Hello everyone,

I wanted to start experimenting with stand up style cut out animation. An example would be the "I Have Your Heart" music video by Kim Boekinder, Molly Crabapple, and Jim Batt.

I have found very little info on making armatures for this style of puppet. I did find this image of the back of the puppets on the official blog but that is it.

Specifically, I am interested in making flat strong joints that can stay hidden behind thin cuts of paper.

Does anyone have experience with this?

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I animated some playing cards with little arms and legs once, so they were mostly flat but moved around in a 3 dimensional space.  I hot glued 1.5mm (1/16th") armature wire onto the backs.  For some of them that turned around so you saw the back as well, I sandwiched the wire inside 2 layers of card.

But I didn't have limbs and heads that were also made of flat card, so I'm not speaking from experience here, but here's my thought.  You could possibly hot glue some little snap fasteners onto the body and limbs, so they would pop on and be able to rotate on a flat plane.  If they were loose and rotated freely, a dab of blue-tack or tacky wax would probably hold them in place.

Hello,

Concerning your project  of animation of cardboard, you could use « toothpick » stuck in the back of the part that you want to move. This way it is easy to animate.

If you plan to work on a big project you can use multiplane-table, so that, you can set the foreground, middle-ground , background, and animate easily the cardboard.

I made a test with « tac adhesive putty », but it’s not the best if you plan to move it a lot :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wUMMVBvxMI

here is my website for more information 

Have a good day.

Baptiste

I did a small test once with a flat cut-out figure inspired by Eric Power's animation style (ericpowerup.net). I'm not sure how Eric makes his joints work but i guess he uses string and/or wire. I decided to search for tiny flat magnets that could serve that purpose. I foud them at supermagnete.be/eng (i don't know if it's allowed to refer to product websites, otherwise google 'super strong small magnets').
They worked very well for my purpose, but you need to try if they will work with your stand-up paper cut-out armatures. The weight of the cut-out parts in relation to the size/strength of the magnets will be a determining factor. The magnets are surprisingly strong though, they even come with a safety warning to prevent injuries while handling them.
I added a photo collage of the figure i made. I hope the pictures will do better than a thousand words of explaining ...
https://app.box.com/s/9q91368fhraqlprvqfgq9ap73ryfv5cs
An extra advantage for using magnets is that u can easily switch parts and create a modular figure instead of a complete set of separate figures, one for each view you want/need.
One disadvatage: the magnets (of different joint) attract or repel if they get too close of eachother. And this effect is relative to the size/strength and polarisation (+/-) of the magnets involved.

Hello Jasmine,

I just finished a three semester course creating a "teaser" for a longer animated film called "Day Job" that employed this technique. We successfully used a series of very small grommets, circular metal hinges, that allow for that kind of movement.  We also used thin polystyrene sheet plastic to back up the paper so that it all appeared to be paper but was actually an amalgam of paper, plastic, metal and wood.  

I would imagine you would need to use some good quality thick card rather than paper.  Maybe be prepared for them to break and have some extras at the ready.  Would you need armatures on every joint? You might be able to use tacky wax on arms and hands.  Here's another fine example of that style of film, in case you want to try and research it  - 

https://vimeo.com/22683060

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