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Vol.32 No.1 February 1998

2D and 3D animation

Many of the concepts used in computer animation production came from 2D animation. Now, coming back full circle, people are starting to look at producing 2D animation by first animating in 3D, and then rendering in a 2D style characterized by flat shading and black line silhouettes. In 1996, Warner Brothers produced a Daffy Duck-Marvin the Martian cartoon animated in 3D and rendered in stereoscopic 2D. The film, shown privately at that year's SIGGRAPH, was installed as an attraction in a German theme park and at the Warner Brothers store in New York city. Similar projects for 2D cartoon series animated using 3D keyframe techniques are in preproduction in Europe and the U.S. Perhaps in the not too distant future, much of the commercial 2D animation we see will be 3D animation "tooned down" to 2D.