Cut out vs. Frame-by-Frame

Hey there! I’m new to Toon Boom Animate Pro and it’s been great! But I am confused as to which style of animation I should learn and practice the most on: Cut-Out-Style or Frame-by-Frame. I have done cut out animation style before in other programs, but it always seemed to be limited. I’m curious to know just how limited Toon Boom’s cut-out-style is. Frame by Frame, on the other hand,is in my opinion limitless because you can pretty much draw exactly what you have in mind, but as we all know it is very time consuming.
I would really appreciate if you could tell which method of animation you prefer and why. Thanks!

Hi there. I, personally, prefer to do frame-by-frame animation; it is a bit more work, I’d say, because each major key position, movement, etc is drawn individually, rather than adjusted, morphed or rotated. When I do frame-by-frame, I have to have some understanding of how the character or object would work in 3D space and perspective, but that doesn’t make me enjoy it any less (I like a challenge). With Cut-Out, I feel like animation, overall, is more limited. You can rig a 2-dimensional character to do basic movements, walks and runs, but you can’t really exaggerate the movements when it’s all rigged up; however, if it’s hand-drawn, frame-by-frame, there really is no limit; it’s up to your imagination and reliant on how dedicated you are to the medium.

Thanks for your answer! You mentioned about the 3D space and perspective, which is one of the reasons I would like to go into traditional animation. How do you work with characters moving in such positions? Do you film yourself or other people doing the movements then bring the video file into Toon Boom and use it as a reference?

With the immediacy of digital and availability of cameras that do video, filming someone going through the motions is a great idea. The video quality in this case doesn’t have to be all that good so any camera that has motion capability will work.

It would help to have props that you could pose and look at from multiple angles.

Look how expressive the poses of this can get even though it is very much mannequin to the core:
http://m-field.b.la9.jp/sfbt.html

Here is a review of it:
http://crabfuartworks.blogspot.com/2013/09/sfbt-3-artist-figure-review.html

That would be a helpful reference for any bi-ped figure human/humanoid/animal character.

Thanks for the info! I checked out the human figure thing and it looks rather helpful. Thanks again for that!

Do you mean “limited animation”, where you reuse and animate
pre-drawn segments, or actual cut-out, like South Park? I’ve always confused the terms and only recently learned what they actually represent.

Yes, traditional is definitely a lot more time-consuming but there is /so/ much more you can do than with limited animation; so many more animation techniques developed over the decades that make the cartoons we all know as attractive as they are. I, personally, was never a big fan of the limited style, it always seemed so stiff and animatronic. Though there’s no doubting that there are people out there who’ve made it work amazingly–and within a good budget range. I apologize if I come off as biased or disparaging… I’m a traditional fanboy at heart. A crazed, absent-minded, sweaty fanboy.

Here are a few examples of some of my favorite traditional animation if that’s okay.
Err… more so “tra-digital” I guess:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QlbJ9FdaoQc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKfP9N28buk
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBk3ynRbtsw

Thanks for that! Yea recently I’ve been enjoying traditional animation and appreciating it alot more. Those are really good samples of traditional animation, thanks for showing those!

Here’s a cutout animation example it was made using Adobe Flash which is alot similar to Toon boom animation style. I had used union and group for pivot animation cutout drawing can easily be adjusted using this tech. and all frames were modified using FBF though.

https://vimeo.com/101877747

The Ryan Woodward ballet animation is very well done.

my pleasure~ o u o