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Step-by-Step Flip Books

Updated April 17, 2017

For years, children and adults alike have been making and enjoying flip books. They are a simple and easy form of animation that can be as short or long as you want them to be. For a beginner, it is a good idea to start with a simple project before making more complicated animations. They require very few supplies and don't take too long to make. By following a few simple steps you will be able to make your very own flip book.

Before you start drawing your flip book, you should have a clear idea of what you want to happen in it. It is best to start out with a simple idea, for example, a boy kicking a football. Choose something that you feel confident drawing.

Decide how many pages you are going to use. The longer you want your animation to be, the more pages you have to use. A good way to decide how many pages you will need is to plan out the animation in steps. Between each step you should leave a few pages for the transition. For example, step one would be a boy standing still, then step two would be him kicking the ball and step three would be the ball in the air. Between each of these steps you should leave a couple of blank pages.

Cut the pages down to the same size, then tape them together if you want to practice by making a small, simple flip book. Alternatively, you could use a small sketchpad or blank journal and replace the tape with staples to hold your flip book together more securely.

Draw on your images using pencil. Draw your starting image first, then draw an image for each of the key steps or completed movements. Once you have done this go back and draw the changes between each key step. These would be the pages of your flip book that show movement, so take your time to change the image slightly on each page until the movement is completed. This should result in a gradual movement when you flip your pages.

Test your flip book. Put your thumb on a bottom corner and push down and away to make the pages turn. Watch your animation and if there are any mistakes then, by using pencil, you will be able to go back and make the changes.

Once you have made any necessary changes, finish your flip book in pen and add colour to make it more interesting.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Coloured Pens
  • Tape
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About the Author

A professional journalist since 2008, Joe Turner has written for the Manchester Evening News and CityLife online, and is currently writing for alternative music website livethescene.com as well as Alternative Magazine Online. Turner is a journalism student at the University of Salford.