Making ‘n Animation Cel

First off, this process supports the creation of a single animation cel. Not, say, several thousand. If mass production were the plan I would recommend a few changes. Meanwhile, dig…

Step 1: Draw a pretty picture. Doesn’t matter whether it’s a rough sketch or fully linked. This particular image is one I’m also planning to do a digital coloring tutorial on. More on that later.

Step 2: Tape the image down. Gently! Drafting Tape is ideal. If you don’t have Drafting Tape simply use Masking Tape -but weaken the adhesive first by tapping it against your palm.

Step 3: Now place a single layer of Acetate over the art. Tape it down.

Step 4: Start inking. I used a Copic Multiliners here to rough it out. I should warn you that the Copic ink wipes off easily. Following through with a real permanent-style marker is wise. Sharpies do well here.

Step 5: Lifting the Acetate occasionally is necessary to reveal what’s done and…well, what’s not.

Step 6: Once the main lines were down I offset the image and began adding detail.

Step 7: The inking is checked here by simply holding it up.

Step 8:Time for paints. This cheap lil’, $1.07 brand will work fine.

Step 9: Now the Acetate is flipped over and painting beings on the reverse side. Smallest areas first. Larger areas last.

Step 10: Again, the Acetate is lifted occasional. This time checking paint coverage and density.

Step 11: Just a peek at how it looks on the reverse side…

Step 12: …in contrast to the front.

Step 13: The painting portion is done here. Now using a black marker for shading I dabbed -but quickly used a Q-tip to smudge and/or remove excess ink.

Step 14: Here’s a scan of the final. No Photoshop. Blam.

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