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A real Warner Bros. cartoon made with today's technology – and with all of the old humor.

A real Warner Bros. cartoon.... made with today's technology – and with all of the old humor.

An honest to goodness, brand new Wile E. Coyote - Roadrunner cartoon ....

This is the first Roadrunner done with computer graphics. A lot more can be done with computer graphics that will be far less expensive to complete than those older drawn animations.


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That was pretty funny.

That was pretty funny.

Wow they did a great job with that!

The transition from 2D to 3D often ruins a cartoon (Garfield, Scooby Doo, etc.)but they did a very faithful and beautiful job with this. I'm suprised I didn't know they made this already. Great work, the things they can do with CG these days is amazing but as a 3D Artist I can tell you it is certainly not less expensive.

Here's an interesting comparison I put together, mostly for my own amusement lol, but you can see what it takes to make high quality cg animation like that Wile E. Coyote short.

Estimated Production Costs (IMDB):

2D Animation:
Snow White: $2M
Fantasia: $2.2M
Cinderella: $2.9M
Aladdin: $28M
Little Mermaid: $40M
Lion King: $45M
Beauty and the Beast: $25M
Princess Mononoke: $20M
Spirited Away: $19M
Akira: $11M
Ponyo: $34M
Land Before Time: $12M
Sponge Bob Squarepants Movie: $30M
Prince of Egypt: $70M
Emperor's New Groove: $100M
Princess and the Frog: $105M

3D Animation:
Ice Age: $59M
Dispicable Me: $69M
Cloudy with a chance of meatballs: $100M
Rio: $90M
Madagascar: $75M
Simpsons Movie: $75M

Shrek: $60M
Shrek 2: $150M
Shrek 3: $160M
Shrek Forever After: $165M
Kung Fu Panda: $130M
Kung Fu Panda 2: $150M
How to Train Your Dragon: $165M
The Croods: $135M

Incredibles: $92M
Finding Nemo: $94M
Monsters Inc. $115M
Cars: $120M
Cars 2: $200M
Ratatouille: $150M
Up: $175M
WALL-e: $180M
Brave: $185M
Toystory: $30M
Toystory 2: $90M
Toystory 3: $200M

Bolt: $150M
Wreck It Ralph: $165M
Tangled: $260M

Average cost of 2D Movie: $35M
Average movie length 120min: $292K per minute

Average cost of 3D Movie: $130M
Average Movie length 120min: $1.1M per minute

At a million dollars a minute that Wile E Coyote short probably cost over 3-4 million to make, minimum. Probably much more.

I used to do some of that

I used to do some of that back with 3DStudio, old Dos app. Then moved forward to the 3DSmax for Win NT. It can be done much cheaper than 1 million a minute, but it takes cooperating slaves.

The tools are better now also, it's got a higher learning curve, but you can get more done.

For the record, I quit doing that stuff back in 2006 or so.


Just curious

but what is your opinion of Blender ( http://www.blender.org/ )? Or have you ever tried it?

Blender is pretty impressive for something that's free

If you don't have experience on other packages like Maya, 3DSmax, lightwave, etc. learning blender is a great way to start and there's tons of tutorials. If you do have experience in those other professional packages Blender's user interface and workflow can be quite frustrating and annoying. Then again to their credit Blender has gone to some great lengths to accommodate those used to other packages by giving options to tweak the UI to be more similar to those packages.
Can you make as high a quality of animation with Blender,ehhh, it's getting there and Blender does definitely has its pros among cons, in the end it's really what you're most comfortable with and what you need it for. I know artists that use a wide range of packages, each for specific purposes, including Blender. Personally I like the idea of Blender more than I actually like using it, but that is most likely just because of personal preference.

As for being able to do things cheaper and easier in 3D yes and no.

Time wise
In 3D everything needs to be created up front. All the concept art, characters, sets, props and assets are modeled, textured, rigged, lit and set in place before anything is animated. This is a lengthy process, 2-3 years of preproduction work. After that it becomes pretty trivial to move objects around, animate or adjust the camera angle or rewrite the scene altogether if needs be. So a significant time hit up front but leads to more freedom and ease later on especially if changes need to be made.

With 2D you create as you go and only what you need for that scene. It can be repetitive at times but comparatively to 3D is much quicker. That is if you dont have to make alterations due to a change in the story or art direction. You'd have to trash that frame or sequence and start all over from scratch. This can become quite time consuming.

It's basically a tortoise and the hare type thing. One is slow and sure, it takes longer up front but is easy to manage later on, the other is faster up front but can become time consuming if changes are required.

Animating itself.
If you've ever tried to animate something complex in 3D you quickly realize how frustrating and tedious it can be. You know the pose you want your character to be in but you have to fight the computer and model rig to get it there, and to get it there in a nice arc from the previous key frame. One painstaking joint at a time. In 2D you can just draw exactly the way you were thinking of, that is if you can draw.

So yes there are some pros and cons that can lead one to be more or less expensive than the other but generally 3D is more expensive because it is more time consuming, requires more resources, and higher trained and educated artists and technical expertise.

You'll be hard pressed to find a 3d artist or animator making less than $50,000 salary unless they are volunteering or an intern. Most of these are in $80-125k range. So say you had a team of 20 animators at 50k that by itself is 1,000,000. This short had well over 100 people working on it for more than a year for sure. Not to mention all the hardware, Facilities, software licenses, orchestra, sound, editing, marketing, security, etc. that goes into the mix. Add that all together and it is pretty pricey, even for a 3 minute short.

Most 2D animation these days is outsourced overseas to animation houses (sweatshops) in china,japan, india and korea that can churn out whatever you need pretty easily. The main key frames are done by the head artists here then the inbetweens are done there. That kind of thing is more difficult to do with 3D because there arent as many trained 3D artists, for now at least.

I'm not sure what my point was in all this, just dumping information I guess for whoever's interested.

Thank you poq

for taking the time to answer that question.
I had downloaded Blender and went through some of the tutorials, just to get a feel of what is involved and I understand what you say about the time involved! The end result may look easy from the viewpoint of most people, but when you get into it you know just how difficult it can get!