Training & Development

Youth Animation Workshop: Cut-Out Animation

Youth Animation Workshop: Cut-Out Animation

Start date:
7 May, 2017
Ability Level:

7 to 18 May
Sessions take place Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays over a period of two weeks beginning Sunday, 7 May.

Timings: 5:00 – 7:00 PM

Arabic and English

500 QR

Group Size
Maximum 15 participants

Age Group
Applicants must be between 8 and 14 years old

Selection Criteria
Applicants should submit an email to before 6 May, 2017. Applicants must commit to attending the full two weeks of the lab.


The DFI Youth Animation Workshop is a hands-on introduction for young people to all the elements required for creating and producing a stop-motion animated film.

All participants have the chance to experience the filmmaking process, depending on their interests and strengths. The final outcome is the production of short animated films (one to two minutes in length) that every workshop participant helps to produce.

The workshop starts with an introduction to animated films and different animation techniques, followed by a brainstorming and story-writing session, to allow the young talents to come up with their own stories.

Participants then present their scripts to a selection committee. The scripts become the basis of the four animated films to be produced over the course of the workshop.

Participants are then divided into groups, based on their interests, to perform the following:

  • • Start and End Credits
  • • Story-writing and Development
  • • Storyboarding
  • • Set Building
  • • Model Making • Recording and Editing

This group structure helps to introduce all the components necessary for the creation of an animated film. With the assistance of the mentor, each group develops and completes their film.

Skills learned

  • How to write a script and storyboard
  • What to consider when building a cut-out character
  • How to create and find sound and audio for animations
  • How to create an exposure sheet for lip synching characters
  • How to film animation
  • How to edit animation
  • Teamwork

Materials and Equipment Used

  • Camera and/or iPad
  • Tripods
  • Cardboard, coloured paper and paper
  • Scissors, cutters, cutting pad, glue
  • Colouring pens and pencils

Class Participation

Participation during this workshop is very important. Participants should prepare for every session and should always be ready to contribute to discussions, ask questions, and work as a team to ensure all the projects are executed within the timeframe allowed.


Sunday, 7 May – Introduction:

  • Animation and its techniques with a focus on cut-out animation
  • Creating a concept and writing a story (plot, protagonist, antagonist, supporting characters)
  • Brainstorming and story-writing exercise
  • Break
  • Filmmaking teams and their tasks
  • Divide attendees into groups

Tuesday, 9 May – Session 1:

  • Introduction to set-building, model-making and props
  • Participants are split into four groups, one per film
  • Creation of characters
  • Break
  • Set creation and preparation for set building
  • Story-writing/development
  • Prepare start and end credits in cut-out animation

Thursday, 11 May – Session 2:

  • Introduction to storyboards and animatics
  • Proceed with filmmaking process
    • Prepare storyboards and present to all attendees
    • Prepare start and end credits in cut-out animation
    • Break
    • Start character modelling
    • Start set building

    Sunday, 14 May – Session 3:

    • Introduction to lighting
    • Introduction to using a camera and preparing a set
    • Break
    • Start animation and shooting (Using Stop Motion Studio)

    Tuesday, 16 May – Session 4:

    • Animation and shooting
    • Introduction to sound and music
    • Break
    • Continue animation and shooting

    Thursday, 18 May – Session 5:

    • Introduction to film editing, voiceover and final product
    • Break
    • Animation and editing
    • Introduction to film festivals and screenings (Ajyal, Qumra, animation film festivals, film funding etc.)
    • Screening short animation, helpful resources


    Mohammed Al-Suwaidi

    Mohammed Al-Suwaidi is a Qatari artist, animator, character developer and graphic designer who is known on social media as @WisdomSeven. He has worked on several projects, such as Wathiq, an online platform for storytelling and heritage preservation produced with Qatar Museums; the short animated film ‘Rain’ with the Doha Film Institute; and the television series ‘Mandoos’, for which he served as the character developer. Currently, Al-Suwaidi is working on a short animated film.