The question, is 2D animation really dead? There are some cases, and some places, where this may seem to be the case, but the reason is not what you may think. It's not because audiences out there are tired of 2D, traditional animation and no longer want to see it. The reason is largely because of the cost to produce said 2D, traditional animation.
When you go to make a $150+ million movie, you can't take any risks. This means the studios are going to go with what has worked before. In this case, the animated movies that have made a lot of money in recent history, have all been 3D. But that's not the only reason.
2D animation has survived on television mainly because of Flash or other forms of vector based animation. It is only through the use of these vector based tools that 2D animation can remain competitive in the modern market. You see, the cost to produce a half hour episode of animation in Flash, can be as little as a quarter of the cost to produce traditional, 2D animation, and this is talking about the kind of limited animation used in anime TV series!
The cost to produce 3D animation, however, just gets cheaper and cheaper, as is the case with any form of technology. I talked in the previous episode about game engine rendering. Tools like this are making the production of high quality 3D animation fast and inexpensive. So now you see a lot of shows on television, especially here in China, being done in 3D animation. They are simple, but pleasant to look at and audiences are connecting with them.
This isn't to say that audiences don't connect with 2D, but there is yet another reason. You now have a generation of young people who grew up on video games. They live in a world in which 3D has always existed. Toy Story is pretty old after all. For this generation, 2D animation is something old. They are simply more used to 3D.
On top of this, there are more job opportunities in the world of 3D animation, and they pay more. In some places, a LOT more, which is certainly the case in China and Japan. So what are kids going to study? They are going to go where the money is. This means there are fewer and fewer people even interested in learning how to do 2D, traditional animation.
The famous film director Hayao Miyazaki said that when 2D finally dies, it won't be because people no longer want to see it, it will be because the artists with the true skill to do it will have all disappeared.
All of this can make it seem like 2D is dead, but there is one arena where it doesn't have to be. That is the arena of the independent creator. The indie creator can use the amazing tools available today to create fast and cheap 2D animation, without the restrictions of the big studios. The indie can take those risks! The independent animator can leverage the techniques and software on the market today, some of it even free, to create the way they want to create, and keep 2D alive.
Finally we take a look at Anigen Final Secrets.
This is the fastest and easiest animation technique ever developed, to help any indie creator get started on the road to seeing their dreams come alive on screen!
This is the first in what I hope will be a series of informative videos to help creators on the road to getting your project done. It doesn't matter whether you want to do independent animation, comics, games or films, you will find, in this series, information on the industries, the tools and software being used and even learn new and innovative ways to use them.
This series will help introduce you to The Indie Life, which is who you, as a creator, can take control of your destiny by using your skills, as an artist, musician, filmmaker or game designer, to make living doing what you love. Yes, I am going to talk about how to make money doing what you love, be it graphic novels, animation, games or films.
In this first video, I will discuss realtime rendering using Game Engine technology and some thoughts I had about this after coming across Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness. I tell the story of how I used to go into this small restaurant in Southern China, near my office, and always notice the bosses son watching Kung Fu Panda. It took a while before I realised he wasn't watching the film every day.
After I started looking into the Kung Fu Panda TV series, I started thinking a lot about rendering in real time with Game Engine Technology. If you look at the trailers for amazing PS4 games like Uncharted 4, you will see that game engines can render the most amazing images and scenery today. The question then becomes: Can this technology help you create your own show? I believe it can! Today, with tools like MODO 10, which has many new features ideal for work in games, and Unreal Engine 4, you have a pathway to create freedom before your eyes!
We'll take a detailed look at this in the video.
Finally, I will show you Anigen Final Secrets, the fastest and easiest animation technique I have ever developed. A WYSIWYG method of creating shows that puts everything in your control, and your dreams at your fingertips.
Here is why you have to build momentum well in advance of the release of your project. Louis CK apparently surprised fans with the release of his new web series Horace and Pete. With no build up, getting a hungry audience waiting for the release, he found himself in serous debt as a result.
According to the A.V. Club, "CK says he became so enamored with the idea of surprising fans, he kind of forgot he had to sell the thing as well:"
"I didn’t tell anybody about it cause here’s the thing: I got so excited by the idea of having a show appear from nothing. So I made the first four and I didn’t tell nobody, and it made a nice little amount of money, but when I got to episode four I was like “Hey gang, I don’t have any money!” So I had to take out a line of credit… I’m millions of dollars in debt right now."
Rather than use established services like Vimeo on Demand or Amazon, Louis CK chose to sell the show for approximately $3 per episode from his own website. You may remember he made big news years ago, and I certainly wrote a lot about it, when he released his own comedy special for $5 from his website and made over $1 million is a couple of weeks selling it. We can only hope as press continues about his latest endeavour, that fans will jump in and buy the show, allowing him to profit enough to pay actors like Steve Buscemi and Alan Alda their cut.
The animation production software Toonz, developed in conjunction and used by Studio Ghibli, will be released Open Source on March 26th. A Japanese developer, Dwango, has apparently acquired the software from the Italian developer, Digital Video, and will release the "Ghibli Edition" of the tool under the name Opentoonz.
Atsushi Okui, the Executive Imaging Director at Studio Ghibli, said, “During the production of Princess Mononoke in 1995, we needed a software which enables us to create a certain section of the animation digitally. We checked for what was available at that time and chose Toonz. Our requirement was that in order to continue producing theater-quality animation without additional stress, the software must have the ability to combine the hand-drawn animation with the digitally painted ones seamlessly. From then onwards we continued to use the software while going through major updates to make it easier for us to use. We are happy to hear that this open-source version contains the Ghibli Edition. We hope that many people inside and outside of the animation industry will utilize this software for their work. We would like to extend our gratitude to the staff of Digital Video.”
Read more at AWN.
With so much content out there on the Internet today, it is extremely rare to come across something that actually impresses. Recently, I came across something that did just that. Featuring a very creative mix of 2D hand-drawn animation, 3D cel shaded work, and 3D VFX, this work is one of the most amazing independent projects I have seen coming up in a very long time.
The creator, who goes by the name of Daetrix, posted to the Black Science Fiction Society Facebook group saying:
"I almost never let my sci fi anime out for public viewing due to a few people telling me "Black people don't like science fiction" This labor of love is based on my life and bouts with Sleep paralysis and lucid dreams. I joined a few groups in hopes to find like-minded folks to share it with. "
So why am I so impressed with this? Well, one of the things that stood out immediately for me, was the sheer creativity behind this. Most independent projects out there, including some of mine I must say, are just rips of things that already exist. They just want to copy anime, or Marvel comics, or other properties that we have seen before. That is not the case here. This project is showing some amazing imagery which is really new for our industry.
This creator is also following a true independent path. Rather than jumping on the bandwagon of major publishers, he is looking to forge his own road. Hoping to find like-minded people in order to share his talent with, he has set up a page on Patreon. You may remember that I spoke about this service in the Chaos Retro video. This lets creators connect directly with their fans and receive support for their creative endeavors. This means that artists can create what they want to create without editors and publishers telling them how to do it. You can see his Patreon page here.
Seeing this has definitely motivated me to do more, push harder, and be more productive in my own efforts. How about you?