Introduction: Handmade Flipbook 2

I've made 2 more flipbooks and learned some more during the process that I want to share with those of you who might like to try this. I'm also including 2 short 10 second videos (mpeg-4) of the final 2 flipbooks.

Original Flipbook: https://www.instructables.com/id/Handmade_Flipbook/




Step 1: Create Your Single Images

Nothing much changed in how I obtained the individual frames from the video - please see my other instructable ( https://www.instructables.com/id/Handmade_Flipbook/ ) for how this was done.

(I'm also testing out some free software to do the video frame grabs and create the individual framed images shown here. As soon as I find some that works, I'll post another instructable showing you how to use it.)

Just a summary: I used Pinnacle 12 to grab individual frames from a 3.5 seconds worth of video. I've found that a once inch tall stack of images is about 90-100 pictures - anything thicker than 1 inch and the flip effect just isn't that great unless you get really good at sliding your thumb back as you flip... experimentation seems to indicate a stack no thicker than the length measured from the tip of your thumb to the first joint works best.

After grabbing the individual frames, the first time-consuming portion starts - pulling each image into my graphics software (I use Flash to take advantage of layers, but you might also look at Inkscape - free OpenSource software that supports layers and exports to JPEG). When done, you'll have a large collection like this...

Step 2: Learned a Few Things...

You may notice in this that I've included the frame number on the left and right side of each image. My initial plan was to drill the photos in full 4x6 size before cutting them out. My first flipbook ended up having the number messed up by the drilling.

Well, it turns out that drilling BEFORE cutting out your frames isn't a good idea - I didn't end up drilling the 4x6 photos because as I was squaring them up and preparing to drill I noticed that about 3 of the images in the stack were slightly askew. This wasn't my fault, but the photo developer (Costco). That very subtle angling of those 3 photos would cause an animation issue... so my original reason for framing each image as shown here stands - it helps you to make sure that you're making identical cuts and that your final stack of images will not only square up but also all be oriented identically. Does that make sense? If I had drilled the stack of uncut photos, the holes would have forced those 3 images to retain their angle... but since after the images are cut out I'll be squaring up the stack using the right edge (the flipping edge) the 3 photos will be fixed.

Step 3: Print Them Out and Cut

This time I had two separate stacks to cut out - I've gotten faster at it, but it's still the most time consuming. You can see the three cuts that must be made on each photo - the right vertical cut that becomes the flip edge, the top horizontal cut, and the bottom horizontal cut.

Again, the right vertical cut is THE MOST IMPORTANT cut so be careful to make sure that you're ALWAYS cutting in the same place. For my cutting board, I try to position the white vertical guideline just to the right of the plastic cutting guide. This not only will help make the animation smoother but is the edge you'll use to square up the stack for drilling.

Step 4: Better Drilling Technique

For my original flipbook, I simply clamped the cut frames together and drilled down - ended up damaging the photo paper enough that it required some sanding down of the drill holes to make the stack return to its original thickness.

Someone commented that this would work better by clamping wood on top and bottom of the stack and drilling down. Worked like a charm. The wood on top (and workbench on bottom) keep the photos tight and prevent the drill bit (1/4") from damaging the paper. The stack you see here retained its original thickness (about 1") and the holes actually helped hold the stack together somewhat.

Step 5: Bind Them Up...

Here you see the final results... after verifying they flip properly, I'm going to trim up the leather a bit on the bottom flipbook and straighten the vertical cut on the top flipbook.

I forgot to take pictures of the leather binding process - sorry - but here's the best explanation I can provide. Estimate the height and width of the binding you need and cut it out. Place the cut leather underneath the stack and figure out where you want the edges of the top and bottom of the leather to overlap the stack. Drill two holes using one of your stack images as a guide on the BOTTOM flap. Then stick in two screw posts (pointing up) and fit the stack down on it. Your screw posts should be poking up through the stack slightly - if not, remove a few of the photos in the stack until the screw posts are protruding maybe 1/16" or so.

Next, wrap the leather around the spin and cover the top of the stack. Don't pull on it too tight but just enough to get it around... then press hard on the leather top - the screw posts will make two indentations where you need to drill the holes in the top of the leather piece. Drill those two holes, cut the leather if needed, and bind the stack up with the screw post ends.

Again, in the bottom flipbook here, I didn't cut back the top leather piece yet so it extends a bit too far over the stack.

Step 6: Closing Thoughts and What's Next...

These are fun to make... and people seem to love them. Something about the old-school style of animation I guess. A few closing thoughts:

1. Take your time - my 3rd flipbook is 100% better than my first in terms of the stack squaring up and I credit this to proper cutting of the right edge (flipping edge) and the new drilling technique.

2. It's hard to tell in these photos but each cut photo has a slight curl running top to bottom. In my first flipbook project ( see https://www.instructables.com/id/Handmade_Flipbook/ ) the photos curled left to right. The former is definitely the way to go. When the photos curl left to right, it's hard to get them to stack properly for drilling as the stack has a slight bow to it forcing individual frames to not line up 100% along the right edge. When the photos curl top to bottom, the right edge stays square during cutting AND after the binding is added, the stack is very rigid. Trust me on this or try it yourself. Wolf Camera provides photos with left to right curl... Costco top to bottom. I'm sticking with Costco.

What's Next?

1. I read a comment elsewhere that made me think how fun it would be to create a flipbook... of me flipping a flipbook... of me flipping a flipbook - I'll play with this and see how many iterations I can do before it loses decent viewability.

2. I want to find some free software to grab the individual video frames AND another piece of free software that will allow me to create the framing of each image using layers. This way I can provide instructions for that portion of the project that doesn't require you to own the same software I use.

3. I want to experiment with some different sizes of flipbook - I know the 4x6 photos don't flip very well (too large and unwieldy I believe), but there's so much wasted paper in each 4x6 I cut that I'm going to try and get maybe 2 frames per photo.

4. If anyone knows of any free software that is EASY TO USE and that can do the following, please let me know:

(a) Grab 1 frame of video and export to PNG or JPEG - isn't necessary to be able to edit the video, just take a 3-4 second short video and grab each frame.
(b) Import PNG or JPG and use layers to create a frame - then export to JPEG. - software should allow you to define the size of the saved JPEG (4x6, 5x7, etc) and export to that size.

Comments

author
three_d_dave (author)2010-01-08

Printers have sharp tubular drills that will penetrate inches of paper (think phone book.) They also have a device called a guillotine cutter which is a large, vertical acting knife blade that can trim inches of paper (think phone book also) Check your local print shop to see if these are available - the cost will be small and the results very good.

On some flip book Instructables commenters suggested tapering the width, narrow to wide from front to back. At the printers, this can be done with the cutter by shifting the images at an angle and then trimming the right hand edge. Try it with cheap paper cards first to see if it works right for you.

author
teamwalrus (author)2008-12-20

I just finished doing this style of project myself (http://www.teamwalrus.com/wordpress/?p=1383). I couldn't find any software that does the extract of frames, resize, etc all in one go. But I did find three free software programs that do everything you need: 'Free video to JPG converter', 'Faststone Resizer', 'XnView'. Instructions on my blog.

author
jktechwriter (author)teamwalrus2008-12-27

Great examples - thanks for sending! I've been playing with VirtualDub - might want to check it out and see if you can get it to do what you need.

author
Sandisk1duo (author)2008-09-13

Looks a little thick, maybe find some ultra-thin photo paper?

author
jktechwriter (author)Sandisk1duo2008-09-13

Actually, the thickness helps it flip better in my opinion. Book 1 is 94 photos, Book 2 and 3 are 90 photos. All 3 books are about 1 inch in diameter and the thickness of the leather helps the screws stay tight and in place. I tried one book using regular paper (color inkjet printing) and the paper too easily crinkled or entire sections would flip causing the animation to jump. The thick photo paper works great for me. Gives it a nice "flap" sound, too :)

author
rtjacks2 (author)jktechwriter2008-09-19

jktechwriter I noticed that on the left edge of your pictures looked a little different. Is it the border that I've heard you talk about or is the material different? Thanks.

author
jktechwriter (author)rtjacks22008-09-19

Hmm... not sure what you mean. Can you point me to the picture(s) in question? In one stack you might have noticed a small white vertical strip between the black left edge border and the picture - that was because that video was not filmed in widescreen but standard 4:3 format - so I had to "push" the frames more to the right so they would be visible and this caused the white strip to appear - but it's covered by the leather, so I wasn't worried.

author
rtjacks2 (author)jktechwriter2008-09-20

jktechwriter I think that is what I am looking at. The white stripe give the impression that the photo material is thicker toward the leather and screw side. Thanks for the detail.

author
jktechwriter (author)rtjacks22008-09-21

You're welcome - yes, I guess I could see now what you're talking about. But nope - the entire stack is nothing but standard 4x6 photos cut down to size - I've just left the left-side black frame and a small white strip that bordered the entire photo. Remember to go matte and not glossy! I'd love to see one of your final designs if you'll message me when you're done - good luck.

author
rtjacks2 (author)jktechwriter2008-09-21

Understood, you will be one of the first I show. Look toward the 1st quarter of '09. Thanks again for all the help. Ron

author
Sandisk1duo (author)jktechwriter2008-09-13

ah, you can make it thinner by reducing the frame rate

author
jktechwriter (author)Sandisk1duo2008-09-14

But reducing the frame rate gives you a more choppy animation... I also pulled out every other frame (using frame 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, etc.) but it too was a little choppy. I'm sticking with my 30fps and about 3-4 seconds of images :)

author
gregr (author)2008-09-12

This is regarding your software question at the end of the instructable.

I would use virtual dub to export the frames (ww.virtualdub.org). Just open up your video in virtual dub and you can hit file>export>image sequence. Export as a targa file. (Targa is the best format for processing in the next step, but if you dont have photoshop just export as a jpg.)

Now, open photoshop and then open one of your frames of video. Create an action. (http://blog.epicedits.com/2008/03/07/how-to-create-photoshop-actions/) Click on image>canvas size. Use canvas size to add the borders on your image.
Now in photoshop go to file>automate>batch. In the play section select the action you just created. In the source section select "folder" then click "choose" and select the folder you exported the targa files to. Then in the destination section select folder as the destination and choose another folder (not the folder that is full of your targa files). Click ok and that will add borders to all of your images. You will have to add numbers by hand or find some other way to number your images.

Now we need to convert the targa files to jpg. I would use irfanview (www.irfanview.com). Open irfanview. Click file>batch conversion/rename. Make sure batch conversion is checked in the top left corner. Browse to the folder with your targa files with borders and click the "add all" button. In the "batch conversion settings" box select jpg. Now select a folder in the "output directory for result files" (not either of the folders full of targa files). Click start batch and it will process all of your files.

You should end up with a folder full of jpgs with bordes.

author
jktechwriter (author)gregr2008-09-13

I downloaded and tried the software - works great BUT... it only grabs frames in one size... I can't seem to figure out how to resize the frame grabs. When you embed the frames in the layering software, the images are too small and when they're enlarged, they get pixel-ly.

author
gregr (author)jktechwriter2008-09-13

You can use virtualdub to resize the output images. Click on video>filter. Then click on add. Find resize in the list click on it and hit ok. Set the size you want. (I suggest opening one of the images from your previous flipbooks and seeing what resolution they are then entering those numbers in the "absolute (pixels)" area.) Click ok. Then click ok again to close the filters window. Export the images like before. Note that this will take some amount of time longer than not using the filter. If the images still look pixeley in the resize options in the drop down box for "filter mode" try selecting "lanczos3".

author
jktechwriter (author)gregr2008-09-13

Once again - thank you! It is very time consuming to grab individual frames so if this works, it'll save me a bundle of time. I don't have Photoshop so now I'm looking for a piece of software that will allow me to create the frame that will cover part of the frame grab, allow me to batch frame, and then batch export to JPEG. If I can find something like that, add it to the virtualdub process, the cutting will be the longest part. Thanks, gregr. Jim

author
jktechwriter (author)gregr2008-09-12

THANK YOU! Yesterday I figured out how to quickly import all the single JPEG files and frame them all at once (instead of individually). This alone will save me probably 30 minutes to 1 hour. If virtualdub.org will handle the creation of each individual frame (as opposed to me having to use Pinnacle to grab each individual frame and save them to a file) that will save probably an hour... I don't have photoshop but since I can now import all JPEG files and frame at once, this means that cutting will be the biggest time consumer and I can live with that... THANK YOU, again! I'll let you know how it works - will try to make a new flipbook this weekend or early next week. Jim

author
joejoerowley (author)2008-09-10

Cool! Thanks

author
implaxis (author)2008-09-10

Instead of drilling, you might try using a piece of gauze and rubber cement along the edge, perphaps with a paper cover. It may not be as elegant, but it would be easier!

author
jktechwriter (author)implaxis2008-09-10

I might try that sometime... but I like the look of the leather and brass screws and it's not that much extra work to drill - I think gluing would be more troublesome as the flipbook aged - maybe not.

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