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Flip book task

Make your own flipbook animation. Watch this video example of a bouncing ball and have a go yourself.

What you will need:

  • a packet of post-it notes or a pad of paper
  • a sharp pencil
  • good quality black art pen (optional)
  • coloured pens (optional)


We would like you to make a ball bounce. Take your post-it note or pad and turn to the last page. Draw the ball in the first position, you may also like to draw the horizon. Make sure your images are in the bottom third of the page.

Turn to the next page. You should be able to see the previous image through the page. Draw the next image of the ball a little further on. Keep turning the page and drawing the ball! Use the tips below to help develop your animating skills.

Once you have completed the task you can film it and upload it to YouTube, posting the link in the comments section. Future Learn has some good tips for sharing videos. Good luck.


As the ball progresses it will lose momentum and height. Before you start have a look at the diagram below. We have drawn a composite of images from a bouncing ball sequence. To make your sequence work more effectively you might apply three of the principles of animation.

According to Disney animators, Frank Thomas & Ollie Johnston, in their book The Illusion of Life there are twelve principles of animation. We shall consider each of these at some point in the course; three of them are relevant to this task.

Bouncing ball animation

Bouncing ball

Arcs (fig.2)

When objects move, they very often follow a curve. Animators call this an arc. Notice how the ball travels in an arc to simulate its natural path.

Ease In and Ease Out (fig.3)

Most objects need time to accelerate and slow down; so to make realistic animation we need to emulate this. Notice that as the ball reaches the top of its bounce, it slows down and the frames get close together. As it starts to fall again, it speeds up and the frames get further apart.

Squash and Stretch (fig.4)

It is important to keep the volume of any object in proportion, creating a realistic sense of its weight and flexibility. If the ball’s height squashes as it meets the floor, its width (and depth) needs to stretch in order to maintain its volume.

Thomas and Johnston’s twelve principles are illustrated well by this video from Cento Lodigiani and also in these animated GIFs.

We have started to curate some of your flipbooks in this YouTube playlist

This article is from the free online

Explore Animation

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FutureLearn - Learning For Life

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