Verdict: If you are interested in creating hand-drawn animations, you can use DigiCel FlipBook to master the basics of this genre. The program comes with adjustable brushes and enables you to work on 1,500 frames at a time. However, it doesn’t have character libraries and backgrounds, so you will need to create them manually.
This software is compatible with a Wacom tablet, which allows you to create drawings without switching to third-party software. You can also import images directly from a scanner. While this program doesn’t support advanced animation techniques, such as motion capture or bone rigging, it has all the necessary tools for creating basic animations.
The DigiCel FlipBook software comes with a set of essential tools for creating pro-grade animations. This program allows you to use background and foreground layers, which makes it easier to work on complex projects. Besides, it supports pan and zoom options.
You can enhance your animations by adding various transition effects. The program also comes with advanced painting options and allows you to use the tools available in third-party software, such as Photoshop. In this DigiCel FlipBook review, I will tell you how you can create simple animations and edit multiple frames at once using the tools available in this software.
Digicel’s FlipBook cartoon making software is based on time-tested cel animation technique, which allows you to quickly create and edit animations. Its interface is extremely easy to use since it reminds a media player. You can further customize it by adding the drawing and painting tools that you often use. For instance, to create animations, you may need to use camera moves tools and movie export options.
Many animators advise FlipBook that was used to make RugRats Go Wild, Looney Tunes Back in Action, The Simpsons Movie, Curious George, The Princess and the Frog, Enchanted, etc. specifically because the animators requested it.
FlipBook integrates with drawing tablets, which allows you to use your device to create beautiful drawings in seconds. You can draw on paper and then quickly scan your sketch to get a high-quality image.
Besides, this software makes it easy to add soundtracks and voice-overs. The DigiCel FlipBook 2D animation software enables you to color objects frame by frame or paint all the frames at once. You can import files created with the help of other software if they come in supported formats.
You can use the available basic tools to pan, zoom, rotate, blur and dissolve your images. After finishing working on a project, you can export it in QuickTime or AVI formats. Then, you can combine them to create long videos with the help of dedicated video editing software.
Besides, FlipBook allows you to adjust the transparency of different levels. You can change it gradually to create a fade-in or fade-out effect. This software also allows you to achieve a cross-dissolve effect when one frame fades in and another fades out.
The Image window allows you to draw, paint, and preview your animations. It can be used as a media player. You can move to any part of your scene and select start and stop points for every segment. To quickly jump to any frame, you just need to enter the number of the page in the frame counter.
Besides, you can customize your toolbars to make it more convenient to work on your projects. For instance, you can add or remove different icons, select vertical and horizontal toolboxes, and adjust other settings to suit your needs. If you have a version for Windows, you will be able to dock your toolbars to the edge of the Image window and move them together.
FlipBook has its own timeline named the XSheet. If you take a look at it, you will see that the rows consist of frames while levels are visible in columns. Using the XSheet layers, you can scan your image and add animations on top. You will see the background on the right and the stack of the upper levels on the left.
What I like about this free animation software is that it allows me to set up the timing on XSheets. You just need to select any thumbnail and press any number key to display a specific number of frames. The DigiCel FlipBook 2D animation software will automatically select the next thumbnail, so you can quickly set the timing for it as well.
To make it easier to edit the timeline, the program has the convenient Slide feature. You need to press the Alt key and then move a selected thumbnail up or down. The thumbnails below will be moved accordingly.
When using the Pencil tool, you can adjust the size of the stroke and the thickness of the line. Besides, you can use the bounding box to draw square and rectangle shapes as well as indicate the areas that you need to fill or delete.
If you need to quickly paint an entire scene, use the AutoFill tool available in this animation software for beginners. Just select any color, chose the frames that you need to edit, and the program will automatically fill the selected area with this color.
To speed up your painting workflow, you can use the available palettes that contain up to 256 colors. This software lets you adjust one color in hundreds of frames without wasting a lot of time. Thanks to the Drag n Fill option, you can avoid painting objects of the same color. Drag this tool over the surfaces and it will paint them with the selected color. You don’t even need to use the fill tool.
The Speed Painting tool was created for those who need to paint one object without wasting a lot of time. Select any color that you need to use and find the fill tool. Use it while holding down the Shift key when you paint an object. DigiCel FlipBook will automatically move to the next frame when you finish. Then, you will need to click on the next object you are going to paint.
If you don’t need to animate some objects, you can use the Paint-By-Numbers tool to automatically paint frames using different colors. This option allows you to use the number keys to decide how many frames you need to paint with one click. Select the fill tool, choose any color you like and hover your cursor over the area that you need to paint. Then, press a number key. The program will color the selected area in any number of frames.
FlipBook Pro allows you to add up to 10 layers to work with shadows and highlights. Just like in Photoshop, you can edit your images with the help of layers without affecting a source file.
For instance, you can add 5 layers in front of ink and paint layers. They can be used for adding shadows, tones, highlights and special effects. By putting another 5 layers behind ink and paint layers, you can edit cast shadows, rim lights, glows, etc.
To make your works even more unique, you can use custom brushes to edit a selected layer without affecting the rest.
When this software just got released, it quickly became popular since it allowed a user to create pencil test drawings in a few steps. You just need to click on the Capture option to capture pictures as quickly as possible.
To ensure that your drawing is well lit, use a copy stand with lights or put your camera on a stable surface and point it at the picture. This way, it will be easier for you to improve the quality of your pictures. You can also adjust the White Threshold to make the paper virtually invisible as well as edit the Black Threshold and the Gamma to improve the lines.
You can import 4 types of image files, including backgrounds, cels, overlays and movies. Go to the File > Import tab, select the option that suits you more and import it into FlipBook. If you need to import the background, select Stills. To import pencil drawings, you need to select the Import as Line Drawings option.
If you want to import overlays, choose Import as Color Overlay. For adding a movie, just go to File > Import Movie and choose any file that you need to add. This software supports all the widely used file formats.
DigiCel FlipBook allows you to use up to 3 soundtracks for every scene, depending on the subscription model you use. Each audio track includes one file. You can select when it should start playing. The program supports a wide range of audio file formats and different compression techniques.
To add a sound file, select the soundtrack that you need to edit by clicking on the corresponding column. Then, click on File > Import > Sound. You can also drag your audio file to add it and synchronize it.
Using FlipBook, you can perform onion skinning. This advanced animation technique enables you to see the frame you are using over the other frames. Since you will see the position of your character in other frames, it will be easier for you to make movements more realistic. However, this free 2D animation software doesn’t allow you to perform bone-rigging or create animation paths.
After installing the software, make sure to read the help file to learn how to use its main tools and features. If you face other questions, make sure to visit the official website of FlipBook where you will find a support section with helpful video tutorials. You can also use the email listed on this page to contact the team directly. Besides, you can call customer support to discuss your issue with managers.
You can test out the main features of Digicel FlipBook for free, but there will be a watermark on all your projects. To get rid of it and add more columns and frames, select one of the available subscription packages: Lite for $19.99, Studio for $49.99 or ProHD for $99.99.