How To Animate an 80s Anime Ship
How to animate a spaceship in a 1980s anime style combining hand drawn and computer renders

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This one's dedicated to my glorious patrons (who I hope enjoyed the early release). A step-by-step rundown of how I combine 3D and 2D to animate speceships, cars, planes, etc. I hope it's helpful! Music used: Allister Brimble - Lightforce Amok - Cybernoid 2 (SID-Lead-Mix) Bitcrusher - Turrican 2: The Final Fight More details on TVPaint's multi-plane camera (since I brushed past in without an explanation!) -


howls of pain : Calls it crappy, 99% better than what I see and draw

Spown : Local man tries to save anime from his backyard! The anime industry doesn't care.

Mokang Beats : This level of patience isn't a virtue..... it's a superpower

mazimadu : You could have just made one SUPER DETAILED drawing and then PANNED that across the screen. That always works!

Ryukachoo : Idea; parameterize your model so it's dimensions can warp very slightly from frame to frame, it'll give that kind of organic motion to old animation where the ship isn't drawn exactly the same every frame. Notice how your hand drawn details seem to wobble and vibrate as it wooshes pass, you'd be programmatically replicating that with the while model

Tsai AG-w : for people who think _just_ reduce frame rate to make 3D looks more like 2D *That's totally wrong* The main difference between 3D and 2D animation is 3D animation is a projection of 3D space but there's no projection in 2D, it's just animator trying to mimic perspective in a 2D space in other word, perspective in 2D animation is not 100% accurate but it looks fluidity due to how inbetween is created animator can deform object a little on paper or adjust timing on exposure sheet to compensate low frame rate, creating a fluidity animation in 3D animation, perspective is 100% accurate but looks laggy in low frame rate because object is following an already set up path. without additional timing adjustment, a low frame rate 3D animation will looks like a laggy computer game driving you mad ---- please do check "12 basic principles of animation" about how to create an animation

Young Erusian Officer : Otaking saves Anime! More news at 10.

Rodrigo Blej : seen blender greasepencil?

Blair Snurtburgler : Couple of notes for quicker work flow and less digital looking animation, speaking as not an expert on animation, I just know a fair bit of software. 1. you could have all you detailing done on your model by using a texture and rendering that out as secondary lines, i.e. a texture with all the details on it already. Will look more digital but also give you a real quick representation of where details would go. 2. In Star Wars from 1977 when they shot the models the backdrops of the stars didn't move consistently with the shot, because they didn't have this digital cube maps and all that jazz, but what it brings is a more complex composite movement, as the backdrop either rotates, moves contradictory, or not at all it will simulate gliding, spinning, etc. of a ship with very few means. 3. Dependent on what you have available you could have the lines of your ship thicker based on the angle between the faces the edge has, additionally it could be affected by the depth buffer so things in front have thicker lines. 4. I don't know what you have available, but additionally if your line art exported frames of the 3d model used a drawn line filter to introduce wobbliness, unevenness and slight curves to your exported lines, it would look less digital and sterile. If all else fails I'd use something like Premiere to add some wave warping of subtle sine curves and noise waves pulling on each frame to make the outlines a bit weird. Not entirely sure how to do this in a video editor but using Spatter and Accented Edges (in that order) on black lines on a white background in Photoshop gives a more classic pencil style line. If you're a wiz with automation maybe Photoshop could simply be used. 5. To make things look more 80s or even 90s Channel offset can be your friend, remember how VHS and old media have that red outline smudge on the left of sharp lines and vice versa green on the right? Happens on old film rolls, VHS, anything not digital, can really help sell the classic look if you do it right. Just doing slightly subtle in your video editor afterwards can do wonders. Usually called channel offset or RGB offset, but buzzwords like VHS can help find tutorials too. Hope that helps you or anybody else.

EckhartsLadder : Amazing dude, so cool to see how you make your art

Friendly Metroid : That is a fantastic process. Still... Workflow. Optimization. Needed. There must be a way to intelligently fill a bound area. Adobe is all over this kind of thing.

id104335409 : I bowed down so deep for the King, my nose bled for the rest of the day!

finnigan16 : Amazing job!!! Please keep the tutorials coming!!!

Tangent Tang : Before I started watching: Well it must be some fancy celluloid style cartoon shader for 3D software now where's the download link? After watching this: Holy sh- that's serious skill!

My life in a nutshell : Sir! We lost the frontal lens flare generators! Damn it Sulu! Otaking, switch to manual! Yes Sir! *"Cracks Knuckles"*

Nicosarea : Holy crap... great job! This looks amazing!!

Paperbag Animator : Great video! Super helpful. I'd say one thing that could help give you a more authentic '2D' feel is removing every second drawing so that it all animates on 2's. Also cuts the workload in half!

elbrigado : take your like good man

Raimar Lunardi : Using 3D the right way! Nice job! too bad today they have less than a day to make such animations like those...

Himura Kenshin : You are an inspiration, man. Awesome work.

Adam Ross : The ship looks killer! Getting some wiggle on your 3d line drawing will make it feel a lot more hand drawn. If you have After Effects you can use turbulent displacement to simulate a hand drawn wiggle. I would also recommend you diving more into multi pass rendering out of C4D. You can save a lot of time filling in flat colors with some object buffer passes or even an rgb matte.

Tropical Wargaming : I have to congratulate you. Your animation looks more fluid than many commercial anime I watch. Look at the recent Fist of the North Star anime, totally lack of frames in the render.

Psy McDad : *bends down* *picks up jaw* *connects jaw to skull* *coughs* "...twas OK."

TikiShootah : 1:40 says he starts off by making a really really basic model. Then cuts to a low poly masterpiece 😓

lddevo88 : Absolutely amazing rotoscoping and texture work here, the one thing I would add to help blend it all together is a subtle film grain and maybe even organic lens flares to mesh all these elements together. Also you could finesse the camera movements in Cinema 4D to make it feel less robotic. Other than that this is brilliant work of a classic aesthetic reacreation with modern technology!

Mulletmanalive : I think that if you could do like you can in blender and applied a layer of grippling and grime to the ship, but then rendered it separately with a focal distance blur, you could then composite it on and do a light paint over after the base shading to get more of that detail that we see old shots. Also, you need to tweak your settings in 4d; the lines seem too consistent across the frame to be hand drawn, as an artist would try to put varied strokes as they worked. Is there a way to quickly distort the thickness of you highlight and darks lines in your paint program? The only other thing I can think of is the smoothness of the motion of the camera; CG tends to look fake because nothing in nature is ever that smooth.. Tiny vibrations would help a lot. There IS also the possibility that your missing something to approximate the natural atmospherics effect caused by stacked cells on the nearer vs farther objects... Worth playing around with, perhaps a very slight blur and a lightening/desaturation. Anyway, bloody impressive implementation, to the point where it's really on the edge of that classic look.

Le StacheGaming : F*ing incredible. Well done! I just want to say I really admire your ability to see this project all the way through. You did great work.

Peanut Butter : 13:35 I feel like this could be easily fixed by adding some filter to the lines of the 3D render so they have a varied width, this would more accurately mirror the older style of artwork

OtaKing77077 : Apologies for my scratchy ASMR voice on this! I was just getting over a nasty cold and could barely roll out of bed when I recorded it. I hope you like it anyway.

picto_prometio : Incredible work bro! Such a imaginative solution 👌 keep doing your art! Saludos desde argentina

Victor Isaksson : wow dude.... this is absolutely amazing. Looking forward to your next upload

Ruku the Dragon : Look at how far you've come since The White Chamber. Impressive!

Alex Jones : 0:25 Hand Drawn, By HAND... because Hand drawing by foot is too extreme :)

Centauri : That's the kind of stuff i want to learn in our Animation lessons ! And we do use TVpaint as well , but our teachers are ... ugh ... borderline incompetent . As soon as my studies are over in a couple months , i'm picking TVpaint up by myself , you've motivated me to do some animation ! :D

Animate Everyday - Ben Gregoire : this is amazing! such good work and explanation :O I believe there's a way to roughen up the outlines in C4D sketch and toon, might be worth a try?

Khaled Mujahid : You're a very talented and amazing person, marvelous work ❤️

martok2112 : Amazing stuff! Thanks for the quickie tutorial. Makes me want to get back and redoubling my own animation projects. Loved the TIE Fighter anime you did.

DragonSkyRunner : 13:20 It's certainly far closer than most (is there anyone else legitimately trying?) to trying to emulate the style, but I think the things that are adding to the "Fake and digital" look, The rendered linework obviously has perfect motion and uniformity by design, if there's some way to ever so slightly randomize the line placement and thickness between frames, and add a touch of line wobble where it'd probably be free-handed, (as well as not having any line corners be sharp, because pens can't really do that) that'd make it look far more hand drawn. The line thickness especially, it's night and day with non-animated drawings the difference adding varying lineweight does in comparison to having uniform line thicknesses. Everything looks hyper sharp, like digital artwork tends to. While that makes working with it far easier, even 4K scanned old anime has a hint of softness to it, probably mostly because of the film the cels and backgrounds are composited on. Adding film grain and scratches may help to that end, but usually in a restoration job the latter is what you're trying to avoid at all costs. I assume you sample colours straight from old anime, but for some reason despite that all of your stuff looks really digitally sharp and harsh in the colour department, while old anime has a softness to its colours, whether that's because of the linework influencing that or not I'm not entirely sure. There's also the fact that physical paint is only 99.99% uniform unlike the fill bucket tool, despite the best efforts of the colourists in the 80's and 90's, not to any point that anyone would be consciously able to tell, but enough that when it is absolutely perfect it feels off. Maybe add a slight cel shadow as well? I see people who do that tend to go a tad overboard, but if done subtely it does add a lot to the feeling of physical cels. I think going out and either looking at cels physically or buying your own if you don't have some already would do wonders to trying to match the look. I hope for the best for future endeavors and that we can see more of this kind of stuff from both you and anyone else who'd try and take up the mantle.

Pumachew : I am Older! Robotec Ships for everyone. Great job!

LATCHKEYED : This is so fucking cool man Thanks abunch.

Asociacion Funebre : Ohh my God!!! Great Work! I Love It !!! Love 80 anime ships!!!

NaiSuuu : long time no see!! how have u been? i got my exam finished at last hope you to see in vr chat :D

Some Random Anon : We'll never see anime like this ever again. It's quite sad really. Which is why all existing 80's and 90's anime must be preserved for future generations.

Sevan Taheri : You did a beautiful job. I wish studios would bring back the whole 80s anime artform of animation back. It was so awesome.

Noah S. : Beautiful tutorial! Also are you Otaking because of gainax's mockumentary?

Calvin Rockwellは夏が好き : No words. *_Hail to the King_*

Derek Stephens : You do amazing work, I look forward to seeing what you do next.

James Rustles : You don't need to simulate dust and scratches on every frame. Just record your animation onto a VHS tape and record it back into your computer. That would probably cover up the digital fakeness as well.

Rodrigo Aguilar : Why don't you try rotoscoping it? it's gonna take more time but it might look more organic