Cut-outs animation involves cutting artwork into multiple segments, designed to be moved independently, altering their placement and orientation over time to create motion sequences. Working with cut-outs allows detailed designs and rich textures, with a somewhat quicker animation process than frame-by-frame techniques. Yet the animation requires some elaborate tweaking to avoid rigidness and achieve a convincing natural motion.
With cut-outs, creating believable character animation takes careful planning and diligent editing. Usually establishing a basic skeleton (or a 'rig') to effectively control the moving parts in accordance with each other. Unlike frame-by-frame techniques, there's no need to create the artwork from scratch on each new frame, so the integrity of the design is easily maintained. However, elasticity and fluidity is trickier to achieve because of the inherent rigidness and unintuitive animation process. Cut-outs animation may produce some wonderful results in the right context, but may appear as a compromised solution when used unwisely.
The very same qualities which hinder the creation of organic cut-outs character animation, actually form an ideal playground for the design of accurate and consistent behavior of non-organic objects and shapes. Ideal for technical simulations, inanimate objects, props and backgrounds, and also for graphics and abstract shapes.
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