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How I used reference drawings to make a flip book

For my animation class I made a little flip book of a character taking off her mask. Each drawing on the twenty-seven 3×5 index cards is  slightly different, so that when you have one side held together with a clip, you can”flip” the book to make the drawings appear to move.


My flip book drawings are scanned into a lovel aaaaaaaaavictorie Secrest, ( Did you see that? That is what happens when you type when you are tired.) Let me try again. I am not sure what I was trying to say.

I scanned my drawings into Adobe Photoshop with my Canon Scanner, at a resolution of 300 ppi. Then they were put into a file and uploaded to Toon Boom Studio and then exported as a movie file.

2016-03-09 08.08.08

Supplies needed to make a flip book

  1. 3×5 index cards
  2. large clip to hold the cards together at one end
  3. light table
  4. pencil to draw with
  5. a brain for ideas

Keep your drawings on the right side of the page so they are visible when you flip the book. If you draw in the middle or the far left of the index card, the images will be hard to see.

I took reference photographs of me taking off a hat so I could get the angle of the hand from the right perspective. Pulling off a hat with my face drawn on the hat with black magic marker gave a reference point in the drawings for the face when the mask was taken off.

When I searched — pulling off your face— on google, all I found were photographs of women pulling off facial masks.

Screenshot 2016-03-08 22.26.50

Richard Williams, the director of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, talks about the three ways to animate in The Animator’s Survival Kit™

Three Ways To Animate

  1. Straight Ahead is when you have an idea and you just start drawing with no plan. You are not sure where you will end up. This approach opens up creative possibilities, however without a plan, you might not end up where you want to.
  2. Pose to Pose Animation is when you plan out the key frames of the animation, the starting point, middle and last images. Then you fill in the drawings in between.
  3. A Combination of Straight Ahead and Pose to Pose. You plan out the key frames and then use the straight ahead approach as you animate each section of the animation.

These are the Key Frames of the animation




frame4In my short film, I did pose to pose animation by planning out the main poses, the beginning where she is just looking, the middle when the mask is partially pulled off and the end when the mask is pulled off. The main poses are called “key frames” because they are the frames that are key to the action.

Now what is really key right now is for me to go to bed, before I type something else weird. I have been writing late at night. Perhaps I need to write earlier in the day.

Annie is asleep beside my desk, and Charlie the cat just hopped in my lap.

If you have any questions about animation, please ask. I will share what I learn as I learn it.










About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela