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Character Animation in 3D: Use traditional drawing techniques to produce stunning CGI animation (Focal Press Visual Effects and Animation) [Paperback]

Steve Roberts
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Character Animation: 2D Skills for Better 3D (Focal Press Visual Effects and Animation) Character Animation: 2D Skills for Better 3D (Focal Press Visual Effects and Animation)
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Book Description

6 April 2005 Focal Press Visual Effects and Animation
Based on 10 years of animation teaching experience, this comprehensive guide to key techniques will ensure your skills best fit the computer animation workplace. A complete understanding of the vital animation drawing skills will be achieved by learning the pitfalls in a 2D exercise then applying these skills when using 3D animation packages.

Providing a broad coverage this book will be relevant whatever 3D package you use, Softimage XSI, Maya, 3ds max or LightWave. Just knowing and being able to use a specific 3D software package does not make you an animator, but reading this book will!

The Free CD-ROM includes; how to animate exercises in each specific 3d animation program; short movies showing best practice; computer models so you can experiment and learn; a free demo copy and discount code for the best 2D animation software you can buy, DigiCel FlipBook., provides further resources about the world of animation, extensive list of links, how to get a job, build a lightbox, make an animated movie and much more!

Product details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Focal Press; Pap/Cdr edition (6 April 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0240516656
  • ISBN-13: 978-0240516653
  • Product Dimensions: 24.6 x 19.1 x 1.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 996,024 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


Finally! A forthright approach to a complex art form. An inspired text that fuses an essential understanding of fundamental traditional methods and technology.
Rita Osei, Animation & Graphics Producer, Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Toonami

It was surely a matter of time before a publication like this emerged. An understanding of basic animation principles is often overlooked in 3D computer animation. This book will do much to put that right; an essential source of knowledge will enable 2D and 3D animators to understand each other's purpose.
Oscar winning animator, Daniel Greaves Director of Tandem Films

A fantastic, comprehensive, but above all practical guide to character animation. The well-pitched progressive exercises at the core make it a must have for all serious animation wannabes.
Andrew Lindsay, Senior Animator, Lionhead Studios

"The comments on the back of Character Animation in 3D by Steve Roberts...are both positive and enthusiastic. They should be and I add my voice to the others...The examples, which are also effectively presented on the accompanying CD, are familiar enough to graphic animators and encourage the CGI animator to think about the stages of the movment as it unfolds." - Imagine magazine

From the Back Cover

Improve your 3D animation by understanding the key 2D skills.
Inspiring coverage for all that is needed to produce original, humorous and exciting animation.
Free CD-ROM includes detailed notes on how to animate the exercises in each specific 3d animation program, short movies relating to each chapter plus the computer models so you can experiment and learn.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
During this chapter I will take you through two things - the equipment needed to make a basic animation studio and some simple animation. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 3D animation made easy! 5 Oct 2005
This is the best book about 3D animation I've seen, and a real breath of fresh air. While lots of 3D books try to blind you with science, with page after page on advanced texturing or greek temple modelling, this goes back to the fundamentals of drawn animation and then shows you how to apply these principles in the 3D environment. This makes it ideal for the beginner as well as for experienced 2D animators looking to learn more about 3D. As part of the latter group, a traditionally trained animator interested in 3D techniques, this book's been invaluable, not to say very refreshing. Having got used to hearing people talk about the wonders of 3D animation as if the ability to make great animated films can be purchased as a plug-in with the latest copy of Maya, it's great to see someone making clear what all animators know - people make animation, not computers.
The book is very clearly laid out, and covers all the bases of animation, from the basics of bouncing balls to full human and animal animation. There are clear and detailed instructions on how to achieve these results with the full range of 3D animation packages, and the good natured, conversational tone of the book makes it a pleasure to read. The principles taught in the book are as useful to 2D or stop motion animators as they are to 3D types, and the book could stand alone as a perfectly good introduction to the art of animation itself.
In addition to it's clarity and good sense, the accompanying CD is a great idea. When getting started in animation it can be very hard to figure out how drawings in a book would look when animated - with this CD you don't have to, as it contains fully animated examples of every excercise.
To sum up, this is a real corker of a book - buy it, read it, then put it on the shelf next to your Richard Williams and Preston Blairs.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended 16 Sep 2005
I really can't recommend this book enough - it's an excellent resource, which you'll keep referring back to again and again. All the things you're ever likely to encounter as a professional animator such as walk cycles, lip synching, pushing, pulling, bouncing balls, sinusoidal waves, emotion, feeling, life, etc, etc, are all in this book.
There's a wealth of good stuff on the CD, and everything seems to be aimed at being as easy to use as possible, with all the main 3d programs (Max, Maya, Xsi and Lightwave) and the 2D techniques being supported totally with full instructions in PDF format and prebuilt and rigged models and scenes complete with help files in case you have problems. You even get useful stuff like diagrams and X-sheets that you can print out, and movies of the finished exercises, useable models, and sound files that you can lip-synch to.
The models and rigs, while basic, are well set up and complement the aim of the book - that is not to produce amazingly rendered beautifully modelled but mediocre animations, but really well timed and weighted animations that will give you a more complete understanding of animation, and more importantly show others that you understand animation.
The book encourages you to really get to grips with 2D before attempting the tasks in 3D - this approach works well - if you think you know 3D animation, but you've never attempted "traditional" 2D animation, this book will have you sharpening your pencils and filling in your x-sheets, and you'll begin to realise how much better an animator it's making you.
And the best bit is its' price. I've read books with a lot less than half the information crammed into this for more than twice the price. Lots of books claim to teach you animation but really just show you how to use a package. This book shows you how to animate well whatever package you use. As a professional animator I know this is an essential skill for any animator or person wishing to become one. Buy it now!
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Character Animation in 3D 9 July 2004
I wish this book had come out earlier, as it would have saved me from buying a load of dud books that only have one or 2 good things in them, where as this book is full of everything I needed to know.
Showing you and telling you, in plain English how to do animation in 2D and then relaying these skills into a 3D package.
Now the great thing is , Steve Roberts has go into real great detail for every exercise in the book, and has done a PDF format of each exercise which is software specific, he uses Lightwave, Maya, Softimage and 3D Studio max these are the main industry packages.
He talks about walk cycles (many different ones), running, lifting objects every fundamental animation that you need to know to get a job.
Anyone wanting a book on animation should buy this as there is nothing that can top this book and believe me I have read enough of them.
This book tells you what you want to know and if you have never animated in Lightwave or Softimage for example he shows you how.
JUST BUY IT..........
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth every penny! 7 Feb 2005
This book is an excellent resource for all animators.
The descriptions in the book are highly comprehensive, and include step-by-step guides through the full processes that are used in creating character animations. Although it's title states '3D', roberts also includes all of the information needed for 2D animation, and I must stress that you should go through these first, as it helps when animating in 3D!
Also included is a CD-ROM with all of the relevant files. The CD shows you Steve Robert's final animations for each sections, and it also includes the characters that are used throughout the tutorials. Each of the characters are in various formats too (Maya, Max, XSI, and Lightwave). This, as you can tell is awesome, as it doesn't matter which program you use!
If you want to create your own models there are PDF files included, with step-by-step information. I have never been interested in character rigging until now, it's that damn good!
Honestly, the CD-ROM alone is worth the price that you pay for both the CD, and the book. If you're seriously interested in animation, purachase this now!
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