Cel shading
: história e aplicação do efeito 2D em animação digital

  • Sérgio Gil Pinheiro da Conceição (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


The present dissertation has as main objective the understanding and analysis of the visual technique Cel shading, either on the digital animation industry, or in the video games industry. Cel shading is a visual animation technique that can emulate illustrations, or drawings, in 3D graphics. Those illustrations, when fully animated, can form various elements of the animation industries and video games. Throughout this dissertation is held a historical context of animation, analysing different techniques and processes that led to its evolution, since the celluloid to the digital era, with emphasis on certain revolutionary films of each era, fundamental for the evolution of the techniques used since. Apart from films and television series, is also carried out a synthesis of the most important videogames that use, or have used, this visual technique, because it allows emulating the visual style of comics. The most remarkable examples of each type are: (i) in television series "The Simpsons" (1989 – present), "Futurama" (from 1999 to 2003) and "Family Guy" (1999 – present); (ii) in animation films "Animatrix" (2003), "Ghost in the Shell" (1989) and "The Iron Giant" (1999); (iii) and in videogames, "Jet Set Radio", "XIII", "The Legend Of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass" and "The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker". Simultaneously with the development of this dissertation, it was produced a short animated film for the Portuguese telecommunications company Optimus. This animation intended to describe, through metaphors and appealing visual styles, the journey of a short text message (SMS); and all the processes inherent on its sending and receiving. For the production of this short film, the authors analysed several visual styles. Of all the styles analysed, the chosen for the short film was the technique Cel shading. The interaction with a real client requires a constant change, based on its decisions. One of those modifications applied to this thesis was the visual style chosen. Instead of the visual technique Cel shading, the adopted visual style for the short animated film produced was a more realistic, based in images from High-dynamic-range imaging (HDRi).
Date of Award21 Jun 2013
Original languagePortuguese
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorSahra Kunz (Supervisor) & Ricardo Megre (Co-Supervisor)


  • 3D animation
  • Visual technique
  • Celluloid


  • Mestrado em Som e Imagem

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