dedicated 2d animation software vs blender

I created many years ago a short film in flash and now I am serious in learning animation mainly 2d and perhaps some basic 3d to assist the 2d compositions. My background is film directing/editing and I would like to learn something with a not very steep learning curve, as I would like to produce a quality animation short as soon as humanly possible and start building a showreel with extra short (1 min) animations.

Currently I am learning toon boom harmony premium which has a lot of possibilities. I love TVpaint but as a one man band it would be too difficult for me to go the hand drawn way, so it is going to be mainly cut out/rigged/puppet animation.Another possibility would be instead of a cutout rig, to import line art in blender, generate the animation and color the exported image sequence in another application, as I have seen it done with blender. thoughts?

Recently I came across some relatively new possibilities in Blender for 2d animation. It makes me wonder which is the most efficient for me, especially if there are any advantages of using a 3d program like blender. Are there any?

thanks!!

To precise current situation, there is an addon to create Cutout animation in Blender.
Since last release, we can say that we have a solution to create half-hand drawn / half-3D edges animation with grease pencil.
We have an NPR renderer with Freestyle that is able to generate lines from a 3D scene.
And we can import SVG as curve objects.

But theses techniques are separated things.
There may be addons to create Grease Pencil stokes from an image. But I never saw one that was shared or publicly available out of a beta state.

About your expectations :

instead of a cutout rig, to import line art in blender, generate the animation and color the exported image sequence in another application, as I have seen it done with blender.

It may be a misinterpretation of what you have seen.

Imported stuff is a textured plan used in a cutout animation way or vector graphics.
But if your line art is a bitmap, don’t expect a magical conversion to vector curves at import.
A bitmap can only be imported as a texture or as a reference for hand drawn work.

You don’t need another application to color the image sequence or composite it. It can be done with blender tools. Blender have a compositor and a video editor. It was made to deliver 3D movies from A to Z. And it can do the same for 2D movies.

It makes me wonder which is the most efficient for me, especially if there are any advantages of using a 3d program like blender. Are there any?

The interest to use blender for 2D animation is to mix techniques or to take benefits from 3D.

If you have absolutely no skill in 3D, don’t know Blender and have absolutely no idea what would be a benefit for your animation ; you probably would deliver a 2D animation quickly by learning a traditional 2D animation software.

2.8 project should simplify use of 2D style animation tools in Blender. But it will take times before 2.8 could be considered stable and safe to work with.

I am not saying that we cannot deliver efficiently 2D animations in Blender. I am just saying that today, learning Blender and its limitations takes probably more time than learning a software dedicated to 2D animation.