Flip Book Animation Ideas

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Stick with items that are simple to draw for flip books, since you'll be drawing nearly the same image dozens of times. Running stick figures, sports balls in motion or even a bird or butterfly in flight are a few ideas to try for your homemade flip book.

Stick-Figure Fun

Stick figures require little drawing skill, and each figure can be drawn in less than a minute -- perfect for flip books.

  • Draw a running stick figure for a very simple flip-book animation. Add minor bits of scenery as background in some of the scenes, such as a dotted line along a road or a simple tree that the runner passes along his path. 
  • For a slightly more complex animation, draw a stick person and dog playing "fetch" or two stick figures throwing a disc back and forth. Two characters and an object make up each scene, which means the images for each one may vary slightly from page to page.
  • Doodle a stick figure performing flips or a dive off a diving board. Show the figure jumping, then bending or rolling into each move. For a more detailed yet similar animation, create an entire parkour animation, showing a stick figure jumping and rolling from rooftop to rooftop or climbing between buildings. 

Elapsed Time

Draw scenes that illustrate a long period of time over the course of your flip book for another take on flip-book animation.

  • Illustrate a cutaway view of a seed underground, growing into a tiny sprout after it receives sunshine and water, eventually turning into a beautiful flower or a tree.
  • Draw a tadpole turning into a frog, or a caterpillar building a cocoon and eventually turning into a butterfly.
  • Animate a bird building a nest, then laying eggs in the nest. Near the end of the flip book, show baby birds hatching from the eggs and being fed by their parents.
  • Draw a natural scene such as a sun rising and setting, or a rainstorm that includes lightning, eventually ending in a sunny day or a moonlit night. A solar or lunar eclipse offers a fairly simple phenomenon to draw. 
  • Illustrate cells splitting or an amoeba changing shape for a glimpse into the microscopic world.

Sports Scenes

Illustrate simple or detailed actions from your favorite sport for another way to enjoy the game and art.

  • Draw a cartoon character or stick figure making a goal in whichever sport you like best. The character may shoot a basketball, kick a football or score a goal in soccer. Add one or more players from the other team for a sense of tension or conflict. 
  • Animate a silly scene that could only happen in a cartoon, such as a pitched baseball traveling in loops, striking out a batter that tries several times to hit the same pitch. Draw a football player wearing a jet pack, flying over the opposing team members to reach the end zone with ease.
  • Show a race between runners, horses, cars or dogs, allowing different characters to take the lead before one of them zips out ahead of the rest to the finish line.
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