Drawing Each Body Segment
Each movable body segment needs to be drawn on it's own layer/column. Any level type can be used for cut-out animation.
The more you separate out the different parts of the body, the more sophisticated the potential motion could be. At the same time, more moving parts are sometimes more challenging to control.
At minimum, you should include separate drawings for: the head, torso, upper left arm, lower left arm, left hand, upper right arm, lower right arm, right hand, upper left leg, lower left leg, left foot, upper right leg, lower right leg and the right foot. Make sure you plan for some overlapping.
When working with cut-out animation, it is important to plan out how the different body segments will overlap. If the segments overlap poorly, the cut-out approach becomes too obvious and then draws unwanted attention.
- Using smart raster levels allows for hiding improperly overlapping line segments later on (vector levels can do this too but are currently a little finicky with the Skeleton Tool)
- Give each level a descriptive name (ie. Fred_Left_Foot)
- Draw each segment a little past the edge of the connected body segment
- Round off the edges where two segments overlap
- Use the fill bucket (shortcut F) to fill in areas of color (otherwise hiding overlapping line segments will not work)
- You can clone cells to create an unlinked copy (Select the cell in the Timeline, then go to Cells → Clone) if there are drawings you want to duplicate
Drawings do need to be in a specific order due to how the rig overlaps. In the Timeline view, from left to right, place your drawings in the following order:
If you need to reposition the order of your columns, use the top (or left) of the column header to drag and reposition.
In a Project and new scene, using any level type(s), create the drawings for an original character that will across the screen. These drawing should show the side view. Make sure to include a separate level for each moving part including:
- Upper arms
- Lower arms
- Upper legs
- Lower legs
Please avoid stick figures or anything that look too similar to existing characters. They do not need to be humanoid - feel free to make this your own!