The main entrance to the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center is now open. Van Pelt Library and the Fisher Fine Arts Library are currently open to Penn Card holders, Penn affiliates, and certain visitors. See our Service Alerts for details.

Beyond Books and Screens

My Journey with Mechanical Flipbooks Workshop

As a participant in the Mechanical Flipbooks workshop hosted by Vitale Digital Media Lab, I embarked on an expedition of creativity and discovery.


With no prior experience in creating Flipbooks, Christine—the workshop instructor—provided me with meticulous guidance throughout the entire process. Prior to the workshop, I received an email containing clear instructions and a link to upload a 2-second video to the website. Inspired by the playful antics of my furry friend, I selected my playful puppy, Taro, running towards me as the subject for my flip paper animation capturing the essence of her boundless energy and joy.   


running taro


Constructing the cardboard and ensuring its structural integrity was challenging, despite the guidance documentation provided in the kit. I encountered unexpected obstacles and found myself struggling in handcrafting things. Just as I felt all hope slipping away, Christine helped me out. Armed with her extensive knowledge and unwavering support, she patiently navigated me through each step. From choosing the appropriate paper for flipping to adjusting the each all movie machine parts angles, Christine was by my side every step of the way, leveraging her expertise to aid me. Furthermore, I was greatly impressed by Christine's sincere passion for the animation arts. With her guidance, I discovered the courage to explore new creative horizons and unlock the full potential of my imagination. 

process of flip paper


I carefully crafted each frame and made 24 blank DIY cards with stickers (see the picture above of The Procedure of Making a FlipBooKit), pouring my heart and soul into the project. Surprisingly, the final result arrived sooner than expected; as I turned the wheel on the box, the hand-cranked movie machine sprang to life. There was a magical moment when I witnessed my puppy's action unfold through the captivating medium of flip paper animation. With each flick of the pages, I could sense my beloved Taro running towards to me, closer and closer. In that moment, I came to appreciate the profound beauty of storytelling—the capacity to forge connections and ignite imaginations through the transformative power of art. 


leqi final work of flip paper
The Final Product -- Running Taro


Beyond the technical intricacies, the process of creating the stop-motion animation was a journey of profound connection—a means for me to immortalize the unique bond shared between myself and my Taro. I eagerly anticipate participating in future workshops with Vitale Digital Media Lab to continue crafting more memory sets of my little Taro. 



March 29, 2024