Previewing Animation in a Flipbook


After you have captured animation, you can view it as a flipbook. Unlike animation played back using the Playback panel, a flipbook always plays back at the defined frame rate, provided you have enough memory for the cached images.

There are three ways to view a flipbook:

You can export flipbooks in a variety of standard formats, such as AVI and QuickTime (see Exporting a Flipbook).

Loading Animation in the Flipbook

You can use the standalone flipbook to view cached images as a flipbook. The standalone flipbook is useful for viewing high-resolution images that use a lot of RAM. You can launch the standalone (flip.exe) from the Start menu, a command prompt window or Linux shell, or from within the Softimage interface.

Launching the standalone flipbook from outside Softimage

Do either of the following:

  • On Windows, choose Flipbook from the Start Programs Autodesk Softimage program menu.


  1. In a command prompt window or Linux shell, go to the Softimage program's bin directory.

  2. Type flip at the command prompt to open the flipbook window.

  3. Choose Help Command Line Options to see the syntax and options available.

    You can also type flip -h at the command prompt to display the list of the options available to run the flipbook from the command line.

Launching the standalone flipbook from within Softimage

  1. Choose Flipbook from the Playback menu at the bottom of the Softimage window.

  2. In the Open Images dialog box that appears, set the options as you like.

    For a description of each option, see the Open Images Dialog Box (Flipbook).

  3. Click OK to load the image sequence and open the flipbook window.

    The flipbook window is resized if the loaded image is larger than the current size.

    • If you're rendering a sequence, you can quickly check it in the flipbook by right-clicking on the name of a render channel on the Output page of the pass render options property editor and choosing Run Flipbook.

    • You can open the Open Images dialog box later by choosing File Open Images or pressing Ctrl+O in the flipbook.

      If you're constantly making changes and testing the same image sequence, leave the flipbook open and press Ctrl+O and then Enter to reload the sequence. This way, all the settings in the dialog box stay the same.

Creating a Shortcut for the Flipbook

  1. Copy the file xsi.bat in the Softimage\Application\bin folder (or create a new batch file) and call it flip.bat.

  2. Edit the flip.bat file and replace xsi.exe in the second line to flip.exe so that the file looks something like this:

    @echo off
    call "C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Softimage 2014\Application\bin\setenv.bat"
    start "" "C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Softimage 2014\Application\bin\flip.exe" "%1" "%2" "%3" "%4" "%5" "%6" "%7" "%8" "%9"
  3. Drag the flip.bat file onto your desktop as a shortcut.

Setting Up the Flipbook View

In the flipbook window, you can set up how you want the images to appear using commands from its View menu:

  • Display different RGB or alpha channels using the commands in the View Channel menu. Press the R, G, B, A, and C (all channels) keys to display the respective channels.

  • Set the zoom factors using the options in the View Zoom menu.

  • You can have non-square pixels appear correctly on the computer monitor, which has square pixels by choosing View Correct Aspect Ratio. For example, NTSC images have a pixel ratio of 0.9, meaning the pixels are not square.

To set the flipbook's background color

  • Choose View Background Color to open the color property editor in which you can set the color.

To set the flipbook's display options

Playing the Flipbook

After you've loaded the images and set up the flipbook, you can play back the images using the playback controls, as well as set up and adjust the playback rate using the flipbook window's menu commands.


Range control changes the range of frames that you can play back:

  • Click+drag either of the end bars to change the start/end frames.

  • Click+drag in its middle to slide the time range.

  • Double-click in it to reset it back to the entire range.


Playback controls let you play the flipbook like a typical animation. These controls and their keyboard shortcuts are similar to the ones in the Softimage interface — see Using the Playback Controls for information.


Current frame number is displayed when you play back the flipbook.

To set the playback rate

  • Choose Tools Rate or press Ctrl+R.

  • You can also choose View Play Real-time or press T to display the images in realtime.

To adjust the playback rate

You can adjust the playback rate by 1 fps (frame per second) increments within the range of 24 and 30 fps.

  • Choose Tools Increase Rate or press + (plus) on the number pad to increase one frame per second.

  • Choose Tools Decrease Rate or press - (minus) on the number pad to decrease one frame per second.

To play the animation in ping-pong style

  1. Choose View Ping Pong or press P. This changes the directions of playback at the ends of a looped sequence.

  2. Click the loop icon in the flipbook's playback controls.

  3. Play the sequence: at the first and last frame, the sequence changes directions.

  4. To stop the playback, press the space bar.

To pan in the flipbook

  • Click+drag across the view area. This pans the image when it is bigger than the display area.

To go to a particular frame

  • Choose Tools Go to Frame or press Ctrl+G in the flipbook window.

To clear the flipbook window of the current cached images

  • Choose File Clear Flipbook.

To close the flipbook window

  • Choose File Exit or press Alt+F4.

Exporting a Flipbook

You can export a flipbook using a number of file formats.

NoteBefore you export a flipbook, make sure that you have enough room on the disk to where you're exporting. A warning message will not be displayed if you run out of space.
  1. In the flipbook window, load the sequence you want to export.

  2. Choose File Export in the flipbook's command bar or press Ctrl+E.

  3. In the Export Dialog Box (Flipbook), specify the File name you want to export and also the Source Range of frames to export.

  4. Select the File Type in which you want to export the file.

    You can also set other options, such as including an audio file - see Export Dialog Box (Flipbook).

    • QuickTime support on Windows requires that QuickTime is installed.

    • QuickTime support on Linux requires OpenQuicktime.

  5. Click OK to export the flipbook.

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