One of the staple categories of Vine animation is that of the "Flip Book Animation." In today’s post, we give you a behind the scenes look at how we created one of our upcoming flip book Vines. The great thing about flip books is that you can draw them anywhere – all you need is a pad of paper (or even just a stack of Post-It notes) and something to draw with. This is just fun "straight ahead" animation, so there’s no need to spend time laboriously planning the motion or drawing keyframes. Take any mistakes you make in stride, and use your flip book as a learning exercise.
Follow along below, and use the hashtag #DWFlipBook when you post so we can see your beautiful work. We might even share your Vine!
- Pad of Paper (with ~20-150 pages. Our current favorite.)
- A Drawing Utensil (thing what’s for making marks on da paper.)
- Something to Steady Your Phone While Shooting (Our current favorite.)
- *Optional – Tripod
- *Optional – Set Dressing
- *Optional – Lights
- *Optional – A Computer (or some other way to play sound)
Step 1: Draw
Step 1: Draw Your Flip Book
Spend as much or as little time planning your flip book as you like. If you just want to animate abstract shapes morphing into each other, go right ahead. If you have a more specific progression in mind, feel free to sketch out some quick thumbnails. Don’t over plan though – the point of a flip book is to animate straight ahead without keyframes. You want to keep some of that spontaneity.
Start drawing on the bottom sheet of your pad. Draw your next frame on the page above. Starting at the bottom will allow you to trace the previous frame so you’ll know where you’re coming from, and will make it easy to flip the book to preview your animation for spacing. Keep drawing until your animation is complete or you’ve run out of pages in your pad. Bonus: Make your flip book a loop.
Step 2: Set
Step 2: Prepare Your Set
Whether or not you’re adding props and lights to your scene, take a moment to think about how you’ll compose your shot for the Vine you’re shooting. Clear out background clutter or items that take away from the central focus: the flip book you’ve worked so hard on drawing.
Open Vine, start a new video, and play with camera angles until you have the shot you want. Once you have the shot how you want it, lock down your phone’s position (using a tripod or other phone steadying device) so that the camera doesn’t move during shooting.
If you have lights, use them to make sure the exposure looks good in Vine. Also, try to minimize shadows coming from behind camera, such as those coming from your body (otherwise your changes in position from frame-to-frame will be seen in the video). When you’re happy with the look, hold down the lock focus/exposure button in Vine and select your focus.
Step 3: Sound
Step 3: *Optional – Prepare Your Sound
If you want to add some sound to your Vine, think about something that will work with the length of your individual shots. Because you can’t add a sound track to your Vine after-the-fact (without hacking Vine), you’ll need to have the individual sound bite for each frame playing as you shoot the frame by tapping in Vine. If you’re going to be shooting this frame-by-frame, you’ll need to ‘sound stitch’ your soundtrack together.
The best way we’ve found to ‘sound stitch’ is to create an overall track in something like Adobe Premiere (how we do it in the behind the scenes video), Adobe Audition, or some other audio editing program. Once you you have your overall track, set in and out points for a section of the track that you want to be heard in the frame, and loop the playback of this sound. As this small sound bite is looping, tap in Vine to shoot the frame. Then move the In and Out points and shoot the next frame… repeat. All-Star Viner Dylan Blau uses a similar technique in his tutorial, found here.
If you don’t want to record sound, use masking tape to cover your phone’s mic so you don’t hear distracting garbled background sounds.
Step 4: Shooting
Step 4: Shooting the Vine
Whether you’re using sound as described above or not, start shooting your Vine. If you fully animated your flip book, tap your phone to shoot the Vine frame-by-frame. If you want, experiment with shooting the same page of your flip book more than once. This will slow down the movement of your animation. This technique is a standard practice in animation: shooting each drawing twice is called animating on "two’s," while shooting each drawing only once is called animating on "one’s."
Continue shooting your Vine and use the ‘Edit’ button to preview your Vine and see individual frames. If you made a mistake, remove the errant frames by dragging them to the trash can. Hitting ‘Save’ in the Edit screen will confirm the changes you’ve made, and you can return to shooting.
Step 5: Sharing the Vine
When you’ve finished shooting your Vine and you’re happy with it, just click the arrow on the top right, then click the checkmark on the preview page. Add your caption (Don’t forget to share your Vine with us by using the hashtag #DWFlipBook), choose a ‘channel’ for your Vine, and decide whether you want to share your location, and whether you want Vine to post your video to a connected Twitter or Facebook account. Click ‘Done’ and that’s it!
Step 6: Kick Back
Congratulations on making a flip book animation on Vine!
If you completed this tutorial with us, let us know by commenting below so we can find your work and follow your Vine account! And if you have any other Vining tips, let us know in the comments below!