Why does cel-shading sometimes look similar to rotoscoping?

Rotoscoping: A Scanner Darkly:


Cel-shading: Wikipedia: Cel-shading, Teapot Example:


  • $\begingroup$ Or is this the wrong stackexchange for this question? I put this question here, because I thought Cel-shading and Rotoscoping are types of image processing... If you think I'm wrong, please vote to move... $\endgroup$
    – Malady
    Apr 19, 2015 at 2:50
  • $\begingroup$ Graphics does seem like an odd mix between DSP and gamedev that doesn't quite fit in either :p $\endgroup$
    – Alan Wolfe
    Apr 19, 2015 at 5:08

1 Answer 1


I checked out the Wikipedia page for rotoscoping and it says one way it was done is that a live action image was shown behind frosted glass and an animator would draw it. The frosted glass detail obfuscation coupled with the fact that it was a cartoonist means to me that you are going to get solid colored areas as shading, like you'd see in a cartoon. Cell shading is basically trying to make the same effect but using 3d rendered graphics as a source instead of an actual photographed image. Seems like they are the same effect, just with different names!


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