Make a Flash Photo Flipbook in Just 15 Minutes!

Back in March, we told you about George Lange’s 2006 photo flipbook. Ever since, you’ve been emailing, calling, and using messenger pigeons with little notes attached to their tiny little ankles to ask us how you can create your own Lange-style flipbook.

Ok, already. We’re gonna show you how.

To keep things simple, we’ll use a free and easy web application called JumpCut that works on any computer. Before you know it, you’ll be stringing together photos and music to make a beautiful photo slideshow of your very own.

Read our tutorial to learn how!

p.s. Today’s the last day to order photo goodies for you mama in time for Mother’s Day. There, we said it.

There’s something about combining visuals with music that really makes your work come alive. Here’s some ideas of what you could do with your own photo flipbook:

  • Create a portfolio reel of your best shots to land a job.
  • Create a digital Thank You note or a party invite.
  • Woo someone special with a soundtrack of a shared favorite song and shots of places you’ve been together.
  • Tell a story about your last road trip, using that song that kept playing on the radio.
  • Compile your photos from the last month or even the last year.

There’s plenty of fancy (and expensive) software editing tools out there that you could build your flipbook in, but we’re in like with this online, browser-based editing tool called Jumpcut. It makes it super simple to put your own flipbook together — plus it’s free!

Before we start, here’s an example of what we’re going to show you how to make.

The Ingredients

  • An account at Jumpcut. (Free)

  • Plenty of photos to string together

  • Some music for your soundtrack (MP3, AIFF, WAV, or OGG)

Step 1: Pick Your Photo

Once you’ve got all the materials together, log into your JumpCut account to add the photos you’ll use.

You can upload files off your computer, or you can import your Flickr or Facebook albums.

From the main Jumpcut page, click “Upload” from the top menu.

If you want to upload photos from your computer, just hit the big green “Upload” button and select the files you want (Shift + Click to select more than one).

To connect to your Flickr or Facebook pics, click the icon on the bottom right corner and choose the albums you want to import.

Step 2: Make your flipbook

With your photos uploaded it’s time to create your movie. This is where you’ll piece everything together to make your story. Unlike a web page, Flickr account or even a photo album, your audience will be experiencing your work linearly, from start to end, so take some time to decide how you want to order your photos.

Will your flipbook progress randomly? Perhaps your photographs should be organized by theme, color or mood? Maybe you’ll start off with subtlety and lead into a big finish.

Now that you’ve got a rough idea of what your flipbook will look like, it’s time to put it together!

From the main page click “Create” from the top menu. On the next screen choose to start a new edit session by clicking “Open the Editor”.

The editor is composed of three main parts: the work area on the top left, the tabs section on the top right to manage settings / content, and the tile pane on the bottom which holds your photos.

To bring in the photos you uploaded, from the tabs panel click “+Add”. Now click the “Your Media” tab and then from the drop down menu choose “All your clips and photos” so that you see something like this. Now you can drag the photos down to the content panel and arrange them in the order you want.

Before you start arranging, though, it’ll help to have a soundtrack, so let’s add one.

Step 3: Add a soundtrack

As we’ve all experienced by watching any music video or a movie montage, your musical selection matters just as much as your photos — so choose something that meshes well with your theme. In Lange’s flipbook, the consistent beat and calm vocals worked well with his portraits and expression-driven shots.

Once you’ve dug through all your playlists and found the perfect jingle, click “+Add” from the tabs panel and hit the green “Choose Files” button to select your audio file.

When your music is done uploading, click on “Audio” in the tabs panel and choose “New Audio”. Select the song you just uploaded and click “Add.” Your music will show up in the timeline and be listed under “Audios in this movie” as seen here.

Step 4: Set the pace of your flipbook

Lange’s flipbook had a really quick pace which fit well with his high-energy music. If your music is also upbeat, you’ll want quick cuts between photos. (We used half a second for ours.) If your music’s slower and maybe a little more dramatic, you’ll want to drag the each photo out a bit longer. Maybe the pace changes throughout, in which case you can individually control the photos so that they hit the right beats at the right time.

To individually control how long a photo is shown, choose a photo, then select “Clip” from the tabs panel and change the duration.

If you want to set the duration of all your clips at once, choose “Actions” from the tabs panel and use the “Set all image durations to ___ sec” option. Click “Apply” on the bottom when you’re done.

Step 5: Publish and Share

When done tweaking your flipbook, click “Publish” from the bottom right corner, and add any relevant details your flipbook such as title and tags.

Ready to present your flipbook to your friends and receive their thunderous praise? Then use the “Post” or “Share” options to add it to your blog, website, or to email it to anyone you like!


Read through Jumpcut’s Quick Guide tutorial to learn how to take advantage of all the editing tools they have to offer.

Consider experimenting with some stop motion within your flipbook. Take photos in rapid fire, and use some tips from our How to Make Stop-Motion Video Shorts with Your Digital Camera tutorial.

Play with some of JumpCut’s transitions (under the “Clip” tab) or image effects (under the “Effects” tab) for added control over flipbook.


CREDITS: Photos by Photojojo subscriber, stpiduko. Music by the ever-excellent Cloud Cult.