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flip book resources

What is a flip book?

A flip book is a simple form of animation consisting of a sequence of drawings, or photographs, that when 'flipped' through by the viewer, appear to create the illusion of motion.

This illusion is an optical phenomenon known as the persistence of vision. It is the result of the eye's retina retaining an image for about 1/12 of a second. When successive images are shown at a faster rate, the eye will blend them together, with the retina retaining one image as the second is superimposed over it.

This creates the illusion of movement and is the fundamental principle involved in film and television recording and reproduction. Sound movies have been traditionally projected at 24 frames per second or faster making the illusion of movement very smooth.

Early photographic pioneers such as Edward Muybridge and Thomas Edison explored moving images using the flip book concept. Still photographic images were mounted on stiff paper and either flipped through by hand or later using a hand cranked arcade machine. The Kinetoscope and Mutoscope used the flip book concept and was a popular pre-movie entertainment media for many.

History of the flip book > online exhibitions > shutters, sprockets and tubes

Teaching resources  


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