Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Must Have Guidebooks

In case your wallets aren't crying from buying all your textbooks this semester, there are a couple of not-quite-textbooks that I definitely recommend checking out if you can get your hands on them.  If you're at all interested in the work and techniques of hand-drawn animation, these are must-haves.  The first one in question is The Nine Old Men by Andreas Deja - an animator who has contributed work to a wide variety of the Disney films' villains - which chronicles the stories of the nine biggest Disney animators and what work they contributed to what films.  Don't worry, there are plenty of pictures; this book features loads of storyboard artwork and sketches of keyframes from some of their iconic animation sequences.   Quite an interesting read for people looking for inspiration of what to draw and how to make their drawings come to life.

The second book to add to your shopping list is The Animator's Survival Kit, written by Richard Williams, the director of animation for the film Who Framed Roger Rabbit.  This entry goes more in depth on the tutorials for the fundamentals of hand-drawn animation; it includes the essential stuff like bouncing balls, walk cycles and body physics, but it also includes do's and don'ts of how to animate dialogue, the methods of visualizing the the sequence of anticipation-action-reaction, and a general workflow of this style of animation.  There's also some great examples of how to animate four-legged animals realistically, tips on directing a project, and other cool sequences that can make for some fun drawing exercises.  Not to mention all the text looks like it was hand-written (it probably was, it's the source of this book's charm).
So if you're ever looking to make the next Disney or Warner Bros. animation film, grab a lot of paper and pencils, an animation lightbox from PPECS, and these two books and you'll be well on your way.

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