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SketchBook Pro FlipBook Animation

In this tutorial, we will learn how to use the animation controls in SketchBook Pro. We will learn how to start a new FlipBook from scratch and learn about the special features of the Timeline and Layers panel.

Let's start a new FlipBook.

  1. Click File - New FlipBook - New Empty FlipBook.

    In the Animation Size window (see screenshot), we could use any of the Presets as a starting point for our project. But let's assume that this animation will be uploaded to Instagram. In order to use Instagrams image dimensions, we need to use a Custom setting.

  2. Set Presets to Custom and set the following values below. Click OK.

    Dimensions: Width and Height 1080 px
    Playback: Frame rate: 30 fps
    Frame Numbers: 20

You will notice two changes to the workspace (see screenshot). The Layers panel has some special layers and the animation Timeline panel has opened. Let's examine the Layers Panel, starting with the bottom layer.

Layers Panel

  • Background Color: The bottom layer is the Background Color layer. As you would expect, we can click the white circle to open the Color Wheel and set a color for the background of our animation.

  • Background: Moving up, we have the Background layer. The content that you add to this layer will be visible throughout all the frames of the animation, unless you change it to something else.

  • Midground: Moving up, we have the Midground layer. This layer, as well as the Foreground layer will contain the content that you wish to animate. As with any layer in the Layers panel, the layer order determines the visibility of the content on the layers. Content on the top layer can obscure the content on a layer below.

    Therefore, the content on the Midground layer will appear behind, and possibly be hidden by, the content on the Foreground layer. Therefore, this layer should contain secondary content to be animated.

  • Foreground: The top layer is the Foreground layer and contains the main animated content.

Now, let's take a look at the Timeline panel.


The Timeline panel contains several controls for creating animation. Keyframes on the Timeline are how we control what content is visible for each frame of the animation.

  1. Click the Add Keyframe icon to attach a new Keyframe to the selected frame on the Timeline.

  2. Click the Add Empty Frame icon to add an empty frame after the selected frame on the Timeline.

  3. Click the Duplicate Frame icon to duplicate the selected frame on the Timeline.

  4. Click the Erase Content icon to remove all content on the selected frame on the Timeline.

  5. Each frame of the Timeline is numbered. To add/edit/delete content to a frame, select that frame on the Timeline.

  6. With the Auto Keyframe feature activated, SketchBook will automatically add a Keyframe to the timeline when you add content to a frame.

  7. Click the Loop icon to set the animation to repeat automatically.

  8. Set the range of ghosted frames and toggle ghosting.

  9. Use the Playback controls to view the animation.

What is Ghosting

We can use the Ghosting feature as a light box. When hand drawing content for animation, you will need to make small incremental changes, subtractions or additions to the content. Adding these changes to several frames in a row is what creates the animation. As each frame starts as an empty frame, we need a way to see what is on the past frames when we drawn the content on a new frame. Ghosting will show a semi-transparent image of the previous frames.


SketchBook Pro Index

Disclosure: Autodesk provided a copy of SketchBook Pro to me for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

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Content copyright © 2015 by Diane Cipollo. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Diane Cipollo. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Diane Cipollo for details.


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