PaperCut Animation Info

Stop Motion animation with simple paper cut-outs and drawn backgrounds sound like something simple, but these projects have many complex challenges for students to solve.

Click here for some examples of paper cut animation courtesy of Barbara Greenstone, Boothbay, Maine. Besides general exemplars, you can also access some of the animations her students have created.

Norman McLaren, an early animator, drew directly on the film. Examples of his work:


Boogie Doodle:

Neighbors: (reminiscent of Monty Python's Intros)

     Some students draw the complete scene with no cut outs. This approach would have no "moving" parts, just a transition from scene to scene using the Ken Burns effect.

     A caveat here is for students to draw to within 1" of the edge of the paper, not the very edge as they often do. They might make a light pencil line along that border line. The camera takes the photo with the paper flat on a table; then, when it is later cropped in iPhoto to remove the table top around it, none of the drawing/scene is affected. This is also a useful technique for paper cut animation when pieces of paper are moved about for different shots.


iMotion HD, a free App for the iPad, is used for stop frame animation;

One iPad has the remote, and controls the other on the stand so the "camera" doesn't have to be touched (and therefore not moved) when filming. Both are free apps, but iMotionHD can be purchased as a fully featured app.

For iPhone and iPad app (Free): Labyrinth of Fables

Equipment Needed

For organizing sanity, use large and small envelopes or copy paper box tops for student work.

You may need small brads and paper connectors so small parts can hinge/move

Art supplies and paper. This is where the art department comes in handy!

The Dewey iPad Document Stand is the best for keeping the iPad steady when filming. Lists here for $69 each.

Students could have 100-300 photos per project, but the Ken Burns affect is pretty good with only 5-6 photos for the entire project.

Aesop's Fables

.  © Brad Edwards 2016