Friday, September 27, 2013

Cels and Paint Are So OVER

One more milestone passed by.

Sazae-san, the anime adaptation of Machiko Hasegawa's strip about three generations of traditional family, has recently been certified as the world’s longest-running TV cartoon show by Guinness World Records. However, as the series continues its record breaking run into its 45th year and beyond, it will doing it without cel animation. The only cel-based anime still broadcast in Japan, according to the Association of Japanese Animations, will switch to full digital production next month.

While digital production became the norm in the late 1990s, the long running family anime have been late adopters. ...

Sazae-san began partial digital production in 2005, but will only complete the transition as of the episode broadcast October 6th. The last cel be show will air this Sunday.

I remember watching cels get painted while a tot. I remember watching the CAPs system at Disney during its early years. I had no idea that anybody was still painting cels for production, but I guess it still happens here and there.

The old ways fade slowly. But they do fade.

3 comments:

Christopher Sobieniak said...

"I had no idea that anybody was still painting cels for production, but I guess it still happens here and there."

That is true. In the case of the studio that did the series, they saw no need to lay off their painting staff just yet as I see it. During the past decade the show went from being filmed with an actual film camera to a digital one that has been used to photograph the cels with (that's the partial digital production you've read in the article).

For a while now, the opening and closing credits were produced digitally anyway, so think of this as the end of that transition it took to get this far (much in the way I'm sure the producers of The Simpsons had that road to cross before). Arguably though Sazae-san has had a good running stretch for a show that started almost 45 years ago.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4F8fSezE7Q

David said...

Hand-inked/painted aren't finished completely , but will certainly continue to be very much a boutique technique , used rarely for special projects.

For example : DUCK Studios recently finished up a project that was animated traditionally , with the animation drawings then hand-inked and painted on cels , shot on 35mm .

In case you haven't noticed, there's a bit of an "analog revolution" going on right now , with a niche market for vinyl records and things like Super 8mm movie film . A few years ago the conventional wisdom was 'Film Is Dead' (everything : 35mm , 16mm, certainly 8mm , all would be cast aside in favor of only digital cinematography from now on) , but with Kodak emerging from bankruptcy they have recently signed deals with major studios like Fox to continue supplying motion picture film for years to come . J.J. Abrams has chosen to shoot the next set of Star Wars films on 35mm film. He's not alone.

I actually expect to see an increase in animated short film projects done on cels. Digital ink & paint and compositing is here to stay and will be the industry standard when you need the work done cheaper and faster , but I think we're going to see more "art" projects done with traditional cels.



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Christopher Sobieniak said...

David said...
"I actually expect to see an increase in animated short film projects done on cels. Digital ink & paint and compositing is here to stay and will be the industry standard when you need the work done cheaper and faster , but I think we're going to see more "art" projects done with traditional cels.

I'm actually working on one myself for a pal of mine down in Tennessee, painting every cel meticulously! You can find out more about it here...
http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/koko-the-blue-animated-short-film

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