Cutout vs BLine animation

I hope this isn’t too stupid a question, but I am just dipping my fingers into animation for the first time. I have done a few of the tutorials just to get my head around it all, but am still not sure about which is the most suitable method of animation to use.

I have been having difficulty drawing decent characters when using the BLine tool, obviously after a bit of getting used to, drawing curves may become a bit easier, but it has made me consider that perhaps I should be using cutout animation. (I think) I understand the technical differences between the two but am unsure as to what the workflow differences are. From what I understand, cutout animation is the easier but more tedious way, and the BLine style animation is more advanced but requires a bit more of a learning curve. Is this correct? Or am I missing something huge?

Which method would you recommend for a beginner? ie. which one will allow me to see some basic results soonest? And finally, is the ‘easier’ method much less advanced? ie. is it worth learning whichever is the more advanced method instead of ‘wasting time’ on a method which I will grow out of eventually?

I look forward to your replies (assuming you understand the question), and I apologise in advance for any misuse of animation jargon (such as “BLine animation” ?).

The short reply:

  1. Cutout animation gives faster results but animation is limited. Zoom in too much can give pixelation due to image size limits.
  2. With usual synfig tools (mostly blines) you have more freedom. You can make smooth tweening if needed or quick ones. Also you can use the cutout technique with blines instead of image layers, so you have the best of both worlds.

Anyway any technique you use is good if the result is satisfactory. Remember: animation is drawings + story telling. If the story telling fails, no matter how good are the drawings the animation is poor. How do you achieve the target is the less important.

We are currently developing a bones system which is the intermediate solution and the most requested.