What Are the Different Types of Animation Art?

Pre-production art, production art, and post-production art are the three categories of animation art in general. Pre-production art was used in the development of a film or short, and production art was used in the production of the film or short. Post-production animation art refers to artwork created after a film or short has been completed but not used during production. Original production cels, background art, storyboard art, animation drawings, and model sheets are examples of pre-production and production art. Sericels, limited edition cels, publicity cels, and reproduction backgrounds are examples of post-production animation art.

There may be several subcategories under the heading of pre-production and production animation art, which some may lump together as original animation art. Background art, for example, can be divided into two categories: key master set up and original background. The painted art used to depict the setting in an animated film or short is known as an original background. The original background, as well as any cel or cels that were layered on top of it to create an animation frame, make up a key master set up. The key master set up, when put together, would represent a real frame in the final film or short.

Presentation backgrounds, also known as hand painted backgrounds, preliminary backgrounds, and reproduction backgrounds are examples of background art. A presentation background is a piece of post-production art created a third-party artist to serve as a backdrop for a cel that is on display. Reproduction backgrounds, also known as post-production art, are copies of the original backgrounds used in a film or short. A preliminary background is one created during filming but not used in the finished film or short.

Likewise, animation drawings can be divided into two types: rough drawings and clean-up drawings. An animator created rough drawings of the character at key moments in the film. Assistant animators were in charge of the clean-up drawings. These assistants would take the rough drawing and make it into a more polished version. After that, the clean-up drawing was used to make animation cels.

It’s possible that some post-production animation art was created for a specific purpose. For example, publicity cels were given as gifts for publicity purposes, and collectors were given limited edition and sericels. Cels that have been reproduced from original drawings and are only available in a limited number are known as limited edition cels. Sericels are post-production cels created serigraphy, a silk-screening process that applies each color to the cel. They are also produced in a limited quantity, but they are distributed in larger quantities than limited edition cels.