It deals with two-dimensional applications such as graphic design, photography, weaving, and collage. As a contrary to AP Studio Art Drawing, focus is applied on the design itself instead of the composition of the artwork. 2D is "flat", using the horizontal and vertical (X and Y) dimensions, the image has only two dimensions and if turned to the side becomes a line. 3D adds the depth (Z) dimension. This third dimension allows for rotation and visualization from multiple perspectives.
A 2d design professional draws 2-dimensional, or flat, images used in mechanical drawings, electrical engineering projects, video games, animation, clothing construction and architecture. While the majority of 2d design professionals work full time, they may occasionally put in long hours to meet deadlines.
PRINCIPLES: Balance – can be Symmetrical or Asymmetrical. Symmetrical = dividing a composition into two equal halves with seemingly identical elements on each side. Repetition/Rhythm – a repeating visual element (line, shape, pattern, texture, movement); a flowing and regular occurrence.
We used to watch a lot of animated movies and cartoons when I was young. Every time we saw a scene, a pose or an expression from a character that we really liked, we would pause it and try to copy it into my sketchbook. Although that really annoyed my sisters, who were watching tv with me, it helped me become a better artist and in a way, that's how we discovered what we wanted to do for the rest of my life.
Of course, we didn’t know how those movies that we loved so much were made. When we discovered it was amazed. we couldn’t believe how hard animators had to work to create just one single movie.
What basically made me want to do this project about animation was a conversation we had with a group of friends some time ago. We were discussing how difficult it might have been to make a certain movie that was in theatres at that moment. In the middle of the conversation, one of them said: “Well, obviously it is much more complicated to do a live action movie than an animated one. Animated movies are for kids, they must be so easy to make” She thought that cartoons were automatically produced by computer.
How many people didn’t know how hard it is to animate something? we suddenly felt the urge to correct her and tell her how wrong she was. we needed to spread the word and tell the people how animation movies are truly made. This research project was the perfect opportunity to do so.
Although making this project in Catalan would have been a lot easier for me, we chose to do it in English. Basically, we wanted to know the official vocabulary and terms animators use without translating them. Also, we have always dreamed of studying at least one university course abroad, so we thought this could be a good practice before I went to college.
We decided to focus my project on 2D animation because everyone had told me to work on something that was more specific than just animation in general. Although we love 3D animated movies, We thought that it would be better to follow their advice.
The main purpose this project was to make people value more those movies that they considered “for children” or “little kids”. Decided that if I made at least one person change their minds about animated movies or cartoons, this project would have been worth it.
The field of professional 2D animation has not profited much from advances in computer-assisted animation. Most professional studios still animate by hand, using a process that has changed little since the 1950’s. In striking contrast to related fields such as commercials, art and 3D animation, 2D animation studios use computers in a supporting rather than a central role. Walt Disney Feature Animation  is the exception; they have been using a computer assisted system since 1987. The key issues identified by Edwin Cat mull 17 years ago remain issues today. Why are computer graphics tools so difficult to apply to 2D animation? It is not enough to simply solve technical problems. The studio must also be convinced. Today’s creation process is essentially a production line, in which a studio of 50 to 300 people work together to produce tens of thousands of drawings for a single feature film or television episode. Everyone has a specified role and follows detailed procedures to move from one stage to the next. Any This work was supported by the French Centre National de la Cinematography and by the Media Program of the EU. attempt to computerize the traditional set of tasks must take into account overhead costs in both time and quality. This paper begins by describing the animation process, to illustrate the problems faced by 2D animation studios. We then examine other solutions, partial or global, that have already been proposed. We then describe TicTacToon and evaluate it based on how well it addresses specific technical issues, handles user interface concerns and fits within the social organization of an animation studio.
The Traditional Animation Process
Most steps involve an exposure sheet, which lists all the frames in a scene. Each line includes the phoneme pronounced by each character and the order and position in which the camera will shoot the figures and the background. Each scene requires a set of stages, of which only the background can be painted in parallel with the animation stages (from key-frame to paint). The stages include:
- Story Board: Splits script into scenes with dialog and music.
- Sound Track: Records dialog and music in prototype form. Sound Detection: Fills the dialog column of an exposure sheet.
- Layout: Manages the drawing of backgrounds and main character positions, with specifications for camera movement and other animation characteristics.
- Background Painting: Paints the background according to the layout. Key Frame Animation: Draws extreme positions of characters as specified by the layout. Provides instructions for the inbetweeners.
- In-Battening: Draws the missing frames according to the key frame animator’s instructions. Cleaning: Cleans up the drawings to achieve final quality of the strokes.
- Paint: Photocopies the clean drawings onto acetate celluloid (cells) and paints zones with water color.
- Check: Verifies animation and backgrounds according to the layout and approves for shooting. Record: Shoots frame-by-frame on film or video, using a rostrum
State of the Art:
Robertson’s survey of commercial computer graphics systems identifies two main types of animation systems: Ink and Paint and Automated In-Battening. In both cases, all artwork is drawn on paper and later digitized and managed by the computer after the cleaning stage.
- Ink and Paint Systems
Ink and Paint systems perform the following steps, starting from scanned images of each animated character:
- Remove noise from images.
- Close gaps between strokes to prepare for paint.
- Paint using seed-fill.
- Compose images of characters and backgrounds, applying zoom, rotation and pans as in a rostrum.
- Record on film or video.
- Automated In-Betweening Systems
Automated In-Battening systems begin with a scanned key frame and perform the following steps: Clean and victories, sometimes using semi-automatic methods.
- Match pairs of drawings or match drawings to a template (see below).
- Paint, if colors are not part of the template.
- Interpolate in-betweens according to an exposure sheet.
- Render and compose images of characters and backgrounds, applying zoom, rotation and pans as in a rostrum.
- Record on film or video.
- Put in database for reuse.
- Technical Issues
Catmull and, more recently, Durand discuss several technical issues to address in order to provide an effective system. We review some of them here.
- Input of drawings
All commercial systems involve scanning drawings. Ink and Paint systems — like PEGS and Toonz — must scan every drawing whereas Automated In-Betweening systems — like Animo— need only scan the key drawings. Catmull mentions tablets as a possible solution, but Durand argues that, “as sophisticated as they may be at this time, [they] could not offer the same versatility as traditional tools.” Toonz and PEGS scan drawings at a multiple of the final resolution to avoid jaggies. PEGS can optionally micro-vectorize scanned animations. The Animo system provides tools for automatic tracing from the scanned key drawing. In all cases, an operator is required for checking the results.
- Automated In-Betweening
The two main classes of Automated In-Betweening systems are based on templates or explicit correspondence. In template-based systems, a designer creates a template for each character. Animators must then restrict the character’s movements according to the template. An operator must specify the correspondence between each key frame and the template. Explicit correspondence systems use two key drawings and generate in-betweens on a curve-by-curve basis. An operator is also required to specify the correspondence between the curves on the two key drawings. Sometimes, a zero-length curve must be created when a new detail appears or disappears between them.
- Animation Painting
Ink and Paint systems use an area flooding algorithm. All systems optimize the painting when successive drawings of a character contain zones that are mostly aligned and have the same color. Automated In-Betweening systems associate graphic attributes with zones during the specification of correspondence.
- Construction of Image Layers
Ink and Paint systems only manipulate pixel images. They support transforms to the geometry (pan, zoom, rotate), as well as to the color intensity, as described in. In addition, all the commercial systems can apply special effects — specified in the software exposure sheet — to layers (color transforms, blur, transparency, etc.) Vector-based systems use a variant of the scan-line algorithm to transform their graphical structure into a pixel image. For graphical attributes, flat colors and constant transparency are simple to implement. Automated In-Betweening systems such as can also use textures and shading on animated characters since they can maintain space coherence.
- Composition of Image Layers
Ink and Paint systems compose the layers using the alpha-blending arithmetic. Vector-based systems can choose to compose layers at the pixel level or manage the composition during scan-conversion . Commercial products provide no information about this point. For recording, all current computer-assisted systems use the rostrum model to specify the way images are composed, positioned and turned relative to the camera. A rostrum includes a camera, a set of movable transparent trays holding the cels and a background area. The camera axis is always perpendicular to the layers of cels, but can be panned, moved forward or back, and zoomed in or out. Cels can also be moved or rotated on the trays. The rostrum model makes managing an animation’s perspective difficult. The animator must use traditional techniques for drawing perspective and translate it into the physical movement of the different layers of the rostrum. The computer system can only check if the calculation was correct and help to fix errors. Although Levoy has proposed using a 3D editor, no commercial system has implemented one.
- Other Computer Tools
Studios are not hostile to computer systems. They already use computer tools to assist them in stages such as storyboarding, sound detection, and layout. However, the data they produce must be re-entered into the process by hand. Storyboards can be fine-tuned with an editing system by mixing rough images with a sound track. The resulting storyboard must then be re-entered by hand.
Sound Detection can be performed automatically by transforming the sound track into a list of phonemes which are then be transcribed by hand onto an exposure sheet.
Complicated layouts can be created with a 3D program, live action or rot scoping. However, these cannot be integrated: the layout is printed on paper and used as in a traditional layout.
Animation can be checked with pencil tests. The animators record several drawings on a computer and play the animation in real time. Each drawing must be input with a scanner or camera and a subset of the exposure sheet must be typed in. Although computers have been available at this stage for some time, they are not always efficient. Animators must usually wait for the equipment, so they tend to draw more in-betweens than necessary. They later remove them, after checking the action on the pencil test machine.
Animation with TicTacToon
TicTacToon is designed to support a paperless 2D animation production line. To be successful, we had to solve a number of technical problems, provide a user interface that enhances the existing skills of professional animators and take into account the existing organizational structure of today’s animation studios. This section describes the overall system and how it addresses each issue.
TicTacToon structures the stages of the production line into a set of tasks. A workstation is assigned to a specific stage and individual tasks are performed within room listed below:
Lobby, Storyboard/Database, Layout, Exposure Sheet, Sketching/Animation, Paint, Render/Record, Scan, Electronic Mail
TicTacToon supports all stages of production, except sound track recording. Major features include:
- a paperless process to avoid changing media,
- resolution independence to use real perspective and to enable reuse of drawings at any zoom level,
- a user interface that replicates the tools used by animators on paper, and
- a 3D model to replace the rostrum model.
These features eliminate many tedious tasks and increase productivity. TicTacToon also provides innovative solutions to the following problems:
- drawing directly on a computer system,
- painting on a vector-based system, and providing an environment acceptable to traditional animators without too much training.
The design of TicTacToon poses several technical problems. This section describes how TicTacToon handles sketching, painting and rendering. Sketching is vector-based and painting uses planar maps and a gap-closing technique.
Vector-based sketching poses two main problems: finding fast enough algorithms and making a user interface suited to the animator’s work. Three steps are involved: providing graphical feedback as the user draws, vectorizing the curve when the pen goes up, and redrawing the curve in place of the traced feedback. Users should not notice the last two steps. The tablet sends an event every time the pen’s state is modified. The state contains a pressure level, ranging from 64 to 512, depending on the digitizer, and X and Y coordinates, with a precision of 0.002 inches. The surface is 18”x12”. Current digitizers can send up to 200 events per second if the user moves quickly enough. TicTacToon uses the brush/stroke model described in. A brush can be any convex shape and is defined by a B´ezier path. A stroke is a line drawn with a brush; the width is modulated by the amount of pressure applied to the pen. Pen pressure is normalized between 0 (no pressure) and 1 (full pressure). The brush shape is scaled according to the pen pressure and a linear modulation function. This function is defined by two scaling factors for pressures 0 and 1. If the factors are equal, the result is a fixed-width pen. In general, though, the scale factors are 0 for pressure 0 and 1 for pressure 1. To compute the strokes, we use a variant of a fast curve fitting algorithm developed by Thierry Pudet. Compared to Plass, Schneider and more recently Gonczarowski, this algorithm tries to optimize the fitting time rather than the number of B´ezier segments that fit a set of sampled points.
Least Squares Curve Fitting
Previous curve fitting algorithms start with the samples, a tolerance parameter and perform the following steps:
1. Filter the samples to reduce noise.
2. Find corners or other singular points.
3. Define an initial parameterization for the samples.
4. Perform a least-squares curve fitting.
5. If the distance between the curve and the samples greatly exceeds the tolerance, split the samples in two parts, apply step 3 to both parts and connect the resulting segments.
6. If the distance between the curve and the samples exceeds the tolerance, change the parameterization and restart at 4.
7. Otherwise, output the segment.
In step 5, two more operations should be performed when splitting the samples: the splitting point should be chosen carefully and the resulting fitted curves should connect smoothly, i.e. the derivative at the splitting point should be evaluated and the least-squares fit should be constrained to maintain the direction of the derivatives at the connecting ends.
Step 5 is the bottleneck for this algorithm. Splitting the samples at the point of maximum distance to the computed curve, as in is computationally expensive, since the distance must be computed for every sample. Yet, this step, together with step 6, is essential for minimizing the number of segments.
Pudet avoids steps 6 and thus avoids computing the distance from the fitted curve to each sample point. Step 5 becomes:
5. If the distance between the curve and any sample point exceeds the tolerance, split the samples in two parts at the middle, apply step 3 to both parts and connect the resulting segments.
6. Otherwise, output the segment.
If the algorithm were used to fit cubic B´ezier segments, it would produce too many small segments. Instead, Pudet fits quintic B´ezier segments, which have more freedom than cubic and tend to fit more samples without re-parameterization.
Variable Width Stroke
Pudet’s algorithm performs a second curve fitting for the outline of the stroke. Our variation improves feedback by eliminating this second fitting. We re compute the curve’s envelope when it is redrawn and cache it to avoid further re computation. We draw the envelope of each curve by generating a single polygon for the whole outline of the curve’s stroke. We have optimized the most common brush shapes, e.g., circles and ellipses. In order to make pressure information independent of the stroke’s geometry, we define a stroke profile that maps a number between 0 and 1 (the normalized curvilinear index or NCI) to the pressure at that point.
For example, the NCI for a point halfway along the stroke would be 5. This technique speeds computation of the envelope polygon and lets the stroke trajectory be modified while still keeping pressure information. Another problem is noise: even the best digitizers suffer from both electronic interference and mechanical vibration. We apply a simple low pass filter to the samples. The fitting in itself filters the data, enabling the system to track the original gesture more accurately. In summary, curve fitting transforms the input samples into a list of quintic B´ezier segments and a stroke profile. Benefits include resolution independence (i.e., smooth curves at all zoom levels), compact representation of the pen’s trajectory and filtering of the original stroke. We have tested the vector-based sketching technique with professional animators for two years. This software requires a workstation with a fast FPU to achieve good performance; we used Digital AXP machines. The results have been very promising. The only problem reported involved performance when sketching and simultaneously running another program that loads the machine.
We can envision a pathological case: drawing a very long stroke without releasing the pen. However, we found that this rarely occurs in practice. Animators only do it when cleaning a drawing and they still take more time to start a new stroke than for TicTacToon to draw the previous one.
Painting with planar maps and gap closing
A drawing consists of a list of strokes. In order to paint it, we must define a set of zones from these strokes, i.e. compute the topology of the drawing. We use the MapKernel library to compute the planar topology defined by a set of Bezier paths. This topology is incrementally modified when adding or removing edges and also supports hit detection. The set of zones is extracted from the planar map as a new set of Bezier paths. To compute the planar map, TicTacToon uses the central path rather than the outlines of each stroke, which halves the planar map’s size. This allows later modifications of the brush strokes, e.g., when reusing a character. However, using central paths causes a problem: a zone that appears closed may actually be open. Even if the edges of the strokes intersect, the central paths may not. We use the algorithm we described in that corrects this problem and finds the other small gaps that are always present in real drawings.
Gaps are closed by adding invisible lines and changing the topology maintained by the Map Kernel. This step takes several seconds and is usually run in the background to avoid making painters wait for the operation to finish. Once the gaps have been closed, a painter simply selects a color and points to the relevant zones. Painted zones are inserted at the beginning of the drawing’s display list as one graphical element. This element consists of a grouped list of background zones, described as Bezier paths with a fill color. Since painted zones are rendered differently, as discussed below, this element is given a special tag.
We use a painter’s algorithm to render each graphic primitive into an image buffer which is then composed into the final image using alpha-blending arithmetic. Our graphical primitives are very similar to PostScript , with the following differences:
- Instead of cubic B´ezier paths, we support B´ezier curves up to the 7th degree, though we only use quintics, cubics, quadratics and lines.
- Pixel images can have an alpha channel. Colors have an alpha component.
- We use a brush shape and a stroke profile to modulate the stroke width.
- Variations of attributes along and/or across the paths are supported, thus providing shading facilities. A Light box used by animators. call them annotations. For now, they apply to color and transparency. An intuitive interface is available to generate such annotations.
The rendering algorithm proceeds by breaking down the strokes into elementary shaded polygons and scan-convert them. First, the central Bezier path is discretized into line segments and normal are computed. Then, if the path only has a pressure profile, the stroke outline is generated and scan-converted. Otherwise, if there is an annotation along the path, attribute values are computed for each vertex of the discretized path and the stroke is split into 4- sided shaded polygons. When there is an annotation across the path, each polygon must be sliced into smaller pieces. The polygons are then scan-converted into the image buffer.
After the last polygon has been processed, the image buffer is merged with the final image. The image buffer is used for applying special effects such as blur. It also helps to alleviate one current limitation of the alpha-blending arithmetic, which assumes that the area of a pixel covered by a polygon is randomly distributed over that pixel. Since the paths produced by the paint program are contiguous and never overlap, if two polygons overlap the same pixel, the total area covered is the sum of each area, which violates the assumption. Our algorithm renders all the components of such structured graphics into the same image buffer and merges pixel values by adding each color/alpha component (the “PLUS” operator of ). The image buffer is then overlaid on the final image, using the regular “OVER” operator.
User Interface Issues
Animators usually spend eight hours a day drawing, so it is critical to make the user interface both comfortable and easy to use. We observed animators at work in order to understand their needs and then iteratively designed the system, responding to their feedback about a series of prototypes. This section describes how traditional animators work and then presents various aspects of TicTacToon’s user interface, emphasizing tools that support sketching and the layout module. Traditional animators work on a Light box. The disk is a sheet of translucent plastic that can be turned, using finger holes at the top and bottom. A strip light behind the disk lights up all layers of tracing paper at once. Paper sheets are punched and inserted into peg bars, usually on top of the disk. The holes act as a reference and are used to accurately position the animations. Animators can work comfortably with this setup all day long.
Animation and Sketching Tools
- TicTacToon’s Animation Editor performs or enhances the following functions of a light box:
- stacking drawings,
- turning the light on or off, for stacks as well as individual drawings,
- changing the position of underlying drawings without actually modifying the drawings themselves,
- quickly flipping between successive sketches to find and check the best stroke position for a movement, and
- zooming, panning and turning the viewport.
Sketching: Animators begin drawing in-betweens by stacking the initial and final key drawings. They put a new sheet of paper on the light box, turn it on, and sketch an in-between, according to the key frame animator’s instructions. They regularly check their drawings by turning off the light. The in-between animator must sometimes superimpose different parts of key drawings. For example, if a character jumps and his arm also moves, the movement of the arm may be seen more easily by superimposing the arms of the two key drawings. Translated into TicTacToon actions, an animator creates a new drawing, drags the two key drawings, drops them into position, and begins sketching with the digitizer pen. Different parts of the key drawing can also be superimposed on the current drawing
Flipping: Animators flip between sketches to check that their animations are correct. This requires manual dexterity, since they place the drawings between their fingers, and limits them to four or five drawings. They must also flip non-sequentially, since drawings are stacked as key 1, key 2 and in-betweens, rather than key 1, in betweens and key 2. TicTacTooncan flip any number of drawings in any order. To create the impression of movement, it is important to switch between drawings in less than 5 milliseconds to maintain retinal persistency. We cannot guarantee this redraw speed since complex vector-based drawings can take an unbounded amount of time to draw. This is not a problem for most animators, but those who use a large number of strokes must check their animations with the pencil test module instead of flipping. Alternatively, we could cache the drawings as Pix maps.
Turning the drawing: The human hand has mechanicalconstraints that limit its precision in some positions. Animators can turn the disk to find the most comfortable and accurate drawing position. Most animators draw with the right hand and use the left for turning the drawing and turning the lightbox on and off. TicTacToonalso lets animators draw with one hand while looking at the drawing on the screen. Special function keys are assigned to the keyboard so that the other hand need not move to perform the following functions: undo/redo, flip up/flip down, turn the viewport, and reset the viewport.
Partial Editing of Strokes: We provide almost unlimited undo/redo. Animators make very few mistakes and would rather erase and redraw a stroke than twiddle with curve parts. We removed tools that enabled them to manipulate the B´ezier curves because they were distracting and never used constructively. We may reconsider this decision if new paradigms for re-editing strokes prove successful.
Graphical feedback from the pen: We have experimented with several devices to provide feedback under the tracing pen. A ballpoint pen can be inserted into some cordless digitizers. If the animator places a sheet of paper on the digitizer, it is possible to draw with both the pen and the computer. However, animators do not like the feel of ball-point pens, which are too soft compared to their usual pencils. Moreover, they cannot “undo” a stroke on paper.
We have also tried a cordless digitizer on an LCD screen. With current hardware, a distance of several millimeters separates the pen surface from the LCD screen. This produces a parallax error, similar to that observed with touch-sensitive screens. It is difficult for animators to continue their strokes because they often miss the expected starting position. Animators prefer to draw on a flat surface and look at the drawing on the screen. One animator gave a compelling argument as to why he preferred this approach. After three months of uninterrupted work using TicTacToon, he tried using paper again. He told us that he found it very annoying because his hand was always hiding some part of the drawing.
The Layout Module
The Layout supports the whole animation process. It provides two views: the exposure sheet and a 3D view (Figure 8). The exposure sheet presents the logical structure of an animation: which characters and backgrounds are present in a specific frame. The 3D view presents the graphical structure: the position of characters and backgrounds and the trajectory they follow. Unlike traditional animation, which provides only a static specification of a scene, TicTacToon begins with a playable version of each scene, using rough drawings.
A layout animator can reuse animations or backgrounds from a database and can check camera movements and synchronize them with character movements. A copy of the layout specification is handed off to subsequent stages, which replace rough drawings with new work. Animators can check their drawings at any time, to ensure that they conform to the layout and that the action works. The layout stage can also check that work has been done correctly.
Unlike the traditional rostrum model, TicTacToon positions animations in a 3D world, in a way similar to Levoy. However, the camera axis is always kept perpendicular to the drawings. This model acts like a theater background designed to be seen from only one perspective. As in 3D systems, the characters and camera are assigned a general trajectory in 3D space. Since they can’t turn around the X or Y axis, they use 2D instead of 3D general transforms. This model automatically maintains perspective and the correct stacking order.
The columns of a traditional exposure sheet relate directly to the levels of a rostrum. The columns in TicTacToon’s exposure sheet contain one character or a character part. An animation can be seen as a list of successive drawings or grouped into a cycle, which is a repeatable list of consecutive drawings. For example, a walking character is usually defined with a cycle of 8 drawings. TicTacToon exposure sheets handle cycles as structured objects that can be placed on a trajectory and tuned precisely.
Prototype walks can be stored for most characters and reused as the basis for all their walks. Television serials only define actions for a few specific angles: 0, 30o, 60o, 90o and the symmetricals. Storing reusable walks (and runs) saves time for both the layout and other animators. The Layout stage can check complex camera movements on prototypes and precisely tune the movement of each character. Animators can modify prototype walks, as when a wounded character limps, and save time by reusing parts of the prototype walk.
As in traditional animation, story boards consist of a set of small sketchesof important actions in a scene with an associatedscript, including dialog, music, and intentions. Figure 6 shows a Story Board designed with TicTacToon. Traditional animation uses only eight mouth shapes. We have developeda mouth shapedetection program that avoids using phoneme recognition and is speaker and language independent. The success rate is around 90%, with errors only at the transitions. Mouth shapes can be edited, played and corrected and the result is directly inserted in the sound column of the exposure sheet.
Over 100 professional animators in several studios have used TicTacToon over the past two years. So far, more than 90% were able to immediately switch from paper to TicTacToon. The unsuccessful animators included some who refused to try it, some who were afraid of computers in general and some who had difficulties with specific aspects of the user interface. Animators have been the strongest supporters of TicTacToon and some have convinced their studios to adopt it. This is in strong contradiction with Durand. We addressed an early criticism of the digitizer’s pen and replaced it with a model that was both pressure sensitive and rigid. The other major criticism is the digitizer’s surface which is too slippy for some and too soft for others. We find similar kinds of individual preferences about pencil hardness and paper quality. Although most animators adapt to the digitizer’s surface after about a month, we are still investigating possible improvements.
Social organization of the work
To succeed, an animation system must provide more than useful technical features and a good user interface; it must also fit within the existing work context of an animation studio. Both formal and informal communication are essential for the smooth running of a studio. Since animators express themselves with cartoons as well as words, we provide a meta mail compliant mailer with TicTacToon. We receive mail messages from production sites all over the world, including formal (bug reports, request for information) and informal (jokes, tricks and caricatures), illustrating the same range of communication as would be found in a traditional animation studio.
TicTacToon supports a number of operations that help manage the production line. Animators exchange their work via exposure sheets and a distributed database. They also use electronic mail to notify the necessary people when their work is ready to be processed and get feedback about their own work. We do not want the studio staff to have to become system operators. TicTacToon does not require prior computer skills and we have hidden operating system commands such as copying directories and naming files. TicTacToon is designed to enhance the animation process, not just raise productivity. As 3D production studios increase the scope of their work, we expect that they will require the same level of organizational support needed by today’s 2D studios.
The Advantage of Digital 2D Animation
Modern 2D animators don’t just use paper and pencils to create the animated features we see on TV and in the movies. 2D animation has gone fully digital, and uses cutting edge technology to create the breathtaking detail and artistic fidelity we’ve come to expect from modern films. With the evolution of technology, the traditional cel animation process became obsolete by the beginning of the 21st century. Nowadays, the backgrounds and characters designs from the animators are either scanned into or drawn directly into a computer system. Nowadays, digital processes have become central in the development of animation.
For us, it is highly significant that a special kind of animation that can be considered as artistic presides over this evolution. Makoto Shinkai is one of the anime’s emerging stars who leads a generation of artists using Wacoms and Photoshop, rather than traditional cels, to create animation. Shinkai belongs to a new generation of animators who have never worked in the traditional pen-and-paper format, and “Voices of a Distant Star” (2001) is a testament to how dramatically computers have changed the animation industry in the past decade. He created the 25 minute short in seven months, using only a Power Mac G4 at a time when PowerPC processors were still reaching for the 1GHz barrier.
A portion of the benefits of 2D animation are:
Low generation cost - It is less expensive when contrasted with 3D.
Speedy and spares time - The generation lead time for 2D animation is low and it is speedier to deliver.
Basic and less unpredictable 2D includes less innovation and programming and consequently it is less demanding to create when contrasted with 3D.
Fundamental controls - It is anything but difficult to deal with no instructional exercises.
More concentrate on gameplay-It gives less significance to design and concentrates more on the amusement play.
A portion of the hindrances of 2D are:
It can exhaust - Traditional animation can some of the time appear to exhaust.
Less request - with the presentation of 3D animation a great many people want to watch 3D animation films as analyzed 2D.
Financial reasons - In specific cases 3D can be made with less cash and time because of cutting edge innovation.
Time is cash - It is tedious to make cel-based animation formats which can never be reused and henceforth numerous studios are surrendering 2D.
Lower Costs – Of course this is dependent on the style of your animation, however, 2D animation can be a lot cheaper than 3D animation. This is mainly due to the advancements in software meaning not all animation needs to be drawn frame by frame, therefore reducing production time and in turn costs.
Quicker to Produce – With advancing software such as Toonboom and After effects, 2D animation is becoming faster and more accessible.
Software – The software used to create 2D animation is not as draining for your machines as 3D animation software. You won’t need a huge render farm with beefy graphics cards to run the software, although it would make your renders fly.
Story Focused – 2D animations seem to be more story orientated. When working with 3D objects, it is easier to get the ‘wow factor’ with sweeping camera moves and powerful effects, but this can sometimes distract from the story or more intimate moments.
Less Dynamic – As briefly mentioned above, 2D can feel less dynamic compared to 3D. If for example you wanted to animate a car rolling, creating this in 2d would be really tricky as you would need to redraw the car from several angles and would become very time consuming. Alternatively, if you created the car in 3d space, you can simply rotate the car without having to redraw the car several times.
Less in demand – As 3D becomes more available there seems to have been a decrease in demand for 2D animation. It is still popular and widely used, but 3D seems to be the ‘flavour of the month’.
Time consuming – Cell based animation, which is the traditional way of drawing frame by frame, involves redrawing every single frame. If you keep in mind that in the UK there are 25 frames per second that soon adds up to hundreds of drawings for a relatively short animation. That said, software like Toonboom has some great tools to speed up this process.