Cut-Out Animation

A Complete Guide to Cut-Out Animation with Examples

Table of Contents

From 3D animation to motion graphics, each has characteristics and specialties to get your message across quickly. Today, we’ll go over one of the oldest and most distinct animation art styles; cut-out animation. A simple cut-out animation in your video campaign can assist you in standing out from the competition and captivating the viewers in a way that no other format can.

The key is that it is a type of frame-by-frame animation in which flat pictures, objects, and even backgrounds are cut from materials such as paper, cards, stiff fabric, or old photographs, among other things. The prop is then disassembled and utilized as a frame-by-frame puppet.

Let’s begin this blog with a brief history of cut-out animation, and then we’ll move into further details, such as the process, examples, and benefits and drawbacks of using it in your business.

The History of Cut-Out Animation

The original modest animated studios that appeared even before Disney served as the foundation for the first movies made in the cut-out animation style. Quirino Cristiani produced animated cutscenes somewhere in Argentina that are the oldest known animated films of this type. Besides the earliest surviving cut-out animated movie is Die Abenteuer des Prinzen Achmed (1926).

German filmmaker Lotte Reiniger produced ‘The Adventures of Prince Achmed’ in 1926. Cut-out animation has changed significantly since then. While it is still typically created using traditional methods, it can now be accomplished using computers to increase quality or add a contemporary touch.

Animation Using Cutouts in the Digital Age

Despite its illustrious past, Reiniger’s unique style continues to be an inspiration for filmmakers. During the past few years, animation has adapted to our contemporary technological world just as well as any other art form. Contrary to common opinion, one of the few methods in the media that have stayed primarily constant over time is cut-out animation. Due to its effectiveness and simplicity, the cut-out is still an excellent technique for beginning animators to get started even in today’s modern world of art and design.

This technique of production not only offers substantial time and cost savings but also adds a unique flair. The TV show South Park, which uses digital cut-out animation, illustrates this. However, you might wish to mix several animation techniques with cut-out animation to engage your audience. This makes it possible to blend cut-outs’ limitations with sophisticated 3D or 2D animation techniques.

Is Cut-Out Animation a Good Fit for Your Business?

The paper cut-out animation technique is great for video explainers, short movies, and other video forms. But is it the right pick for your business? To help you decide, we’ve come up with a few pros and cons. Explore them below.


Explore the benefits of cut-out animation below to see how it can benefit your business.

#1 Visually Appealing

Cut-out animation is unquestionably the most attractive form of animation, appealing to both children and adults. Through it, you can convey an idea and create an illusion of motion by combining art, motion, and metaphor. In short, it is a great medium to delight and engage your viewers.

#2 Fun to Make

Not only is cut-out animation fun to watch, but also fun to make. Making moving images with the paper cut-out animation technique is enjoyable and fulfilling. It is specifically amusing for people who like doing crafts or are a fan of paper-cutting activities.

#3 Bring Stories to Life

An engaging approach to bringing your stories to life is through cutout animation. By creating the cut-out parts yourself, this animation style provides you the greater creative freedom to express your stories. In this manner, your imagination is your sole constraint regarding the subject matter.


While cut-out animation has benefits, there are a few downsides too. Check them out:

#1 Time-Consuming

The intricacy of the design and the detail required will determine how long the cutout animation process will take. But when you think about it, having to draw, separate, and prioritize each component one at a time is a lengthy process. Thus, making cut-out animation the old-fashioned way consumes a lot of time.

#2 Pro Drawing Skills

Animating 2D characters is much different than animating a simple cut-out animation. Cut-out animation requires pro drawing skills and using various animation software. The better the skills, the better the outcomes. However, if you lack the required skills, it’s wise to take the help of a professional instead. 

#3 Rigid Animation

If you simply animate the characters around their contact point and always from the same point of view, they will probably remain very stiff. That is why you need to get your creative juices flowing to make your characters more alive.

5 Outstanding Cut-Out Animation Examples

Now it’s time to discover some of the most outstanding cut-out animation examples to get a more solid grasp and see what it actually looks like.

1. Coco – Paper Cut-Out Animation

Here is the best example of a paper cut-out animation. The video is inspired by Katherine missing her dogs after she moved abroad. The animator used Adobe Flash to combine all the pictures to create the illusion of movement.

2. Giangrande – Paper Plane

The animated music video for Giangrande’s paper plane is another fascinating example for you to view. It is a collaborative cut-out animation, presenting illustrations by Felicita Sala, directed and animated by Gianluca Maruotti.

3. Rose House – Cut-Out Animation

This is another simple cut-out animated video you may take ideas from. The story revolves around a twisted love story that causes a bloody murder.

4. Reindeer Sweater – Paper Cut-Out Animation

It is a simple yet engaging music animated video for Nikita Krainov’s song. The paper cut-out animation technique is effective and fun for children and adults.

5. Bill Carter – Anything Made of Paper

This is Bill Carter’s ‘Anything Made of Paper’ official music video. The song depicts love and tragedy while reflecting the need for everyone to hold onto hope in the face of injustice. The cut-out animation is attractive is appealing to watch.

Steps to Making Your Own Cut-Out Animation

Ready to create a cut-out animation video? You will require a few tools to make your cut-out animation, including a cutting mat, bristol board, gaffer’s tape, scissors, a knife, a pencil, thread, and coloring supplies. Pens and other pointy objects are also options.

Here are the steps to get started:

Step One: Sketching

The initial step of the process is sketching. Begin by sketching the characters and props completely; be consistent with the size so they can be used later as a template. Draw each segment separately after sketching the entire figure, being sure to account for how the heads, arms, and legs overlap.

It is a good idea to create the character from various perspectives, including front, back, and profile. Your character will be able to move more dynamically as a result. Lastly, don’t forget to add colors and be as creative as possible. The sketching can be done by hand or through Adobe Photoshop.

Step Two: Assembling

After that, put the characters together using aluminum wire or glue to join the various body sections. Maintain the wire’s integrity and stay clear of glue clumps. Don’t forget to segment the face characteristics to allow animation throughout the sequence. Next, lay out the completed character flat on the backdrop.

Step Three: Animation

The final step is the animation which is quite similar to stop-motion animation. For viewers to understand the characters’ intentions and emotions, they must remain in their positions for a sufficient amount of time.

The character should then be moved frame by frame according to the guidelines laid out by Disney animators Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas for anticipation, ease in and out, and follow-through. For a natural feel, use the preliminary sketches produced from different perspectives and transition between the front, back, and profile views.

Need a Cut-Out Animation Video? Here’s How Anideos Can Help!

That’s it! The guide to cut-out animation ends here. Despite its simplicity, it’s the ideal medium to tell your tale in a fun way! So, do you think investing in it is the right choice for your business?

It is definitely a long-winded process, and if you have beginner animation skills, creating yourself can be tricky. But don’t worry; Anideos is here to help. Check out our range of animation services and get in touch right away! We can create an interactive and creative animated video to elevate your business.

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Adam is a copywriter and content strategist with years of experience covering the latest trends in technology and digital industry. Adam brings a fresh and creative approach to his writing. With his passion for writing as well as amazing research skills, he shares valuable knowledge on multiple trends.