Eliminates the need to create animation frame-by frame

The debate of whether classical 2D animation is “really” dead or not is still going on in the animation community or even to me (beginner animator-novice) as the fan of classical cartoons. Well, I am the child of the 70’s.

But then, as the computer technology advanced forward, 3D is the “king of animation” in the industry nowadays. What about 2D? Yes the fantastic Princess and the Frog is there. In Europe, Japan or Korea 2D is still around.

When Synfig Studio says "Eliminates the need to create animation frame-by frame…", is it actually talking about moving the objects from point A to B in auto mode. Or what is actually the strength in the the above statement. Or any other features that eliminate in-betweening process but still can produce fluid Disney style animation?

I’m not a fan of flash style animation. Disney, Warner Bros Looney Toons are still in my heart. :smiley:

I’m new to Synfig Studio.

Anybody can comment on this?

It doesn’t, at least not if results like traditional hand-drawn animation are desired.

Synfig just interpolates. It’s strength is that it can interpolate any parameter in pretty much the same way. Interpolating shapes is not that well implemented though, it’s still lots of manual labor (kinda negating the benefits of interpolating in-between frames).

It’s other strength is the ability to “program” calculations into the compositions itself. Mind you it’s not an easy “language” to program with, but it’s something.

I personally think that computer software cannot replace human skill. Well, one can try to do so anyway, but then the results would be different (meaning one doesn’t really replace the other).

Thanks yoyobuae for your explanation technically. I also feel the same way before about the manipulation of shapes or points on the line drawing.

I agree about hand-drawn animation is still the basics to fluid Disney-style animation. The animation software just make certain things easier and faster be it coloring process, pencil look strokes, paperless environment and many other sides of animation activities that computer technology nowadays can take over and automate.

I wonder if Mr Walt Disney is alive today, what will he think about 3D animation movies nowadays? Because in the early Disney shorts in the 1920’s, cartoon seems a bit flat visually. Then as technology advances, Disney animators with all their creative artistics expertise can create almost very 3D look in cartoon movement couple with multiplane camera. I think at that time they seems trying to achieve 3D aspects but computer technology is not around yet.

For me 3D technology is very advanced now. But I’m afraid it seems they are just quite the same as playing with clays to do stop-motion animation. Still looks puppetry. To put the soul in 3D cartoon is not the same as in 2D cartoon as I think personally.

Just try our both eyes to compare 3D Mickey Mouse jumping on the left screen and 2D Mickey Mouse jumping on the right screen. I bet, most of our brains can think which is … (depends :bulb: )

I hope Synfig Studio can advance faster to make 2D animation process not only in technical aspects but also in terms of art asthetic value as in the golden days of animation history.

There’s something primal and instinctive about drawing on flat surface (whether physical or digital) and the perception of said drawings by the viewer. It’s almost as if the artist is speaking to the viewer, using a hidden language of lines, colors, textures (and motions if animated).

With 3D though everything first goes thru the computer. The computer algorithms are the ones that decide which will be the final shapes and colors. The 3D artist can still “speak” thru their 3D models, textures and animation, but everything goes thru a few layers of pure technology before reaching the viewer. Unluckily technology knows nothing about the hidden language I mentioned above, so whatever the message was gets a bit muddled.

It’s like comparing speaking with a person using one’s own voice VS using a speech synthesizer. Yes the words may get thru, but it’s not really the same.

Re. whether or not frame-by-frame animation can be considered deprecated: I think that that depends on the situation.

I suppose it is not unlike other fields where certain tasks have been automated: it opens up new possibilities, but there are also disadvantages. After all, a computer or a machine isn’t a person. While it may work faster, possibly bringing things within reach that were previously impossible, the result of automated processes can also more be more uniform and impersonal. In that sense you can expect that there will always be demand for handiwork because of its unique character, even if it is on a smaller scale as before.

On another note, it is not necessarily so that computer animation is faster to realise as the handmade variety. While it is certainly so that the tweening is taken over by the computer, it cannot do its job without you telling it exactly how. A human animator knows how a limb moves, but a computer doesn’t: so you need to tell it that by way of rigging your character. In one book about Blender the writer even suggests that the net investment is oftentimes not all that different; it’s just that on a computer, you have to put a lot of effort in preparing your scene while the actual rendering is a matter of pressing a button - but in hand animation the major part of the work is the actual ‘rendering’ (drawing).

Wallace & Gromit is a great example of frame-by-frame animation apparently still being economically viable and delivering breathtaking results. Computer techniques were used in some scenes (like the floating rabbits in the Curse of the Were Rabbit), but for the rest it’s frame-by-frame handiwork.

I also love classic 2D animation - most notably, everything from before the mid-1950’s; and I certainly prefer it over a lot of the modern mass-produced animated entertainment. But to be honest, I neither care much about most of the limited animation stuff produced from the 1960’s on - even if that was done by hand. Just compare a Tom & Jerry cartoon from the 1940’s to one made in the 1960’s.
And reversely, there are also absolutely brilliant computer animations being made recently. I suspect that these productions are almost as labour intensive as the classic Disney hand-drawn feature films like Snow-white.

In the end, I think it is the dedication and talent of those involved that produces great results, and that the technology used is far less important. Norman McLaren could create masterpieces without even a camera, but just using film stock, ink, razorblades and pins; Disney and Hanna-Barbera employed dozens of artists drawing by hand, cells, paint and a multiplane camera; Nick Park and Lubomír Beneš a table-top, plasticine, a camera and lots of patience; and Pixar uses a small army of all sorts of creative and technical people and high-tech machinery. They all produced breathtaking things.

But one can also produce immensely boring TV fodder using all those techniques. So I think that that’s a more important factor :slight_smile:

Actually it’s still around go look on cartoon network all of their shows or neither 2D animation hand drawn or 2D digital. Regular Show is hand drawn animation with digital coloring. So 2D animation is still there