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Cinematography: Paperless animation and digital process
January 29, 2022

Cinematography: Paperless animation and digital process

Our professional feature section Cinematography in Animation Industry today blends past and present of one of the most used techniques in the industry.
Paperless animation is the modern take on classic hand-drawn animation. In the past, each frame with any character or object in motion was drawn on paper of reduced thickness so as to allow a glimpse of the underlying drawings, first sketched and then revised with ink.

These drawings in more modern times were then scanned and digitized, phases in which the colors (on the computer) and the final animations were defined.

Today all these steps take place directly on the computer using a single device, a digital tablet, and programs such as Toon Boom Harmony (used for Sergio Pablo's Klaus [focus]) or OpenToonz (used by Studio Ghibli, software now also in a free version) or Cartoon Animator.

Below an example of an animated scene by Mik Kirchheiner, Danish animator and story artist, using Toon Boom Harmony that explores the individual stages of the production process:




Each of the companies also offer professional courses (paid or free) to learn the use of programs, such as Toon Boom or Reallusion, but there are also large communities each linked to a program that release free video tutorials in any language available on the main video-sharing platforms.

Here are the demo reels of the main programs:

- Toon Boom




- OpenToonz




- Cartoon Animator 4




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