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Future of 2D Animation with Disney’s Paperman


Sadly Disney has pulled the full Paperman short and has replaced it with this trailer.

If you’re like me when you first saw the Oscar winning animated short “Paperman” I thought I had seen the future of 2D animation. I watched it over and over again trying to figure out how they gave 3D models a hand-drawn look. Well, in this behind-the-scenes look the director, John Kahrs, demonstrates how they did this exact process. The technique used combines traditional hand drawn 2D animation and then translates the 2D information on to a 3D model. The program used is called “Meander” created by Eric Daniels. “It’s not like a texture map. It’s just like painting on the surface of the CG. It actually moves on a 2D layer that’s driven by the CG.” Thats how Kahrs described this process. He also talks about bringing the “Hand of the artist” into 3D features and if you ask me he accomplished the goal. John Kahrs believes this process is not ready for a feature length film, but that this technique has a bright future. Check out this clip about how they created this new 3D look.

I want to leave you with John Kahrs’s last thoughts from this inside look. Although he is talking about movies and I’m going to paraphrase him here, but I think it can be applied to things every artist is working on. He said “I wanted it to be a rich dimensional world that you could feel like you could reach into. I want the audience to trust that this world is out there.”