Based on IAN FAILES’s article of ‘Klaus’ technique [1], I feel the tool SPA studio uses for “Klaus” gives a lot controls to artist to surpass 2D hand-drawn limitations. The control is created from artists’ lens. Because of that, it cultivates the artistic creation process.

Lighting makes the 2D drawing 3D like. This is because applying lighting is based on physically-based lighting – how Pixar does lighting for their films. The artist would specify areas for different types of light in the 2D drawing, the tool then automatically apply 3D lighting to the specified area.

Following are some thoughts of the article:

The quest to do something different in 2D

? Lack of technical details of limitation of 2D hand drawn animation.

It looks like the limitation is intuitive artistic control.

A production solution

Seems the solution is a tracking system to hand-drawn lines. I guess the tracking system helps convert the snapshot of the film – hand-drawn lines – to the final film. The tracking system makes artistic details consistent for finalizing artistic details for a static frame and moving artistic details between frames.

The process before lighting

  • Artist: storyboard with Storyboard Pro from Toon Boom
  • Artist: remove lines based on artistic sense

The lighting breakthrough

Lighting (automatic, or theoretically could be to artist): break down the lighting of a scene in a convincing way, the same way that concept artists do every day.

Texturing: level of grain

Comp: texturing to corresponding lighting

References

[1] IAN FAILES. HERE’S WHAT MADE THE 2D ANIMATION IN ‘KLAUS’ LOOK ‘3D’. Before & Afters.  https://beforesandafters.com/2019/11/14/heres-what-made-the-2d-animation-in-klaus-look-3d/