2D and 3d mixing advice requested. (animation)

Hi all. I’m new to the forum and new to Blender. I come from the live action (production) side of the industry, and started to transition into animation. I’m beyond thrilled to find out there is an open source program out there like this. We don’t have anything close to this level of quality for “open source” in the video production world. BMD Davinci Resolve and Fusion combo as wonderful as the free version is, the full featured version is still a purchase item.
I’ve always heard the name Blender from others in passing, but I’ve got to say… I had no idea this program was this capable and fully featured. WOW!

I’m really wanting to combine my 2D characters with 3D environments and figure learning Blender will be my best route. My main goal is to have dynamic camera movements during intense action scenes, and drawing perspectively correct backgrounds in animation is an art form to master in itself.

With introductions and my ramblings done, my question is: Can I model a 3D environment and change the perspective to align with any character movement I draw for said environment (See my P.S. below)? Or am I picturing how the digital 3D world works in a wrong context?

Thanks for the help! I’m a huge propionate of the knowledge you can gain from online creative forums and will be “ghosting” many of y’alls future and past conversations. Thanks again.
Tim Cook

P.S. I included a short pencil test (of mine) below. Will I be able to model the dirt jumps and surrounding forest and still be able to make camera tracks from any angle I choose?

Welcome :slight_smile:

I come from traditional animation / film production background too, and Blender, although not without its blind spots, is a very capable gem. Looking at that short video, thats actually quite a complex shot. You could go down the route of actually rigging your 2d characters in 3d, as described here.

Then you could follow it with the camera and get the perspective you want. Or you could map the traditional animation of a cyclist on a plane as movie texture and just animate the plane in 2d space at the right pace to match the movie, if that makes sense.

To give you some inspiration, the best example of mixing 2d and 3d (also, weirdly, also involving a a few cyclists) is a french film called the The Triplets of Belleville which is utterly beautiful. This is totally possible in blender, i would say.

You might find Storyboarder useful for planning your shots out. Good lucK

Thanks for the response James.

Yeah, I’m guilty of envisioning and then drawing overly complicated shots for my animations :slight_smile: I sometimes forget that in live action, a dolly/crane or steadycam/gimbal moving around the talent is what’s needed for the more complicated shots; the photons will take care of the rest. Now, drawing those shots is another story. I guess that’s why I’m learning the 3D side of it all.

I’m glad to hear everything will be possible!!! Still lots of stuff for me to learn.
I was watching “Next Gen” a couple of months ago, and some of the shots performed in that film are similar to what I envision for my scenes. I found out it was made with Blender and almost lost it.

I agree with you on the “The Triplets of Belleville”, it’s one of my favs. And I have used Storyboarder before, another very useful “free” program.

Thanks again, Tim


Yes, you can combine 2D and 3D, specially now with the new grease pencil workflow for 2.8, just check the examples on the Blender Cloud (all of them are free to download without a paid subscription). I think the Hero example files will be the most useful to you. :slight_smile:

I Hope it helps!

I watched Hero… really good stuff. I will look through the cloud link you gave me, thanks.

1 Like

Since, basically, "I can’t draw (dammit …)," I rely on CG both immediately and exclusively to set up ideas for shots. I can place objects in 3D space, place the camera anywhere I want it to be, specify actual settings such as lens-length and even bokeh, hit the (Quick) Render button and – “there it is, known to be correct.”

You could also do a lot of interesting things with regards to your 2D work, such as placing it as an animated texture on a “billboard” that’s (invisibly) flying through 3D space. There are lots and lots of ways to combine 2D and 3D techniques – "if you can draw (dammit …)" … :wink:

1 Like

Glad to hear all of this! I’m excited to transition to 3D animation and learn Blender. I’m still kind of speechless after finding out that Next-Gen was produce with Blender.