The beauty of cels can be discovered only by experiencing them directly.
In the world of Japanese anime, there are many skilled artisans possessing remarkable techniques. They come together as 100 to 200 people to create a single anime work. Rather than creating something they want to make themselves, they instead collaborate as one to bring forth a collective creation. By harnessing the characteristic Japanese spirit of cooperation, they steadfastly pursue creativity to give the anime a tangible form. Thanks to their continued efforts, Japanese anime has kept evolving over the years.
Each frame, stacked upon the other, come together to form the anime. In the past, this was achieved through the painstaking process of hand-drawing each frame known as a "cel." The creators are incredibly attached to each individual frame. And the true appeal of "cels" is the ability to physically hold a piece of the anime that has embodied the passion and skill of the anime artisan.
Anime cels possess unique colors, vibrancy, and textures. They deliver warmth and emotional resonance only possible through craftsmanship by human hands. Rather than describing it through words, the cel's beauty is best experienced by seeing the actual artwork firsthand.
The artisans behindthe scenes of cels.
We are used to looking at the front side of anime cels. However, the coloring of cels is actually done from the back side of the celluloid sheet. When viewed from the front, the colors are layered in a reverse order, starting from the parts that appear on top. This means that paint is applied from the foreground moving towards the background, which is the opposite of the usual expected order. The key to painting beautiful cels is to avoid the showing of brushstrokes. Skilled and detailed work is required to avoid color irregularities and bubbles. If you look at the backside of a cel, which is usually hidden from view, you will notice layers of paint that have been applied and feel a human touch showing that the painting was done by hand, in contrast to the glossy finish of the front.
The various techniques of cels that enrich the creative elements of anime.
There are various techniques for cels that are employed to create the desired image and world-building of a particular work. One such technique is called "harmony cels." In traditional cels, the character's coloring is done by using specific paints within the contours of the image. In harmony cels, however, only the outline is present on the cel. The colored character is then drawn directly on the background without the outline. This allows for using watercolors or similar paints to apply colors to the character, enabling a more delicate color expression that includes colored gradients and bleeding; something that is not possible in traditional cel coloring. Utilizing these different techniques helps create captivating and distinct anime works that carry their own unique charm.