*First Impression/ Inspection/ Course Prerequisites
***An Important Statement about this course & material by the author.
* How To Make Animated Films, is a beautiful 500-page, soft cover with a DVD of author Tony White instructing a class on the theory and practical- techniques of animation.
Mr. White makes it very clear there are certain prerequisites that are necessary to have to be able to make full use of this book.
1. One must be able to draw or illustrate (the foundation of this course requires a significant amount of drawing.)
2. Patience and commitment
__ Peg bar
__ Animation paper
__ Animation pencils
__ Scanner & related software
__ Audio recording device and software (3D animation section)
__ Computer and 3D animation software
To thumb through the book, one would see that this is much more than just a manual on the fundamentals of animation. This is not for the hobbyist. It is quite simply a course for those who're interested in the broader application of animation with an eye on, potentially, working in the film and/or the gaming industry. Hundreds of hand-drawn b/w, color illustrations, film cells (reproduced), photos and diagrams accompany very detailed instructions on application and the industry.
** The book is broken down into the following categories:
. 1. Introduction
. 2. How To Be An Animator (Animation basics/ The Walk cycle/Facial and Bodily gestures/lip sync, etc.)
. 3. How To Make An Animated Film (Exploring ideas/ Concept art/ Storyboards/ Audio recording/ Animatic & Bacher Boards/ Background & Environment layouts/Scanning/Coloring/Compositing/Rendering/Final Edit)
The DVD is a course of the fundamental of only one (1) part of the course: the hand-drawn--2D--aspect of animation.
--Animation basics: designing a flip chart for a pendulum and the walk cycle.
--The essential tool necessary for hand-drawn animation: light box.
--The Walk cycle: lower and upper torso.
--The Run cycle.
--The Jump cycle.
***In the book as well as the DVD, Mr. White, specifically states the limitations of this packaged course:
"[If] you're ambitious for a serious career in animation and think this book is a shortcut to your professional ambitions, then you're wrong...[What] is presented here is everything about the core principles of movement that you'll ever need to be a good animator, as long as you develop the focus, temperament, and commitment to see it through to its ultimate conclusion."
**** I've been a fine artist and illustrator for more than 30 years and a graphic artist for the past 6 years. This book package comes at a critical time for me as I'm in the midst of finishing illustrations for a children's book that we'd like to make into an animated feature. What Tony White says in these pages is standard for the industry. What makes this book/DVD course exceptional is that it is broken down into simple steps and a thorough explanation. It has been my experience that this field, animation, which can be considered an offshoot of traditional pencil and paper illustration (2D) and computer generated illustrations (3D), requires diligence and for the artist (at least, initially) to bear the cost of materials. The end result is almost always rewarding.
The challenge, herein, is for the artist to use this invaluable information in connection with her/his own goals. As I've gone through this book and watched the DVD, I couldn't help feeling that anyone with a passion for Internet animation, whether for fun or profit, can use this course to develop the necessary background that is needed when working with Adobe Flash Pro CS4 (Mac)
, other software like Anime Studio Debut 6 (Mac/PC CD)
or even Poser 8 (PC/Mac)
. What couldn't be said but is expected in every field, particularly in this economy, is the skill to market one's talent. All things being equal, this book should be a part of any artist collection.
I'd also like to recommend the following books that would work great with this course:Elemental Magic: The Classical Art of Special Effects AnimationImaginative Realism: How to Paint What Doesn't Exist