FlipPad runs on iPads, iPhones, Macs, MacBooks. So you can create a scene on your iPhone when the idea strikes you. Draw your animation on your iPad with your Apple Pencil and then paint and finish it on your Mac with all the advantages of a big screen and keyboard. And you can pull your iPhone out of your packet anytime to make a change or show off your work.
DigiCel FlipPad is designed to help you do traditional, hand drawn animation faster, easier and better.
The main window in FlipPad is basically a media player with a few extra tools to help you draw, paint and animate.
Animated scenes are made up of layers. Each level in the xsheet has two layers that are referred to as ink (the lines) and paint. Traditionally, the ink goes on the top side of a cel and the paint goes on the bottom.
The other window is the timeline. It slides out from the side of the display and is called an xsheet. It’s vertical because that’s how professional animators are used to working. So every row is a frame and every column is a level. The background is on the right and the foreground levels stack up to the left. The thumbnail images in the xsheet represent the “cels” in the scene.
All of the major animation studios and top animation schools use this method so if you’re considering a future in 2D animation, this is the way to go.
In the xsheet, images are automatically held through the following frames until they are replaced by another image or you stop the hold. A gray line down the center of the column indicates that an image is being held through those frames. A big X through the cel causes the images to stop holding.
The + and – icons at the bottom of the xsheet let you add and delete frames (rows) from the scene.
Tapping twice on any cel or tapping once on a cel that is already highlighted will bring up menu options to let you Cut, Copy or Paste thumbnails to move the cels around in the xsheet, or adjust Timing and Stop Holds.
You can also drag n drop thumbnails in the xsheet if you just touch and hold until you see them lift off the page.
More features will be added to the xsheet as we go.
Animation usually starts with rough drawings to work out the movement before you do the cleanups. FlipPad makes this easy. Just do your roughs in one level and your cleanups in another. Then hide or delete the rough level when the cleanups are done.
To start drawing, tap on the cel (square) in the xsheet where you want the image to go then tap on the pencil and draw. Touch and hold the Pencil icon to open the Pencil Settings. The Pencil Settings let you control the line width, the softness and the texture of the lines. More options will be added as time goes on.
Within the Min and Max settings, Line Width is determined by pressure if you’re using an Apple Pencil or by drawing speed if you’re using your finger. Pressing harder with the Apple Pencil makes lines thicker and darker. Drawing faster with your finger makes lines thicker. (Note: If you set the Min higher than the Max, then drawing faster will make the lines thinner instead.)
The Min and Max settings are particularly helpful for beginning animators to make sure their lines are all the same width because it doesn’t look good if the lines get thicker and thinner from frame to frame.
Line Softness controls the edges of the line. If the setting is too Hard, the lines will look jagged. If it is too soft the lines will look burry. But we give you control so you can get the look you want.
Line Smoothing is a beginners best friend. Drawing on a smooth slippery surface like glass can be tricky and lines may and up not looking as smooth or straight as you intended. Line smoothing ignores some of the side to side movement so your lines look smoother and you look like a better artist.
There are currently three textures. Pencil, Ink and Chalk.
When you start animating you’re going to need the LightBox. FlipPad’s Lightbox goes way beyond what you get in other apps because it lets you see drawings before, after and beside the one you’re working on. It’s also easier than other apps because it works just like a traditional animation disc. When you open a cel, that image is added to the top of the stack and the drawings that were already on the stack each move down one and the bottom one drops off.
Touch and Hold the LightBox icon to open the settings.
Animatating Straight Ahead
To animate straight ahead just open each cel in order and the previous cels will remain visible on the lightbox. FlipPad’s LightBox will let you see as many previous drawings as you want and each one gets lighter as it moves towards the bottom of the stack.
Animating Pose to Pose (Inbetweens)
Most animation is done pose to pose because the character has to be in a certain place at a certain time. So you draw key frames at those times and then add drawings inbetween to fill in the gaps. To animate pose to pose you just tap on the cels of the key frames like 5 and 9 before you tap on frame 7 to do the inbetween. But unlike the other apps, there’s no limit to how far apart the key frames are.
The import icon is in the lower left corner of the window and lets you import sound, images and movies. But FlipPad is not a sound editor so your sound file should be trimmed and ready to go when you import it. Images can be imported into the foreground or the background and movies should normally be imported into the background.
FlipPad stores the paint in its own layer beneath the ink and edits it with its own tools. This makes the lines look better and protects the lines from accidental changes during painting because the painting tools can’t touch the pencil layer.
It also lets you erase the paint (or the lines) independently. So if you erase the paint just select the bucket and the eraser and click to erase the paint without ever touching the line.
Another cool thing about this is that it makes it possible to drag the bucket like a brush and very quickly paint any area that you drag the bucket through.
Other apps can’t do this.
FlipPad makes animation easier by letting you adjust the timing while the scene is playing.
FlipPad makes it easy to export your movies and share them with anyone you want. The Share icon is in the lower right corner and lets you share or export both still frames and movies and send them out for the world to see.
The Pros use FlipBook because it works they way they’re used to working it does what they want – quickly and easily. The top animation schools use FlipBook because the studios use it AND because it helps them teach animation.