Animation Loop

By Hanna


In this lesson we animate a Loop in After effects with the cut out technique

6 teaching hours

In this lesson we work digital, we need software for image editing and animation:

Computer with Photoshop and After effects.
(An alternative to Photoshop can be the open source software Photopea)

Basic knowledge of editing images in Photoshop. Selecting, cutting and separating parts into different layers.


To finish this process and set of lessons we will make a Loop animation where the students can use the material produced in the previous lessons.
The idea is to motivate the student to continue developing ideas around the Categories Mix and Pareidolie exercises. With this material they can create interesting characters and micro-stories. Now it is time to start thinking in terms of sequences and short loops.



15 min. We look for some inspiration on a GIF animation website like Examples made with cut out or that can be made with this technique should be preferred.  What are the characteristics of a good animated loop? Which strategy goes best with my idea? Let’s see some examples:

2. Development of the idea

50 min. To develop the idea we are going to use as a starting point the drawings we created in the previous exercises (mixing categories and Pareidolie). What does the material produced suggest to us? Is there potential to develop a loop sequence?

With the help of the Brainstorming technique we can generate ideas for our sequence. Inspired in the examples given in the inspirational input we can then choose a dramaturgy.
Think of music or sound along with the images. The ideas between sound and image are usually complementary. In other words, from the sound or music you can also generate many visual ideas for your loop.

Rules for the game
We have to take into account that we need to create a Loop.
The sequence has to be short, no more than 10 seconds, we have limited time to animate it. So Simplify, try to create a simple and interesting sequence.

3. Preparation of material for After Effects

50 min. Once we have defined the idea for the animation, then we proceed to prepare the material for After Effects. First, in photoshop, we need to cut out and separate all the elements that are going to be animated in different layers.

4. technical input

40 min. After Effects Crash course, Introduction to the basic functions and export options.

5. Animating in After Effects

125 min. Practical work in After Effects. Everyone works individually in their animation projects.


20 min. We see and comment all the animations.

The intention is to give the students the opportunity to follow a process. I also want them to experience how the process itself generates their own ideas.
In terms of animation, creating loops – as simple as they may be, requires creative solutions to solve sequential problems.

These were the works produced by the students that concluded this process (the first 5 lessons of this blog) during my internship: