Shadows for Cel Animation

Lena Petrovic¹
Brian T. Fujito¹
Lance Williams²
Adam Finkelstein¹

¹Princeton Graphics and Geometry Group
²Disney Feature Animation


We present a semi-automatic method for creating shadow mattes in cel animation. In conventional cel animation, shadows are drawn by hand, in order to provide visual cues about the spatial relationships and forms of characters in the scene. Our system creates shadow mattes based on hand-drawn characters, given high-level guidance from the user about depths of various objects. The method employs a scheme for "inflating" 3D figure based on hand-drawn art. It provides simple tools for adjusting object depths, coupled with an intuitive interface by which the user specifies object shapes and relative positions in a scene. Our system obviates the tedium of drawing shadow mattes by hand, and provides control over complex shadows falling over interesting shapes.

Full paper

To learn more about our project, download the full paper in Adobe Acrobat (pdf) format.

Last update: April 10, 2000