using different layers effeciveley

im a bit confused on a few simple things, wonder if you can help?

eventually i want to make a cut out character.then do cut out animation.
is it best to draw every thing on the same layer, then cut indiviual parts out afterwards (eg arms and legs) ?

or draw everything on different layers.? i tried this but i find it a bit annoying, seeing all layers only with the lightbox.

also on one of the tutorials it was showing a character, coloured, lightbox wasn’t on. would that of been achieved in one layer? when i paint same layer as my lines, the paint covers them so i cant see any of the lines. eg nose or eyes.

if tried a few tutorials. they show you how to draw, then kind of jump into cut out animation. but nothing in btween. im trying to get my head round how to use layers effectively. can u help?
this is what happens when u let a traditional animator loose on a computer!!!

Well, if you like, here is a very simple cut out demonstration…

Of course, this is just one way… drawing directly on different layers…
sometimes it might be advisable to cut individual parts afterwards…


The best way I found to do a cut out character is to draw everything by hand, on paper. Do the whole model sheet, front, 3/4, profile, 3/4 back, and back. Make sure you darken the lines (redrawing them with those cheap black gel pens or ultra fine sharpies works the best.) Then scan the sheet into the computer as a vector drawing. Decide how many joints you want the character to have and cut each of the views up, very carefully, making sure you get it close enough so that all of the joints are in the sam spot as the last one then you’ll have a good cutout character that’s very mobile.

Also, make sure you draw an extra arm and leg for the 3/4 and profile drawings and erase the one behind the character. Then use the extra one when you need to show that part moving. In other words, send it to the back after you arrange the joint the way you want it.

Of course, this may be the long way of doing it, with a lot of cut and paste, but the characters I’ve experimented with have been very flexible, unlike some other cut out characters I’ve seen.