Cutout animation is a technique for producing animations using flat characters, props and backgrounds cut from materials such as paper, card, stiff fabric or even photographs. The world`s earliest known animated feature films were cutout animations as is the world`s earliest surviving animated feature.
Today, cutout-style animation is frequently produced using computers, with scanned images or vector graphics taking the place of physically cut materials. The TV series South Park is a notable example (though the first episode was made with actual paper cutouts) as are Angela Anaconda and more recently, Charlie and Lola. South Park is now made with Maya and Corel Draw.
Cut out animation is considered the oldest animation technique around probably the first in animation history.
Traditional cut-outs belong to the stop motion animation family.
It is one of the easiest and fastest to make, because you dont have to draw and color each frame from scratch.
This animation technique has many variations and forms.
In the traditional technique, the animator moves pieces of paper cutouts under a fixed camera. You shoot it straight ahead, frame by frame as they come.
The arrival of the computer took cut-outs to a whole new level of madness and creativity. Computer cut-outs have the immense advantage of being able to go back and forth on the timeline and work with key frames, in the pose to pose method.
Cut out animation got a whole new life when Flash showed up.
This software, mainly a web authoring tool, made cut out animation so easy to make that EVERYONE became an animator. For one dangerous moment it looked like someone has found the legendary Make Animation button.
This misuse of Flash gave it a bit of a bad name, and unjustly so.
The quality of the animation depends on the animator alone. There is no Make Animation button. Sorry.
The truly wonderful thing about Flash and its friends was that it turned a single home-based animator into an animation studio.
Flash today is used for everything between banner web animations to full feature films shown in the cinema. Many TV productions use it to cut budgets and work fast.
Ari Folmans film Waltz With Bashir gave animation director Yoni Goodman a chance to see just how far you can go with Flash cutout animation.
It took them to the Oscar.
Id say thats pretty far.