Make a Paper-based Animation





Introduction: Make a Paper-based Animation

 Have you seen the cards where there appears to be a moving picture just by using a piece of plastic with lines on it and an image underneath?

This instructable shows you how to make your own with just a computer, printer, paper and transparencies.

I'm assuming that you have the Gimp image editor installed. Hopefully you can translate this as needed for other programs. 


Step 1: Create the Base Image and Gridlines

Create a new file that is 1000 pixels by 1000 pixels

Create a new layer called 'Grid 1'

Select that layer from the layer dialog

Create the grid by selecting the 'Filter' menu then 'Render' -> 'Pattern' -> 'Grid'
unlock the horizontal and vertical settings for width, spacing and offsets.
Use the following settings (image below shows the settings for the 'Grid 1' layer
 - Width 0,18,0
 - Spacing 21,1000, 2
 - offset 0,0,6

repeat for layers 'Grid 2' to 'Grid 7' using horizontal offsets of 3,6,9,12,15 and18 respectively.

Step 2: Add Animation Frames

 If you have a gif animation file you'd like to use, use the 'File' menu then 'Open as Layers'. 
(there is a discussion at the end on picking existing animations)

If there are more than 7 frames, use the following guidelines
 - if there are 7-14 frames, pick every other frame
 - if there are 15-21 frames, pick every third frame
 - if there are 22-28 frames, pick every fourth frame
(or use a picking method that works for you)

If you don't have an animation, create seven empty layers.

Call each layer of the animation as 'Image 1' - 'Image 7'

Put each image layer below a grid layer. (i.e. 'Image 1' goes below 'Grid 1', 'Image 2' goes below 'Grid 2', etc.)

Step 3: Filter Animation Image by Grid Layer

Here are the steps to use the black portion of the grid layer to delete from the frame image
 - view the grid layer and the associated image layer (starting with 'Grid 1' and 'Image 1')
 - highlight the grid layer in the layers dialog window
 - select -> by color
 - click on a black area
 - highlight the frame layer in the layers dialog window and turn off visibility for the grid layer.
 - delete the selected area.(using the 'delete' key)
 - de-select all
repeat for the remaining layers (save early and save often!).

Step 4: Merge Image Layers

show just the image layers

convert to grayscale (if necessary) (image -> mode -> grayscale)

Save as 'image.gif'
choose option to merge visible layers (should be default)

make just one of the grid layers visible
save one of the grid layers as grid.gif 


Step 5: Print!

Print the 'grid.gif' on transparency
Print the 'image.gif' on paper.

These two files are in the '' file attached.

slide back and forth, and Woo Hoo!

Step 6: Selecting an Existing Gif Animation.

It must be:
 - high contrast (the more contrast, the better it will look, 2-color (black and white) is the best)
 - coarse detail (lots of thin lines won't show up well) on moving portions
 - if there is a 'stationary' portion of the image, it can use thin lines.




    • Paper Contest 2018

      Paper Contest 2018
    • Trash to Treasure

      Trash to Treasure
    • Pocket-Sized Contest

      Pocket-Sized Contest

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    Did you remove your video or did Yahoo just mess up? It seems the video link is no longer valid.

    Sorry about that. The video was removed quite a while ago and I need to fix the instructions. I'll need to see if I still have the original and post it somewhere else.

    No worries! Your instructions are actually quite clear without it, but I thought you might want to know the link was bad.

    You can create same card with some mouse click. Check video tutorial below:

    Yay! Good Luck!

    gracias por este gran aporte, son de gran utilidad estos tutoriales,......

    im from mexico,........

    and i dont speak english,......

    thank you......

    i dont know how to dowload the tutorial

    Me alegro de que encontrar estos utiles. Para descargar el tutorial, es necesario registrarse.

    (en Ingles)
    I'm glad you find these useful. To download the tutorial, you need to register.