With animation production diversifying thanks to streaming, the internet, crowdfunding and other factors, we are entering an exciting time for artists.
We're in an age where most animation is a hybrid of techniques, all steaming from digital technology. 2D drawings and/or cutouts, 3d CGI, photos, 3d cgi models, live action footage and others are all possibilities that can be mixed together.
Some animation artists to inspire you.
Nina Paley - “Sita Sings the Blues”
Vector based cutout feature film. This film used Adobe Flash (which has been replaced by Adobe Animate.)
Signe Baumane - “My love affair with Marriage”
A feature film drawn by one person (with assistance with production) and composed over photos of physical 3d models.
Scorpion Dagger - “the book of darryl” cutout animation and AR book.
Uses public domain paintings and drawings to tell of a “sixteen-year-old who discovers heavy metal and the son of god in one heady summer in Roman-occupied Nazareth”
Marty Cooper - fun little mixed-media animations
Does some animation with cel’s and physically films them with stop motion techniques.
Goro.fujita - CGI Animation created with VR tools.
Jorge Bompart - 2D cutout animation mixed with CGI video game techniques
Animates using the program ‘spine’ to bring 2D illustrations to life.
Mike Roberts - digital 2d hybrid (drawn+cutout)
Animates using digital 2d puppets in ‘Moho’ as well as other tools.
DUIK (after effects/blender) Free scripts for Adobe After Effects to rig cut-out animation as you would with 3D animation. The creators have spoken of creating similar tools for the free 3D program blender as they transition to free/open-source software.
2D animation software
WickEditor (FREE) <I have used this one
www.wickeditor.com - free online drawing tool with some interactive functionality.
Here are my examples from our class and outside class that were done with www.wickeditor.com. You can see the example I did for the teen/adult class has been enhanced with a background.
Blender 3D (FREE) < I have used this one
https://www.blender.org - The popular open-source 3d CGI software not includes ways to do digital drawn animation that can be placed within 3D layers. Check out the ‘grease pencil’ features here… https://www.blender.org/features/grease-pencil/
Adobe After Effects ($ subscription) < I have used this one
The king of motion graphics and compositing can be used for 2D animation as well. It has especially been popular to do stylized cutout style animation.
Open Toons (free)
Pencil 2D (free)
Animation Paper (free)
Spine ($) - 2d cutout animation for video games
Adobe Animate ($ subscription) The replacement for Adobe Flash
Advanced cutout animation, mixed with motion graphics and compatible with Adobe After Effects. Includes live puppeting and motion capture.
The popular iPad drawing tool now has some basic animation tools to use.
TV paint ($)
The most commonly used 2D animation software.
Moho ($) digital animation, including 2d ‘puppets’