Animation has come a long way before it came to where it is now. Prior to the advent of technology which made the production of it easier, animation used to utilize old school techniques which mean slower yet equally compelling production. If one is to look into the concept of the stories and how the artists are able to materialize it all despite the scarcity in high technology, one will surely be in awestruck wonder.
One of the techniques used in earlier days is the traditional animation which is also called cel animation or hand-drawn animation. It was the process used for most animated films of the 20th century.
It works by photographing into individual frames the drawings which are first drawn on paper. This method is indeed time consuming and very costly on paper of films as in every movement of a character, it consumers a lot of frames.
Speaking of movement, each drawing is slightly modified from the one before it as to create the illusion of movement or action. Cels or transparent acetate sheets are used by animators in tracing or photocopying the drawings they created. These cels are then filled in with paints in assigned colours or tones on the side opposite the line drawings in incorporating the character in its complete form. The completed character cels are photographed one-by-one against a painted background by a rostrum camera onto motion picture film.
But by the beginning of the 21st century, the use of traditional cel animation process became out of date. This is due to the advent of high technology which made the process of animation more convenient, faster, easier and more beautiful. The computer system enabled the direct scanning and drawing of ideas and backgrounds of an animator.
Moreover, there are many software programs that are used to colour the drawings and simulate camera movement and effects. Despite the height of technological utilization in the industry of animation, the ‘look’ of traditional cel animation is still conserved and the works of character animators have stayed basically unchanged over the past seven decades. In point of fact, some animation producers have used the term tradigital to describe cel animation which makes extensive use of computer technologies.