Italy-based Emanuele Colombo studied Audiovisual Communication Sciences at the University of Milan. Using his skills in video editing and motion design, he has worked for a number of prestigious clients, including Allianz Bank, Bocconi University, Coca-Cola, Samsung, Poste Italiane, Juventus and Replay.

In this masterclass, Italian illustrator and animator Emanuele Colombo will show you how to set up a 2.5D scene with Illustrator and After Effects that has the look of stop-motion animation using papercut forms. It’s a simple technique that will let you get a cool effect using textures and shadows.

Step by step, you will see how to set up a static scene. You’ll create your component elements in Illustrator, then import them into After Effects to make your initial composition. You’ll also learn how to animate each layer to simulate the effect we’re after.

This tutorial shows the creation of a scene from Emanuele’s touching short film The Proof That We Are Soulmates (above), an animated proposal based on – with permission – Drake Martinet’s widely-seen infographic that Drake used to propose to his girlfriend. They married in August 2012. 

In the project files, you’ll find Emanuele’s vector elements, so you can skip to Step 5 if you just want to follow along with the After Effects part of this tutorial. You’ll also need a paper texture before you start, too.

Time to complete 

2 hours


Illustrator CS4, After Effects CS4


Files for this tutorial are downloadable from here

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