for cutout animators

Just want to throw in here that you don’t need to use the Circle technique if you have elements that are overlapping each other. For example, on the ninja, there was the upper arm, and this upper arm would disappear underneath the drawing for the vest. So it doesn’t matter whether that joint is drawn on a circle, and may be best if it were not.

The circle technique is more useful for an arm, say, where you see the whole skin of the arm as one long piece. So what you’re trying to do is avoid seeing any lines in the joint.

With the ninja, it’s a hard one because of the folds on the elbow. You may want to do each fold as its own drawing, and animate those around when you animate the arms. It would be time-consuming, but perhaps not as time-consuming as drawing frame by frame. This is why character design really throws challenges at character riggers!


To explain a bit more, you would basically break that joint up into several different drawing layers, one for each fold. Then you can make those all children of the upper arm, so they follow that movement. Then you can just animate them separately.

I can try to do a tutorial on this one soon, I’ll put it on my list!