2d cartoon characters with 3-D background

I want to use 2-D characters that I animated in anime studio. I rendered them out of anime studio with a alpha channel, now I want to put them into a 3-d environment I made with blender, but I’m not sure how to do this, I could render out the backgrounds and then put them together with a special-effects software like Adobe After Effects but I feel there’s got to be an easier way to do this inside of blender. Because I’ll run into a problem if my characters need to go behind objects and and I really don’t feel like cutting objects out and putting them on separate layers with Photoshop

Any helpful advice would be much appreciated

Two ways I would do it. If the characters are animated in place and rendered as such, put them on camera facing 3d planes as animated textures and place/animate them in the scene as 3d objects.

If the characters are animated in screen space, meaning them move relative to the camera view, use object ids to separate the scene in layers of objects and use the compositor to layer everything back together.

oh, thats how its done thanks a lot man
now I’m kinda wondering if it would be a more efficient workflow to export my 3-D backgrounds into anime studio and then animate my characters on top of it, instead of the other way around

Placing the animated character sequence on a 3D plane should be the easiest method. That way you can put objects in front of them with no issues, and you won’t need to use the compositor. However, the main issue with this is that Cycles rendering does not easily support movie textures.

If you plan to use the Blender Internal rendering engine, then you’ll be fine.

Here’s a relevant tutorial on how to set up movie textures:

I don’t recommend using object IDs as those aren’t antialised (and make sure you set the alpha threshold in passes above 0.0 if you’re in cycles). A better workflow (though a bit more elaborate) is to separate objects you want in render layers and use their alpha channels as masks. But it’s dependant on the shots and effects you want to achieve.

thanks a lot, much appreciated advice, sorry for the late reply

Check out blarg bot,

he is 2d planes parented to armatures,

if you had a side, front, rig etc armature/planes one could make pretty interesting 2d objects