Making cut-out animations

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Published on August 10, 2011 with No Comments

Give yourself a hand if you know that Terry Gilliam was born in Medicine Lake, Minnesota. And if you’re like Terry Gilliam you’d give yourself a cut-out hand. Beware of the difference between a cut-out hand and a cut-off hand, which is not the same as an off-hand cut. Ah the silliness of a summer day. In any case, to recap the key points, Terry Gilliam, screenwriter, animator and member of the Monty Python comedy troupe Time Bandits and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, among other films. Back in 1974, Gilliam made a video of his methods with cut-out animation. Now thanks to YouTube we can all enjoy the video and after watching it, feel free to channel your own inner cut-out animation artist.
There are a few “rules” that can go a long way toward making a successful or funny cut-out animation film. Scale is big here. In cut-out animation a small object such as a jar of jam appearing to be bigger than a human is more interesting than if the objects were at scale. It’s important to make a storyboard so you know where you’re going before you start – sort of important in everything actually. And, since the animation is not drawn, you’ll have better control if you cut a large object into several pieces before reassembling it for animation. Cut out animation has limitations. So instead of trying to get your characters to talk, you’ll simply move their oversized mouths up and down and – well, here, watch the video.

See Terry Gilliam in action

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