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Context: I'm a 2D animator who animates frame by frame. (I draw each image for each frame.)

I used to work in After Effects to composite my animations, and I'm weaning off of Adobe products. One feature I relied on often was the 3D camera, which would allow you to place videos/objects/sequences in a layer in 3D space and continue editing. So for example, I could put an image sequence in the foreground of the screen and have another sequence farther back on the Z axis. I could then adjust the camera and give it depth of field so the animation in the background id blurred based on how far away it is. I could also move the camera around the sequences in the 3D space to simulate movement. Here's an (old) video that shows some of the functionality I'm looking for.

Is it possible to mimic this function in Blender? If so, what would be the best way to go about it? My goal is to draw the animation in Clip Studio Paint and video edit/add effects using the VSE in Blender.


After Effects added 3D to a primarily 2D software where Blender is primarily a 3D software I'm trying to use for 2D animation. I haven't used Blender in years, but I do remember some things about it and here's what I can come up with so far:

Say I'm trying to animate a character running away from the camera from the foreground to the background.

I know the Grease Pencil is a powerful new tool and could do what I'm looking for, but I draw in Clip Studio Paint. Is it possible to import the image sequence of the character running into a grease pencil object? Would that keep transparency intact? I could then just move the object away from the camera to animate it.

I remember that you can import images and movies onto planes or 3D objects. Is it possible to display the image sequence of character running on a 3D Plane? I would then move the plane to move the character.

If I need to, I can start using the Grease Pencil in Blender for everything, but I'm hesitant to change my workflow.

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    $\begingroup$ Sure. Blender is a complete 3d package and has all options to set up and animate a camera and a lot more to deal with effects like motion blur or depth of field in a physically more accurate way than after effects. However, if time plays a role, it's probably not the fastest way in the world creating any type of motion graphics using blender... BTW: Consider that this site is not a forum, I suggest ask a more specific question to make it useful to all of us. Please read: blender.stackexchange.com/help/how-to-ask $\endgroup$ – brockmann May 17 at 9:29
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Welcome to Blender Stack Exchange!

As a quick disclaimer, I'm not a 2D animator nor do I have any real experience with 2D animation, but hopefully I can provide a direction at least.

If I'm understanding what you want to do correctly, you're looking to have animated image sequences on planes, and to add effects like Depth of Field. This is totally possible, and actually pretty easy.

Blender has an addon called Import Images as Planes. It's not enabled by default, so go to Edit>Preferences>Addons>Import-Export: Import Images as Planes, if you're using it for the first time.

Once that is enabled, you can add image sequences to planes by going to File>Import>Images as Planes. From there you can import static images, movie clips, and image sequences, and the planes will be properly scaled, with the image/clip applied as a texture. When importing a sequence of images, make sure you enable the Animate Image Sequences option so that it makes one plane with an image sequence, not as many planes as there are images in the sequence.

Regarding transparency, if your images have an alpha channel, it will use that by default. Otherwise, you can even remove backgrounds using some tricks with materials.

Blender also has depth of field, and it should work as you want it to. Add the depth of field in the camera settings and that should be it. You can even lock the depth of field to a certain object (image) and have it stay in focus and everything else blur.

If I misunderstood what your asking I can edit this answer and expend on it, so don't hesitate to ask!

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Your question is very general I am assuming what you are looking for is a 2.5D look, a 3D camera but utilizing 2D art. I'm not sure what you mean by mimic a 3D camera cause After Effects and Blender cameras are actually 3D.

You don't have to use Grease Pencil but it could possibly enhance or complement your art that you may import from Clip Studio so it may be worth learning.

The aspects of Blender that you'll will want to familiarize yourself with are the camera settings, shader nodes, UVs (for getting your 2D art correctly represented on a piece of geometry) some basic mesh editing and probably the compositor.

This is a youtuber that has been using Blender for some of his 2D animation maybe you can find something useful in this video. https://youtu.be/l46T7fJ7FmE

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