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The Complete Animation Course: The Principles, Practice and Techniques of Successful Animation [Paperback]

Chris Patmore
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: £14.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

4 Aug 2003
Animation is one of the most creative and exciting areas of filmmaking - but if you're new to the subject, where do you start? This complete animation course shows you how and more, covering everything from the art of storytelling - the secret of all great animation - to cel, stop action and 3D computer-generated animations. Richly illustrated with animation stills, screen-grabs and artworks, this book is a resource for beginner and advanced animators, and should be a source of inspiration for those who commission animated films.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Thames and Hudson Ltd (4 Aug 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500284377
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500284377
  • Product Dimensions: 22 x 22 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 454,615 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Chris Patmore has worked on graphics rendering techniques for complex real-world images, primarily trees and clouds. Has also produced a 3-D animation of a Canaletto painting, and has worked on virtual reality applications for Division Ltd. Finlay Cowan is a freelance designer based in London. He is probably best known for his work with Pink Floyd.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
49 of 49 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good as a 'coffee table' book 4 May 2004
By Me123
The book has a very nice cover and nearly every page is filled with glossy colour pictures. Most of the pictures of from 10 year old animations, toy story 1 for example, so don't expect anything new here.
I also thought the title was a bit misleading - "The complete Animation course: the principles, practice and techniques of successful animation". I wouldn't describe this book as a 'course' exactly, and I have yet to find any mention of a single principle of animation or technique.
There is NO disussion of timing, poses, arcs, weight, anything of that nature. Instead, the book gives a double page spread to each of its topics (most of the space on those pages is taken up by shots from Toy Story 1). Inside, you will find BASIC info on (2pages each) sound, story, rotoscoping, cutout animamtion, digital animation, stop motion, 3D Animation, lighting, tracking shots (not camera techinques or discussion of any other camera angles, composition or anything like that, but trackin shots) and more.
Let's have a look at one of those sections - 3D animation. You get a paragraph on 'choosing the right 3D package for you' which in short is, do you want a free one that does a few things or do you want to pay for one like max, maya or xsi (no exlanation of what they are or how they differ from each other) accompanied by a screenshot from 3dsMax 4 (version 6 has been out for some time). Here is an extract from these pages:
"Of courseyou probably don't want to spend all your time learning complex software. Luckily there are 3D programs that allow artists to create models and animation in simple and intuitive ways".
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WORTH BUYING!!!!!! 17 Oct 2003
By Emma
So far as my knowledge of animation is extrememly basic. Ive found that nearly every book i have purchased has been very confusing and although advertised as being books suitable for beginners in animation i have found that they might as well be talking in a foreign language! This book however is different and i REALLY mean that! It runs over all types of animation, shows you how models are made, and all about the equipment needed and how it works ect. Everything is described in detail and actually in understandable english! well worth buying if you are a beginner in animation or just interested in the subject!
As i am starting an animation degree in september this will DEFINATLY be my bible!!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth buying 9 Feb 2010
By Ante
I found this book very informative, it summarizes pretty much the entire field of animation.
Doesn't really go into the details in the different subjects, but it does provide a good insight and enough information to get you started.

The Complete Animation Course explains things in a very easy manner thus gives you a quick boost when starting up.
It's not at all like those books where you read through 4 pages made up entirely out of text and afterwards you can't remember a single thing of what you just read.

PRO's: Good examples, easy to read, quick insight into various animation fields.

CON's: Has alotta years on it's neck thus lacking up-to-date info about the different software it explains.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent animation handbook! 14 Sep 2012
By B Glew
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you are either new to animating or have a good amount of experience, this book should prove extremely useful. Contains loads of information from getting started to much more complex set ups and techniques. Lots of up to date information about using computing equipment when animating, plus lots of tips on which equipment / software to use. This book is also very inspiring, providing lots of ideas for stories, film-making methods and ways to compose interesting visual imagery.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.8 out of 5 stars  17 reviews
57 of 60 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great High Level Fly By 9 Nov 2003
By A Customer - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The title of this book is some what misleading as to its scope. It looks like a Preston Blair or Richard Williams calibre teaching book based on the title. It presents itself as a "complete" course on animation technique. It isn't. This is a very good "high level" fly by. It is a survey of some of everything in current animation from classical to computer. A lot of breath and very little depth. It's Intro to Modern Animation 101. If you are just starting out and you want to get a useful 20,000 feet off of the ground introduction to what's available out there then this is a great overview book. Easy on the eyes and easy to read. But, if you are trying to actually become a successful animator and you want specific technical instruction this is not that kind of book. If you are a complete novice and have little or no idea about modern animation and don't know where to begin, then I recommend this book as a great starting reference.
25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If You Are New to Animation, Get This Book! 18 April 2004
By Elwood H. Smith - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Chris has created an invaluable resource for anyone interested in creating animation. I have recently created 2 animated shorts and am well into my third. My first effort was created using Toon Boom Studio's 2D software and for the second, I used Macromedia Flash. I then embarked upon an old-fashioned hand drawn animation with plans to scan the art, assemble it and then edit it. How to do it? My How to Draw animation books barely touched upon the tools needed and none of them covered modern technology, especially the all important modern tool, the computer.
Lady Luck was smiling the day I discovered Chris Patmore's "The Complete Animation Course". The book is NOT a how to draw animated figures kind of book. However, it is a valuable resource filled with ways to produce an animation. The book is handsomely designed and easy to navigate. If you want to know how to find software to create "Pencil Tests" of your drawings to see how you animated action is unfolding, Chris lists several inexpensive programs (and some very expensive ones, too!) and tells the reader which ones are for Macintosh and which ones are for PC. You want to know about setting up a Rostrum Camera? It's in there. How about simple cutout animation or stop-motion animation (also know as claymation and stop-action)--it's also covered. Chris offers many options for the fledgling animator to choose from.
He gives inside animator tips on equipment and procedures. I found myself regularly referring to his book as I moved through the various stages of drawing, shooting pencil tests and scanning the final art.
I'm a long time illustrator but I'm new to animation. The Complete Animation Course has helped me immensely.

20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Introduction to the Craft 18 Nov 2003
By Vincent Rymkiewicz - Published on
I don't think one can review this book as anything less than a 5 out of 5. It's very well thought out, beautifully illustrated and I only wish it were available earlier when I still taught introductory college level animation. This will not teach you 'how' to animate -- to learn to animate you have to simply start doing it -- but it will give you a very good idea of what animation is about. If you're looking for a 'how-to' book, Richard Williams' Animator's Survival Kit and Disney's Illusion of Life are the standards.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Pretty much crap 15 Dec 2005
By Wesley Baker - Published on
I got this book thinking it would help with animation principles and some technical aspects, but it gleans over everything so quickly that the whole thing is useless. For example the chapter on Web Animation is about 4 pages long and covers Animated Gifs- Yeah, because what I really wanted to learn was how to make a looping picture of a clown on a ball. It also touches upon Flash, but its only given a 2 page spread and the only info it gives is "Flash is good for web animation!" This book has nice coulor photographs, but the only information it gives is stuff you probably already know like you need a camera for stop motion and that you should figure out what your cartoon will be about before making it. Oh, and apparently Angelina Anaconda is the end-all be-all of animation.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor focus, superficial 21 Nov 2008
By J. R. C. Garry - Published on
If you are utterly new to the field of animation, this may be of use. But, as I have more than just a passing knowledge of the topic, this was a disappointing book. Firstly, and I admit that this is a subjective view, I did not like the layout. The text is scattered hither and yon, boxes and call-outs lie scattered across the page, and for some bizarre reason paragraphs of text have 'window-like' ornaments on them, scroll bars and so on - what am I meant to do? Click on the paper with my finger? Such 'decorations' detract from the content.

As for the content, the book does not seem to know where to begin. We are told about using animated text for titles, before we are introduced to paper and pencil character drawing. I wonder which is the more fundamental. Also, the history of animation is introduced half-way through, but at the start of the book the reader is introduced to 'equipment' - with no mention of pen and paper, let alone of puppets or marionettes - indeed there is a strong bias toward computer-aided animation rather than the more general task of bringing life to the inanimate. this book should have been retitled 'the complete computer animation course'.

Finally, there is no hint of kinesiology, physiological modelling (how to create credible skeletons, walk-cycles, etc), no mention of theories of drama or emotion, no study of physiognomy, this is not a 'complete' course in animation.
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