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Facial Expressions: A Visual Reference for Artists [Paperback]

Mark Simon
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
RRP: 14.99
Price: 11.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

28 May 2003
All artists are tired of persuading their nearest and dearest to look sad...look glad...look mad...madder...no, even madder...okay, hold it. For those artists (and their long-suffering friends), here is the best book ever. FACIAL EXPRESSIONS includes more than 3,500 photographs of fifty faces, men and women of a variety of ages, shapes, sizes, and ethnicities, each demonstrating a wide range of emotions and shown from multiple angles. Who can use this book? Oh, only every artist on the planet, including art students, illustrators, fine artists, animators, story boarders, and comic-book artists. But wait, there's more! Additional photos focus on people wearing hats and couples kissing. while illustrations show skull anatomy and facial musculature. Still not enough? How about a one-of-a-kind series of photos of lips pronouncing the phonemes used in human speech? Animators will swoon--and artists will show a range of facial expressions from happy to happiest to ecstatic.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Watson-Guptill Publications Inc.,U.S.; First Printing edition (28 May 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0823016714
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823016716
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 10.7 x 0.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 102,721 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

About the Author

Mark Simon founded and owns Orlando, Florida-based A&S Animation, Inc., a cel-animation house, and Animatics & Storyboards, Inc., one of the largest storyboard houses in the United States. He has designed sets and special effects on live-action feature films as well as produced award-winning shorts, commercials, and shows for Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network. The author of two previous books on animation.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
THE FOLLOWING LIST of emotions and ideas was used to inspire the models to exhibit a variety of facial expressions. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fun and useful tool 15 July 2007
By Angela
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As a budding comic book artist, I found this book very useful. The facial expressions are well photographed and the models (both attractive and not so much) have some great and unusual expressions which are definately useful. Also though, the hairstyles, weight and age of the models is agreat help. Most reference books use people ages only 20-30, but this book covers ages 20 to 83.

Also at the end of the book, there is a gallery of sequential expressions, kissing, hats & headgear and phonemes (for those not in the know, these are the shape your mouth makes when you say certain letters. Dead useful for animation).

Definately great reference for any artist, but it would have been better in colour, hence the 4 star rating.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Useful rather than essential 7 Mar 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a useful but not essential reference book for the artist. There is a comprehensive range of models of various ages depicting an array of expressions though it is at times difficult to know which ones they're supposed to be! It would have been helpful if the author had listed the expression under each photo instead of having to cross reference a list at the front of the book. I think it's unfair, as a previous reviewer wrote, to label all the people as 'ugly'. They are, by and large, ordinary looking people you'd probably see in the street and many have faces full of character. Who would want to buy a book full of unnaturally beautiful or bland faces to work from? I checked out the Fairburn system too; it's out of print and if you do find a set of books it's very expensive (over 100). This is an inexpensive alternative - cheap and cheerful - but I can't help think that you'd be better of with a handily placed mirror to work from or, better still, a digital camera to take pictures of yourself for reference.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars so so 2 April 2007
By dredd
This book is certainly useful, however I imagine there to be several better books available. The trouble I found with this was, although there are several differing shots for emotions etc, the actual photography can be pretty bad. For example, the shots are sometimes out of focus, too small and the contrast on the images is not high enough to enable you to see clearly the detail. It would have worked better using less images and making them larger. Not that it matters too much but the illustrations are hideous! Used for general face shape in many positions/emotions, this is a half decent book and the phonemes at the back are very useful.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unconvincing facial expressions 22 Sep 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book a long time ago and got rid of it soon after so this short review is only from memory. Since I'm now looking again for a similar type of book and this came up in the list, I thought I may as well review it.

The problem for me with this book was that the facial expressions shown were utterly unconvincing and emotionally barren - usually if you see a proper expression you instinctively 'mirror' it both physically and emotionally but that didn't happen at all in this book. The least they could do was get the models to think of something happy/sad/emotive before photographing them but instead it was clear that they'd just been told to pose a happy face, a sad face, or more often than not, a silly/stupid face. I seem to recall one particularly unpleasant photo of a supposedly sad face that was a puppy-dog face gone hideously wrong.

So overall this book was very disappointing and for me a waste of shelf space. I've given it one extra star though because due to the sheer number of expressions shown there is at least the possibility that some genuine emotions may have slipped in and if nothing else an artist could at least study the physical form of a face with this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Animator Must 13 Sep 2008
By Rach
This is a fantastic resource. I am an animation student and I am sure I will find this invaluable. It's clear, simple, but packed full of pictures (and very little text, it's not needed). It has a wide range of face types and ages. It also has a phonemes section which is worth the price of the book alone.

Go on, get it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I bought this book a couple of years back and was pleasantly surprised at its content. It features a range of different actors sporting a range of expressions. Typically each model has been shot from a number of different angles for each expression. The book also contains a section on Phonemes which is a useful tool for animators. Other sections include a section of hats and a sequential expressions gallery. On the downside - some of the photos in this book are a bit blurry and the paper the book is printed on does not lend itself well to showing some of the finer detail of the heads - glossier paper would have worked better. It would also have been nice to have colour photos which tend to show light and shadow in a more naturalistic fashion. Nevertheless for the price you get pretty much what it says on the cover and a handy reference of faces in addition to your own.
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