View Full Version : Loose, 'cut-out' style animation

06 June 2007, 11:02 AM
Hello everyone,

This is my first post here, but this seems like a nice friendly place with lots of helpful people, so i'm hoping someone might be able to help me.

I've been using 3DS Max for some time and have a beginner-intermediate knowledge of it - I know skill level is subjective, but I go by the skill level indicator on the back of 3D software manuals :)

Anyway, I really like the animation styles of animators like Tim Hope and Shynola, in particular:

Tim Hope's 'The Wolfman'

and his video for 'King Biscuit Time - I Walk The Earth'

and Shynola's video for 'Quannum - I Changed My Mind'

What I love is the rough, 'cut-out' loose style (does it have a particular name?) that the above animations use and was wondering if anyone had any tips/ideas/tutorials/insights into how I might produce something similar (getting a bit bored of high-poly robots and vehicles now).

I'd imagine there's a fair amount of scanning of real drawings and mapping them onto 3D planes, but am having a bit of trouble getting my head around it at the moment.

Any help would be great!


06 June 2007, 05:43 PM

This is an interesting style of animation you are going for. I too enjoy this style of animation and after looking at the links I think I can offer you some tips.

From what you said, about scanning in drawings and mapping them to plane, that's not to far off. But I wouldn't use planes, I would give them a bit of volume, like in the Wolfman short, all the figures were flat, but they had a slight thickness to them -- almost like they were made out of cardboard.

This isn't too hard either to put through with some simple materials and such. If you wanted to build a charcater, you wou'nt have to use any complicated rig setups and skinnin the models would be non-existent. All you'd nned to do is parent the different the body parts together and move the rotation axis so that they hact like hinges. Simple and effective.

The trick though is that one should do something unique with the style. So if you can get a good story and some unique characters, I think you'll have a good start here.

That's about all I have for now, if you have any specific questions and such, please don't hesitate to ask.

Good luck!


06 June 2007, 10:53 PM
Hi TuxedoPengu,

Thanks for the reply. What you're saying makes sense.

I'm used to assigning materials to 3D objects that already have the correct shape/size etc. However, what I'm having trouble with is figuring out how to get the shapes right, considering we're essentially dealing with 2D objects now (albeit with a littel thickness).

For example, if I had the 2D front-of-a-wolf-shaped drawing which i'd scanned in, how would I assign that to a flat plane (or box) and still keep the correct shape i.e. not having a box-shaped wolf?

Hope this is making sense....reading it back, i'm not sure it will :)

Somehow, I think this is only the beginning on my worries. Getting the lighting correct to make it all actually look like cardboard cutouts (as in the Wolfman video) must take some serious skill.

06 June 2007, 06:09 PM

I see what you are talking about. My thoughts then would be to look into UV unwrapping the odd shaped box, and exporting out the UV's to a program like Photoshop and then fit the textures that way, then import in the texture again into your 3D software and map it that way.

If you aren't sure on how to unwrap an object and working with a UV Editor, there are good tutorials out there online, just Google UV unwrapping or texturing with UV's or something similar.

Though I think this method will help you immensely as you don't have to worry about fitting a square piece into a circular hole, as it were. Hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions.


CGTalk Moderation
06 June 2007, 06:09 PM
This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.