tools are a million times better than flash - that's why I cling to it. When I animate in it I'll use a 30% opacity brush with 0 smooth, and it's just like drawing in photoshop with the round brush. It's definitely worth picking up the trial version to play with. I'm a Harmony fan-girl for sure.
Back to 2D vs 3D
The amount of work for each depends on geography. In Canada, Vancouver has most of the 3D work. Toronto - Hamilton area and Halifax have most of the 2D work, Montreal has a bunch of both. I can't vouch for other countries.
In general you need to live in a city to be an animator. There are exceptions to the rule, but you should never count on being the exception.
Learning both just means you can apply to more jobs. I can't emphasize enough- You don't have to pick a job and stick to that. You are not an animator- or a modeler. Your not 2D OR 3D.
I'm kind of the "Rover" at work. My main job currently is a breaker, but when I got way ahead of schedule they let me work on other shows, take on animation, make mouth charts.Whoever is falling behind they send me that way. It's a lot of fun.
Having worked in so many different parts of the pipeline I also get thrown in the teacher roll a lot. I've gotten sent as far as Colombia to train people there.
Don't box yourself into a roll. When the contract is up they kick you out. If you can do layout, animation, breaking, FX, composting, and you make a damned good pot of coffee, they'll be stupid to lay you off .
And because I can't post without putting up some work- here's the 1 page of SB I haven't posted yet, and some artwork sent to me by my Niece for my fridge- because she is awesome.
Do you mind if I post this rant over at the Sheridan Hopefuls thread, I think they might find it really useful since a lot of em prefer to work in 2D and I think it will be great advice for em. I wanted to ask about the difficulty of breaking into the American industry for 2D animation as a Canadian because it seems most popular feature films and stuff are made there?
Breaking into the industry is a bit of a tough cookie- it takes 2 years of experience for people to take you seriously - so getting those first jobs is tough. Basically just keep throwing yourself out there, taking jobs that aren't particularly fun - like scene set up. Once you have 2 years it gets easier. Have a nice demo reel- do okay in a job interview and you should find work.
Breaking into the US field is a bit of a different story. The people I know who have done it are really solid. If your good at what you do you can find work anywhere. A company probably wont think Average Joe is worth the effort of sponsoring a work Visa. There are lots of Local Joes to fill those rolls- and local workers usually get government subsidies or tax advantages for the company.
Here is me as a pirate -I have to stop procrastinating now >.<
The last sketch is pretty adorable lol. We want more stuff though :3!
I'm a peacock, you gotta let me fly!
Hey Rhubix, thanks for stopping by as always. Also, this rant you've been sharing is quite valuable. It's always nice to hear it from the inside. I myself, having been aged, and behind in drawing, actually considered that simply learning software and 3d might be a shortcut to employment. Because drawing then just isn't as important to know. Also having considered that drawing and 2d might become a dying breed. But really in the back of my mind, I know that's just stinking thinking and trying to be lazy or get rich quick mindset. Thankfully, I've been able to dispense those thoughts when they creep. But I too feel that 2d will always have a place. Regardless, I do want to dabbleand learn both at some point, and very much look forward to it, because of all things the software and computer are the easiest things for me to learn. But for now I will maintain 2d studies for the fundamental benefits & requirements, and of course the challenge. I'm very glad to hear you are swamped, and even at times turning work down. You are most deserving of such a scenario. Look forward to more updates and sketches when you can, I hate this NDA crap, because I'd love to see some of your Pro work you're on now. Anyways, even when you are simply updating I think for the sake of it, it's awesome man!
Yes. I can only speak of my personal experience -I'm not sure how things work in the US at all. I forget how different it is there, despite being so close.You're talking about Canada, right? I've heard that the US doesn't do that, while other countries do, which is part of the reason a bunch of special effects companies in the US went belly-up recently.
Thanks V3T- one of my contracts is ending soon (unless they extend it) so I should be producing more personal work soon!
I STRaY I - always a pleasure . I always encourage people to learn as much about everything they can. Among the people I went to school with are animators, designers, storyboarders, breakers, layout artists, bg design, painters. - some work in Maya, afterFX, Harmony, story board pro - there are lots of rolls to fill - so go explore
Some bus stuff! ball point pen in white- and grey is sketchbook pro -Got my hands on a tablet for portable digitals - I'm used to drawing on 7680x4320 in photoshop- so it's been a fun exercise to draw lower rez and with much lower pressure sensitivity.
Nice updates. Looks like you are having fun with your new tablet. I got one recently but I sent it back because Im used to my cintiq 21 inch and there just wasn't enough real estate to have what ever pdf or video I have open that I am working from. It seemed perfect for what you are doing though! I'm just not ready to be drawing from imagination all the time yet unfortunately!
Hopefully with your new tab it means even more frequent updates because more opportunities to draw on the go!
thanks Whirly- I don't work from reference very much anymore. with so little free time I've put aside study for fun. Plus - if I'm drawing on the go I usually just draw inspiration from the people and things around me.
More than the screen size I miss the resolution- going to have to play with some settings and get a bigger canvas for next time .
WIP I started last night- took some of my sketches of rock hair people and flushed them out a bit. Genaric T poses- but there's some colour !
cleaned my desk at work and brought home some doodles.
My freelance stuff isn't available until tomorrow so I have all day to draw what ever I want sleep in+ Pajamas+coffee+ sketching- having a great morning.
I hope you all are too!!
Hot elf-girl on the yellow post-it.
I know you wear many hats for your animation contracts. Do you do a lot of environments or not really? I was looking at some of Paul Felix's enviro drawings a while back ... really inspiring stuff.
Mr.Sketchasarus, looking forward to that freelance stuff!?!
Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience about 2D/3D art with us, and the animation industry in general! I feel pretty sad that it's mostly cut-out though. I studied 2D animation but realize there was no drawing involved in the job market (Other than storyboarding), so I decided to steer towards concept art... Not surprised you have to turn down work.. your stuff look amazing.
ps. Is that drawing on post-it-notes on post #677?? Amazed that your drawing can look so loose on such a small piece of paper.
diamandis - bgs are on my to-do list, but I haven't done them in studio yet. My current contract has included breaking, props, clean up, character animation, mouth charts, tech support, instructor (including a lot of how-to documents) - and I've got animation-revision on my plate for next week- and probably some compositing... I can never say I'm bored that's for sure!
I STRaY I - that's Mrs. Sketchasaurus to you - oh but the freelance can't be shown - the NDA for that one is as thick as my face! I can't even say what the show is called >.< - I just meant my work-package wouldn't be ready until Sunday, so I got to draw on saturday! ... well that and clean my house ... and by house I mean appartment lol.
Cabbage Caterpillar - always happy to help -- but do note that not ALL animation is cut out. In fact of the 4 shows I've worked on in the past 6 months only 1 was pure cut out. Most are hybreds - yes the character is broken and rigged, but that just makes it easier to re-draw pieces. Like drawing overlapped legs isn't as much of a pain - or having the hair swing behind the back - because it's on a seperate layer.
Depending on the show the drawing can vary. It just means that people who have good drawing skills get hired more - because they qualify for more.
AND - remember that "animation" includes lots of sub-genres. bg design, Layout, bg painting, character / prop design, FX, compositing, story boarding, breaking, animation,
oh and YEP - I love post-its!!! I always keep a stack on my desk - My husband got me those colourful ones for our anniversary last year-- 1st year is paper ^_^
Here's what I did Saturday -it's not nearly as dark on my cintiq as on CA... gotta calibrate something... and I donno if I like the dude there... he's on a separate layer so I can just ax him later... and the girl has a really long torso..... gotta fix this one I think lol. I will add a close up of the cute bottles to distract from the bad proportions.
Last edited by Rhubix; March 27th, 2013 at 09:11 PM.
Haha, boy do I feel like a fool Rhubix! My apologies. And I see, NDA boo-crap. At least you have it, I only dream of talking about NDA someday. Curious.. And hopefully, unlike the honorific I completely flubbed previously, I didn't miss this. Knowing me, I did. But I was just wondering if you have any of your own IP's or plans for some, I see these characters you've been making seem to all be of the same universe, unless people with crystal hair are common!?!
Potte2ran - guess I should change it to neglect instead of dabble, recently lol. Threre's a still life about 3 months back...
I STRaY I- I wasn't super clear. but NDA is super lame. TV shows are made a year or more before air dates. I did fx on seasons 3-4 of a show called Wildkratts, and they've only aired season 2.
as for IP's - I'm not really an "idea guy". I write really bad novels when I'm not drawing- and sometimes I'll sketch out scenes I'm thinking about and draw those. But mostly this is just random stuff. The crystals started as little doodles, and were just kind of fun. Then, a friend reminded me of the show Shadow Raiders (I think it's called war planets or something in the USA) - they have rock characters and it just fueled the fire lol.
A few friends and I were working on a web-series, but all of us have been so busy lately it's been pushed to the back burner.
If someone came along and wanted to use my work for something I'd consider it - but I don't have any plans to pitch stuff.
Lovely style. The lines are very expressive. I also like the more painterly attempts with the style. You should definitely keep that up as well to really round out your skill set. Great work mate! Keep posting!
Nice, writing bad novels is a must do. One day I hope to do the same with pictures, but that is sooo much work. So yeah, I was just wondering because I had seen the theme there with the crystal heads and also the pirates & was just curious if it's something you were working on for yourself, and figured if it was for someone else you couldn't share it. I think it's always cool if someone can get something created for themselves in their free time like that. Something that has it's own world you know. But it's got to be so difficult. Having interesting and cool ideas is really hard, I think. Your characters often have that feel that they could be existing somewhere, which is cool.
I STRaY I - I'm a pretty bad writer lol - but I find it fuels my drawing a lot. Anything that looks scene-like or characters interacting is probably from something I've written or a story idea. The rock-hair just started out as something fun to do, and I started throwing it in a bunch of places. It's also much easier to render geometric shapes than hair ! There was a while in the early part of this SB that I went on a fantasy kick and drew a tonne of satyrs, elves, and stuff like that.
Sometimes I think I'll take an idea and run with it -- maybe do a graphic novel, something like Sky Doll, but I'm not good at following through on stuff like that. I have so many ideas I can't really settle on one thing.
I also still have so much to learn- when I'm trying to design environments I'm never really satisfied with anything. I struggle with structural proportions a lot. I don't have a good 'visual library', so I've picked up on the costume studies, and exploring that kind of thing.
Maybe when I've gained more confidence in my work I might put something together. For now I'll just keep doing lots of different stuff and trying to improve -- leave the finished products to my professional life. I've gotten asked to post finished work a lot, but the truth is I don't really create many finished illustrations at home.
It's much easier with clients. I have never had trouble finishing someone else project. I think it's the lack of consequence when working on a personal project. If I don't finish- or I play starcraft instead of working, I'm not going to fire myself. - just another thing to put on the improve list, I suppose.
doodles- loving the long weekend! I have some pen stuff, but I'm too lazy to scan it- next time!
free time is awesome!
did some quicky enviros- played with the goo-eggs. some sloppy ink sketches. Hopefully I'll be back to meaningful updates, now that I'm done with my latest free lance contract.
one last one before I run out of weekend!