Flipping Your Drawings
Flipping is the physical process of moving the drawings with your hands so that you can see them in a specific sequence in order to see the movement of the animation

There are three types of flipping techniques:

1) The Inbetweening Flip. This is done with three sheets of paper on your animation disk. Usually it's your two key drawings and the inbetween that you are in the process of drawing at the moment. The two key drawings are on the pegs, one on top of the other, and the blank sheet of paper that is going to be the inbetween is on top of them on the pegs.

You grasp the top sheet of paper (the inbetween) between your pointing finger and your thumb. If you're right handed for drawing, you use your left hand for flipping and the opposite if you're left handed.

The next sheet of paper down goes between your middle finger and your ring finger.

If you pull your whole hand forward, you can see the bottom drawing. If you push your whole hand down, you can see the top drawing. And if you just pull the top sheet forward with your thumb and pointing finger while keeping your other fingers straight, you'll expose the middle drawing.

If you move your fingers and hand in sequence you can create the illusion of movement in the three drawings. It takes a bit of practice at first but soon it becomes second nature and you don't even think about it... really, it's true!

2) The second technique is called The Roll Flip. In this version, you place the drawings (up to 5) onto the pegs, in numerical order, (even if they're just keys). You then place the top drawing between your thumb and pointing finger. Moving your way down the stack, place one drawing beteween each of your fingers. The fifth drawing on the bottom just sits on the disk.

You then roll your hand towards yourself and expose each of the drawings one by one, then push your hand back to expose them in reverse order. The faster you do it, the better you'll be able to see the movement in the drawings.

I use this technique when I'm key animating. Each time I add a new drawing, I just shift my fingers up one and roll flip to be sure the action is moving properly from one key to the next.

3) The final technique is called Stack Flipping. Here you can flip a large number of drawings, like a hundred and fifty or so (more or less depending on your hand size, I guess). You stack all the drwings in numerical order with the first drawing on the bottom and then working your way up to the last drawing on the top.

You straighten all the drawings by pounding then on a desk top, then grab the top of the sheets from behind and hold then up at your eye level. Grab the bottom of the stack with your other hand and using your thumb, pull it forward along the bottom edges towards you letting each sheet of paper fall individually. It takes some practice to do this one as well and get it to move smoothly.

It's a quick and easy way to check to see if your animation is moving smoothly. It won't be timed right but at least you'll see the action that's taking place without having to shoot a pencil test.

Each of these just takes some practice. Within a week, you'll be a pro at it.


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