I need software that can make 2D animations appear 3D. Can Toon Boom do this?

I was watching this old video about the discontinued Animo software. I heard Toon Boom is essentially the successor to Animo, but can Toon Boom do this?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1OFfs7geaw#t=3m32s

Can Toon Boom do that 360 turnaround of Madeline? It’s a 2D vector drawing, but it almost looks 3D. How is that possible? Is it just manipulating the vectors, or is it something more? My goal is to get an animation software that can make 2D drawings appear 3D.

I looked up 360 turnaround in Toon Boom and got this. It’s not as sophisticated as that Animo video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6Nznx6Z1-I

But then I looked up the same thing for Anime Studio and got what I was looking for:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JiykR6CAWWI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrEAQbFiG_8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NfEx4zFiSQA

So my question is, can Toon Boom do this too? It seems Toon Boom has every feature an animator needs, but I also need software that can make 2D images appear 3D. If Toom Boom can do this, then I’ll get Toom Boom and nothing else.

Please let me know. Thank you!

For some reason no release notes previous to HAR 12 seem to mention the addition of the envelope deformer. It just appeared unannounced. Suddenly you had a new icon on the deformation toolbar. I worked with it on a studio that didn’t upgrade to 12 to improve the animation of pieces of clothing, for instance.


Luis Canau

Of course! Thank you, I’ll edit the post. [Or not, apparently now after some time passes we cannot edit posts]

You mean Envelope not Curve, right? The Bone and Curve deformers were introduced in version 9, I think, the Envelope appeared on a subversion of 11, maybe 11.1? There was a time when I was supervising several stations with Harmony Standalone and, for a while, before upgrading all machines, only one had the Envelope icon on the deformation toolbar.


Luis Canau[/quote]
I was under the impression that the Curve Deformer arrived in version 11. Apparently it has been around longer than that. I also thought the Envelope Deformer arrived with Harmony 12. I have not seen anything related to the Envelope Deformer mentioned prior to the announcement of the three-tier Harmony structure of version 12. This “What’s New In Harmony 12” video seems to imply the Envelope Deformer is new in addition to simplifying the overall deformer process. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPE7JoQ8fys

What you see in the 360 degree turnaround of Animo is a result of several compiled and tweened drawings created by hand and scanned into the software. It isn’t the software automatically generating a 3D image from 2D. Relying on the artwork is also true of Anime Studio and Toon Boom software.

To answer your question, you can create 360 degree turnarounds in Toon Boom Studio, TB Animate and TB Harmony. Just how good they look ultimately depends on your drawing skill. The weakness in all of the examples you posted can be sourced to the art the animators were working with not the software.

Aaaah. Okay, that makes sense. Sorry for my ignorance. Thank you for clearing things up for me. The turnaround was just tweened so well that it almost looked 3D generated.

So is there any existing software out there that can make 2D animations appear 3D? I know one software called Live2D that can, but it only does it in a single perspective view.

Anime Studio Pro can make 2d appear 3d, and even after effects can make 2d character animation appear 3d. (2danimation101 a tutorials for an aex character)
Both of these applications can animate vector points, something that Harmony unfortunately cannot do. The ability to animate the actual geometry / 2D “mesh” can be used to create the illusion of 3D, e.g. head and body turns.

Toon Boom, it would be a good idea for you to implement an additional layer type in Harmony, a “Shape Layer”, in which the equations for the vectors allow for point animation.

Can you post some examples?

I don’t know of any 2D to 3D but I know there are several programs or plug-ins that make 3D originated geometry look like 2D.

The equivalent in Harmony are the envelop deformers. They can be used to reshape drawings in order to produce a full turn around without creating new drawings. These envelop deformers work on any type of drawing whether they are vector, raster of imported images.

Here is a great example created in Harmony by Bob Etchingham:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ie74Yl_Q6o

I’ll try to find an example of a complete turn around created in Harmony, but this is a standard animation technique used all the time in Harmony.

There is also the Mesh Warp that can be used to reshape drawings.

Impressive and effective use of curve deformers.

Thank you so much for telling me this!

Is the «Speakeasy Comicbook Trailer» really animated with envelope deformers? I thought it was by a sophisticated use of curve deformers. Though, I guess, technically, the envelope is an improved curve. The video is from April 2004 and that character was featured on a demo where we can see all the deformers activated (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZc-C9YldAc, around 32 min). It seems to be a version of Harmony 11 without the envelope icon visible on the deformation toolbar (the interface was simplified in version 12). Wasn’t the envelope deformer introduced in Harmony more recently than that? I might be wrong, but, in any case, a good example was made for the introduction videos to Harmony 12, which we can see on the video “Deformers” (https://www.toonboom.com/products/harmony/features) or on the main “What’s New” video (on the top of the same page). It’s a full body turnaround with head and clothes animated with the envelope tool.


Luis Canau

Hi Luis,

I guess you are right. This was done even before we had implemented the proper envelop deformers. Though the curve deformers were already being used by creative artists, like Bob Etchingham, to create envelops around drawings but the loop could not be closed like it can now, it had to be cheated. I guess now that Harmony has the envelop deformers, it is simpler!

Thanks for digging out the example from our feature section.

Marc-André

I suspect that you meant to say the Speakeasy trailer was uploaded on 4/2014 not 2004. Lilly Vogelsang’s presentation is 11/2014 so it would all coincide with Harmony 11 in which the the Curve Deformer was introduced.

I had not seen the Speakeasy trailer until you posted it here. All of this is very cool. The main reason I wanted Harmony was for the Curve Deformer and seeing what can be done with envelope-style deformation is very inspiring.

Of course! Thank you, I’ll edit the post. [Or not, apparently now after some time passes we cannot edit posts]

You mean Envelope not Curve, right? The Bone and Curve deformers were introduced in version 9, I think, the Envelope appeared on a subversion of 11, maybe 11.1? There was a time when I was supervising several stations with Harmony Standalone and, for a while, before upgrading all machines, only one had the Envelope icon on the deformation toolbar.


Luis Canau