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Question about a style of animation I want to learn to create.

Paul MoechnerPaul Moechner541 Posts: 126Member
There is this beautiful 'genre' of animation that I am fascinated with and I want to learn how to create it. I have a feeling that I can accomplish this goal in Blender. If one can illustrate/model and animate in 3D in Blender, certainly one can do this in 2D as well.

What is this style of animation even called? The more I know what technical terms to use, the easier it will be to find information/tutorials on the internet, etc and basically use the power fo the internet to learn how to do this for free. I'm already learning Blender and even learning to speak spanish for free, thanks to the internet. :)

Anyway, the best way I know how describe this 'genre' or 'style' of animation in words, is that it looks/feels like a hybrid between traditional, beautiful 2D illustration/animation that you would find in classic cartoons such as the O.G. Disney 101 Dalmatians (2D but very beautifully and creatively done), and 3D modeling/animation.

Two examples of what I'm talking about:
1. Titan A.E.
2. This chillstep video I discovered and listen to when working on projects.

The space project I'm currently volunteering at, AsteronX, despite doing R&D on real aerospace technology and propulsion theories, also is in the process of creating a youtube episode-like science fiction series called TDoA (The Drums of Atlant) that will be a futuristic scifi series featuring a lot of the field propulsion technologies/theories that we promote and educate about on our youtube channel. There is already a couple of videos that AsteronX published a while back as 'concepts' but we're now rebooting TDoA and currently writing the whole story. Once the story is written, we till then start to animate it. In a way we are already partly accomplishing the Titan A.E. kind of animation. The video below is NOT my work. It is the work of other members of AsteronX that was created 3 years ago. I want to develop the skills to be able to participate in the animation part of the up coming TDoA reboot. We plan on using this scifi series as a way to raise funds to start building prototypes using the forms of field propulsion featured on our channel.

Here's an old TDoA video of ours:

But we eventually want to be able to create the beautiful Titan A.E. quality of blending 2D and 3D some day...possibly take it a step further.

The AsteronX team has come a long way when it comes to the quality of our 3D modeling/animation. So as far as AsteronX 3D skills are concerned, this is what Todd, the leader of AsteronX can do on Blender. This is a screenshot of an upcoming video about a RL space ship concept. He's the one who's been tutoring me while I was going through the Scifieric enterprise tutorial. The spheroid design is inspired by a German scifi franchise called Perry Rhodan:


Post edited by Paul Moechner on


  • count23count23359 Posts: 778Member
    The term you're probably looking for is "cell shaded", the effect of getting it to look "noticeably" hand drawn is usually by having different frame rates for different elements you combine together.
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  • GuerrillaGuerrilla789 HelsinkiPosts: 2,865Administrator
    Lightning Boy Studios has quite a nice looking Toon Shader Tutorial (there's a few parts)

    But yeah, basically cel shading. Basically you want to simplify the smooth gradient from light and shadow you get with a regular shader into a stepped gradient and maybe add an outline (there's a couple of different ways).

    Here are some of my favorite examples:
    A look I particularly enjoy
    The Guilty Gear GDC talk is probably one the best ones you can watch about making 3d that looks like 2d:
    Comco: i entered it manually in the back end
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