Jump to content

Converting super 8 into a flip book


Patrick Cooper

Recommended Posts

I'm sure that many people here are familiar with flip books. I'm referring to those little pocket sized books which feature a sequence of images and you flip through the pages quickly to recreate the appearance of motion. Quite often, they feature animation but can also display frames from regular camera footage as well.

A number of years ago, I shot some 54fps footage of kangaroos in motion on Ektachrome 64T with my Canon 1014E. One particular panning shot turned out really nice and I'm considering converting that sequence of frames into a flip book. I do regret only getting an SD transfer of this footage at the time (it was a cheaper option compared to a HD transfer.) However, I think standard definition resolution is likely adequate for the printing of the small sized pictures. And flip books are indeed very small. They're tiny. There is a local printing company in my city that do posters, books etc and I'm considering using their services to print the flip book.

I'm going to try and sell copies of the book through different avenues - souvenir shops, post offices, markets and possibly online too. After doing some research, it's become pretty clear that I need to acquire an ISBN if I'm going to sell the book through retailers. 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fortunately, the transfer was PAL SD so the resolution is quite decent at 720 x 576. The printing company says that the smallest size they can cut is 3.5cm so the height of the book will be close to that measurement and the width will be considerably longer. The pages of a flip book do have to be fairly wide to compensate for the binding (which actually hides quite a bit of the page.) So there will be a long section of white to the left of each super 8 frame. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is a very doable project.  I've done this many years ago, but without digital assistance.  We just used various devices to photograph the Super 8mm frames onto still camera film, either 120/620 [using the Testrite Instrument Co. CineLarger device which were made for 8mm, 16mm and 35mm....older ones used 620 film and the later models used 120 film] or 35mm [using special slide copying devices also made for movie film frames].  In the 1930 the MOVIEMATIC 16mm movie camera also shot still frames and was advertised as the 3-in-1 camera:  shooting home movies, still photos, or Flip Books.  The magazines are a simple design as is the camera, with short lengths of 16mm double perf film.  You sent the film back in for processing, and depending on which film length [40 frame, 60 frame, or 80 frame length mag] determined which service you received. They would process and put together a small flip book which was actually small printed photos of the movie frames and bound together. This can still be done photographically or via digital and an inkjet printer to make your own.  The copy devices will fit various DSLRs to render the still images needed for printing.  Flip books from personal home movies were popular decades ago.  I often thought of using a motorized 35mm camera to make some as well, but now with digital it's a lot cheaper using "burst mode" on the cameras which even tiny pocket digital and cellphone cameras have.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That sounds like a great service back in the day - the processing and then binding of the flip book as a complete package. Flip books must have been quite popular back then with sufficient demand for such a service. 

Although my eventual plan is to use a printing company to produce a flip book with the super 8 kangaroo footage, I am considering making a home made version before that and maybe try selling it at markets (to test the waters.) Just to see if this kind of thing sells at all. I would prefer to make one with digital files extracted from the transferred footage (for convenience.) I could get a photographic lab to print out some 8 x 12 inch prints on lustre paper with each print containing a whole bunch of frames. Though the gluing on to card and the cutting of the individual frames would be a huge amount of work - just for one copy of a flip book. I am considering using around 80 frames for mine. And I don't even know at this point how well the pages would flip (with lustre photographic paper glued to card.) Lustre paper is very thin and so is the card material that I usually use to make greeting cards with. When sandwiched together, they might possibly have the right kind of thickness for good flipping (hopefully.)

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Premium Member
Posted (edited)

A brilliant project!

 

For research purposes, please evaluate :

 

Powers of Ten : A Flipbook based on the film by Charles and Ray Eames (Putney, VT : Optical Toys, 1998).

 

The paper is glossy, thick and heavy; and it looks as if something like double the amount of glue has been used to bind the pages.

 

& please see and read the following, which may be instructive regarding your project :

 

https://shop.kemperart.org/products/powers-of-ten-eames-flip-book

 

& then there is the extremely rare

 

Tom Rayworth, Folger’s (San Francisco : Zephyrus Image, 1976)

 

which the following calls a “truly silly work” :

 

Johnson, Alastair, Zephyrus Image : A Bibliography (Berkeley : Poltroon Press, 2003), 119–20.

 

A copy is available here :

 

https://archives.shef.ac.uk/agents/corporate_entities/147

 

Best of luck!

 

 

 

 


 

Edited by Jeff Bernstein
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Jeff Bernstein said:

A brilliant project!

 

For research purposes, please evaluate :

 

Powers of Ten : A Flipbook based on the film by Charles and Ray Eames (Putney, VT : Optical Toys, 1998).

 

The paper is glossy, thick and heavy; and it looks as if something like double the amount of glue has been used to bind the pages.

 

& please see and read the following, which may be instructive regarding your project :

 

https://shop.kemperart.org/products/powers-of-ten-eames-flip-book

 

& then there is the extremely rare

 

Tom Rayworth, Folger’s (San Francisco : Zephyrus Image, 1976)

 

which the following calls a “truly silly work” :

 

Johnson, Alastair, Zephyrus Image : A Bibliography (Berkeley : Poltroon Press, 2003), 119–20.

 

A copy is available here :

 

https://archives.shef.ac.uk/agents/corporate_entities/147

 

Best of luck!

 

 

 

 


 

 

Ah The Powers Of Ten! A really nice little documentary there. Great visuals which really illustrate the main concept really well.

I admit that I am not familiar with the other ones. There doesn't seem to be a lot of visual examples of their work online (that I can see.)

For the hand made version, I was thinking of gluing inkjet printer paper on to some white card of mine. Although this card is a little on the thin side, I'm kind of getting the impression now that it might actually be too thick for good flipping. I wonder if two sheets of printer paper glued together would give me the right kind of thickness that I need. I will definitely test that first (with cut out sections that will be the same size as my planned flip book.) I'm now considering approximately 4.5cm x 7cm. 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Patrick Cooper said:

For the hand made version, I was thinking of gluing inkjet printer paper on to some white card of mine.

What about directly printing onto „photo paper“?! It’s much stiffer and thicker than ordinary „printer paper“.

There are also „printer cardboard sheets“ with 300 g/m² (while the ordinary „printer paper“ usually is 80-120 g/m²). But they don’t work in all printers.

Hint: Don’t forget to protect the final print with some spray like „Inkjet Fix“ (made by Ghiant). Otherwise the thumbs will ruin the print too soon.

Edited by Joerg Polzfusz
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Joerg Polzfusz said:

What about directly printing onto „photo paper“?! It’s much stiffer and thicker than ordinary „printer paper“.

There are also „printer cardboard sheets“ with 300 g/m² (while the ordinary „printer paper“ usually is 80-120 g/m²). But they don’t work in all printers.

Hint: Don’t forget to protect the final print with some spray like „Inkjet Fix“ (made by Ghiant). Otherwise the thumbs will ruin the print too soon.

I confess that my own printer outputs very average picture quality. The images tend to very flat with subdued colours. The printer at the local post office produces much better quality pictures (especially with regards to colour and contrast.) I would definitely be making use of their printer and so would be forced to use their (regular) paper. Though as I mentioned, I will experiment with gluing two sheets of printer paper together and see if that will give me decent thickness for good flipping. 

Oh gosh, that's good advice about the spray. I could certainly visualise the right hand edge of each picture wearing away fast. 

 

Edited by Patrick Cooper
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Jeff Bernstein said:

Speak, memory : another film-oriented flipbook on the bookshelf :

 

https://www.amazon.com/Petit-Cinema-Dogs-Gaumont-Cinémathèque/dp/0811844269

 

 

Very nice. Another little gem of French cinema. I bet those dogs get up to some amusing antics.

Looking at my super 8 kangaroo footage again, I'm reminded a bit of Eadweard Muybridge's work on animals. It's amazing what he could achieve in the 1800s. And I assume he was photographing on glass plates at the time. It's great that many of his animal studies are available as flip books. The running cat is one of my favourites (as well as the classic galloping horse.)

I think I'll likely call my flip book "Kangaroos In Motion."

With regards to my hand made version, Ive just thought of an alternative to the local post office for printing options. There is an Australian franchise called Officeworks and they offer a variety of paper types for printing ranging from 80 - 300 GSM. This would certainly be a nice alternative to gluing together sheets of paper for added thickness. I'm not sure if Officeworks use inkjet printers so I'm uncertain whether if a spray would be necessary to protect the paper. I'll have to find out.

 

Edited by Patrick Cooper
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...