Animation techniques united. Texture and timeliness when hand drawn and CG blend.

Giant Ant’s animation for TOMS is a beautiful example of combining the depth of 3D with the textures of 2D animation. The blend works so well because of the painterly design and cell shaded characters marrying superbly with the lighting. The process of compositing is important. If lighting, perspective and scaling are out of place, it becomes jarring. In this case, Giant Ant designed a graphic representation of our world, to allow the animation to move from 3D to 2D effortlessly.

Giant Ant/Client: TOMS

What I really love about 3D is the fact that it is embracing 2D with open arms. Combining flatness and fluidity of 2D with the depth and interest within 3D. For me, the idea started when Disney released an animated short called ‘Paperman’. The combination of the line drawn art style with 3D cell-shaded work gave us that texture we were all craving.

Paperman by videobash

Hand drawn is Timeless

Someone once wrote how hand-drawn animation is timeless in comparison to CG animation. The level of detail in CG would always date the film. The biggest example for me is Toy Story franchise which graphically grows from 1 to 3. The point I want to draw from this is how combining the two (hand-drawn and CG) would help give a timeless feel but using today’s available technology.

It would make CG feel more human.

Fallin Floyd- Combination of 2d characters and 3D environments.

Humanity in animation techniques

Upon reading more comments on a Chris Oatley blog about ‘Paperman’ another great point was made about the feeling of humanity in animation techniques. Let’s explore this. In short, hand drawn animation has more imperfections and therefore feels more human like.

Ultimately because it is done by a human hand. CG can be very clean so it has to really focus on the likability and realistic feel of animation, lighting and composition (along with other parts of film production). While CG can still produce that warmth, adding texture (in other words hand drawn styles) and putting back in those imperfections will make it feel more human.

I am very aware that it sounds like I am knocking CG animation but I know there are some wonderful films that have been made through this medium. I just feel that combining both within a feature length film will produce something that engages all the senses.

Curveball Tara

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