This is an Animation workflow topic : Can ‚good old‘ 2D animation drawings be of any help in making a ‚Fancy‘ CG animation ?
…but, yes of course !…
Ever since I work in animation, I ‚ve always drawn thumbnails on a piece of paper before animating a 2D or a CG scene. it just helps me to figure out roughly where I want to go. Recently, we got a new tool in our animation software at Dreamworks Studios that allows us to sketch in the animation in the camera view, for reference only . ( using a Cintiq and a stylus pen ) I have been using this new workflow in order to create my scenes on „Kung Fu Panda 3“ and other projects . I find that planing my scene in 2D can be a big time saver, it’s especially useful on physical broad animation . It helps me create stronger ,more dynamic poses and give a more organic & cartoony feel to the animation & timing . ( I personally try to stay away from live action reference for broad style projects , because it can influence the animation towards a more realistic feel )
————–advantages of doing a 2D first pass ————————–
1- all the „thinking“ and planing is done early at the drawing stage ( posing , rough timing , even rough expressions )
2- It’s easier to create strong, dynamic poses, in just a few lines. ( I know for experience, it can be tricky for me to find a dynamic appealing pose while working on the CG character in the 3D environment ) the fact that drawings exist on a flat 2D space , makes it easier to come up with good silhouettes .
3- Because sketching rough drawings is pretty fast, we can show a first pass to the directors very early on , to get their input and make necessary adjustments, even before starting the CG.
4- it is simply just fun to draw !
————–Some disadvantages to this technique————–
1- does not work very well on very subtle acting or very realistic human animation . ( Live action reference is probably better for that)
2- Even though we don’t have to draw „on model“ , it can be tricky to draw the characters in perspective, keeping the proportions , especially if there is a strange camera angle or motion)
3 – it can be tedious to try and match each 2D pose onto the CG character. (it’s important to note that the 2D drawing pass should be used as a rough guide only ! it’s a springboard , should leave room to explore and improve .
4- This workflow is not adapted for all animators: not everyone can or wants to draw.
Thanks for reading. I hope you find this video interesting