Hybrid Animation Research Vol. I

I asked myself “What is hybrid animation” the answer seems easy, it’s an animation made by using 2d and 3d techiniques. But there is so many variations of it.

First I wanted to know the word from more experienced people. So I dug in to the internet to find out that it’s kinda hard to find anything useful in there. If you type “hybrid animation” you won’t get much… So I changed the way of doing things and tried to use my brain for a change.

I’ve seen so many films in my life, it’s really hard to find something I didn’t already see,  I tried to think of the films that could have used both D in them. And got it! My  most favourite film ever which made me wanna do animation, glorious TEKKONKINKREET. I always knew that this city was just too damn great

Here is a little explenation on how they made the city

So let’s say that this is the first type of hybrid animation – THE 3D BACKGROUND

Seems like a real time saver. It might take some time to build it but the advantage of manipulating it the way you want afterwards is amazing, also If you try hard you can make it look like it’s made in 2D and only experienced people will know your trick. And if we are talking about pretending that 3D is 2D the best example would be Makoto Shinkai the raising star of Japanese animation (the stuff he makes is just too perfect). I found this great interview in which he tells us quickly about the differences of 2d and 3d animation and how does he feel about them plus some other cool stuff. And as I say he is the master of pretending that everything is 2D even if through watching it you can’t believe that anyone could draw the whole film like this (just all those reflections and stuff).

The nex one would be – A CHARACTER WITH 2D & 3D PARTS

The great example are two moose brothers from Brother Bear. Rutt and Tuke have been all drawn in 2D except for their antlers which have been made in 3D cause animators had troubles with drawing them.

Same thing about John Silver’s arm from Treasure Planet. It would just take sooo much time (and money) to make this arm look right in 2D.

This is a great, making the life easier idea but I’m not sure if it’s a good choice for my project, all the hustle with motion tracking. I’ll have to think about it.


One of my favourite ever characters the Aladdin’s Magic Carpet.

Another really nice hybrid interraction in The Iron Giant

Great idea! Althought it might take a bit too much time to show the interraction between assets in the believable way I am definitely going to concider this option.

The last is – 2D CHANGING IN TO 3D ( or the other way around)

Wreck-it Ralph is one of my favourites animations ever! I just find the concept absolutely brilliant! It’s like someone took one of my childhood dreams and made it real. Games are alive in a different world? I’m buying it. Also it’s a great example for this type of hybrid animation. Oldschool arcade game characters and environement are seen on the screen as 2D pixel creatures but when looking from the inside of the arcade they are in 3D, looking more realistic and alive than ever.

I really, really like this idea (I might actually do something like this). It gives me a lot of space to show that I can handle both types of animation which is important since they are so different to each other. I don’t have to worry about the motion tracking or the interraction between mediums. Also it makes it easier if I can choose which part of the script I want to be in 2D and wich in 3D cause simply some things will be easier to make in one technique when the other things will scream for something else.

Additional research

Digging through the internet I found this pdf copy of a book by Tina O’Hailey called “Hybrid Animation Integrating 2D and 3D assets” althought I didn’t read it all (just some chosen pages) it seems like a really really usefull book explaining everything from pre-production to the technical side of the problem and I’m advising everyone interrrested in hybrid animation to read it (I’m planning on doing this on the christmas break)


O’Hailey, T. (2010). Hybrid animation. Burlington, MA: Focal Press.


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