Animation rant continued lol:
Cut-out and a lot of traditional animation is done in vector now.
Cut out is basically when a character is pre-drawn by the designer and then a "breaker" takes that character and creates a 2D puppet for it. I've done quite a bit of work as a breaker
Depending on the production, either the Designer or breaker will do the mouth charts, blinks, and things of that sort- it's all done by the time it gets to the animator.
Wildkratts , a show I did special FX on, is entirely cut-out. The animators don't draw anything. Each character has about 50 hands to choose from- and 10-12 feet. The blinks and mouths are done by designers.
Most television shows are hybrids. The animators work with cut-out puppets and redraw what they need. If a character is just standing or sitting there is very little drawing. In the action shots they probably have to redraw the whole thing. They usually get a bunch of stock hands and a dialogue mouth chart. But to avoid that really stiff look like 6teen has they have to draw quite a bit. It's just not the old-school way of re-drawing the whole thing every time. Now they can just draw arms, legs, or whatever the movement needs. Really heavy action scenes will need a tonne of drawing and coffee.
The two big software giants right now are:
Ugly Americans- heavy drawing in Flash
Motor City (on Disney XD) is also heavy drawing in flash.
Wak-fu only-in french, another hybred- and in my opinion the best looking flash work I have ever seen.
Almost Naked Animals
I think My little pony... not 100% sure
Ruby Gloom (pretty sure all cut-out)
And Practically any of the recent Nevlana shows, 6teen, Total Drama Island - These are often falsely labeled as flash because they are cutout.
Harmony was also used in parts of The Princess and the Frog - I think Inking, colour and maybe FX - but I'm not 100% sure.
graph editor and curves: don't you deal w/ the same things for Flash / ToonBoom?
They exist, but I don't use them much. They're not nearly as refined and I like to do my ease ins-outs by hand. I tend to draw more than I need to, because I'm a fast drawer and I wont fall behind doing that. Most TV shows want 40-50 seconds of animation a week, so you have to balance what you want to do with what you can get done in the time given.
That's why cut-out is so prolific. It's fast and fast means cheap.
Is toon boom vector based? Yes, but the drawing tools are a million times better than flash - that's why I cling to it. When I animate in it I'll use a 30% opacity brush with 0 smooth, and it's just like drawing in photoshop with the round brush. It's definitely worth picking up the trial version to play with. I'm a Harmony fan-girl for sure.
Back to 2D vs 3D
The amount of work for each depends on geography. In Canada, Vancouver has most of the 3D work. Toronto - Hamilton area and Halifax have most of the 2D work, Montreal has a bunch of both. I can't vouch for other countries.
In general you need to live in a city to be an animator. There are exceptions to the rule, but you should never count on being the exception.
Learning both just means you can apply to more jobs. I can't emphasize enough- You don't have to pick a job and stick to that. You are not an animator- or a modeler. Your not 2D OR 3D.
I'm kind of the "Rover" at work. My main job currently is a breaker, but when I got way ahead of schedule they let me work on other shows, take on animation, make mouth charts.Whoever is falling behind they send me that way. It's a lot of fun.
Having worked in so many different parts of the pipeline I also get thrown in the teacher roll a lot. I've gotten sent as far as Colombia to train people there.
Don't box yourself into a roll. When the contract is up they kick you out. If you can do layout, animation, breaking, FX, composting, and you make a damned good pot of coffee, they'll be stupid to lay you off .