Skip to main content

Scanimation creating software. Impress your friends

The term Scanimation is derived from ‘Scanimate’ - an analog computer animation system developed from the late 1960s to the early 1980s. Scanimation is an animation technique using which one can create the illusion of motion on plain paper!

Scanimation involves two layers – a background image, usually a black and white silhouette, and a transparent sheet having black bars, called scanlines. The image appears to be blurry or jagged at first, but when the transparent sheet with the scanlines is placed on top of the image and the sheet moved horizontally across the background image, something magical happens. The image suddenly begins to animate! Watch the video below.

Impressive, isn’t it? Here is how you can make your own Scanimation at home.

Get hold of this software called Scanimation Creation. [Download links removed as the software violates the registered trademark Scanimation®]. Alternative open source software.

Now find a GIF animation that you want to turn into a Scanimation. One animation of a cat running is already included with the software for practice. You can use any animated GIFs but Scanimation works best with black & white images and particularly silhouettes, although you can use colored images. You can also use a stick figure animation (these are already black & white silhouettes).


So, you have the software and the GIF file. The next is easy. Simply load the GIF file into the software, adjust the speed of animation (it’s best to leave at the default value of 5.5) and hit the Save icon. This will create two images – a background BMP file and the scanlines.

Now all you have to do is print the image on a regular paper and the scanlines on a clear transparent sheet, which can be bought in any stationary store. Your Scanimation is ready for action.

Tips from the creator

Technically, Scanimation Creation will work with any images. However, there are some conditions which will create better Scanimations. They are listed below, in order of most effective to least effective:

  1. Use images with few frames. The less frames, the better the Scanimation will look. I suggest a 4 to 5 frame maximum for best results.
  2. Black and white images also look better, because they don't contrast as much with the black scanlines and white background.
  3. Larger images tend to be a bit easier to see. Of course, if you choose an image larger than the screen, you will not see all of it until you save the images with the ENTER key.


  1. Norton Internet Security reports this file as suspicious.

  2. It's a false warning because I scanned it with VirusTotal, and it didn't kick off any of the 41 Antivirus software, including Norton.

  3. Here is a software I wrote for building this animations.

    complete processing source code is available, and it is released under gpl license

    Marco Guardigli

  4. Hi
    I want to create my scanimation.
    How can I download the software?

    Thanks in advance for a repaly

  5. There is another recent cross-platform open source software for doing this kind of animations:


  6. I want to create my scanimation in a mac computer there is some programe to do it?


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

How to Record CPU and Memory Usage Over Time in Windows?

Whenever the computer is lagging or some application is taking too long to respond, we usually fire up task manager and look under the Performance tab or under Processes to check on processor utilization or the amount of free memory available. The task manager is ideal for real-time analysis of CPU and memory utilization. It even displays a short history of CPU utilization in the form of a graph. You get a small time-window, about 30 seconds or so, depending on how large the viewing area is.

How to Schedule Changes to Your Facebook Page Cover Photo

Facebook’s current layout, the so called Timeline, features a prominent, large cover photo that some people are using in a lot of different creative ways. Timeline is also available for Facebook Pages that people can use to promote their website or business or event. Although you can change the cover photo as often as you like, it’s meant to be static – something which you design and leave it for at least a few weeks or months like a redesigned website. However, there are times when you may want to change the cover photo frequently and periodically to match event dates or some special promotion that you are running or plan to run. So, here is how you can do that.

Diagram 101: Different Types of Diagrams and When To Use Them

Diagrams are a great way to visualize information and convey meaning. The problem is that there’s too many different types of diagrams, so it can be hard to know which ones you should use in any given situation. To help you out, we’ve created this diagram that lays out the 7 most common types of diagrams and when they’re best used: