Flipbook Animation Tutorial: How Things Drop

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water tap animation tutorial

flour sack drop flipbook tutorial

A few months ago, we posted a Bouncing Ball Flipbook Tutorial by Andre Quijano in the tutorials section of our support site that was all about how to draw and animate a bouncing ball. If you’re not familiar with Flipbook, It’s a feature of the SketchBook desktop version available for Pro members. It enables you to create short animations that you draw frame by frame. You can export your creations directly as .gif, .mp4, or other file formats.

This time around, we have a PDF tutorial from Andre we want to share that covers the fundamentals of action and reaction. Download the Water Drop and Flour Sack PDF tutorial for detailed step-by-step instructions on how you can create the animations below. The PDF includes download links to the demo files so you can look through them yourself on SketchBook Pro if you want, but we’re also going to give you a quick run-down here so you can see what’s possible. While that first tutorial teaches you the basic controls and functions of FlipBook, this second tutorial focuses on how to make elements such as water or weight distribution look realistic in action. Below is a simple watered down version of Andre’s Flipbook tutorial with accompanying GIFs. If you want more detailed information about the entire process check out the link provided above.

How water drops

water drop 1



water drop 2
If you’re looking to make water drop, start with water forming at the top of your canvas. Pay attention to how big the formation of your water is and how far it will stretch out before detaching. If you’re not sure how your particular water drop should look, it’s always a good idea to look at references. Even watching your own kitchen faucet can help you get a better idea. In the example below, this drawing takes up nine frames of the entire animation, and we’ve slowed things down so you can see how it was drawn.
water drop 3
The middle section of the animation is the water drop falling from the top to the bottom. Keep in mind the speed at which the water drop will fall. It’s going to be suspended briefly and then sped up after it separates from the top. Also remember that water droplets become spherical; they don’t stay teardrop shaped for long!
water drop 4
The last part consists of the water drop hitting the bottom surface. The initial splash is quick, but the resulting small wave is where the majority of the frames will be used. Make sure you’re continuously playing back the entire animation to make sure everything looks smooth and cohesive. This way, if you make a crucial mistake early on you don’t have to recreate entire sections of the animation.

How a sack of flour drops

flour sack 1
This flour sack animation begins with a sack falling onto a ledge. Check the PDF file provided at the top to get a detailed look at the weight distribution of the contents inside the sack as it falls.
flour sack 2
You have to keep in mind the position the sack would be in as it lands on the side of the ledge. Also remember the specific contents inside the sack. Because flour is powder-like, it lands flat with zero bounce. Other materials may have a completely different result when it comes to the speed at which they fall, or how they look when they hit a surface.
flour sack 3
The second segment of this animation contains the largest number of frames. The flour sack’s weight shifts to the left. The process of the contents moving to the left side is slow at first but gradually speeds up as it gets closer to falling off.
flour sack 4
The very last section is the flour sack falling off the ledge on to the ground. The impact on the ground will be similar to that of the sack hitting the ledge above. As mentioned with the water drop, make sure you’re frequently playing the animation from the start to see how it’s turning out and fixing whatever looks off.

Flipbook animation for Pro

Using Flipbook is one of the many perks of being a SketchBook Pro member. If you like what you see and want to give Flipbook a try, download a free 15-day trial to give it a go (no credit card information necessary).