After Effects CC 2022: How To Create Paper Cut-Out Look

Solids Folder Basics

This tutorial will show you how to create a Paper Cut-Out look in Adobe After Effects CC 2022 to give your animations a ‘Hand-drawn, Stop-Motion’ look and feel.

Note: This tutorial focuses on creating the hand-drawn paper cut-out look and not so much on how to animate. However, I do provide the animation steps I used in this tutorial below.

Sample Paper Texture (Unsplash):

Keyboard Shortcuts:
|Create a New Solid Color Layer: Cmd or Ctrl + Y
Pen Tool: G
Reveal All Masks: M

Expression Used:

Software Used:
Adobe After Effects CC 2022 (Click To Try or Buy)

How To Create the ‘Paper Cut-Out Look’ in Adobe After Effects CC 2022:

  1. Create a new composition at 1920 x 1080, 30 fps is fine
  2. Drag a logo or graphic onto the Composition that you want to use for the ‘cut-out’ effect
  3. Drag a texture layer or create a new solid color layer (cmd/ctrl + Y) and drag this layer below the logo or graphic layer
  4. Select the Paper Texture or Solid Color Layer
  5. Select the Pen Tool (keyboard shortcut is ‘G’)
  6. Click around the logo using the Pen Tool. The last click should be on the point you started with.
  7. Click on the points to adjust
  8. When finished with the Pen Tool, you should have the ‘paper cut-out’ (graphic with a paper or solid color jagged edge)
  9. To Reveal Mask, select layer and click on ‘M’. The Mask should be set to ‘Add’

How To Parent Logo/Graphic Layer to Paper Texture (or Solid Layer):

  1. Select Logo/Graphic Layer
  2. Look for ‘Parent Column’ and look for Spiral icon called the Pickwhip (looks a little like @ symbol)
  3. Drag Pickwhip (@) onto the Paper Texture or Solid Color Layer 
  4. Now when you scale or animate the Texture layer, the logo/graphic layer will follow

How To Animate the Paper Cut-Out Graphic

  1. Drag Playhead to the beginning of the Timeline
  2. Select Paper Texture Layer
  3. Click on the Pan Behind tool in the top toolbar
  4. Drag the Anchor Point to the bottom of paper texture/solid color
  5. Select Paper Layer
  6. Tap ‘R’ for Rotation
  7. Click on the Stopwatch to add a keyframe
  8. Drag playhead out to the 1-second mark and change the rotation by a few degrees
  9. Move the playhead forward by 3 frames and change the rotation back to the starting point (you can also just copy/paste the first keyframe)
  10. Press the Option or Alt Key and click on the stopwatch for Rotation
  11. Enter the expression loopOut()
  12. Press Spacebar to preview