(Business Card) Flipbooks

Business Card Composer

While putting together a workshop for the World Children’s Festival we were looking for a good way to print out animated flipbooks. Must to our dismay we could only find a few solutions that would fit our needs.

There are a couple that work on the PC side, taking in bmps/jpgs or turning .avi files into flipbooks. Check out Flipbook Printer (via LifeHacker) for a good example.However we were looking for one that would work on the Mac platform… Moxie puts out a bit of software called FlipBook for Macintosh that could have fit however we didn’t want to work with a classic install of Mac OS 9.

We found a great solution in Business Card Composer… BusinessCard Composer allows any designer to create their own business cards. It taps into a folder of images, offers users a trial run (we wanted guests at the Festival to be able to easily replicate this at home) and prints to a variety of formats.iPhoto

Business Card Composer has a great feature that allows you to sync with an album in iPhoto and it will bring in all the photos in alphabetical/numerical order onto your printed sheet.

Just drag any image onto the business card stage and size it to the area you want. Make sure you have selected the image and choose the Image tab in the Inspector Palette (Under the Window dropdown, command+shift+i). At the very bottom of the Image Pallete is a checkbox “Merge Image”. Select this option and then select iPhoto… this should bring up iPhoto and allow you to choose which album you want to use. Just make sure you have a bunch of your images in that album. For our flipbooks we had our snapshot images from our animations numbered in sequential order and imported into the album in iPhoto. In Business Card Composer we put in a text field in the lower right that did an automatic count so if we were to mix up our Flipbook while printing and cutting it would be easy to put them back in order again.

iPhoto Merge

Check out our Flipbook example we printed up for people to look at the Festival – Sheep Flipbook, Flying Pigs Flipbook.

In short time, this software can do double duty for any freelance designer – business cards and Flipbooks. It shouldn’t be too difficult to queue up your favorite photos, output a stream of JPGs from a Quicktime animated short and create your own limited edition run of Flipbooks. If you want, you can even make your own set of Flickr MOO cards at home for your friends and family.

Other resources for Flipbooks:

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