Anime’s shift to digital colouring and photography

Two cels from Armour Hunter Mellowlink (1988). The upper cel just bears eyes and eyebrows; the lower cel carries all the rest.

We know that anime shifted from an analogue production process to a digital one.

I can’t find a very simple, understandable account of the shift, of the sort which one could gently link when a friend refers to anime animators ‘no longer drawing by hand’. Upon questioning, many fans who attend to production info, most of them more knowledgeable than I, don’t seem to know much about the nature and timing of the shift either. So I set out, in foolish ignorance, to write such an account.

I’ve tried to keep what follows clear and brief. I’ve also tried to exclude my views on the relative strengths of different times and techniques. I’m no expert on the topic, and this post is a call for facts, additions and corrections as least as much as it’s as a summation of them. Continue reading “Anime’s shift to digital colouring and photography”