Sunday, 17 May 2020

Previs & Story MA - September Reading List

Our MA in Previs and Story returns on 30 September 2020, and some students have been asking us what books they should read before class begins.

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

Below are some of the best books we recommend on the subject.

Prepare to Board! by Nancy Beiman
Top of our list is Prepare to Board! by Nancy Beiman, an excellent book from a master animator and board artist who now teaches at Sheridan College in Canada.

Nancy was a supervising animator at Disney (most notably on Hercules) and, like many traditional 2D animators, she is accomplished at storyboards and character design as well as animation. Nancy's book is the best book on storyboarding we have come across.

There is also an excellent free companion guide to the book available for free download here:

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.

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.

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

MA in Previs and Story
Our MA in Story and Previs is a new course, the first of its kind anywhere in the world. It builds on content we developed during our 8 week storyboarding evening class,
which has been running for three years.  Developed in consultation with industry, this degree is a unique opportunity to learn industry-level skills and also earn an internationally recognised academic qualification.

The Escape Studios Animation Blog offers a personal view on the art of animation and visual effects. To apply for our new BA/MArt starting in September 2020, follow this link.

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