Well fellow readers have I got something for you! It’s my big debut on this blog! Aren’t you all excited??
Now with that introduction out of the way I thought it would best to have this post dedicated to covering my transition from a 2D to a 3D animator, which has been an interesting experience. I was a very stubborn 2D animator during my time at university, stubborn in the sense that I felt the need to preserve my identity by rejecting 3D; it had gotten to the point where the very thought of trying 3D would leave a bitter taste in my mouth.
In retrospect, these thoughts probably came from how intimidating the program (Autodesk Maya) looked as well as my own failings whenever I had made anything in 3D since the work never lived up to my ‘standards’ at the time. This is a problem that I fear many students come across which leads to them making the mistake of dismissing 3D despite not actually giving it a shot, personally I’d call this the ‘it’s not me it’s you’ dilemma
My stubbornness persisted till the end of my third year when I finally graduated. It was only when I went to visit the California Institute of the Arts (i.e. Calarts) as part of a field trip and had the privilege of listening to James Baxter, an animator known for his incredible work on Beauty and the Beast and Kung Fu Panda, discuss his gradual shift from 2D to 3D. He discussed how animation no matter what method all shared the same core fundamentals and there isn’t a difference between different forms; it all depends on perspective and passion, if you are an animator with a drive to improve and are WILLING to change then you‘ll find 3D programs aren’t really a limitation but a tool like any other.
In summary, to answer the question posed by the title, YES you can move from 2D to 3D if you give it a chance. Listening to Mr Baxter’s lecture was a truly enlightening experience, it completely opened my eyes to the opportunities that I had missed out due to my misplaced sense of preservation. As a result I’m far more open to new ideas and, more than anything, incredibly excited to learn 3D animation.
To this end Carse and Waterman have given me the perfect opportunity to transition my skills as an animator into the 3rd dimension as painlessly as possible through resources and teaching. The experiences I’ve gained over the past few days alone have been incredible and has thought me a valuable lesson that art is fluid; programs are only tools that you as a creator must be willing to use to make something magical.
Probably got a bit too emotional and cheesy there, but you get the point; in short NEVER limit yourselves, you’ll find that things are lot easier than it seems if you do.