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How would you guys rig and animate 2d characters? I'm 0% experienced Max user so I'm gonna watch some tutorials. This one covers all i need but yeah, it's $50. https://cmivfx.com/store/595-3ds+max+2d+mograph+character+animation+rigging
Do I only need to watch how to import 2d planes (I used Blender, sorry) and how to add bones to them? i.e. teach me how to puppet pin planes in Max.
picrelated, I have the actual rig, my knowledge is too few to understand the whole system tho. copyright bla bla bla so its small and shitty
1. Exit 3ds Max
2. Open up a 2d animation program
These kinds of 2D animations done in 3D are 99% of the time done in Maya due to its unique and powerful animation capabilities. South Park is even animated in Maya because it's easier to use for their purposes than Flash, and allows them to also easily integrated 3D assets without the need to composite.

The Amazing World of Gumball is also done in Maya, which easily shows how well 2D can be integrated into 3D.
A few episodes I recall them using Bifrost or something to the effect of crying a river.
I MUST use Max because it's what is used in our pipeline (another HOG). Using planes+bones not only allows you to animate deformations like smiles etc but also works much smoother than Flash.
I worked on a project like this and we used maya (as other people are saying to do)
I was mostly doing rigging and animation but overall it was easier than pure 3D
I'd look up basics of maya texturing and modelling and rigging/animation, but you'll really only need to made rough rectangles for the sprites and know where to add edges for good deformations.
If you've done all that stuff before with actual 3D you'll be fine, but if not it'll be a bit of learning before you get it. But you can just look up general maya shit and then just use your brain to apply those principles to animating "2D" planes
Ooops, this guy here (>>502278), I didn't see your post. but the same principles apply, make a plane, apply a texture of a sprite onto it, and rig as necessary as you would for a 3D character but in a straight on view.
Though I'd be wary of how much a part is deforming, because at a certain point it can look cheap or overly stretch the texture. For example you said a smile, but it may look better to have a neutral face deform halfway into a smile, and then swap the sprite to a smiling sprite. You can do this with texturing by moving the UVs with a control/switch, or just making each expression a different plane and keying transparency

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