Make a quick and quirky photo flipbook

Bring images to life with a creatiue sharing project

Flipbooks were one of the earliest forms of animation. They use a series of pictures that vary slightly from one page to the next so that when they’re turned quickly, they appear to be moving. Flipbooks are still great fun to play with today, and they also make a thoughtful, personalised gift.

You can make your own one quickly and cheaply just by taking a series of pictures, printing them off and binding the stack with string or staples. It can feature anything from family and friends to a stationary object like an action figure. As you flick through the book, the images should tell a short story. You can be as creative as you like, adding captions and a cover for your flipbook using editing software.

Here, we show you how to make your own flipbook, from story ideas to shooting and editing tips. Follow our simple instructions and conjure up some old-school magic in a flash.

01 Choose your subject

First, pick a subject and plot for your flipbook. It’s best to opt for a simple, short scene such as a couple embracing, a dog running or a car driving along. You can also shoot Aardman animation-style using stationary objects like toy figures.

02 Program the settings

Rest your camera on a steady platform to keep your sequence smooth, or use a fast shutter speed if shooting handheld. It’s important to keep all the settings the same for each picture. Take a test shot first and if you’re satisfied, keep going.

03 Capture a sequence

When photographing an inanimate object, take one photo and then move the subject slightly and take another. Each movement should be minimal. Repeat the process until the whole story is told in at least ten photos, but it can be as long as you like.

04 Batch Editing

Resize, edit and organise stacks of photos in one go using Batch Edit in Photoshop Elements. Just click File>Process Multiple Files to begin, then choose file names and image sizes. The option of Quick Fix will give your photos an automatic edit.

05 Save your files

Once you’ve fixed any colour casts and are happy that the series of images look consistent across the board, you’re ready to save. Click File>Save As and select where you want to store your shots. Now select File>Print and think about what size you’d like.

06 Print the photos

There is no perfect size for a flipbook, but we’d recommend you keep it pocket-sized so that you can share them easily on the go. It’s also a good idea to leave a margin on the left for binding. Put photo paper in your printer and then hit print.

07 Bind the book

Put your photographs in order, either from front to back or back to front, depending on how you want the book to open. Stack the prints and staple the left-hand side together, or use a hole punch to make two holes and thread string through them.

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