Thursday, 7 May 2020

Animation Summer Reading List

What books do we recommend that animators read before starting our BA/MArt in the Art of 3D Animation in September?

A good book is still a great place to start learning and exploring the world of character animation, and there are many excellent resources available.

Below is a brief list of some of the best books that we recommend.

Animator's Survival Kit
The Animator's Survival Kit by Richard Williams
We recommend that any serious student of animation should buy a copy of The Animator's Survival Kit, by Richard Williams.

The ASK is now the standard textbook for animators and easily the most comprehensive book available for learning animation.

You can also buy it as an eBook download, for use on your iPad. It's even better as an eBook since you can watch the videos as well, to illustrate the examples.

Animation Methods by David Rodriguez
Animation Methods is an excellent book on learning animation in Maya. It is a book that focuses primarily on 3D Character Animation, a step-by-step guide for learning Maya, and the Maya animation tools.

It also has useful sections on how to get into the industry, how to make a great demo reel, and how to get a job in animation.  It makes extensive use of QR codes - meaning you can use your phone to scan the codes and then view a 3D animated clip of the lesson.

Illusion of Life by Frank Thomas & Ollie Johnstone
The Illusion of Life by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnstone
The Illusion of Life was written by Disney animation legends Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnstone, and represents the accumulation of knowledge of the first "Golden Age" of Disney animation. It's a great read, though it's easy to get lost in the great stories about the early days of animation. It is still the best account of the secrets that lay behind the early Disney successes.

Cartoon Animation by Preston Blair
Cartoon Animation by Preston Blair was the first available book on animation, and has been in print since the early 1950s, regularly updated since then. Still full of very useful material.

Timing for Animation - by Harold Whittaker and John Halas
by Harold Whittaker and John Halas is another very useful book on animation. It was first written some years ago but was recently updated and edited by former Animation Guild President Tom Sito.

Character Animation Crash Course by Eric Goldberg
The Character Animation Crash Course by Eric Goldberg is an excellent resource by one of the most talented 2D animators in the world - the man behind the genie in Disney's Aladdin.

The Complete Digital Animation Course by Andy Wyatt
The Complete Digital animation Course by Andy Wyatt is a very useful overall guide to all the processes involved in digital animation and film-making. Especially good for the technical bits that the older books don't cover.

Producing Animation by Zahra Dowlatabadi
For anyone interested in understanding the animation pipeline from a producer's point of view, this book is an excellent place to begin.

The Escape Studios Animation Blog offers a personal view on the art of animation and visual effects. To find out more about our new BA/MArt, now recruiting for September 2020, follow this link.   To apply, visit the offical page here.  

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