About Animation

Do you know how animated films were made before computer graphics?
Everything was hand-painted!
The most revolutionary method in the animation industry was cel animation. 
The Swan Princess was the last fully hand-drawn film to be released in theaters in the 1990's making the production art a special piece of history.
Buy Swan Princess Production Art Cels here
We have kept the collection in storage over 20 years and have almost thrown it away, twice. We are pleased that we have now been able to make it available to fans.
Check out this awesome fan-made video full of information on cel animation!
What is a production art cel?
A production art cel is a transparent sheet of cellulose acetate that includes a hand-painted image and was used in the making of an animated film.
Before computer animation, every frame in animation was drawn by hand. 24 frames are required for one second of film. Most full-length, animated films required around one million drawings, including storyboards, backgrounds, character design roughs, pencil drawings and acrylic-painted celluloid.
In cel animation, characters and objects were drawn on the transparent sheet and laid over a background. The use of cels eliminated the need to redraw the entire image, background and all, every time something moved. Multiple layers also created depth.
This process of hand-painted 2D animation is now very rare and has not been used in the animation of full-length films since the nineties. 
The original Swan Princess film (1994) was the last fully hand-painted feature film to be released in theaters in the 1990's. It's creation took around 300 animators 4 years to complete. By today's standards this is a huge staff and a very expensive and time consuming endeavor. Furthermore, there are no longer enough animators in the industry trained in the process of cel animation to make a quality full-length film using this method.
Here’s a simple breakdown of the process:
After the script is finalized, storyboards are drawn and arranged.
Pencil drawing templates are created on thin paper with color instructions
A background is painted cardboard, or thick paper
The outline of the pencil is Xerox copied onto the top of the cellulose paper. Acrylic paint is applied to the back of the cel following the pencil template to add color
The cel overlay with painted image is placed on top of the background and a photograph is taken with the multi-plane camera
Photographs are arranged side by side into film strips.
Buy original production art here