How to Merge 2D With 3D Animation - Flash Tutorial

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in this video I'm going to show you

several examples of merging 2d and 3d

animation mediums together as well as

showing you my experiment with drawing a

character over the top of a 3d

environment in Adobe Flash 2d and 3d

animation have different strengths and

weaknesses therefore sometimes it's an

interesting option for a director to use

a combination of 2d and 3d animation to

get the best outcome for their film 3d

animation has the benefit of feeling

more grounded in space with a more

accurate sense of space and volume the

lighting in perspective and other

complex calculations can be handled by

the software leaving the artist less

tasks to do 2d animation is more organic

in how it feels and in my opinion it can

be more expressive it's not as easy as

it sounds to merge 2d and 3d animation

studios have struggled for many years

and only with today's technology that's

available is it becoming easier to do

this it's often a problem where

directors need to find creative

strategies to overcome these problems of

merging the two in a way which looks

convincing a lot of it comes down to

small tricks and attention to detail the

two mediums need to closely resemble

each other in the level of detail and

how that detail behaves on a moving

surface one of the ways I learn the

different techniques of integrating 2d

with 3d is just by looking at different

examples in things like behind the

scenes footage of feature films one of

the examples of this is Tarzan behind

the scenes and I noticed that they had

hand-drawn animation on top of

three-dimensional clips and I wondered

how they did that how they do this I

think is that they print out the 3d

animation on two sheets of paper and

then those sheets of paper are what the

the key animator in this

glen keane drawers on top of this was at

least 20 years ago that they made this

so it was one of the earlier versions

but I it's still really impressive and

it still looks really good too today in

this behind-the-scenes of wolf children

you can see that they kind of have the

hand-drawn animation almost as like

cutouts on top of the 3d camera movement

but you'll see that just as in the last

clip they rendered out the 3d animation

first they also did that in this one and

then they drew on top of it once the

camera movements had been finalized in

this behind the scenes of the freak of

the week music video they had a really

inventive way of using the 3d animation

as this kind of scaffolding for the

construction of the 2d characters

because in some of these shots the

movement of the 2d characters is very

difficult to foreshorten and so they

created a sort of previous animation to

their 2d animation which they were able

to then draw around and it's really good

because they were able to keep that

expression that the 2d animation has but

just using the 3d animation for the

complex perspective that they had to get

so I was really impressed when I saw how

they made this animation so one of the

ways is just to create the 2d animation

with a roughed out idea of what it will

be when it's inserted into the 3d and

then create the animation isolated from

the 3d and then integrate the two and

post-production in something like After

Effects so this is a very common method

and really simple so some of you might

be thinking this is all good advice but

how do I actually draw over the top of

3d objects because if I could do that

that would be perfect for what I want

and to do that with the tools that you


so I found a technique which works quite

well for me I if you've got a moving

camera position or something or the 3d

animation is moving it and it's angles

are you know constantly updating then

what I like to do

is I like to fully kind of finish the 3d

animation and then import it as a PNG

sequence into flash and you can do this

fairly easily I'll try and demonstrate

it to you so we're going to be animating

2d animation on top of a 3d camera pan

and it should get some really

interesting results I'm going to show

you how I got it like this and then

we're going to get into it so if I hide

that now we've just got the 3d my friend

made this and he did the camera shift he

made all the environment and everything

I exported it the video as a PNG

sequence and then I brought in all of

the PNG images onto a frame and then I

right-click like this and I went to and

on where is it distribute two frames I

think it is distributed keyframes and

then that spread them across like this

in order so it's very quick and easy to

do and once you do then you can have

your 3d in here and then what I'm going

to do later is I'm going to take that

off and just have the animation and

export that as a layer and then bring it

into After Effects to composite so

that's basically the workflow I might

talk a little bit more in depth about

that another time but for now I'm just

going to be showing how I'm drawing over

this 3d animation it's just something I

scrolled out very quickly this was just

a rough idea of what how it's going to

go but now I'm going to start again I

guess for most of it so aside from how I

import the 3d animation there's not much

difference in how I animate the 2d

animation on top a couple of the things

you'll see me doing is I scrub through

the timeline quite a lot just to make

sure that the character is staying on

track with where the scene is moving and

I've been putting down these kind of

linear guidelines especially on the

stairs which I found quite tricky

there's a nice little challenge but yet

I put down

those lines to keep track and how I

tried to align them was so that the

lines would go find the mid section of

the staircase and that was kind of like

my anchor point from the 3d and the 2d

so I recommend doing that

finding anchor points in your 3d and

tracking them along with the lines one

of the major changes that I make to my

animation style is that I have to put it

on once at 24 frames per second I can't

space out the frames so that is on twos

or threes or anything like that because

then it doesn't align with the 3d

environment because that's moving at 24

frames per second so you don't want a

big disconnect there and frame rate and

you can't really get away with working

on two or three now I was going to try

and rotoscope some of the 3d animation

such as the stairs I was going to

actually draw them out frame by frame by

tracing over them and I started doing

this and I realized this is taking me a

long time so I tried to go line by line

drawing out each line of the staircase

and I kind of added it up in my head I

thought this would look really cool but

because the staircase was so complex

with these straight lines I worked out

that it would just take me all day to

rotoscoped this tiny scene so in the end

I kind of abandoned that and just went

with what I had but ideally if I had the

access to the 3d source file which I

don't but if I did then I could apply

some kind of tuned shader effect to the

export and make it look a lot more like

it was 2d unfortunately because I didn't

have access to the staircase after

animating this I couldn't make those

changes that I wanted to which is why in

the end it's still kind of there is this

disconnect between the two but it was a

good experiment anyway just to get the

feel for how it is to animate on top of

3d environment so next time that I do

I've got a lot of other things that I

want to apply to it to make it look much

better because of time constraints I

couldn't do any more for it but that was

just like a placeholder and I in a

professional kind of circumstance I

would I would clean it up a lot more

okay so I just wanted to explain what's

gone on here

um I've now isolated this top layer

which is the goal running down the

stairs so just hidden a few layers here

and then I've exported it so that it's

its own image sequence without the

layers underneath so I did that by going

export movie and then this is what it

saved as PNG sequence and then that's

what it's going to turn out like that

image sequence you can then bring that

into after-effects

it'll be after-effects quite easily

which I will show you import these image

sequences so you go file import image I

think and then you select all of them

select them make sure you tick PNG niche

okay that should do it so it should be

one file it shouldn't be multiple files

because that means it just sees them as

lots of individual files instead of a

string of files so then you just drag

them into here to create your

composition the first layer is in there

now and you might want to change the

composition settings this is set to 30

frames per second so I'm going to change

that back to 24 and

yeah so I think that's worked and now

I'm going to bring in the other one 3d

test later to go to select all of them P

and T sequence make sure that books are

ticked open done so that's now as an

image sequence let's just take this one

out okay so we put in a label oh there

we go

okay so it's exactly the same as how we

had it in flash now but because it's on

different layers we can edit the two

layers separately which gives us a bit

more flexibility so I'm just going to

change the colors of this background

thank you for watching my video I have a

website called animated guild if you

don't know about it please go over there

check it out I've got an online store

there or you can buy equipment downloads

and books and all sorts of things I also

do workshops which are like one-on-one

if you need guidance on making your

animation other tutorials source file

downloads you name it it's all over on

animator guild comm so I'd appreciate it

if you go over there and check it out

see you next time goodbye from the

storyboard point of view that angle is

amazing it's on a Dutch tilt we've got

these leading lines like coming here and

here they're everywhere in the frame and

they're all leading towards this point

and you can see that the doorway looks

pretty small and you're just thinking