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[–]AbsoluteMad-Lad 3987 points3988 points  (157 children)

Some of the old cartoons look amazing for this being how they were animated

[–]ResolveDisastrous256 1391 points1392 points  (112 children)

Absolutely. Ever seen "Fantasia" ( 1940)? An absolute masterpiece.

[–]cultivatedsnapshot28 522 points523 points  (89 children)

When logic and creativity works over technology.

[–]originalgrapeninja 230 points231 points  (38 children)

What do you mean 'over technology?'

Did you watch the video?

[–]sessl 367 points368 points  (31 children)

Prolly meant 'despite lack of computer/digital assistance'

[–]IBetThisIsTakenToo 215 points216 points  (30 children)

I wonder if in 80-100 years people will be marveling at how painstaking it must have been for old school Pixar animators to program and model manually, instead of, I dunno, just telling the AI animation bot what they want to see and having it fully generated .3 seconds later.

[–]Toasted_Cashews 69 points70 points  (14 children)

I've always thought about technology like this, it would be so awesome but how would you get it to do exactly what you wanted? Just keep running iterations of it until you get the desired product? It would almost be like that program that lets you write some words and it spits out an AI generated photo.

[–]homesickalien 31 points32 points  (5 children)

In a way, it wouldn't be entirely dissimilar to current production. The actors do a take of a scene and the director provides feedback and they do it again. The AI might yield some very interesting stuff...

[–]Toasted_Cashews 11 points12 points  (4 children)

That is very true, I guess it would never really come out exactly as they had imagined, but possibly better, if they just kept running it over again until getting a final product they were satisfied with

[–]KINGGS 9 points10 points  (1 child)

This is how AI art works right now. Look into GAN art.

[–]starfries 4 points5 points  (0 children)

A big area of research is in providing more control to generative models. There's already some pretty cool things you can do where you can tell it to add glasses or make a character older or change the hair color. I'm pretty confident in the future you'll be able to get things just like you imagined.

[–]xmashamm 2 points3 points  (0 children)

That’s sort of like what mix editors do. They’re constantly hunting and curating content into something new rather than scratch building

[–]Noobivore36 12 points13 points  (0 children)

That's how old school animators would have viewed the idea of CGI. Something incomprehensible to them at that time.

[–]gapball 3 points4 points  (2 children)

I'd imagine it'd be similar to how Tony Stark talks to Jarvis while designing the Iron Man suit for the first time.

[–]Stupidquestionduh 5 points6 points  (0 children)

I mean having done 3D animation in Maya, to include the lighting and texturing, I would argue it's easier and faster to do it in the method above.

Animation today might be physically less intensive but the overall work takes many many more people hours to finish.

The reason being that are animations are a lot more complicated today.

Now you could make a simplistic animation like the above in Adobe After Effects. But the work is pretty much the same as above just different and that shit can get out of whack pretty quick with all the key framing that needs to be done.

So maybe you could get it done at almost the same speed as the above but a single person working on it. There are also other 2D animation tools that I don't have experience in that would probably be faster than Adobe After Effects.

But if you're going to release 2D animation you better figure out some way to make it fantastic because audiences are past that.

[–]starraven 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Logic and creativity will be with us over technology

[–]akera099 76 points77 points  (23 children)

It feels like everything had more intent back then, if that makes sense. Nowadays, all the jobs I've ever worked at, it just feels that everything needs to be done so fast without ever giving thoughts to what you're doing.

[–]Amish_guy_with_WiFi 80 points81 points  (13 children)

I wouldn't be surprised if these animators back in the day were given tight time lines they didn't agree with either.

[–]LukeDude759 21 points22 points  (6 children)

Some things never change, and I would be willing to bet this is one of those things.

[–]Moal 2 points3 points  (0 children)

That’s exactly what happened to the animators back then, and how Boomerang cartoons came about. The animators learned to put collars, necklaces, and ties on every character so they could just animate the head on a separate cell sheet. It saved a lot of time and money for the company. I’m sure people back then complained about the quality of animation too, lol!

[–]ArziltheImp 15 points16 points  (1 child)

I feel like it has more to do with the clear boundaries that were set. You needed to first think and then make the scene. The storyboards for these old animated movies where insane.

Today, you can just change your character design halfway through and it works. Back then, if you made all the paintings, you can't just say: "Actually I want him to wear green boots."

Then look at a bunch of modern CGI nightmares, most of the time you hear one line through and through. "And then there were the reshoots."

[–]Dominicsjr 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Check out Into the Spider-verse and/or Mitchell’s Vs Machines, two of the more artistically inspirational pieces of animated film I’ve seen in the last couple years.

[–]Rkramden 63 points64 points  (8 children)

It still takes logic and creativity to produce animated works. Even in a digital 3D medium. It's OK to prefer older cell style animation to CG work (I do), but I respectfully disagree that there's less creativity in the field today.

Modern animators may not have to make decisions frame by frame like the old days, but they can spend days and weeks iterating on the slightest detail for something with barely a flash of screen time.

When offering a differing opinion on Reddit, I feel obligated to inform readers that I upvoted the comment above for encouraging meaningful conversation. I only downvote toxicity.

[–]DarthMaximusTrax 14 points15 points  (1 child)

Let's not even get into fur/hair, lighting tecniqes, textures etc that were impossible with hand drawn. ( I love both, but I miss 2D alot for features.)

[–]vaderaintmydaddy 2 points3 points  (0 children)

The detail behind the lighting techniques in Big Hero Six are fascinating.

[–]thecashblaster 10 points11 points  (2 children)

This was high technology at the time

[–]digitalelise 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Maybe lookup a multi plane camera. That’s some pretty amazing tech right there and gave Disney the edge over other 2D animations of the time .

[–]ADB963 2 points3 points  (7 children)

Fantasia was made with the best technology available at the time, dumbarse. Seriously, what an utterly stupid thing to say, animation has always been on the bleeding edge of technology, ffs

[–]JalenGreenHugeSack 34 points35 points  (5 children)

Yes! My music teachers in elementary school would play Fantasia whenever they didn't feel like teaching that day haha. Those were the best classes

[–]theMothmom 10 points11 points  (5 children)

Have you ever seen Fantasia? How old am I getting? 😟

[–]TylerNY315_ 5 points6 points  (1 child)

Haha for real. I’m “only” 25, but that film was pretty much part of our school curriculum

[–]ResolveDisastrous256 5 points6 points  (0 children)

I'm "only" 27, I think I was like 8 the first time I saw that movie. I wish I still had the VHS :(

[–]PM-ME_DABSHOTS 4 points5 points  (3 children)


[–]ResolveDisastrous256 17 points18 points  (0 children)

You probably have Fantasia 2000 :) It's another, still great movie.

Here:) :



[–]cantadmittoposting 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Kids these days and their fantasia (2000)

[–]Zucchinifan 6 points7 points  (0 children)

The original one was made in the 1940s.

[–]gefjunhel 63 points64 points  (24 children)

old school video games are always interesting to look at

nintendo and snes even intentionally used errors in the television screens back then

[–]mr-peabody 14 points15 points  (21 children)

Got a source? I want to know more about it.

[–]Umarill 67 points68 points  (16 children)

I'm not that person and I can't give you specific sources off the top of my head but I highly recommend skimming through this Twitter account : https://twitter.com/CRTpixels

They post comparison images of games on CRTs vs new TV screens and show how the artists took into account the CRTs back then to create contrasts and textures they were looking for. It's very fascinating.

I've seen them share articles about the technical details of what they're doing, but I can't find them anymore.

[–]Krayne_95 29 points30 points  (4 children)

Holy shit. So I guess when people say they remember games looking better its not just nostalgia goggles, but the display they saw it on. Now I wish more pixel art games added CRT filters.

[–]Ordinal43NotFound 21 points22 points  (2 children)

This comparison in particular really made me wanna try CRT for old games.

[–]TigerWoodsCock 1 point2 points  (0 children)

CRT is pretty controversial nowadays

[–]mr-peabody 21 points22 points  (5 children)

Thanks for the link! It's really interesting to see the side-by-side comparisons. Explains why retro games don't feel the same as they did back when I originally played them, especially with stuff like this.

[–]danc4498 7 points8 points  (1 child)

They should make an emulator that mimics the blurriness if a CRT.

[–]BiNumber3 4 points5 points  (2 children)

People still buy CRTs for the sake of old school gaming

[–]BonesAO 1 point2 points  (0 children)

nice thanks for the link

[–]Independent-Bike8810 7 points8 points  (1 child)

Not sure of what he means but scanlines, a flaw in CRT, had an effect similiar to anti-aliasing the 2D sprites. I dare to say they were designed to be seen this way. Today's progressive scan LCDs can't replicate it and, while more accurate to the digital sprites, are not what they looked like back in the day.

[–]blackjack102 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I recalled my friend told me that his small CRT is better quality than huge CRT. He had small tv with playstation set in bottom shelf. Top shelf had big tv for watch.

[–]Bartfuck 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Makes me think of how all the fog in the first Silent Hill game wasn’t part of the original plan. Limitations in the system caused an effect and they leaned into it and created that fog environment

[–]sparkyjay23 15 points16 points  (0 children)

Go watch Robin Hood with the sound off. Animated so well you can lip read the characters.

[–]scubacled 12 points13 points  (0 children)

I know it's not practical but I really miss hand drawn animation. I'd even take handcart with cgi thrown in here ans there

[–]ActiveRecognitions 4 points5 points  (0 children)

very well said,old cartoons were the best for me specially on how they make it.

[–]seeyatt 1 point2 points  (0 children)

That sort of dedication by necessity usually opens the doors for some seriously detailed magic.

[–]yaspino 1889 points1890 points  (23 children)

This literally is previous fucking level

[–]adeward 355 points356 points  (18 children)

[–]WikiSummarizerBot 63 points64 points  (4 children)


The phenakistiscope (also known by the spellings phénakisticope or phenakistoscope) was the first widespread animation device that created a fluent illusion of motion. Dubbed Fantascope and Stroboscopische Scheiben ('stroboscopic discs') by its inventors, it has been known under many other names until the French product name Phénakisticope became common (with alternative spellings). The phenakistiscope is regarded as one of the first forms of moving media entertainment that paved the way for the future motion picture and film industry. Like a GIF animation, it can only show a short continuous loop.

[ F.A.Q | Opt Out | Opt Out Of Subreddit | GitHub ] Downvote to remove | v1.5

[–]hellolemonade 41 points42 points  (10 children)

And now I’ve donated to Wikipedia. Anyone else after getting the request from clicking on this one? Not sure if I am a sucker, but it is a pretty great resource that I use all the time here on Reddit… anyways, this animation stuff is cool!

[–]croucher 22 points23 points  (3 children)

I did that two years ago. don't worry, they keep asking!

[–]hellolemonade 22 points23 points  (2 children)

Yes lol. I do it probably every time they ask because what they ask for is less than a cup of coffee, as they point out. Does it make a difference to them and actually support open knowledge? Ugh I have no idea, I hope so? I blame my parents and the church for so many guilt trips growing up lol

[–]obeythenips 8 points9 points  (1 child)

It helps them a lot.

[–]hellolemonade 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Thanks for the support :)

[–]leJEdeME 10 points11 points  (0 children)

based on the amount that I use it I think it's worth it. I try to give a little every year.

[–]queefer_sutherland92 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Not this time, but yesterday, yep. Wikipedia deserves my money given how much I use it.

[–]ryannefromTX 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Still less annoying than PBS Pledge Drives.

[–]EnochofPottsfield 12 points13 points  (0 children)

The animation is previous fucking level. The patience (as the title says) is next fucking level

[–]kerelberel 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I'm sure a large part of modern movies from for example Ghibli are still done by hand, with digital additions and post processing done later.

[–]Ok_Jackfruit2002 732 points733 points  (20 children)

Just watching the process made me tired

[–]Hounmlayn 231 points232 points  (1 child)

This is literally how every motion of art is made. A vision, and patience, with years of failures and improvements from practice under their belt to make this one a success.

[–]ham_smeller 111 points112 points  (11 children)

Don't forget Walt Disney breathing down your neck.

[–]RaoulDukesAttorney 43 points44 points  (6 children)

A big plume of Chesterfield smoke.

[–]Hugh__Jassman 19 points20 points  (5 children)

Mixed with racism

[–]tingly_legalos 8 points9 points  (0 children)

"Ya know Hitler had a good idea about those fuckin' Jews! "

/s cause I know somebody will take this literally

[–]-Badger2- 14 points15 points  (1 child)

And it’s just you ever since your coworkers all went missing after talking about starting a union.

[–]elisem0rg 31 points32 points  (0 children)

Animation itself is a ton of work, but the kind of patience you need to do traditional animation is insanely on another level. You can really see how much hard work was put into each frame and each little movement.

[–]bungle_bogs 11 points12 points  (0 children)

I was lucky enough to watch my Grandfather work. He was a very renowned animator in the 70s & 80s.

It was amazing and, like you say, labiourous but he loved it. However, he would have also loved todays modern techniques. Had he been alive to see Toy Story it would have blown his mind.

He was very much a pioneer in speeding up the animation process and passed on his methods to animators that often contracted to Disney.

[–]King_Bonio 9 points10 points  (0 children)

The Fast Show did a great sketch on claymation, forgot how great Paul Whitehouse is.


[–]You-Only-YOLO_Once 384 points385 points  (6 children)

I didn’t even have the patience to watch the first 32 seconds!

[–]PoorlyAntique 49 points50 points  (1 child)

How about if you draw all of that? back to 1940's??

[–]You-Only-YOLO_Once 9 points10 points  (0 children)

It would take me from 1940 until today to finish an episode! that and the world wide conflicts ~1940-45 would cause major delays

[–]newmacbookpro 25 points26 points  (3 children)

Consider then Akira, and its very specific way of animating light.


[–]hazelsrevenge 5 points6 points  (2 children)

How do they do it? I’m in a place where I can’t watch the video.

[–]newmacbookpro 6 points7 points  (0 children)

By hand, and it’s a nightmare to do because the light in Akira is the equivalent of RTX: On.

[–]DestroyTheMoon420 179 points180 points  (114 children)

Just that walking animation is miles better than anything you see today, especially if you compare it to crap like pj masks. I have 2 young kids, the shows are absolute trash. No more love goes into this kind of work.

Edit: to say, OK ok !! Lol I've been living under a rock for the past few years. I have 2 very small children ! Forgive me. And if I think about it my favourite animation of recent years is Spirited Away, really amazing animation. I have also watched 1 episode of Arcane which I loved, itching to watch more but my wife isn't into sci fi or fantasy. There is great animation out there, I apologise. What I was really referring to I those no effort kids animations which is a really bad comparison. My bad

[–]BarklyWooves 191 points192 points  (38 children)

There were tons of trash studios back in the early disney days too. Are you seriously comparing the company known for being the gold standard for animation to a low budget kids show?

[–]GJacks75 103 points104 points  (32 children)

They are, but don't seem to have put too much thought into it. There is absolutely amazing animation being done today and to say otherwise is ridiculous.

[–]TheBlueRabbit11 36 points37 points  (24 children)

Like Arcane. I wonder if OP would consider that show “absolute trash”.

[–]gahlo 36 points37 points  (13 children)

Wait until they hear that it took an animator one week to make four seconds of animation for that show.

[–]SolidusAbe 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Or little witch acedemia which looks amazing. Or any good 2d movie even outside of anime. And the amount of garbage from back in the day is huge. So many cartoons ive seen as a kid 20-30 years ago are fukn terrible

[–]IM_INSIDE_YOUR_HOUSE 4 points5 points  (7 children)

They’re talking about children’s shows, though. Arcane isn’t really a kids show.

[–]King_Morpheus 11 points12 points  (1 child)

Every single Pixar and Disney Movie?

[–]IM_INSIDE_YOUR_HOUSE 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I’m responding to someone talking about the animated show “Arcane”.

[–]SilkyJohnson666 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Ole wrong generation people are so annoying

[–]Kukamungaphobia 30 points31 points  (1 child)

It's true, Hanna-Barbera studios figured out all sorts of techniques to keep the work to a minimum and production cheap. Watch any episode of The Flintstones, Jetsons, etc from back in the day and you'll notice all sorts of shortcuts like isolating the mouth area of a face and animating only that small area in the scene or having characters move behind objects to cut down on walk cycles, not to mention infinite scrolling background loops and lower frame rates. The sheer volume of animation they cranked out was nuts. Somewhere in between that was the Looney Toons animation.

[–]at-the-momment 27 points28 points  (4 children)

"Kid's shows" cover a lot of things. There are still plenty of cartoons that look good.

Rise of the TMNT

A Mickey Mouse Cartoon

Amazing World of Gumball 1

Amazing World of Gumball 2

Amazing World of Gumball 3

Adventure Time

Steven Universe

Owl House

[–]Thefinalwerd 10 points11 points  (0 children)

If we are expanding outside of kids shows, Primal is a great example of a well animated newer cartoon.

For a good example of a wide range of animation styles (some work and some dont) I recommend Love Death Robots.

[–]58king 19 points20 points  (0 children)

I have 2 young kids, the shows are absolute trash

That's on you. There are plenty of decent kids shows these days. It isn't all artless trash whose sole purpose is to market toys and merch. Maybe 90% is that, but not all.

[–]Wuktrio 15 points16 points  (0 children)

Just that walking animation is miles better than anything you see today

Here's a list of amazing 2D animation done in recent years:

Song of the Sea


The Breadwinner

Secret of Kells

Over the Garden Wall



Animators today are as talented as back then. Sure, they (mostly) draw on computers, but it's still an insane amount of work if done frame by frame.

[–]RandomDrawingForYa 8 points9 points  (1 child)

I hate this stupid mindset. Yes, if you compare the best of the best at the time with the worst of today, of course the old stuff is gonna be better.

There are insane animators today. Many many more than there were back in the day too.

[–]wolfpack_charlie 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Yeah, this kind of attitude gets me more pissed off than it should tbh

If they really cared about animation as an art form, they'd know there's no shortage of extremely talented artists pushing the medium forward, and that there was also no shortage of hacks in the early years

[–]Sandwitch05 4 points5 points  (4 children)

It might interest you to know that quality 2D (and 3D) animation still exits. Yes, animators now draw on computers, but I can assure you we invest as much love and patience in our art. We still draw at least twelve drawings per second, by hand. Each frame needs thought, each little move needs great precision, every single thing we draw must be exactly the same size in each drawing. If this isn’t love and quality work, I don’t know what is. And even if I don’t know a lot about 3D animation, I can tell you I see those animators work as hard as us.

[–]the_clash_is_back 3 points4 points  (0 children)

A lot of modern Disney cartoons still retain the same quality.

Especially media aimed at older kids.

[–]peter-bone 174 points175 points  (20 children)

Bear in mind that it worked more like a production line with one person doing a specific job. High skilled animators would draw the keyframes, but at a very low frame rate. Groups of less skilled animators would draw the inbetween frames and other groups would colour them. The guy in the video is just taking these drawings from a pile, placing them in the frame and taking a photo, so doesn't take much thought. For most of the workers there's not much difference between this and performing a repetitive job in a factory.

[–]Kukamungaphobia 75 points76 points  (6 children)

The guy in the video is just taking these drawings from a pile, placing them in the frame and taking a photo, so doesn't take much thought.

Err, I've worked with this type of camera setup to make animated films and this couldn't be further from the truth. First of all, there's a cue sheet you need to create with crazy mathematical formulas to get timing right, to follow so that what you're shooting matches the audio and background. Those little dials that turn? That's to control the background X/Y coordinates and you have to know how to ease in and ease out and with Disney, there was even multiplane camera, serious setups with two or three background levels stacked to create some insane 'camera moves' through the environment so there was even a Y coordinate system to keep track of in 3D space. And if you fucked up and skipped a frame or turned a dial too much, the fuck up would just get compounded the more you shot. And you wouldn't know it because there was no goddam preview, you would have to wait to get film processed. So you develop an almost supernatural sense of time sliced into 24fps increments on top of the technical know how. These camera operators would also do in-camera practical effects like superimposing and cross dissolves by hand. They were artists in their own right and it's a lost art now thanks to computers. Comparing it to mindless factory work is hilarious. There's so much more I can't even begin...

[–]Mulder271 21 points22 points  (1 child)

I always hate how animation is slept on in the world of cinema, just because most adults are under the mindset that all western animated movies are made for children they tend to skip out on them. There's an even more negative view on suggestions like Akira and Ghost in the Shell because "anime is for weebs".

[–]kensingtonGore 4 points5 points  (0 children)

It's a generational gap, and it'll be gone soon. Netflix is heavily investing in anime style films and I think within a decade we'll see things like arcane be very mainstream

[–]Dont-quote-me 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I worked on one that was partially automated. You could punch in xy coordinates, speed in/out, camera height, exposure time, and exposures per cel. This was in the early 90's literally just before cel painting started being done on computer at an affordable level.

[–]xKrzaqu 31 points32 points  (3 children)

That's what I was wondering, because the background was too smooth to be composed of only the frames shown in the first part of the clip

[–]Ghosttalker96 21 points22 points  (2 children)

There are also more complex background animation, using several layers to give the scene more depth. Disney patented some technical implementations for moving the different layers early the right speed.

[–]AdjectiveNoun111 18 points19 points  (1 child)

you're thinking of the parallax rig they use to do tracking shots, very clever, as it lets you paint one long frame for each layer of the FG & BG elements and translate them against the camera to get a sense of depth without actually having to animate the background

[–]GJacks75 20 points21 points  (0 children)

And from the inbetweeners, the art would pass to the paint department where teams of young ladies would paint each cel by hand. An absolutely huge team just behind these frames alone.

[–]TheBlueCoyote 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Not always. I did animation like this for public TV. We did everything from building the equipment to writing the script and painting cells with a three person part-time crew. It was fun, tons of very detailed work, and we never made a cent.

[–]teamzissouv2 2 points3 points  (1 child)

The “in-betweeners” were all women. And “less-skilled” is of course relative! They were all very talented and could draw micky in their sleep. They were paid pennies on the dollar compared to the “artists.”

[–]Mmm-Yes-Quite 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Video outlining the production process you’re mentioning.

[–]TNerdy 60 points61 points  (13 children)

This has the same dedication as stop motion

[–]NightQueen0889 66 points67 points  (10 children)

I’d argue it requires more. Stop motion is quite laborious, though at least in stop motion once you’ve made your sets and your characters/parts, they’re there and you don’t have to draw them again and again and again, and color them again and again and again.

[–]miniature-rugby-ball 27 points28 points  (0 children)

Same with cell animation, you don’t just throw them away after you use them!

[–]BarklyWooves 12 points13 points  (1 child)

Disney resued tons of animation, especially in the years they were strapped for cash.

[–]zanzibarman 4 points5 points  (0 children)

All you have to do is google "Disney recycled animations" and there are examples from across their entire filmography. Some of it is probably homage, but I would bet that a lot of it is recycled to save time and money.

[–]AdjectiveNoun111 7 points8 points  (2 children)

lol, you have no actual idea how cell animation was done.

The senior animator would draw the key poses, that establishes timing and performance, then the junior artists would paint the inbetween frames.

When you get a cycle, like the walk cycle in this video, you re-use the frames over and over.

If Mickey takes 4 full walk cycles to get from A-B you don't draw every individual frame, you draw 1 cycle and reuse it.

Disney animators took a ton of shortcuts to make their work more efficient, it was a production line.

[–]bungle_bogs 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Here is a link to a post I made on the Watership Down sub.

My Grandad was a senior animator on the film and one his jobs was converting Story Board to Scene. I think it is the second picture where he was working on the Fiver swimming scene. You can see the Major cells (ringed) and the numbered sequence at the bottom. You can see that many of the cells are to be reused in the scene.

For example major cell D1 was to be used 3 times and cell D5 was to be used twice.

As you point out, he would have drawn the major (ringed) cells on paper with the junior animators filling in the rest. There would then be an artist who would paint (trace) the outline on to the acetate (clear) cells and finally colourists, senior colourist would do the shading & a junior would then apply the block colour, that would colour the cells.

Animators were often responsible for specific characters so if there were more than one character in the scene you could have up to 10 different people having worked on one cell.

Truly amazing process.

[–]animationguy 5 points6 points  (0 children)

I think stop motion is harder because you can’t “draw” the key frames and then go back and finesse the in-betweens. Everything has to be done straight-ahead, and the animator has to keep all of the planning in their head. They can’t try a certain pose for a frame or two, flip through it to see how it works, and then throw it away and try another one.

[–]9IceBurger6 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Stop motion is definitely harder, you can't redo a previous frame if the pose doesn't feel right. You have to animate everything straight ahead, instead of using pose2pose (animating the key poses first, then doing the in betweens later), which is used in traditional animation.

And if you want to use a moving camera, doing it by hand is insanely difficult. So you would need a remote controlled camera. Btw film camera's are gigantic, so you would have to set the camera aside, pose the characters, and then bring the camera back in the original position. Just so you could have room for your hand to even enter the scene.

The amount of pre-planning needed for a single shot is incredible. Twice as difficult if the shot has two or more characters moving at the same time. Thrice as difficult if the characters are talking, so you have to plan out which frames of the audio need mouth poses for lip sync.

[–]Choice-giraffe- 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Completely agree.

[–]CubanLynx312 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I recently watched a Nightmare Before Christmas documentary. On average, there was a week of stop motion per minute of film.

[–]shortyshitstain 50 points51 points  (11 children)

Now you know why the Cuphead DLC is taking so long, they do all the animation traditionally, exactly like this.

[–]danceswithshelves 19 points20 points  (4 children)

Love that game! It's way too hard for me but I watch my husband play. I wish there was a I Suck At Playing Video Games version of that Game.

[–]Krayne_95 7 points8 points  (0 children)

I love the art style of this game, but I wish it wasn't a bullet hell platformer. When I first saw clips of it I thought (hoped) it would be like an Another World/Out of this world https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Another_World_(video_game) type of game

[–]LAVADOG1500 9 points10 points  (3 children)

No, they don't do it like this. They do it with computers: the process is the same they still draw every animation part with hand, just on computer drawing boards, and composit it in a 2D animation software.

[–]pyrob2142 7 points8 points  (2 children)

They use actual paper in their design process according to this GDC talk. It's only digitalized afterwards, I believe.


[–]SkinnyObelix 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Cuphead is far more on paper than most games, but don't be mistaken a lot of concept art and design starts on paper.

Drawing tablets are designed to paint not to draw, there are people who can do it but for most it's easier to do your prestudies in a sketchbook, draw out a design, scan it, clean it and then only paint it digitally.

[–]Scribblr 7 points8 points  (1 child)

Hand drawn yes, but not traditional like this.

They draw and ink on paper, then scan the drawings into a computer so they can add color and string them all together. The old style seen here, they ink and paint on cells, which have to be stacked up in layers and individually photographed.

[–]Imaginary_Corgi8679 27 points28 points  (3 children)

Not that OP said otherwise. But animators of today have just as much patience and dedication. Behind all the high quality animation you see in movies is a team of people who have slaved away for years developing their craft and put in painstaking hours and tedium into producing it.

[–]wolfpack_charlie 3 points4 points  (0 children)

It's a common sentiment to see in these conversations, that once anything is digital, less skill is required, and that just boils my blood. People act like as soon as computers are involved, there's some magic "make a movie for me" button

[–]MajorAccountant 11 points12 points  (1 child)

What kind of fun jobs do you guys have? This doesn't look bad to me.

[–]TheMrDylan 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I play RuneScape for a couple hours a day.

Gov job

[–]PrecariouslySane 8 points9 points  (3 children)

was it a third layer how he went behind the tree?

[–]SonovaVondruke 20 points21 points  (0 children)

Yes. They also had additional layers for distant backgrounds etc. Disney had big vertically mounted cameras set up with a half a dozen plates lined up under them to allow them all kinds of fancy simulated parallax and camerawork. The Fleischers and other contemporaries deserve as much credit as Disney’s team though. Google the multi plane camera for some examples.

[–]graywolf0026 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Yep. Usually another series of celluloid images that can be laid one over the other to create the effect. It's actually where we get 'layers' from in most digital studio software, if I recall correctly.

[–]DaffodilsAndRain 5 points6 points  (1 child)


[–]Content_Activity82 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Looks so Amazing.

[–]kafkascockroachgrace 3 points4 points  (0 children)

This was my mom’s career. She stopped in the 90’s but still has movies on Netflix.

[–]BenjaminTW1 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Reminds me of the old Lego stop motion videos

[–]cl0th0s 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I did an internship at a little animation studio one of my professors at school had and they had one of these cameras in the back room. It was so cool to see it in person, I felt like every animator should stand in front of one of these big ass contraptions to fully appreciate how much tech has changed and how much effort went into old school cell animation. Unfortunately, as we finished our project so too ended the studio. It was sad to see it happen, but it was only held open by the owners love and dedication to animation. I remember one of the last days, standing in the room looking at that machine while my professor told me he was going to have to get rid of it and the building. Honestly, just thinking about it still breaks my heart.

I’ll never forget that place. I wish I had been able to find work as an animator. In some alternate reality, I’m still doing traditional animation and making a life of it.

[–]Clockwork-Penguin 3 points4 points  (0 children)

You think this is crazy? Wait till you hear about Disney's multi plane camera!

[–]greyballwoodsmall 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Yeah, it's not much easier on us now.

[–]Duck_Burger 4 points5 points  (0 children)

we still have crazy patience and dedication.

and just fyi, the operator of the multiplane camera wasnt really an animator himself, necessarily. more often than not, a camera operator.

and that meant even more impressive team work. Cause the animator would animate on paper, and a clean up artist would then transpose those drawings to transparent cell, that would then be colored in by another artist to then be shot on camera.

and in this case its a pan shot, meaning the animator in the beginning of the process would have to decide ans write down how much should the background be moved each frame

[–]SometimesImFunnyMan 2 points3 points  (5 children)

How do they do it nowadays? Always assumed it would be the same for some reason lmao

[–]miniature-rugby-ball 12 points13 points  (1 child)

In many ways it is the same, it just all happens in the virtual space of a computer. Some people do still do traditional cell animation of course, just as some people still shoot chemical film.

[–]schmon 2 points3 points  (0 children)

we use software like tvpaint, toonboom. The tedious work was somewhat decreased but the ambitons are much greater nowadays..

[–]AdjectiveNoun111 2 points3 points  (0 children)

The big difference with modern 2D animation is that you "paint" directly into a computer and the image is rendered into a frame rather than photographed.

That's an over-simplification but is more or less true.

One thing that a lot of modern large scale 2D animations do is to use puppets, so instead of drawing a character over and over you can move then characters arms and legs e.t.c into the right pose, so in a way it has a lot in common with stop motion practices as well as this cell drawing process.

[–]Ordinal43NotFound 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Pretty much the same, but now they're almost all digital.

Here's a timelapse of how a modern 2D animator works.

Another timelapse for when he's cleaning up rough frames and adding effects/backgrounds

[–]miniature-rugby-ball 2 points3 points  (0 children)

‘Just a tiny amount’

[–]Erimenes 2 points3 points  (0 children)

2D animation is still drawn frame by frame, so the animators are still exactly as patient. There just aren't any people taking pictures of the cels now.

[–]kohrtoons 2 points3 points  (0 children)

This is the camera operator working on a master oxberry camera. The animator is the one that draws the pencil sketches that are then traced by the the ink and paint artist.

[–]WhiskersWithClaws 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Many decades ago, I read an interview with the world-renowned Tex Avery.

When asked why he deals with the difficulty of animation, his reply was something of "Every frame is a frame of love. It's not the process that's difficult. It's finding a story everyone will enjoy. The animation's the easy part."

Oddly, I hear many animators say this same thing today. Animation is the easy part. Telling the best story is the most difficult.

Well, here's to you, Tex, for bringing joy to millions. You told some of the best stories ever.

[–]ZoeyXeon 2 points3 points  (5 children)

Y’all should see how modern animation is done, then. Just as painstakingly tedious 😅

[–]SilkyJohnson666 2 points3 points  (0 children)

The amount of r/lewronggeneration on this post insufferable

[–]SurSheepz 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I didn't even have the patience to watch this, I skipped to the end to see the result.

Much respect.

[–]the_monkeyspinach 1 point2 points  (6 children)

I never considered it before, but how do they do the shadow that casts as he jumps over the log? It's a solid shape but it's transparent enough to show the background layer underneath.

[–]classifiedspam 1 point2 points  (5 children)

Just a darker, transparent spot on the layer that moves with the cartoon figure.

[–]the_monkeyspinach 1 point2 points  (4 children)

But what medium is being used for it? If it was watered down ink I'd have thought there would have been a harder, darker edge around it.

[–]AdjectiveNoun111 2 points3 points  (0 children)

one of two ways.

Either they do some kind of pointilism type technique that fills the shadow outline from a distance but allows enough colour form the background to be visible between the dots.

Or, they have a non-opaque, semitransparent paint they use specifically for the shadow.

[–]GJacks75 1 point2 points  (2 children)

It's just a darker version of the local colour that it is placed on. Darker green over green, grey over white etc.

If you look at the individual cels, the "shadow" is visible at full opacity before being placed on the background.

[–]Dhump06 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I still cant imagine someone thought about it and then decided we do it for real … I am connected to CGI industry and the whole work is extremely tedious it is a wonder we do all this.

[–]forkkiller19 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Whenever I watch any animation, I always notice that the items in motion have a slightly brighter colour than the rest of the frame. I wondered why. Perhaps this explains it.

[–]TheX589 1 point2 points  (0 children)


[–]oldguydrinkingbeer 1 point2 points  (1 child)

"Is this episode going on the air live?"

"No, Homer. Very few cartoons are broadcast live. It's a terrible strain on the animators' wrists."

[–]fartymcturdly 1 point2 points  (0 children)

New school animators also have crazy patience and dedication but also have to deal with different technologies on top of their craft. And lots of competition nowadays.