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Create a 2D animation in Cartoon Animator and transform it into a 3D environment in Blender


It is now well-known that mixing 2D and 3D animation has become a new trend, especially as more animators are making 2D/3D hybrid animations in Blender. Not only is Blender a powerful 3D animation software, but it is also equally capable of making 2D animations. However, 2D animation in Blender does come with its own set of challenges, and overcoming them is what this article is about.

Create fast 2D character animations with ease in Cartoon Animator

Creating 2D animations in Cartoon Animator (CTA) can save you a lot of time and resources as animators can start off by finding the desired pre-configured character in the Reallusion Content Store. Since all Content Store characters are fully rigged, applying embedded motions and expressions in CTA is a quick way to block in animation. Combined with the use of the Motion Key Editor, one can also adjust the expressions and animations in detail to achieve the desired performance.

In addition, accessory animations can be edited layer-by-layer using the Sprite Editor with the animation automatically recorded in the timeline. Even keys can be pasted onto a specific prop’s timeline to re-use animations, like the flame prop in the following video. Finally, one can adjust the camera and export a PNG sequence using CTA 4.5’s latest export features into Blender for 3D environment creation and lighting.

Turn your 2D planes into 3D props and add glow effect in Blender

Extrude the 3D image planes inside Blender to create 3D objects and add lighting to create 3D props that have volume and cast shadows. Repeatedly turn 2D image planes into 3D objects until the whole scene is converted to a 3D environment. Next, add the animated 2D characters into the scene and adjust the lighting to incorporate them into the scene. Lastly, adjust the lighting and camera for the final shot, and the animated hybrid 2d/3D scene is complete!

Cartoon Animator is available for a 30-day free trial, get your copy now!

* Reallusion is a partner of the Blender Development Fund.
* If you have great ideas on how to improve Cartoon Animator for use with Blender, please feel free to contact us via email: [email protected]

About the Author

Reallusion Inc

Reallusion is a 2D and 3D character creation and animation software developer with tools from cartoon characters to digital humans and animation pipelines for films, real-time engines, video games, virtual production, archvis.


  1. "* If you have great ideas on how to improve Cartoon Animator for use with Blender, please feel free to contact us":

    Here's one:

    Please offer your great products for Linux without online activation and user account obligation, then I would like to use them with pleasure willing to pay good money for it.

    Best regards

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