One Cel at a Time
Cartoons used to be the watched mostly by children, and they were a form of entertainment designed specifically for them. Many of the story lines were simple, and they often contained an important lesson for a child to be able to examine. All of that has changed in recent decades as this form of art has become established for more than just a medium to entertain and enlighten small children. While the advances in technology have helped make the process easier and more sophisticated, anime and animated movies and shows are still created on cel at a time.
A cel is what the basic drawing for an animated picture is called, and it is generally produced on a clear page. The first drawing is usually more of an outline done with black ink, and colors can be filled in by an artist, or they can be added once the page is transferred into a computer for processing. Each cel represents a scene in the show being made, and small changes in the position of characters are what creates the appearance of motion.
Some studios have changed their methods to create cels on the computer, and it can make the entire process much faster. An artist will be able to copy the cel as many times as needed, and then can erase or change any part necessary to create the cels needed to show movement. Adding color automatically, some computers have taken out much of the drudgery that has kept animated films and shows short. Movies that are full length are now part of what is offered to audiences around the world.
There are many components to making an animated show or movie, and voices and music are all part of it. Actors are often given scripts to act out the voice parts, and they can be shown the action as they are recorded. The music for most animated pieces is often contributed by a professional composer experienced in writing music to match movie or show scenes. When these elements are added to the finished art, they can create a movie or show that will often be viewed by millions.