A Quick Guide to Flipbook Animation

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Do you know that the animation we see today is the result of many advancements and explorations done by animators?

Long before modern animation tools like high-definition 3D and CGI took over the world, animators relied on many traditional ways to depict moving sequences, from zoetropes to magic lanterns.

Thus, we should give credit to flipbook animation since it’s an early form of animation that paved the way for many of the animation improvements that we often see on-screen today.

So, what is flipbook animation, and do animators still use it today?

Well, let’s find out!

What Exactly Is Flipbook Animation?

Flipbook animations themselves rely on hand-drawn drawings on tiny flipbooks that you can animate with your hands.

Flipbooks consists of a series of statistical pictures that change only slightly from page to page.

To depict the moving sequences, you need to hold the book in one hand while the other quickly flips through the pages. It makes the pictures appear to move.

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The advantages of flipbook animation are that a flipbook is highly portable to be carried anywhere. It’s like having a cartoon in your pocket — think of it as a real-life handheld cartoon movie.

This type of animation is considered one of the earliest forms of interactive media. They’ve been around since 1860 when Pierre-Hubert Desvignes came up with the idea for the or French for flipbook. That’s what makes Desvignes a flipbook inventor.

The flipbook continued to evolve into moving scenes projected onto a screen what we know as movies today.

5 Awe-Inspiring Flipbook Animation Examples

Below are some stunning flipbook animation examples to help you get a solid grasp of what the animation actually looks like.

#1. Reverse Marriage Proposal

The flipbook is quite simple yet powerful. Using pencil colors and markers, it tells an amazing and heartwarming story of 70 years of marriage in just 25 seconds.

#2. Mr. Bean Flipbook

This look-like-a-real-life cartoon flipbook shows a fantastic episode of the iconic Mr.Bean — complete with colorful backgrounds!

Watching this animation makes us forget that it’s been a flipbook the whole time instead of a real clip of Mr. Bean. Can you imagine how much time and effort the artist took to make this one?

#3. Cloudy With a Chance of Extinction

This amazing flipbook animation uses bring and bold markers color to make the objects even more realistic.

It might be short, but it bears plenty of rewatching since the story has a funny, hilarious ending that some people might’ve not expected.

#4. Home Alone: Every Booby Trap Compilation

Who hasn’t even watched the legendary Booby Trap scene from the Home Alone movie? This flipbook recreates that scene. It’s simple and accurate.

Also, the sound effects make it even better. And we really should appreciate that the artist played the flipbook animation right in front of the actual house in Home Alone!

#5. Grumpy Cloud

Grumpy Cloud might be a short animated flipbook, but the story it delivers gives you reasons to play it over and over again.

The artist here used vivid characters and colors. There are not even background colors, but it still brings some fun and interactive riff on the flipbook. In other words, it serves as some great inspiration.

How to Make DIY Flipbook Animation

However, you can enhance your animation skills and make your flipbook look more stunning using basic materials like colored pencils, crayons, markers, and paint.

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To make it much easier for you to flip the pages, you might also need a binder clip.

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So, you can start withdrawing an image on the sheet of paper in the stack. Next, you need to draw a slightly varied image on the next sheet of paper (around the same spot as the first image you drew).

Continue to draw varied images on each subsequent sheet of paper. Those images will create animation, making the objects look fluid and continuous when you flip through your book.

You can, of course, use colors to enhance your drawings and make your flipbooks more interesting. You might also want to create elaborate drawings to make it more complicated.

Flip through your flipbook to watch your animation once it’s finished by holding your thumb on the bottom-right edge of the stack and slowly pull upward.

Flipbook Animation in Digital Era

In this digital era, you can make flipbook animations digitally, using computers and some video tools.

You don’t need to manually hand-draw the objects on a small stack of paper since you only need to play with some features from the software you use.

Some of the flipbook animation software you can use are:

  • Digicel FlipBook
  • FlipAnim
  • FlipBook
  • FlipBook Animation Maker
  • etc.

Take a look at this digital flipbook animation below:

It shows us the same motion and animation as if the objects are drawn into a small stack of paper and being flipped through them, doesn’t it?

However, a flipbook animation without a real stack of paper isn’t complete. That’s why traditional flipbook animation is still popular today.

That’s been a brief about another engaging type of animation: flipbook animation. Have you created one before?

Or do you have your favorite flipbook animation that you would like to share with others here? Feel free to leave comments on the comment section below!

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