Cinema 4D Tutorial

After Effects: Cel Shading

Carter Sheffield
|3 min read
Written by Carter Sheffield


In this tutorial, Carter Sheffield covers cel shading in Blender, using the Eevee render, and touches upon color correction in After Effects.

Blender Cel Shading

  1. Introduction to Blender

    • If you're new to Blender, it's a powerful and free 3D application alternative. Carter even prefers it over Cinema 4D.
  2. Setting Up Cel Shading in Blender

    • Begin with a principle BSDF. This is your basic shading in Blender.
    • Replace that with a diffused BSDF, a shader to RGB, and a color ramp for solid colors.
    • For choosing colors:
      • Start with a bright color of your preference.
      • Move to your second one, about 1/3 apart from the initial color.
      • The next should be another 1/3 darker.
      • No need for roughness, and color won't matter since we're converting the shader to an RGB channel.
  3. Material for Image Sequence

    • Start again with a principle BSDF. Delete it.
    • Add an emission (using Shift + A to bring up the menu).
    • Include a PNG sequence by heading to Texture -> Image Texture (again using Shift + A).
    • Open your image texture and choose the first one.
    • Under a dropdown menu, switch from movie to image sequence.
      • Make sure the number of frames matches your image sequence count. If the set number exceeds the actual frames, the texture will render as a pink null texture.
    • Set your start frame according to your needs.
    • If working with multiple image sequences, differentiate between them as Blender will do that automatically.
  4. UV Mapping

    • Make sure cyclic is enabled.
    • To create a UV map for a polygon, unwrap it. It should come out as a perfect square, if not, adjust to fit all four corners.
    • Link the UV map to your texture so that the texture follows the UV map.
    • If using multiple UV maps, ensure you select the correct one.

After Effects Color Correction

  1. Initial Setup

    • Before correction, the video may look dull and dark. Using levels and other tools, we can enhance it.
  2. Adjusting Levels

    • Navigate to Effect -> Color Correction -> Levels.
    • Adjust the levels to exaggerate the scene by condensing them to where the color spikes begin.
  3. Brightness and Contrast

    • Go to Effect -> Color Correction -> Brightness and Contrast.
    • Carter increased brightness by 26 and contrast by 30, but these values can be tweaked according to your scene.
  4. Hue and Saturation

    • Head to Effect -> Color Correction -> Hue and Saturation.
    • Increase saturation by 25 for a brighter and more vibrant look.
  5. Final Thoughts

    • Experiment with these settings to get the desired look for your scene. Remember that what works for one project might need adjustments for another.

That's it for this tutorial on cel shading in Blender and color correction in After Effects. Hopefully, these steps and tips help you enhance your projects. Happy editing!


motion design
after effects

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