Thursday, August 10, 2006

Flipping Out

Flip Clips makes 10, 15, and 30-second long flipbooks out of any digital video digital video formats (including MOV/QT, AVI, DV, MPEG4, MPEG2, Motion JPEG, and 3GPP).

I heard about Flip Clips ( today via a post at Photojojo. I'd heard of flipbook software for years but someone, and likely other companies, have done gone and made manufactured professionally produced books all custom and quick now. Not cheap, at $9 for the smallest/shortest book, I still immediately seized upon this as The Way I'd Like To Promote Or Even Distribute Halfland™.

I now have fixed my mind on somehow producing my eventually finished Halfland scenes in this low-tech, retro, charming form. I would like to see the rich colors and characters of Halfland come to life in hands, without electricity. A couple of downsides would be that here wouldn't be any music, watching each scene in the short burst of individual books wouldn't create much continuity, and if selling as a 12 volume set, even at the volume pricing, material cost would be $72 bucks, which is sure to limit buyers to the diehardiest animation collectors.

Still, when the day comes that the clips are finished, I'll take a look around at the state of the world at that time and see what might be done to make this wish happen.

Update: There are many other companies I see. There's a short motion greeting card that gives the idea here:

Looking around a bit I came across what has to be THE Flip Book resource site ( It's a French site in translation. It's loaded with history, uses, and tons of book animations. Check out the artist book section about 2/3 down the Typology page. And at the bottom, a mention of what has to be one of the all time coolest concepts; A "stamps' plate published by the Maldives to commemorate the 100th anniversary of cinema in 1995. The cut out stamps make a (short) flip book."

Wow. I'm more into this than I was earlier.
Imagine, if you will, A custom designed flipping image viewer like those shown here (from the fabulous French site by Pascal Fouche mentioned above on his Viewers page loaded with Halfland scenes, maybe even with a little red velvet curtain pulled back on the opening of the box style version, like a widdle cinema. I sure can.


  1. That's a great idea for promotion. A little teaser trailer you give out as a flip book.
    Might be kind of tuff to get your whole short on a flip book and of course no sound, but I think it's a fantastic idea for promotion.

    I am off to check out that site. thanks Shelley!

  2. I agree, an awesome idea...good find, Shell! Hey, maybe the site would offer you some kind of bulk discount?

  3. Hi Guys, yeah, they do offer a volume price on 200, getting down to about $6, but I think I can do better by talking out the whole scheme with them, or others, when the time comes.

    I'm certain about it for "footage" tastes and using them as a kind of calling card for Halfland, but I may want to do even more with them. (!)

    This really does open up an exciting world of possibilities for all animators!

  4. WOW....I suddenly find myself needing to make one of these Midget Movie'd be like watching a stop-mo trailer like a puppet show, which is fitting...thinking about custom designs for the box, I can totally imagine a little Jenny's Lair theatre...or Jenny on one side and Nola on the other, carved reliefs....maybe wood, so I can burn it too...yeah, its on the list :), THANKS!

  5. Right on, Jeffery! Now that's what I'm talking about!!

  6. Jeffery, your film would especially lend itself to such an old fashion presentation.

    I just thought, I bet those image wheels, as seen in the viewers, would hold more frames than even the highest stacked hand-held flip books. I wonder if I ordered a series of books from a company and added the leaves sequentially onto a wheel hub I could get a cool flickering full scene to view. (!)

  7. WOW! That'd be awesome! Specially the custom lil' theater!

    Yeah, I totaly see a dark forest/swamp look for 'Jenny Greenteth' xD

    I've seen and personaly flipped some of those books, and the effect is awesome; but they are way to expensive for promo...What about going black and white? Depends on what you wanna show I guess, but it'll surely lower the cost

  8. Yes, Ale, VERY SELECTIVE promo indeed. I don't think black and white would cost less in this method, it's not like offset printing costs, it's digital so it'd be the same expense no matter how much or little color is used.

    I'm sure there will be a feasible way to do this by the time we're ready.

  9. I'm a gonna charge $1 per "showing" in my little portable cinema that I'll carry with me. tee hee.(used to cost a penny but you know, inflation.)

  10. And a Halfland welcome to new visitors from Portugal and Isreal.

  11. Anonymous8:01 PM

    A little flip-book would be a nifty promo item. Those print based flip books probably have a better chance of being preserved and functional 100 years from now as well in contrast to a series of JPEG photos animated for the web or DVD. I hope I'm wrong (he says as he continues to shoot hundreds of digital photos for his stopmo film).

  12. Hey hi Grant, I hear you on that. I'm thinking of making many hopefully archival (?) copies of 1/2L. dvd's (with a "making of" featurette that you all are now a part of) and perhaps also making a specially designed clip that is not only ok being silent but actually has some creative intentional reason for it.

    You go right ahead and click away on your project, that's where the rubber meets the road anyway. All this other stuff is just fun to plan for.

  13. Wow....those are so cool. They really spark the imagination.

  14. I think we could get a whole scene to play, Shells! I'm thinking of building something like the earlier mutoscopes, a penny-arcade stand-up kind of thing, with an exclusive scene that isnt in the film :)

  15. Heh.... it's funny hearing people talk about flipbooks as if they're something new! Actually they predate the motion picture itself!

    Why use an expensive company to produce it commercially? Shelley, I see you going it more traditionally, or at least DIY. A good printer and a ream of quality paper, some scissors...... and of course the images need to kind of fade around the edges, for that old-fashioned look.

  16. To Erica:
    YES!! Your incredible illustrations and other artwork brought into animation this way? Simply sensational. Thanks for stopping by!

    To Jeffery: Great idea to feature special scenes that aren't in the movie, maybe even outtakes and bloopers! Nola tripping and falling down or Jenny going up on her lines and shouting off screen to the director demanding her PA get her the mocha grande she asked for like 20 minutes ago? Too cool. Good stuff.

    To Mike:
    Bitch, you must be crazy, there's no way I'm going to hand-collate 18 umpteenjillion frames and cut them precisely enough to look nice and professional and I've been doing precision paste up for 20 years! I can have any print shop trim the stacks for me, yes, but keeping track of the order of them in the first place? No way, nuh uh.

    Of course flips aren't at all new, it's just that it's new to me to think of producing my DIGITAL clips with them. (Just so you know, I too am all down with persistence of vision, but Zoetropes give me a headache.)

    Now vignetting the edges--that's brilliant! Thanks for that important touch.

  17. Hey!
    I'd go Mike's way xD
    Come on Shell! What better way to fight corporate world than doing your own stuff!
    Come on...get that revolutionary out of you! hehe

  18. Nuh uh, uh uh, firstly, the ink costs for inkjet ink would be inky stinky. Did you guys know that that stuff goes for more than fine French perfume?! When I first discovered the Net I was printing out huge full color tutorials right and left without the slightest idea that a set of inks for my Epson costs $60! Now I think twice and try to keep my printing to a minimum.

    Secondly, nuh uh, this is one of those cases where a (small) business' service is cheaper faster better than I could do. I mean the bindery has to be done with the right equipment to work properly. Don't you think a commercially produced flip would be so much cooler than a homemade one? It's like the Halfland Commemorative Collectible Limited Edition Buttons, The art chick who made them for me had the right gear to make it look professional.

    I'll be revoluntionary in other ways! {•} {-} late, Ale!

  19. I always wanted to make a flip book, I have the software but never seem to have the time to actually concentrate on making the scenes for them! It is late, and I just got in from work, but I want to look at your post and links more carefully. I have an entire bowl of flip books (some rather naughty), I think they are magical....I want to see what YOU do. how exciting.

  20. Hi Kim, YOU are such a fit for flips it's ridiculous. Your art and design and HUMOR are super suited to this medium. The revelation of that company at the top o' the post that got me thinking is that they will take digital video and create the finished books for you. If you have a digital video camera, you could shoot some clever footage, like the things you do with your still camera, and send it in. Great for motion art in itself. Be sure to check the artist flips section at the Flipbook site ( for some idea of how artists have previously used them.

    My plans for it right now is to create special scenes from my short, like a hand-held trailer, for promotion of its eventual site/cinema.

    Thanks for stopping by, by the way, send me an address privately and I'll send you a souvenir button.

  21. Yeeeeeeeeaaaaaahhhhhhhh........

    Ok, I guess I see where you're coming from. Although I think the ultimate thing in the universe would be a handmade Nobleworks flipbook, entirely on hand-pressed papers in special silk binding. But maybe - just a bit too difficult.

  22. Yep, I would do that only if the book were written using one of the Writing Mouse's whiskers with hand-squeezed grape juice from grapes I'd grown myself in sandy soil I had mixed the ratios of personally to grow the deepest possible color. Yeah.

    Mike, you know things I like, quality, handmade. Things made by hand really do carry a special charge as you say, love all things hand-crafted. In this case, maybe because films even independents still chase Hollywood promotional methods in a way, it seems to call for a more commercial solution. Dunno.

  23. "I would do that only if the book were written using one of the Writing Mouse's whiskers with hand-squeezed grape juice from grapes I'd grown myself in sandy soil I had mixed the ratios of personally to grow the deepest possible color. Yeah."

    ....good point...:)

  24. Anonymous2:57 AM

    A lot of flipbooks from around the world are avaliable on the french site HEEZA (
    One of my favourite !

  25. Wow, As de Pique, that is a great site! It took me a while poking around in the all French site to find the flipbooks but when I did, it was a marvelous collection of sweet animations, especially the black and whites by Emmanuel Traunecker and I really liked discovering young print/concept artist, Scott Blake. I plan on watching his work progress.

    Thanks for coming by!

  26. WOW!! I love the links you add!! Thanks!!


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