Numbering clean up drawings

Hi there, I have another question regarding the clean-up stage in hand-drawn animation.

Are the clean-up drawings numbered in the standard professional animation workflow?

The thing is, for me, as a filmmaker, what I do is not number the clean-up drawings because I would export them as .png files and import them into inkscape, which would serve as my cel-generating and coloring program. I would start with “trace bitmap,” assign the color pallette outside of the cel and camera area (page), and then export them as transparent .png files, therefore as painted cels. This is due to the fact that I can’t really use the vector layers and tools in Pencil 2D currently but I don’t want to go through the redundant and laborious process of using one bitmap layer for the traced outline (which I would refer to as clean-up drawings) and another bitmap layer for painting the colors over and then the swap the outline and color layers afterwards for previewing and exporting either. I know, long sentence. The only drawback to the Inkscape method of cel making is I have to trace the image (clean-up drawing), delete the original image (not the actual file, of course), color within the outline, and then export each cel, one at a time. But it’s not too bad for me. It just takes a bit longer in Inkscape then what I could do in Pencil 2D if the vector layers and tools were truly functional, which apparently aren’t, unfortunately.

Anyway, just explaining how I would go about the clean-up to ink-and-paint stage. Hopefully one would answer my question above. Please answer, thank you.

@JacobZeier1992 In the past a clean-up drawing was still an animation drawing that needed to be tracked in the production. If the original key or inbetween had a number, it was meant to keep it. This was only removed when tracing the lineart over to acetate cels, to my knowledge.

In the digital age this can vary however it makes sense to remove it before coloring altogether. Just do it during clean-up or lineart tracing.

As a side note, In some devilishly “quick & dirty” productions it can even reach the compositing stage before it’s removed, but usually these are more experimental or painterly films where the compositing artist has to fix all the mess surrounding (or embedded on) the painted canvas (I’ve had to do this :sweat_smile: )

For automatic tracing & efficient coloring just use opentoonz. It’s honestly the best open tool for that right now. Watch this tutorial playlist and imagine Pencil2D is the actual paper animation you would “scan” into your computer, the other steps (including GTS for Windows) are the same.

I mean, I don’t mind using Inkscape for cel generating and coloring, it’s not that bad. I think Inkscape is good for coloring, even if it’s a little more laborious, but much better than using the raster/bitmap cel coloring method on Pencil2D that I explained earlier. That would take a long time to do so, unless you want to go about how cels used to be colored prior to computers in as early as the mid 1980s. From about 1983 or 1984 to the present, digital coloring has came into existence, which is quite helpful as well as crucial. The traditional animation process was quite time consuming and even expensive, compared to doing it digitally. Obviously most animations in the the mid 1980s were done the “normal” way, but are considered obsolute by today’s standards, but back then computer coloring was revolutionary. Traditional ink and paint has been used in most productions until as recent as 2004. Today, real/traditonal cel animation is slowly but surely making a comeback, but I could be wrong, but only among independent filmmakers and format enthusiasts. I’m an old soul, born in 1992, I like and know a lot of old things long before my existence; be it history or pop culture. There’s also nothing wrong with using real cels in your animation productions. It may look outdated by especially mainstream studio standards, but nonetheless can real cel animation be thought as artistic.