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2d, 2.5d, Pseudo-3d And True 3d (guides/resource)

Discussion in 'Tutorials' started by Chia, Nov 1, 2017.

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  1. Resourceful, thank you for the downloads!

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  2. Dope. This explanation makes a lot of sense!

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  3. I didn't understand, can you re-explain?

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  4. Teach me Blender????

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  5. You didn't teach me anything I wasn't aware of...

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  1. Chia

    • 12/30

    Aug 8, 2015
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    2.5D, Pseudo-3D and True 3D for Sprite Animators
    Although this focuses on animators, the information in this post can benefit sprite comics and similar.

    Are your animations lacking in camera angles? Want cinematic backgrounds or next-level quality? Here, I'll show you some different methods to bring your camera angles up-to-par with recent developments from Sprite Animation communities all over.

    DIsclaimer: This is not "THE" way to make 3D, 2D, 2.5D or similar. These are not the "right and wrong ways" of showing depth in your animations, and I won't slam you for preferring one style over another. After all, differences are what makes art worth observing to begin with.

    2D (AquilaHarukaze | Alicia VS Neil)


    While there's nothing specifically wrong with this map (it was done really well actually), there's something about it that lacks expression. Can you tell what it is?

    It's that sense of distance and depth! As with all images, there's a definite sense of "how far away" objects are from one another, but due to the layout of the map, distance is primarily shown in a left-to-right format. Again, it's not the quality of the map or design, but rather, the flexibility of perspective that this map allows you to creatively use.

    In every aspect (minus platforming), this is great 2D map. But what would push it even further, and improve it that just much more? PERSPECTIVE.
    2.5D (AquilaHarukaze | Prisonbreak! [Part 2])


    Now, this is thinking much further outside the box. Even though it was brief, and selective Aquila carefully sacrificed some of the left-to-right for perspective and variety. Since this has perspective however, does that make it 3D perspective? The true answer, is though it mimics the real thing fairly well, it hasn't scratched the surface of 3D. For that, we need to look outside of 2D-focused software like Flash, After Effects or Sony Vegas altogether...

    To achieve true 3D, you'll need software well-equipped to handle true 3D. So, what's beyond that Flash x After Effects pairing we've heard praised so much? Here's an example.

    Psuedo-3D (AinnMS | "Psuedo-3D" Demonstration)


    The original video clip this screenshot comes from was a result of some bare-basic compositing between MikuMikuDance (a true 3D render) and Flash (used in purely 2D). Other candidates are Garry's Mod, Source Filmmaker and other 3D environments. The setup was incredibly simple. I loaded the stage I planned to use in the software, adjusted the 3D camera in a fashion that I planned to use in Flash, then rendered to a PNG and placed it as a backdrop behind Chia Akiyama "Pink-chan" up there (totally not poking at @Tra-La-Tracey).

    It was "step 1 and done", really. But... is this REALLY 3D? What exactly is my reasoning for calling this Pseudo-3D, as opposed to just 3D-- you might think. If the 3D elements are true 3D, how is it the final render isn't considered true 3D?

    The answer lies in capability and the reasons behind them. Because ultimately, this setup is still depending entirely on 2D properties too closely, which keeps it incapable of 3D techniques such as use of a "camera crane" or a "camera dolly". To illustrate, imagine if I wanted to rotate the camera to look closely at the locker, transitioning smoothly mid-sequence. As a simple PNG is not a 3D file format (and Flash is not 3D-ready in the first place), I would have no such capability without creating a PNG sequence of 2D images. Now, we can accept 2D images as a representation of 3D objects, but that's all they'll ever be. REPRESENTATIONS-- not the real deal, hence "pseudo-3D". Drawing an orange on a piece of paper does not give the paper itself three-dimensional depth.

    True 3D (AinnMS | BlezAnimations Tribute)
    (A much-better example will be coming soon.)


    By the physics definition of how the dimensions work, I can say this is true 3D. But, how-- what's the difference exactly?

    The ability to produce 3D pans, 3D depth of field adjustments and dolly-zooms were not a result of some 2D image sequence. I retained all of the properties of 3D space by pushing the two-dimensional assets up a dimension-- into three-dimensional space. In physics, we could compare this to "ADDING a dimension", rather than "SUBTRACTING a dimension".

    Since I didn't REPRESENT/SUBSTITUTE the 3D environment into a 2D image, I didn't lose any of the 3D information from the camera or the 3D software itself (which if you haven't noticed, is Blender 3D-- I highly recommend it for all it's capable of because it does everything it promises SO WELL). That means all those dolly-zooms, field of view shifts and Hancock effects are genuine.

    Despite a lack of camera rotation, this is still true 3D. I've already made a sequence for Those Better Days 2 that better demonstrates these 3D properties I mentioned.

    You'll need these to follow my True 3D guide:
    - Knowledge of Blender 3D (I'm not going to teach you how to use Blender, there are thousands of tutorials DEDICATED to that on YouTube/Vimeo alone)
    - This version of Swivel 1.0 (not Swivel 1.1 which is on Newgrounds right now).
    - Quicktime video codec (you don't need all of Quicktime, just the MOV codec)
    - Blender (preferably the most recent version, but 2.6+ versions are known to work as well)
    - Images to 2D Planes addon (just enable it in your Blender preferences, it's pre-installed)
    - An SWF without VCAM movement (VCAMs are fine, but compositing is best without extra movement)
    - A 3D background or environment to demonstrate (or interact with)


      • Create a SWF animation, and be sure to keep the VCAM stationary.
      • Open the SWF in Swivel and manually set the resolution to 2x+ (3x-6x is ideal) the resolution of the final video output (if you want 1080p, use 1080 x 2 etc)
      • Go to the VIDEO tab a use enable background transparency. You should see "Quicktime Movie". If not, you've goofed. Download Swivel 1.0 from my Sprite Effects Pack, install the Quicktime codec, then retry.
      • Render your animation. I personally haven't transfered audio from the SWF to Blender, but you could export audio from Flash and import directly to Blender via the strip sequencer.
      • After the render is complete (it will PROBABLY take extra time if you followed the steps properly), create a plane with the same aspect ratio as your animation. One quick way of doing this is to use the Image to 2D Plane addon I mentioned earler. Enable it (of course) and browse for your MOV file. At first, you won't see it because Blender is looking for image files. This is normal, so all you need to do is disable the image filter by clicking the filter icon and you'll see all files.
      • Load your MOV as an animated texture, and change your settings to enable "auto-refresh".
      • As you navigate frames with the plane selected, you will experience lag. That's normal too. Simply deselect the plane and you're ready to go again.
      • Set the animated texture to enable alpha, and be sure to set the material to the same. Z-transparency takes a long time, but is accurate. Mask is only good if you don't have another transparent in front of the object, otherwise the inaccuracy will ruin your render. Try it out if you want, you'll see what I mean.
      • At this point, your 2D plane is ready to work in your 3D environment.
    Be 100% sure to keep the camera ALIGNED to the plane or you'll get some wicked paper-flipping like THESE:

    Paper-Flipping (Vashie | Maple Rushed 3 Entry)


    That "paper-flipping" effect is what you should seriously avoid at all costs. Rotating the plane to match your camera is a practical and effective solution. Some unseen imperfections are fine, but other than that... I couldn't say 3D would be helping you at all.

    (Maplemation cross-post is here.)

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