Create your own flip book inspired by our visiting exhibition DreamWorks Animation: The Exhibition — Journey from Sketch to Screen
How to make an animated flip book
Did you know ... Flip books are a simple form of animation made by stacking a series of images into a booklet. Each image is slightly different from the one before and after.
When you flip the edges of the booklet the images appear to move. It is a very early form of animation, dating back to the 1860s.
In our object collection at the Museum we have a model praxinoscope. It is like a flip book but instead of flipping pages we spin the praxinoscope to see the images animate or move.
Time: 40 to 60 minutes
Skill level: ★ Medium — you may need an adult to help.
What you need:
- Sticky notes or sheets of paper to cut up
- Pens or pencils
- An eraser
- Bulldog clip
Steps 1 to 2:
- Gather your materials. If you are not using sticky notes, cut sheets of paper into small rectangle shapes. A good size is 5cm x 10cm
- Simple is better to start with. Start drawing your animation. Remember you have to draw on every page. Each drawing will need to have a slight change from the page before. This is what makes it appear to move.
- The flip book we are making is a bouncing ball on a horizon line.
- Draw a horizon line in the same spot on all the pages. This line will not be moving.
Hint: Draw the line on one page and then trace this line on each page. You can put the page with the line on a window and rest a blank page over the top and then trace it — the light from the window helps with tracing.
Steps 3 to 5:
- Start to draw the bouncing ball. At this stage you can only see a small part of the ball.
- Keep drawing the ball as it moves down the page.
- You can draw each picture twice. This makes your flip book longer and flow better. Each picture is a ‘frame’. To make an animation you need about 25 frames per second — or 25 drawings.
- If you line all the images together you can see that in each drawing the ball is drawn slightly lower than the one before.
- Once you have finished all your drawings or frames check that they are in the right order.
- Clip (or staple) your drawing together to make a booklet. Use your fingers to flip the right edges of the page.
- Once you are happy with your flip book show it off and see what other animations you can create.