Creating the cel
Coloring the cel
Flipping is the process of rapidly flipping through the completed drawings in
rapid succession to make sure that action flows smoothly. Gather copies of
original drawings, correctly sequenced, and rapidly leaf through them. If
you notice jerky or unnatural movement, indicate corrections on the copies.
Correct the original drawings after character movement on the copies appears
Creating the cel from the original artwork requires copying the art, either
photographically, electronically, or by diazo onto a clear acetate base. The
image should appear on the clear acetate base as a black line image.
Because cels are acetate based, inks, oil, and acrylic paints will not adhere to
them. Use specially formulated color paints, available in many colors, to
paint on the cel. These paints are flexible and will not crack off when dry.
Paint the reverse side of the cel (when the image is backward to you) and
paint within the lines. Thoroughly mix paints before applying them to the cel
or streaks may appear when viewed from the front side. Allow extra drying
time for acetate-based paints to dry. Acetate-based paints dry slowly and
may dissolve previous paint layers if they are not dry before you apply the
next color. Use permanent markers to color acetate when you want to
exaggerate texture and streak marks.
Once painted, place the cel on prepared background images or textures and
photograph with standard slide film. Be aware of the potential effects of
glare from the camera lights. Finished slides may be shown in standard slide
projectors, slide projectors equipped with a programmer (programmed up to
20 frame per second), or fed into computers.
Several animation software programs exist to greatly simplify creating
animation graphics. The theory of animation remains unchanged. You still
define the extreme range of action the character is to make, determine the
amount of time to begin and complete the action, and translate time to frames
per second. This is the number of separate images required to portray the
action. You must draw the images at the beginning and end of the action
sequence. The computer software draws the images in between the extremes.