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13 Jun2014

Flipbook Animation Ideas

There’s something classic and cool about hand-drawn animation. While the modern, sleek look of a Pixar film or a Flash animation is pretty cool in and of itself, a hand-drawn piece of animation has an organic and inconsistent charm that people will always find compelling. Part of it is the bespoke nature of it – every cell and line is individual, with tiny imperfections that convey character and detail. Part of it is the immense effort involved that people can see and almost feel. Digital animation requires just as much effort, but the rough edges are often filed off, leaving the end product smooth and seemingly effortless.

The classic Flipbook is one of the standbys of old-school animation. Requiring nothing more advanced than a sheaf of paper and a pencil, the Flipbook allows you to animate even when the power’s out, even when civilization has ended. You can always take your ideas and make them into a Flipbook – but why stop there? Here are some ideas to make your Flipbook even more genius. Let’s blow some minds.

Make a Flipbook Video

The charm of a Flipbook isn’t just in its old-school physical format, but also in the distinct herky-jerky animation style, affected both by how well you plan out each cell of the animation (each page in the book) and the speed and skill with which the Flipbooks is flipped. There’s no law that says your Flipbooks have to remain in paper form – film your Flipbook at high-quality, with the book filling the frame, and then add music, sound effects, and other garnishes. This isn’t transferring the animation to a digital format, which would remove the ‘flipping’ feel. The end result combines the charm of this simple, basic animation style with finishes that turn it into a true piece of animated film.

A Flipbook Art Installation

Flipbooks are designed, of course, to be pocket-sized and flipped through by hand. That doesn’t mean you can’t design an automated delivery system for placement in galleries or your own studio. A mechanical flipper is fairly trivial to construct, and when encased in a cool housing it turns your humble Flipbook into something cyberpunk – a machine based on old technology that nevertheless surprises the audience and extends that technology beyond what was thought possible.

A Flipbook Advertisement

If you’re an artist or animator looking for work, a Flipbook can be an exciting alternative to online ads or even business cards. Small Flipbooks that animate your company logo or a sample of your work, with contact information printed on the cover, will be much more interesting and memorable than even the best-designed business card or web site.

Minimum frames-per-second for a Flipbook is actually lower than video – about 5 frames per second will work fine, depending on your choice of animation. So your advertising Flipbooks would only need to be about 15-20 pages long. The key is coming up with an animation that fits into that tiny space but still has an impact. But that’s where you come in – we’ve given you enough ideas!

– Video Caddy

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