Pros / You can import your drawings directly from a scanner.
Cons / This software doesn’t use bone rigging or puppeteering.
Verdict / This is good software for anyone wanting to create traditional hand-drawn animation, but the lack of modern, computer-based animation tools make it somewhat dated and requires art skills.
Digicel’s FlipBook cartoon maker software uses time-honored cel animation methods to create your animation masterpieces and is designed with the traditional animation artist in mind. It doesn’t use puppeteering or bone rigging, and it doesn’t have character libraries and templates like other digital 2D animation software, so you have to draw everything yourself. Still, FlipBook has the professional tools you need to create high-quality animations. This animation program provides one foreground layer and background layer and can hold up to 1,500 frames. If you are wanting a modern animation program this isn’t the software for you.
This software is best for anyone wanting to create traditional, hand-drawn works. FlipBook software was used on major animated movies like the Princess and the Frog, Aladdin, and The Lion King. It was also used by famous traditional animators including Glenn Keane and Don Bluth. That being said, this software is pretty dated. It doesn’t offer the modern 2D bone-rigging animation tools you’ll find in most other animation programs. This means you have to be dedicated and spend a lot of time drawing to get anything to move.
The Pro version sells for $199.99. There are three other versions to choose from that range from $29.99 to $249.99 so you can find the one the fits you best. There is a trial version of the software and as far as we can tell, you can use it as long as you like, but it only allows you to use a limited number of frames.
The pencil tool has an adjustable stroke size so we could choose the thickness of the lines we drew with. In addition, the bounding box tool allowed us to create square and rectangle shapes as well as designate areas we wished to fill or erase. You can use any TWAIN scanner to directly import your paper and pencil sketches into the program, and you can also import pictures in JPEG, PNG and BMP formats for use in your project.
If you plan to draw your characters in the program rather than scan in images, a drawing tablet is one of the best ways to use animation software. FlipBook is fully compatible with Wacom brand and most other tablets and responded well to our pen pressure during testing. Its responsiveness helps maintain accuracy, so drawings on the screen look looked just like drawing in a sketchpad. This animation software does not use vector-based images, so you cannot convert any of your drawings to vector graphics.
With FlipBook, you use onion skinning, an animation technique that allows you to see the frame you are currently working over the previous and next frame. Seeing the position of your character in the previous frame helps you make movements natural and realistic. This software does not use a bone-rigging system, and there is no option to create animation paths. If you'd prefer a program that offers bone-rigging and a character library, we recommend MOHO Debut.
Support is available, but limited for this animation software. The program comes with a help file that walks you through the program’s tools and procedures. If you need additional help, the FlipBook homepage has a support section with an email address and a few video tutorials. You can also call customer support if you prefer to talk to a representative.
If you’re wanting to create traditional hand-drawn animation, this is the perfect software to get you started. It provides simple brush tools and allows you to have up to 1,500 frames at a time. There are no character libraries, backgrounds or other premade effects so you will need to draw everything yourself. It works with a Wacom tablet so you can easily draw within the program or use a scanner to import your creations. This is a somewhat dated software that doesn’t use modern animation techniques like motion capture, bone rigging or lip syncing so a lot of extra animation work is required.