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November 4, 2012
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2D vs. 3D animation

:iconmemmil:
Memmil Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
When couple first 3D animations came out (mostly by Pixar) they were something fun and they really felt different. As a kid i enjoyed them more than normal cel/2D animations which were still popular but little by little my attitude towards 3D animation changed.

They are horrible.

Why?
1. Because they killed 2D cartoons.
2. They are graphically boring.
3. All of them look the same.
4. They feel cheap.
5. Nearly with no exception every animated movie is 3D.
6. Something else...

I don't say that they're totally annoying. Back then it was OK when couple 3D animations came out once in a while, but today it is the only way animations are created. To me 2D and stop motion animations feel more artistic when everything is done traditionally. It's a nice surprise when films like Fantastic Mr. Fox, Wallace & Gromit and Tim Burton's animations comes out. Sure they have similiarities to 3D but i really appreciate them more because they look better and require the same effort to create frame by frame as 2D does.

3D animation seems less creative because it's difficult to achieve a distinctive style whereas 2D has as many different styles as there are different ways to draw (unlimited actually). When new 3D animation comes out i know excactly what it will look like. No matter how detailed and fluid animation is but it feels so synthetic that i don't care. When the same is achieved in 2D, it is just breathtaking.

What are your thought about 3D and 2D animated films and TV-series?
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Devious Comments

:icongoldfishkang:
goldfishkang Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2012  Student Digital Artist
I actually feel Disney is doing a great job with its recent 3D animations, like Brave and Tangled. To me, they incorporate the best of both worlds: the fluidity and dynamism of 2D animation, and the realism that 3D animation affords. With 3D animation they haven't compromised a single bit on the animation quality that made the original 2D films so appealing (all the squash and stretch, and not being afraid to exaggerate actions to give them more life, for example.) What really amazed me about them both is how Disney succeeded in incorporating a very traditional, painterly feel into them, particularly in the art direction, through the environment and character designs. They're gorgeous! Even though many of them are modelled and not painted they still manage to look like they're part of a painting as a whole, much like it was in the older 2D animated films like Sleeping Beauty and Pocahontas.
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:iconmemmil:
Memmil Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Sure Disney/Pixar and DreamWorks are doing good job! But what about other studios?
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:icongoldfishkang:
goldfishkang Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2012  Student Digital Artist
The thing about 3D is that they're really expensive to produce so if production quality isn't good enough, it really sticks out. In those cases I wish the studios had stuck to 2D instead. I especially hate it when 2D animations suddenly insert a 3D sequence somewhere to... I dunno, spice things up? But they don't fit with the rest of the 2D sequences. Those irk me so much. I guess the important thing is quality art direction, to me... as long as it's good, medium doesn't matter.
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:iconschris91:
schris91 Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2012  Student Filmographer
3D is complete overkill right now. Its just not at the point, technologically, where movies or shows can be made efficiently and not look tacky. 2D looks how it is intended, but 3D looks off, because it just can't look perfectly as its intended. Pixar movies are fantastic, but nothing else seems to come close. Especially for television.

I just look at films and shows and think, did this need to be 3D? Sometimes, it is the better medium if executed well and the characters/environment can actually benefit from it, but usually its just 3D for the sake of being 3D, riding the hype and making money.
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:iconmemmil:
Memmil Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Right!
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:iconcave-cat-87:
Cave-Cat-87 Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2012
I'm an aspiring cartoonist, so I should be happy once I get my Jackal Jeffrey comic published. And I am also hoping that it might possibly be turned into an animated series, but with traditional hand-drawn animation, if you get my drift.
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:iconsilverchaim:
SilverChaim Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I prefer 2D animations, I guess I got used to them when I was a child. It's hard to explain but I feel like 3D animations don't have a soul. I agree that 3D animations look boring despite that they have all the effects and stuff. I wish they made more 2D animations... I remember when I was younger and felt so disappointed when they started making more 3D movies.

Some 3D movies are also good, like Tangled, How to train your dragon and Wall-e, but I think I would like some of them more if they were 2D movies :D

(Sorry if my english isn't perfect ^^;)
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:iconmemmil:
Memmil Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
"I think I would like some of them more if they were 2D movies"

That's true.

Sometimes i think that less known and smaller 3d films could be really good and stand out if they were 2d. But if you're good (or bad) at making 3d films doesn't mean that you're good (or better) with 2d films. Maybe making those 3d models with computers is easier and more appealing to start working with instead of somehow old-fashioned 2d or even cel animation.
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:iconicthos:
icthos Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2012   General Artist
The thing about 3d is that it appeals less to the intellect and more to the senses. So its popular. Moreover, 3d animation generally takes less time and is more forgiving, and is therefore cheaper - it can be tweaked here and there if characters need to be modified or things need to be taken out or added in, say, due to an unfortunate controversy in the news that relates to the films subject matter or something similar.

But the alternative animation is out there, youve just got to look for it. Heres some of my favourite 2d pieces I came accross while studying it at uni that you might not know.

[link] Mona Lisa Descending a Staircase - Joan Gratz
[link] The old man and the sea - Alexander Petrov
[link] Firebird Suite - Fantasia 2000
[link] Plymptoons - Bill Plympton
[link] Rejected - Don Hertzfeldt
[link] Sloth Perfectra - Wonderglen
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:iconmemmil:
Memmil Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Good thoughts! Sure there is always little 2d films here and there but no actual feature films.

Those links were great! Thanks.
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:iconicthos:
icthos Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2012   General Artist
All we need is someone to come along and make a sucessful and iconic 2D feature film. Then it will be back in fashion and more people will be doing it. But then it would get over used, with tons of people jumping on the bandwagon looking for their own peice of the 2D feature film profits pie. And then we will have people on DA complaining there isnt enough 3D. ;) hehe. Ok well maybe it wont work quite like that. Actually high Definition 3D will always be a favourite of the masses by default I think.
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:iconpasscety:
Passcety Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2012   General Artist
Both are great, but 2D gets my vote.
(Most likely because I grew up with it and never worked with 3D)

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:iconakiratang:
Akiratang Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
both have amazing potential, i dont think they are graphically boring and dont look the same, but the truth is 3d most likely takes more effort and time and also much more expensive to produce.
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:iconkimihro:
Kimihro Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
2D has the advantage of ease, which means there are a lot of things that they can do with it. That, and the budget is looser because it's not as expensive as 3D.

But a well-executed 3D movie can blow 2D out of the water.

My opinion rests with 3D, because I personally like it more. It's where the future lies. It's the marionette on strings to 2D's shadow puppets; it can be worse, but done well and it's a masterpiece.
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:iconmemmil:
Memmil Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yeah but we're still drawing 2d pictures instead of making 3d models?

In my opinion both should have their places in animation field because they're so different and equally good. like acrylic and digital paintings you know? Different mediums.
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:iconcave-cat-87:
Cave-Cat-87 Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2012
I agree that they should make more 2D animated films. Sure 3D was alright, but I personally think that they should go back to using traditional 2D animation again for TV shows and movies. I know that they still use 2D for animated shows, but they do it digitally instead of by hand like they used to in the old days. What the animators should do is study previous animated shows from the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s in order to rediscover how to use cel animation again.
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:iconmemmil:
Memmil Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yeah! I specially like cel animations because everything is handdrawn traditionally. Sure i like computer 2d animations as well but specially appreciate it when it's done traditionally.
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:iconmagicmoonbird:
MagicMoonBird Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Well I like some 3D animation movies, like Shrek, WallE and Tangled for example....however, I also see more and more childrens shows that are really cheap ass 3d animation, its so liveless O.o...gosh I hate the look of it, so on some area´s I still prefer good old 2d animation ( although those can be horrible as well ofcourse)

But unfortunatly, my attitude towards 3D animation is also changing....I also feel more of a dislike for it, and I cant really explain why :/ maybe its because of the ugly shows I have seen
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:iconmemmil:
Memmil Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Horrible 2d animations are better than horrible 3d. You should be quite good if you want to produce enjoyable 3d films/series.
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:iconmagicmoonbird:
MagicMoonBird Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah I geuss so, its still more "alive" and that is my main problem with 3D animations, no details, no atmosphere >.< Indeed, I totaly agree on that :) I am never excited for 3D animation movies...altough I did like Resident evil: Damnation for some reason :lmao: Oh well...
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:iconmemmil:
Memmil Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
There is a lot of detail in 3d animated films but they don't stand out the same way as in detailed 2d movies. In 3d it's like reality in some ways...

If i see that a lot of leaves are falling from a tree it doesn't cause any amazement in 3d and reality. but when same is achieved in 2d it is just astonishing. You understand what i mean? I know that they see a lot of effort to add all that detail to their films but i'm not paying it any attention while watching them.
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:iconmagicmoonbird:
MagicMoonBird Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hm well some do and some dont. Hm I dont think its like reality, but that is what I would like to see, because I think thats why I enjoyed that Resident Evil: Damnation movie

Hm yes I now understand what you mean, but that has more to do with the respect for the way of animation ifself :nod: focusing on the method rather than the looks :nod:
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:iconzmote:
zmote Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2012  Student Digital Artist
They both have their place, period. 2D has another feeling to it than 3D, Anime's are 2D and the featured 3D Full length movies are 3D, both are awesome and I couldn't decide which to go for.
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:iconstchimera:
STChimera Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2012  Student Filmographer
3D animation is still fairly new and most of the full length feature films have been made by either Pixar or Dreamworks so of course they will all look similar. Over time more films will be created by different creators with different artistic styles - a huge variety of styles can already be seen in many video games, such as borderland's cartoony visuals, and team ICOs Shadow of the Colossus and ICO have a distinct artistic quality to both of them. So it's only a matter of time when those kind of visual styles are applied to 3D films.
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:iconmemmil:
Memmil Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
That might be interesting, but why doesn't anyone just play it safe and continue making 2d films. They could definitely stand out because most animations today are 3d. It doesn't mean that everyone has to start developing 3d films. That's what im wondering.
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:iconmchummingbird:
McHummingbird Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2012  Student Filmographer
Well, what's the fun in playing it safe? :) people want to keep evolving and try to develop new things, test new ideas - especially when it comes to movies! 3D movies are only a few decades old while 2D has been around for more than 100 years! There's no less of an artistic input or effort going into creating a 3D animated movie, but I definitely get where you're coming from - I too miss high profile 2d movies, but as it has been said before you need something new and ground breaking in 2d to put it back on the map. Disney tried to 'play it safe' with the princess and the frog and despite being a solid movie, it wasn't quite the hit they hoped for- because they went backwards instead of forwards.
I wouldn't fear though, theres a lot of people out there in love with 2D still and I'm positive that another game hanger is going to happen eventually, just stay patient :)
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:iconfrisby-chan:
Frisby-chan Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2012
I hate CGI animation, HATE IT. It killed 2D animation all because it is a 'shortcut' from having to spend more money on paper, pencils, ink, another way to just remove the hardships of having to draw one character or building hundreds of times on a sheet of paper for dynamic & visually impressive angles (Fantasia anyone?), & an easy way to get idiots to pay fuck-loads more money for all of these ugly animated films. I especially hate all of Pixar's & Dreamworks' so-called 'animated' movies. Pixar's films are all loaded with ugly, over-sentimental characters that you must instantly feel pity over, boring, predictable, & over-the-top kiddie crap-ass stories, & they all look the same. Dreamworks' films may have characters that aren't as over-sentimental as Pixar's, but they have ugly-like-ass ones, loaded with them doing moronic shit. The only CGI films I saw that I can actually say I loved with all my heart (& the only CGI movie I have watched that I like in general) is Tangled. Anything else can suck it.

I don't care who loves these shitty, grotesque-looking films, I hate them, & nothing will change my mind about them. I want CGI animation to die, & 2D to come back.
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:iconawesomedude19999:
awesomedude19999 Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2012
Now tell me that this isn't beautiful: [link]
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:iconkooborisapphire:
KooboriSapphire Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012  Student General Artist
Sorry, I was responding to another comment & accidentally responded to yours. My sincerest apologies.
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:iconkooborisapphire:
KooboriSapphire Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012  Student General Artist
It's as beautiful as a walking corpse.
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:iconawesomedude19999:
awesomedude19999 Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2012
Or this: [link]
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:iconmemmil:
Memmil Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I don't want it to die, there just should be more 2d films today. Some of the best 3d films i've seen are Finding Nemo, couple Shrek films, first Madagascar, Monsters inc and Tangled. They're making good and succesful stuff but it doesn't mean that every major animated film should be CGI.

Even if it is possible to use computers to make art, we're still making it traditionally. It doesn't mean that we have to abandon traditional animation because both 2d and 3d have their own pros and cons.
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:iconfrisby-chan:
Frisby-chan Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2012
Doesn't make a difference to me. CGI animation needs to die, & 2D needs to come back.
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:iconfrozenglyph:
Frozenglyph Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
If it's not made 3D from scratch using steroscopy methods/cameras etc.. It will suck 290%.
Depth in very rare movies is spot on. Don't mention avatar because it was made that way and downgraded to 2D for those who wanted it (works better than vice versa..)

Avengers had good post-work 3D, Revenge of the Titans? was SHIT in terms of 3D but better than most 3D movies because it had some scenes where shit had this out of screen illusion. Not like in harry potter where sparks might have been only things with depth.. And Caribbean Pirates movies.
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:iconfrozenglyph:
Frozenglyph Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Yes, i talked about non-animation but this exact same thing matters in animations side. I've seen some shit cartoons and they are 3D models with cartoon textures to give painted illusion.
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:iconmelodymoose:
MelodyMoose Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
With CGI movies, you have to be careful or it will look like uncanny valley. Thats why we'll get more movies that look like "Escape from planet earth". Its the safest route if you don't want to creep people out.
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:icontenshi3d:
Tenshi3D Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2012
I agree with you. Without 2D Animation, there is no variety. Just the same ol crap. Plus 3D animation looks so "floaty"" Not to mention, some characters don't look right in 3D.(Examples: Garfield, Green Lantern)

3D Animation is like sugar, it's ok in small doses but too much can be bad for you.
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:iconpriteeboy:
priteeboy Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Sure there was a timeless magic to traditionally animated films. But people have gotta stick with the times and undestand that technology evolves and changes. Otherwise everyone here might as well be pining over how much they miss their mobile phones and TV's from the 90's, and their precious cassette players :p

The reason why 3D animation has "killed" 2D animation is not because of some "trend", it's because 3D is more practical. 3D starts out being a lot more work, as it is not easy to model, texture and rig a character in a 3D environment, at least not as easy as drawing the same character flat anyway. But after that step is done initially - it becomes much more efficient to use 3D since you can work the character-model as a virtual "doll", saving the need to draw them from thousands of different angles thousands of different times to make a 90 minute film :crazy: Remember that animation always tries to find a cheaper way out. It happened in the days of 2D too but maybe not as noticeable as technology was limited, and thus - so were their ways of shortcutting to save time and money :paranoid: Animation is a business. And a business is always seeking ways to produce and sell more while expending less time and resources making their product. At least with animation - the result isn't a shoddy product of this common practice that falls apart once you get it. It is simply a different visual result that delivers just as much story and content as any animation of the same caliber before it. Besides, one can't argue with the sheer depth and detail in one that's done properly. The environments seem much more "alive". You can almost "feel" the character's hair or fur. I agree that bad CG work is way worse than bad 2D work. But when done right - it looks amazing, and it's here to stay until another medium comes along and ousts that too :p
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:iconsomedaysakuhin:
SomedaySakuhin Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2012  Professional General Artist
Thank you! Finally someone who kinda shares my opinion. ;_;
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:iconkooborisapphire:
KooboriSapphire Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2012  Student General Artist
There's no competition: 2D will always be better. And people who say that 3D don't kill 2D, SHUT IT. It did, & it all started with Pixar's shot. Ever since they introduced their crap, 2S slowly began to vanish because people will clearly pay more money to watch all of those ugly, boring & predictable kiddie crap films by Pixar. And don't say "There are still 2D films out there" because what there is of them, it's not much. Please do me a count of how many hand-drawn animated movies were introduced in the last 5 years, & then compare that to the amount of CGI animated ones that came out in those past 5 years as well.

It won't be until i start working with Disney that I will get their asses back on track & TERMINATE any crap animated projects that aren't 2D (stop-motion being an exception as well).
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:iconmemmil:
Memmil Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I don't think that Pixar's stuff is crap. They are extremely well done but 3d has become too popular and it has replaced 2d films.

They're like two totally different art mediums and shouldn't overshadow each other. We are still making traditional art even if we had computers.
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:iconkooborisapphire:
KooboriSapphire Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2012  Student General Artist
All of their films are crap, with the exception of Wall-E, The Incredibles, & Monsters Inc. (Up, & Toy Story 3 were ok).

Yeah, but like I said, how many have we gotten in the past 5 years? And just look at what happened to Frozen (aka The Snow Queen), it went from 2D to CGI, but only for the fucking easy cash-grab.
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:iconkinola14:
Kinola14 Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2012
2D is prettier than 3D.
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:iconmemmil:
Memmil Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
True! :D
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:iconpharaoh-ink:
Pharaoh-Ink Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2012  Student Digital Artist
I prefer to differentiate them as traditional and computer-generated (cg). When I was young, I used to harbor a lot of dislike for CG works, and for Pixar, but my opinions drastically changed and came to view the entire process in a new light. That said, I respectfully disagree with your claims as they are based on preference. I hold a high regard for animation as a whole, whether it is done with the use of computers or pencil. They are merely multiple paths to the same goal, and I love seeing the result either way. :)
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:iconmemmil:
Memmil Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yeah maybe those two shouldn't be compared too much? I just hope that animations were ½ 3d and ½ 2d so i could enjoy both.
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:iconsomedaysakuhin:
SomedaySakuhin Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2012  Professional General Artist
"1. Because they killed 2D cartoons."
No? The percentual amount got less, that's true but there are still new 2D cartoons. o_o
Some are mixed with 3D yet essentially there are too many to say they are killed already. ^^

"2. They are graphically boring."
Isn't that a bit fast to say? Have you tried to objectively look at good examples of 3D animation yet?

"3. All of them look the same."
I don't even know where to start... X'D
So, I better give you a few examples:
[link]
[link]
[link]
[link]

"4. They feel cheap."
Well, so be it to you.

"5. Nearly with no exception every animated movie is 3D."
If you look at Hollywood only maybe.

"6. Something else..."
XD

Don't get me wrong, I prefer 2D animations myself overall but I think you're being a bit too extreme with your views.
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:iconmemmil:
Memmil Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
1. I mean that most animated films are 3d these days and it is always somehow weird if 2d animation makes it to cinemas.

2. Sometimes they manage to achieve nice atmospheres but art itself isn't that impressive to me.

3. I don't mean that they look the same that way. They're just done with the same programs which have their limits. 3d animations somehow never feel "perfect" on technical level.

4. Cheap because they don't require drawing skill the same way as hand-drawn films. Cel animations have more value... like oil paintings compared to digital paintings.

5. Yeah so i have to search for 2d films if i want to watch them because most animation studios aren't making them anymore? I feel kinda hipster!

"Don't get me wrong, I prefer 2D animations myself overall but I think you're being a bit too extreme with your views."
Maybe a little... Just difficult to explain why i don't like them as much as 2d.
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:iconsomedaysakuhin:
SomedaySakuhin Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2012  Professional General Artist
1/2: Okay, I understand now better what you mean. ^^

3: Don't know, that's a taste thing too I guess.

4: Wait, wait, wait. XD
They need to draw the characters and storyboards first as well. At least for more or less professional productions. And for modelling at least 3three-dimensional thinking is needed just as for drawing. I don't know which movies you're referring to here but usually 3D requires a lot of drawing actually.

5: At least not mainstream? X'D
Don't know if you like anime but most are still 2D without searching much.
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:iconmemmil:
Memmil Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
4. My point is that they don't look like they're "drawn". When watching 2d films art is in attendance all the time. In 3d all that hand drawn stuff is behind the final product.

5. I don't watch anime that much but it is good that 2d is still popular in Japan. As long as Ghibli does 2d animations i have hope.
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