#CreatorsAssemble: How to Make an Animated Flip Book
Did you know you can create animations at home? Making your own flipbook is an easy and fun way to tell your own visual mini-story. Here’s how to do it.
23 Apr 2020
Flipbooks are fun to create, great for practising your drawing skills, and can be made using materials you have at home. We asked third-year Illustration student Stephanie Howe to give us her top tips on how to make one…
What you’ll need
- Paper to draw your images on (your finished flipbook should consist of 70 images/pages).
- Scissors and a ruler (or a guillotine/paper cutter) — you’ll need to measure and cut out pages that are 8mm x 55mm (horizontal)
- Art materials for whatever medium you plan to work in (collage, photography, drawing, monoprint…) If you are drawing your book, consider making black & white inside pages with a colour cover.
- A bulldog clip, strong rubber band or binder to bind your book
How to Make the flipbook
- Draw the first image of your chosen animation sequence. Remember that, because you will be securing the pages together with a bulldog clip on the left-hand side, you might lose some of that space on the left, so by shifting the drawings ever-so-slightly to the right you should see everything properly when you ‘flip’ it.
- Place another blank page on top of your first sheet (attaching with a clip) and use the image below as a guide to draw the second image, tweaking it slightly to allow for your animation to slowly take place.
- Repeat the process until you finish your sequence of drawings, numbering each one on the back so you’ll be able to arrange them in order easily later.
- Before assembling the flipbook, draw a cover for it! I drew my cover in colour to differentiate it from the black & white inside pages.
- Now, stack your sheets in sequential order, starting with your cover, then the first image you drew, then the second, and so on, ending with the final page of the flipbook. Use a bulldog clip or equivalent to secure all of the pages together by clamping down on the left-hand side.
Here’s how mine came out…
Tips for planning your flipbook
- Your images can be as simple or as complex and elaborate as you like, as long as they are legible within the size specified.
- Keep your idea simple, though. It could be a small event that unfolds in a moment, something with an element of surprise or even something without a narrative.
- You can work with drawing, photographic elements, collage, found textures, or monoprint.
- If you choose to use colour, keep it limited to one to three colours that work really nicely together.
- Before you start, test the paper you are printing your flipbook on. Make sure it is flexible enough for flipping but not too thin (holding your paper up to a light window might help with this).
- You want the binding to be really secure so your pages don’t fall out! The easiest way is to use an appropriately sized bulldog clip slotted on the end.