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FlipaClip - Cartoon Animation

Price: Android - Free iPhone/iPad - Free

Teacher Overview

FlipaClip is an app that replicates and improves upon traditional flipbook-style animation. Combining simple yet interesting drawing tools with frame control, it enables the production of impressive animations.

Teacher Review

Animation as an end product is something that all children recognise but don't necessarily understand the artistry behind it.  It is difficult and time-consuming to produce with non-digital resources.  With the power of your tablet and this app, it becomes a whole lot easier.

With a creative tool such as FlipaClip, there are two broad areas where it may be useful in the classroom: art lessons covering animation and other subject lessons using a creative means by which to show and record knowledge. 

Taking the art lessons first, this is a useful tool for studying more traditional forms of animation.  It is more forgiving of errors than a tradition ink and paper flip book and provides the same historical perspective of the earliest animation.  

Flipaclip is not quite a pick-up-and-create app.  It covers an area where children are not likely to have many transferable skills.  Understanding how to use the onion skinning tools, layers, and so on will need a bit of support and explanation.  Nevertheless, the app is laid out logically and its features easy to access.  Its drawing and painting tools are especially nice and make it easy to create images that resemble those made using traditional pencils and brushes.  Straight line, square and circle tools are welcome for providing extra precision.

The app is at its best if a stylus can be used with it. Testing with the Apple Pencil enabled a pleasant workflow.  Drawing was smooth and easy.  Without the stylus, the app is as good as can be expected with the imprecise and unnatural drawing tool of a fingertip.  Animations can be saved and tweaked over subsequent lessons and exported into different formats.  Its main limitation from a classroom point of view is that it does not support multiple user accounts.  Each child's work is at risk from subsequent users of the app.  Teachers will have to find a way to work around or mitigate this problem.

Even with this limitation, in a series of art lessons, this would be a great tool to use.

So, how about creative teachers in other areas that might want to use animation to provide extra interest to their lessons?  Animations of the movement of people in geography, key events in history, reactions in science: are these a possible use?

Yes, they are but with some careful consideration first.  FlipaClip is designed to be an app for creating animations and it shouldn't be criticised for not easily meeting the needs of non-art based lessons.  

As mentioned earlier, the app isn't one where you can expect a child to learn and use it in just a few minutes.  It also depends entirely on the artistic ability of the user.  The first problem can be overcome if a teacher wishes to make the app into a frequently used tool or if the school covers its use in art lessons. The second is more difficult.  

Children not so artistically able may struggle.  A blank sheet of (virtual) paper is inspiring for some people but intimidating for others. Perhaps if the app had a few more predefined shapes and figures that the user could build on, it could be more useful in these lessons and, indeed, help beginners in general.

The second part of this review has taken FlipaClip somewhat out of context as it was not designed for such a use and therefore not being completely suitable should not be seen as a criticism.  Of the broad variety of teachers who might be looking to cover animation in their lessons, art teachers and those who can dedicate significant time to it,  should certainly consider FlipaClip.  Others might want to think about simpler apps.  

Fortunately, you can easily decide as the app is available as a free version with a few features disabled and advertisements showing.  In-app purchases enable the features individually or as a whole depending on your choice and what you pay.  The app is also supported by a comprehensive website and social media presence where you can learn more about the app, how to use it, gain inspiration and make feature requests. FlipaClip might be the artistic spark that ignites your students' interest in animation.

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Developer Description

FlipaClip makes you relive your childhood and express your creativeness or professional skills in a much cooler way!

Draw your cartoon using frame-by-frame animation. It works just like the old school flipbook but with a modern twist!

Whether you are sketching, storyboarding, animating, or simply playing around FlipaClip offers intuitive tools and is the perfect platform for your creative ideas.

• Build animation in popular formats (MP4, GIF, IMAGE SEQ)
• Share animation videos via (YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr)
• [NEW!] Add and draw over videos!
• Apple Pencil supported!
• Brushes (Pencil, Pen, Marker, Highlighter, Eraser)
• Insert Text with multiple FREE font options
• Drawing Grid overlay
• Multiple drawing layers
• Animation timeline
• Onion skin
• Frames viewer

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