First off, you have to love the flip-book on the edge of the pages of The Animator's Eye. It works just like film but breaks it down. This book, the author Francis Glebas and his characters Iggy and Scared Bunny are a lot of fun, but don't let that fool you, this book is filled with a mass of serious information. When it comes right down to it, animation in the form of storytelling covers a huge amount of stuff just to get it get it done - and even more to make it "moving" and fun. This book gets "it". Even though a person could dig into any these areas for more info, the author gets what is takes to get started in animation and covers what is helpful to advance a career.
I'm coming from a background of drawing illustration skills that transitioned to graphic arts on a computer. I also have interests in photography and video. Not being wholly advanced in the animation world, I can only guess what level of experience would find interest in this book. Yet, given the range of information from drawing, to movement, to gestures, to color, to storytelling, to sound, to lip sync, to organization, to structure, to production, just to mention some of what Glebas covers, I think even the very advanced animator would find something to improve upon. For the beginner this should be a must. This book takes me back to some my earliest drawing classes and reinforces some of their very best principles in a more compelling and informative way, like the use of balance and weight to give life to mere lines. The author shows you how to create three dimensional characters with the illusion of life-like movement so as to avoid what he refers to as "zombies".
I like the way he builds from simple basics to get a character and story across. I love the emotional wheel. Art classes have gotten me used to the color wheel (which the author also takes great advantage of in the book) but I never thought to use a wheel for emotions, expressions, and gestures. Simple is better. I really like his use of post-it notes to produce a very simple but moving and easily edited story board. That makes so much organizational and productive sense. Like the author, I have always thought that tracing was a very valid method for learning the way others draw (which was sometimes frowned upon). He touches on helpful software to match your character with the appropriate color, sound, and environment that givs life and emotion to enhance and drive the animators vision. Glebas gives lots of helpful ideas to make animation work better and the process work more easily.
The accompanying DVD shows the finished animation along with the earlier working versions to give you some idea of what to look for and how to progress. One of my favorite things on the DVD is where the author makes a video of himself to show exaggerated emotions and lip movement to use for references for drawing believable character expressions and speech.
The Animator's Eye covers a lot of material, all with practical means to get professional results that will capture your audience's attention and sweep them off into a truly "believable" fantasy world just like Disney does.