Cut-out animation (or cutout/cut out animation) is a simple and entertaining form of stop-motion animation that is accessible to everyone. This animation technique uses 2D characters, props, and scenes cut from materials like paper, cards, or fabric to create an illusion of movement.
Wondering how cut-out animation can benefit your company? The truth is, cut out animation is an incredibly versatile and cost-effective way to create engaging and memorable content that stands out in today’s crowded digital landscape.
In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at cut-out animation, its history, and the pros and cons of using it. We’ll also share some inspiring examples of how businesses and brands have used cut-out animation to create engaging and effective campaigns.
What is Cutout Animation?
Cutout animation is one of the earliest and most basic animation techniques. It involves breaking down a character into smaller segments, piecing together the individual cutout shapes, and moving them in small steps while taking a single picture using a camera at each step. The cutout shapes are figures created that have joints connected with aluminium armature wire that helps to animate the objects easily.
History of Cutout Animation
The technique used in most cutout animation is similar to a shadow play or shadow puppetry where it uses flat articulated cut out figures held between a source of light and a translucent screen. The Argentine director and cartoonist Quirino Cristiani is credited with being the first person to do cutout animation.
He used cardboard cutouts to create the one-minute La intervención en la Provincia de Buenos Aires in 1916, but sadly it was later lost in a fire. Meanwhile, German film director, Lotte Reiniger’s creation was the oldest surviving example of cutout animation.
Digital Cut Out Animation
Cutout animation can be done both traditionally or using digital animation techniques for more precise and efficient production. In fact, many animation studios now use computer animation to replicate the appearance and feel of classic cutout animation. Today’s modern take on cutout animation is by using computers with scanned images replacing the hand-drawn assets much like the television series South Park transitioned after its pilot episode where they use paper cutouts. Animated characters can move using a pivot point or points added with software, just like paper cutouts.
Why Use Cutout Animation for your Business?
Cutout animation is a cost-effective way to create engaging and memorable content that stands out in today’s crowded digital landscape. It can be used to create effective advertisements, product demonstrations, and explainer videos. Additionally, it can be used for creating brand mascots, showcasing the different ways a product can be used, and demonstrating parts using a particular product.
Cut-out Animation Examples
Here are some examples of how businesses have used cut-out animation to create engaging and effective campaigns:
The explainer video above used digital cut-out animation produced for PostMM, a digital marketing agency. Although the animation was done using a computer, the characters and props were made to look as if they were paper cut outs and added with colourful images and smooth transitions.
Katherine Manaog made the adorable paper cut-out animation Coco because she missed her dogs after leaving the country to attend art school. She has given the paper the “awwww” element by collaborating with Annie Wong and Louie Zhang.
3. Paper Plane
Gianluca Maruotti directed and animated the collaborative cut-out animation for Giangrande’s song Paper Plan, short film which featured illustrations by Felicita Sala.
Another example of distinct style of cutout animation is used for AppsVillage’s explainer video. This digital cutout animation explains how the app can help businesses increase their revenues.
The Pros and Cons of Cut-Out Animations
To help you in deciding whether cut-out animation is worth trying, let’s look at the pros and cons of this technique.
Despite technological innovations, amateurs and industry animators continue to appreciate cut-out. And here are the reasons why.
1. It’s fun and unique
Paper cutout animation takes us back to simpler times and, for many of us, to our younger years, when we were free to use our imaginations as we pleased. The animators allow their audience to exercise their creative muscles and bring them to a world of possibilities.
2. Engages audiences with a simple narrative
Cutout animation could be an effective approach for communicating ideas and bringing stories to life on screen. Making your cutout designs adds a distinctive and customised touch to any project. In this manner, the finished product can capture your creative concept and transmit it in a moving image format.
3. Perfect on various social media platforms
A quick, snappy cutout animation is the ideal type of video to post on social media sites like YouTube or TikTok. Your animation videos could go viral when using a unique and compelling narrative that captures the audience’s attention.
Despite its many advantages, this cutout animation shares a few disadvantages like other animation techniques. Here are some of them.
The complexity of the design and the amount of detail required for your first cut out animation video directly affects how long the process takes. This process requires that you not only sketch each thing but also separate and arrange each one individually.
This takes a lot of time for most animators. Investing time and effort is necessary to master cut out animation.
2. Needs great drawing skills
Animating cut-out shapes is very different from animating two-dimensional characters.
The higher the level of your design abilities, as with any type of animation, the better the results you will achieve. If you’re a business owner wanting to explore several types of animation techniques as part of your digital content, then outsourcing could be beneficial for you.
An animation production company can help you with sketches or even adapt to digital cut out shapes and characters to help you create a character and write a compelling storyline that would resonate with the audience.
Create your Animation Video
Cut out animation is a unique and captivating stop-motion technique that can bring your business’s story to life. This method involves using flat figures or cutouts and moving them frame by frame to create the illusion of movement. It’s a cost-effective and versatile way to create animated content that can enhance your marketing campaigns.
At Superpixel, we specialise in creating visually stunning animated films that can help you connect with your audience and build your brand. Whether you’re looking to create short films for social media or a longer video for your website, we can help you bring your story to life in a way that suits your business needs.
Contact us today to discuss how we can help you create an animated video campaign that will make your business stand out.