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Silhouette animation

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Silhouette animation

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Silhouette animation is one of many forms of stop motion and is also a simplified variation of graphic animation, which involves the frame-by-frame moving of cut out graphic shapes.

Mere pieces of paper can be animated on an animation stand with stop motion. This is called cutout animation, which is illuminated from the same side of the artwork as the camera is located (or from the sides of the artwork) so as to show the details of the paper such as color, textures, etc. Often used for children's animation, cutout animation was used to produce the demo pilot for Comedy Central's South Park series (then later simulated via computer animation for the main series).

When backlit instead, the cutout animation becomes a series of simplified dark (black) images, and is referred to as silhouette animation, used by German animation pioneer Lotte Reiniger for The Adventures of Prince Achmed, the first feature-length animated film, made in 1923.

Silhouette animation is rarely used as its own art form, except for brief dramatic or comedic scenes in a few cutout animation films, such as when a character turns the lights out in an episode of South Park. However, there have been a few complete films using this technique that have been made by animators under the National Film Board of Canada banner.


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This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.


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