Cut-out animation tutorials

I wanted to first off thank TB for making this latest set of videos regarding cutout animation! To me, they are the best set yet! I was very interested in how the animator worked–his methodology–and found it quite interesting. Some of the tings that stood out to me was how he had the master peg collapsed while he did his key poses as well as doing his initial key poses one right after the other on the time line. Once he had that worked out, he proceeded to pull them apart and work on the timing. An amazing technique!

I was surprised to see that he didn’t use any inbetweening but rather all stop motion. Of course, that’s not to say you can’t do it that way as explained in the last video, but it was interesting how he achieved his easing in and out without it.

I think it would have been nice to have heard the animator explaining what he was doing and why in addition to the narrator. I would have liked to have heard his thought process for how he worked.

I thought it was interesting how the legs were rigged. I could see the top part of the leg being moved here and there and I thought, “Wow, this must not be attached to the rest of the leg somehow!” Sure enough, when I downloaded the sample files I could see how it was rigged. Ingenious!

I have been studying through Richard William’s book the Animator’s Survivial Kit in which he says the main thing is to establish the timing and spacing which is the key factor to bringing your characters to life. The standard procedure is to time out each move from key pose to key pose and then record it on the x-sheet and work from there. This is similar to how Stacey worked–making his key poses and then adjusting the timing and the breakdowns along the way. Very interesting!

I know you are moving on to other aspects of animation, the next set being IK, so I am watching intently until then. That’s one thing that has been on the top of my list of what to learn–actual animating. You can have all these nice characters and backgrounds and all, but then it finally comes down to animating them–that’s what it’s all about–and that’s where I sometimes get lost! Ha! So the more tutorials on animating, the better. How about getting some professionals that work in studios to share their techniques? That would be great!