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How do you paint on Acetate

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How do you paint on Acetate

What paint do you use for Acetate cells so that the colour is no longer transparent?

I am doing a hand-painted cell animation at the moment using Chromacolour paints and I have to say I am really struggling to get a good consistency - there are a lot of strokes showing even after a couple of coats.

Also I'm using a multi plane camera to shoot but am getting a really bad reflection of the camera in the acetate as well as loads of dust on the acetate. I have tried using a polarising filter on the camera to reduce the reflection but it wasn't much help and made the whole shot a lot darker.

Getting to the point where I may have to just scan all the images into after effects and animate it on there :/ Unless anyone can suggest anything? I am currently using two lights shining down on the project, should I try back lighting it? I'm worried this would make the streaks of paint show more :/

Is your equipment home made?

no it's at my university - here is a pic

in that pic, the camera is above, just out of shot - it's a canon 550d

Opaque paint like china ink, acrylic or gouache should do the job.

You have to do 2 or 3 layers of paint, and it can be quite time consuming.

Lindsey Keess

How exactly do you layer the paint on acetate, like on paper you build outwards but with acetate wont you have to build inwards considering you paiting on the back rather then the front?

Opaque paint like china ink, acrylic or gouache should do the job.

i prefer the acrylic~

Has any one here tried to use Chromacolour paints? I have been doing some tests with student acrylic and you need to give a number of coats to make it fully opaque. Im curious to know if it is worth paying out more for chromacolour paint?


Here is an old fart signing in... My first job in animation was opaquing. We used quite a mixture of paints. Some of then toxic! ( don't lick the brushes ).

The best paints were acrilic or vinol based. Cartoon colour and Chromacolour both sell these or used to.

The trick is not to have it thin. You want it liquid enough to pour but not so liquid that it dries thin. Sort of the consistancy of condensed milk is best. The toughest colours to use are reds and yellows. These would always dry transparent. The others would be fine as long as they weren't too thin. The other trick is not to use the brush end of your brush very often. You want to push or pull the paint over the cel using surface tension. The reason being you will end up with a lot of brush strokes in the paint and not a consistant colour.

Hope that helps?

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