Saturday, 2 February 2013

Something different but not really? Breaking in my new Animation Disk

Once upon a time, many moons ago, I collected animation cels.  I collected from Japanese animation because it was the thing I was in to, plus I knew where to get them and they were afordable (anything domestic I liked was out of my price range and/or not widely accessable on the internet at that time).

Anyways, last year I started to re-find my love of cels and this year it came back (damn you, painting class).  Bad, bad Tracy.  Why can't I have hobbies that don't involve the spending of so much money?

Friday night is my designated night to do 'nothing' - nothing translating 'do whatever I feel like'.  Sometimes it's video games, sometimes I'm an internet zombie, sometimes movies, but the last few Fridays I'd been taking my cels, BGs, layouts, and cleanup pencil animations into the lab and either shoot or scan them on the nice scanners.  I opened one of my Itoya books and found one of the cels I'd had for quite some time had suffered from some bad line fading.  Poor thing... most of my cels haven't had that problem, but this one just seemed to have drifted away.  Since I'm pretty sure the studios are busy tonight (first years have walk cycles due, I think?) I decided to fix the line fading on my cel instead.

But first!

Tada!  My new disk.  Now I can stop borrowing my roommate's... I'm sure she's tired of retrieving her disk from my room.

Forwards!  It's time for animation cel surgery.  Sort of.

That's the cel that made me sad - from Card Captor Sakura.  I got her Feburary 5, 2003 (it's her 10th anniversary with me this month :D).  Her lines are either thin or pale red now.  I'll do cel overlay with just the line work (not going to draw on the original cel itself LOL... I'm not that brave).

First problem is though, Japanese animation and North American animation don't use the same size of paper or cel sheet.

So, I worked that out.  The best part about that was, I could turn the 12 field blank cels sold at the bookstore to portrait, rather than landscape, and it matched the Japanese cel width and I'd only have to cut it off at the bottom.  Sweet.  To the school I go to punch and cut up 3 cels (one to screw up, one nice one, and one extra just because)

 Voila.  Blank cel.

Now I can just use the sketch to re-do the linework (or so I think.......)

Surgical tools.  .25 pen with lightfast film ink, the Q-tip/tissue/solution(not there) to clean any oopsies, and the tweezers for the blasted cat hair that I can never get rid of.  Cat hair makes an awful mess of linework when it catches the pen tip >_<

This is actually somewhat traumatizing to do.  LOTS OF FOCUS IS REQUIRED.

Hooray line work :D

Ooookay okay wait wh-what?  Now I'm confused.  The line work based on the sketch didn't match to the line work on the cel.  It matches near the top, but stretches and skews slightly near the bottom.  The sketch is matching to the cel, so why didn't this work!?  I have no idea.  Maybe the sketch paper warped over time?  I'm not sure about paper physics.

Well fine.  Bought and punched extra cels for a reason.  Lets do this again.

This time, I'll use the cel for my line work.  It got SO much brighter and sharper the more lines I put in... I was so happy!  I was actually 'warmed up' by this point (I guess) because this go around only took like 1/3rd the time.

Hooray!  This worked!

Look at that!  It's so much better.  I'm so pleased with this.

I think I'm going to do more, because I have a few cels that have line fading and it'll be nice to see them pop again.

So, that's the story for this first Friday night in Feburary... it felt pertinant to this blog :) so it's here.


  1. oh my lord whaaaaaaaaaaaat Card Captor Sakura was my first love; )
    it's one of my early inspiration. (that got me into drawing too)

    i know it was done a long time ago but wow they did it on cell! that was fabulous! (very nice job btw)

  2. Oh hello there old comment I didn't get a notif for! Sorry about that.

    And thank you ^^

    CCS was one of my early inspirations too! They put a loooot of work into the show (for a cel based anime). All her clow card sequences were re-drawn/re-animated/re-painted based on her outfit that episode, so she has something between 50 and 60 full unique battle sequence animations. That's so much work but it made it look really good ^^