I am not gonna lie to you all, I chose 2D Animation partly because of nostalgia. I grew up in the 90s, so I was surrounded by amazing animated shows and movies. Most of them were 2D Animated. I’m talking about movies and shows like the Disney Renaissance, Pokémon, The Power Puff Girls, Dexter’s Laboratory, Digimon, Dragon Ball Z, Gundam, Sailor Moon, reruns of older shows and movies like The Super Friends, Looney Tunes, The Flintstones, The Jetsons and much much more. All the shows and movies that I’ve mention so far are 2D Animated. I was surrounded by all of that and I loved it, more on that later. However, that doesn’t mean I wasn’t around 3D Animation.
One of the earliest memories I can remember is watching the first Toy Story on VHS with my family. This was way before I even knew what animation was. I didn’t understand the difference between 2D or 3D. Though, I knew, even at a young age, the difference between the styles. I didn’t dislike it at all, I actually enjoyed the style. I know it was more than that, the movie was just well done in general. A great story, amazing characters, just an incredible movie in general. The animation style was a positive to me, not a negative.
I saw other 3D Animated shows in the 90s as well. They were called ReBoot and Beast Wars: Transformers. I didn’t mind the animation style at the time, I actually really liked them. Compared to today’s 3D Animated shows, computer technology has improved so much. The animation at the time was quite stiff. However, it was still very groundbreaking at the time and definitely a feat to have a show be 3D Animated at a time where it was very new and early technology.
I also grew up playing tons of 3D Video Games. In the middle 90s, 3D Video Games was the new groundbreaking thing. My family had a Nintendo 64 and thanks to my Big Brother (love you bro), we played games in it like Super Mario 64, the first Super Smash Bros, Dark Rift, Mace: The Dark Age, Duel Heroes and so much more. They were all animated differently at the time and were pushing the Nintendo 64 to such creative lengths. Each game deserves to have their own blog posts for me to talk about them at great length. However, I wanted to give you all the context that I don’t despise 3D Animation. I love all types of animations and respect them. Though, 2D Animation, in my opinion, was the reason why I wanted to be an Animator when I grew up.
One big reason was the act of drawing. When we see these 2D characters on our TVs and if you had a pencil just lying around and some paper, you can draw your favorite characters. I remember seeing Dragon Ball Z on Cartoon Networks Toonami and seeing characters like Goku, Trunks and Vegeta turning Super Saiyan and wanting to draw that. I am not saying 3D Animation doesn’t have the same effect to inspire you to draw. They have definitely inspired me, but at times, not in the same way as 2D Animation. This is just my opinion and these days, 3D Animation has also inspired me to draw more. I am just speaking for my past self. There is another important reason why I chose 2D over 3D Animation. That’s because of how it’s made.
Throughout the years, I’ve researched on how 2D and 3D Animation is made. Both are so awesome and as you can see, I love to see how things come to be. When I look back though, I kept researching as to how 2D Animation is made. To be more specific, how Frame by Frame 2D Animation is made. To see the Animators draw the characters frame after frame, the little minute change in each frame and to see the end result was always so exciting. 3D Animation has a different way of moving the characters each frame or sometimes using complicated algorithms to make the motions happen like weather effects or water. However, 2D Animation needs the Animator to draw each frame by hand. There is something so satisfying seeing that. I know Flash Animation carries the same principles of 3D Animation, rigging the character, moving the joints to make the motions happen. Though there are shows that combine both 2D Flash and Frame by Frame Animated techniques. First show that comes to mind is Cartoon Networks, Mao Mao, Heroes of Pure Heart. Those are different examples but you know what I mean. 2D Animation is so satisfying to see how it’s done back then. The principles still carry on today.
My last point goes to the present. For people who read my other blogs or know what I do, I am just repeating myself. This is for the new people just reading who don’tknow much about me. I animate on the app called Flipaclip. It is an app where you have the ability to only animate frame by frame. There is no 2D Flash Animation in this app. Just classic frame by frame with some perks of the digital age. You can redo, undo, copy and paste, check all your frames in an instant and much more. To make the characters move, you’ll need to harken back to the fundamentals of animating characters one frame at a time.
There are many apps and softwares like this, such as Flipnote, Pencil2D, Animation Desk, paid softwares like TV Paint, Callipeg and softwares that have animation included alongside there art features like Clip Studio Paint, Procreate and more. There are clearly people putting the original animation method on these current softwares and apps. Where we can have the perks of the digital age and keep the original of animation method all at the same time.
I am proud to call myself an Animator. However, I am also proud of calling myself a Frame by Frame 2D Animator in this digital age like some of you. We are keeping the roots alive in our own way thanks to the wonderful people making these beautiful softwares. For that, I tip my invisible hat to you all. Let me make myself clear, I am not disrespecting 3D Animators, have nothing but respect for you all. It’s a big learning curve to understand softwares like Maya or Blender. I have to give it up to the people online that teach new people getting into these 3D Animation Softwares. It’s not easy but all of you make it possible. I am just giving some reasons as to why I chose 2D Animation. At the end of the day, I am just happy animation is in a place where anybody can become an animator. You may need to fork some extra dough to make it possible. Compared to back then however, animation was only for the people who knew the right person or if you were in Disney or Warner Bros. Now, you can create your animation in your own room, no matter the style. We have to celebrate all of that. I know I am. Stay Animated Everyone.