Thursday, 3 April 2014

Bits, Bobs, Odds and Sods

I'm having a massive spring clean in my studio, and all sorts of... stuff... is appearing from the bottom of dusty boxes. Or more likely, emerging from the pile of crap crammed down the back of my drawing board. Out of sight, out of mind...

Now here's an object you don't see much of any more:

It's a colour swatch for animation cel paint, and it's almost totally extinct. Back in the day these things cost an absolute fortune to buy because the printing of the colours on the swatch had to reflect the exact hue you were going to get in the pot of paint, with complete accuracy.

I also made up a few do-it-yourself marker-pen swatches using Pantone pens:

I used these to help select the colours for my animatic drawings:

From this we could find the equivalent colour in the cel paint range. The particularly nasty shade of orange on his Bermuda Shirt was shade 046 - just bright enough to induce migraine-blindness having painted a few hundred cels...

I can't remember how many bottles of 046 we got through, but the inch of paint you see here at the bottom is all we had left before finishing the 'shirt sequences'. The shade of yellow/orange we used for Rosie's hair ran out on the final cel. And the photocopy machine exploded and died after the last cel went through. It was all very symbolic.

Here's a final cel (from about 10:48 in the YouTube video )  which took a bunch of different colours to paint, each colour being applied to the whole sequence of cels in a run, before waiting for them to dry and applying the next colour. I'm reminded looking at this cel that I decided to save a bit of time by colouring the dark underside of his shoes, the bucket handles, and the shadow side of the brush with grey marker pens (top-cel'ing, as they used to call this, where the usual paint colour was applied to the back of the cel, and an additional 'fx' layer of pen, paint, or pencil rendering was added to the front of the cel). In this sequence the movement is so fast your eye can't detect the slightly scribbly pen texture of these areas. At least, I hope you can't...

So farewell to the Cel Paint Swatch - once outrageously expensive, now a defunct museum piece...

...although I can't quite bring myself to throw it away.

Might I need it again?

Never say never...


  1. Replies
    1. Yeah Kassidy, I'm getting a real wave of nostalgia writing this blog..!