Flip Boom Cartoon Review – Pros and Cons of This Animation Software

These days animation is one of the biggest and fastest growing creative industries in the world, and with the growth of the Internet and digital media, this pace looks as if it is set to continue.

In this light a young person who is equipped with animation skills is better prepared for the world of work and the new opportunities out there, not to mention the fact that animation is a heck of a lot of fun!

So getting your child started with an animation program can kick start their learning and give them an advantage over their classmates.

Flip Boom Cartoon (formerly called “Flip Boom Classic”) from Toon Boom Inc. is a great little program designed to be your child’s first foray into animation and making their own cartoons. Here we’ll take a quick look at the pros and cons of the software and whether it’s worth your investment.

Pros

The software itself is very easy to use and get started with, which is no mean feat, since most animation software can be frightfully complicated.

The interface is clean and simple to figure out, but still a good base for learning more complicated software later on since it uses the same underlying structures and fundamental principles that you find in the professional software (effectively introducing your child to a real world skill that could pay dividends in the future).

At its core, Flip Boom Cartoon is designed as a 2D animation package perfect for doing traditional drawn animation, so if you’re looking for a Flash style program in the vein of a South Park then this is not the right package for you.

Personally, I think traditional animation is one of the best ways to introduce children to animation since it develops their drawing skills and hand eye co-ordination as well as letting them explore timing and spacing in a very direct and intuitive way… since if they want something to move, they have to move it… the computer won’t do it for them. In this respect, Flip Boom Cartoon scores highly.

Cons

For me the biggest drawbacks in the software are that there are no real layers. There is a single foreground layer and a single background layer, but no more. Therefore it can become confusing to draw in the foreground when you have a background image loaded.

Another big drawback for me is that you can’t import sounds or mp3 files. Although it does support the addition of sound to your cartoons, you have to record it directly into the program, which can be a bit limiting.

Finally, there are no keyframe or tweening tools which means that the only way to animate is frame-by-frame (as mentioned above… this could be a pro or a con depending on your view point). Obviously this is harder work but then some folk would argue that that’s what animation is all about and ultimately where the fun is. Plus, as I mentioned above, it is a more robust way for kids to learn the basics of timing and spacing which are critical in animation.

Conclusion

Overall, the Flip Boom Cartoon program is a fun piece of software that is a great way for your child to begin their journey in animation.

The simple interface enables them to get started right way and they can gain a real understanding of the animation process through the traditional frame by frame approach.

However, it is limited in the sense that you can’t import any sound into the program (you have to record it directly) and there is only one foreground and one background layer, which can make it a bit tricky to do anything more elaborate.