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Crash Course: Cel Shading in Video Games

When reading current video game publications, one sees a persistent misconception concerning the term “Cel Shading” and its use in video game graphics.

For all intents and purposes, Cel Shading as a term is currently being used as a misnomer. The term itself comes from traditional animation, where objects and characters were painted on transparent cels (short for celluloid). As a shading technique in computer graphics, it describes a method to emulate a non-realistic aesthetic similar to hand-drawn flat shadowing.

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