Cutout animation

by Joost | Last Updated: July 11, 2022
I love creating free content full of tips for my readers, you. I don't accept paid sponsorships, my opinion is my own, but if you find my recommendations helpful and you end up buying something you like through one of my links, I could earn a commission at no extra cost to you.

Cutout animation is a technique for producing animations using flat characters, props and backgrounds cut from materials such as paper, card, stiff fabric or even photographs. The world’s earliest known animated feature films were cutout animations (made in Argentina by Quirino Cristiani); as is the world’s earliest surviving animated feature. Today, cutout-style animation is frequently produced using computers, with scanned images or vector graphics taking the place of physically cut materials. South Park is a notable example of this transition since its first episode was made with paper cutouts before switching to computer animation. More complex figures depicted in cutout animation, such as in silhouette animation, often have joints made with a rivet or pin – or when made on a computer, an anchor. These connections act as mechanical linkage which have the effect of a specific, fixed motion. Other notable examples include Angela Anaconda, and—more recently—Charlie and Lola. One of the most famous animators still using traditional cutout animation today is Yuriy Norshteyn. .