Words by Emma Kay
This technique has two ways you can go about it.
The first is a physical flick book. If you own a Polaroid or any other kind of instant camera, you could have a go at this. Firstly, decide what action you want to do for the flick book. This could be a simple wave, or pretending to run, anything really that involves easy to track movement.
You then need to choose a starting position for the first shot, and make sure you stay there so that the background looks consistent. Snap a photo, then move slightly and snap another. Make sure your movements aren't too large, though, or the flick book will look jerky. Carry on until you either run out of photos or finish the move you chose to do.
When your photos are fully developed, stack them together and flick through them. Ta Da! Your very own photo flick book!
The other way to go about this technique is to create a digital-style, flick book animation using Photoshop. A DSLR is best for this because you need a camera that shoots multiple frames in continuous shooting mode. Continuous Auto Focusing is advisable too to minimise blur on fast movements. As you can see below, running with out continuous focusing results in the hands and feet being blurry.
The one below uses continuous focus and is not as blurry.
For this version of the technique, you can move as you usually would, and the camera will snap you pretty quickly as you move through the frame.
Then, upload all of the pictures on to the computer. You then need to load your files in to Photoshop, by dragging a balloon around the ones you want and dragging them as a group in to the software.
To make an animation, choose the frame you want to start with and then drag the next frame on top of it with the Move Tool so you have more than one layer in one document. Go to window> animation, and the animation bar will appear.
Here you can create various frames and set the time for how long each frame will appear. In the first frame it will show the layer positioned at the top of the layers palette. To add a new frame simply click the square-shaped icon that's sat next to the recycle bin in the animation bar. You'll now have two frames with images in. If both frames show the same image, you'll need to make the second image in the sequence visible by clicking on the eye icon found next to the layer you want to hide in the layers palette.
You need to make sure both pictures are lined up properly then repeat this process for all your frames, dragging them on to the first picture and making sure each new image is visible in each of the new frames you create.
When you have added all your frames, click play (the triangle pointing to the right), and watch your animation! If it's moving too quickly through the frames, click the drop down on each frame where the timer is positioned and pick a slower speed. Then, if you are happy with it, save it as a .gif file so it will move when uploaded, and put it online!
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