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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Animators Bible!
"Richard Williams has won more than 250 international awards for his animation. He has been one of the true innovators, winning three Academy Awards and serving as the link between Disney's golden age of animation by hand and the new computer animation"
This is an essiental must buy book for beginners learning animation or students studying on an animation based...
Published on 4 Oct 2003 by Maven Janson

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Very Insightful...
I would recommend it for you to try, especially if you are in the animation industry or in University, its very helpful indeed.
Published 5 months ago by Earth Angel


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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Animators Bible!, 4 Oct 2003
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This review is from: The Animator's Survival Kit: A Working Manual of Methods, Principles and Formulas for Computer, Stop-motion, Games and Classical Animators (Applied Arts) (Paperback)
"Richard Williams has won more than 250 international awards for his animation. He has been one of the true innovators, winning three Academy Awards and serving as the link between Disney's golden age of animation by hand and the new computer animation"
This is an essiental must buy book for beginners learning animation or students studying on an animation based course (particulary the BSc) I started my university course with absolutly no knowledge about animation, after playing the many Final Fantasy titles, watching the inspirational CGI and FMV sequences with the indepth story, leading onto Shrek, Ice Age, Lilo and Stitch, I did not know where to start, how to go around it and what to do! This book was extremly helpful, there is no words to describe my gratitude to Richard, teaching you everything you need to know! the history of animation, how to draw, timing of animation, from the basics- stationary figures to walking ,running jumping and skipping, to flexibility, weight, anticipation, dialogue, acting, emotion and directing, this is the start point of animation today.. with this bible you won't go wrong! If your stuck in the deep end, this book is a portable lifeguard! its just that good, don't take my word for it! try it out for yourself!
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Computer Animators viewpoint, 10 Jan 2003
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This review is from: The Animator's Survival Kit: A Working Manual of Methods, Principles and Formulas for Computer, Stop-motion, Games and Classical Animators (Applied Arts) (Paperback)
As a keen hobbyist looking to turn pro I thought it about time I started learning from the best, and one of my first stops was this highly recommended manual of esoteric knowledge; ancient secrets noted down by the man who knew the masters of animation personally. As a computer 3D animator, I wasn't terribly sure if it would be of significant use to me, but most of my fears were unfounded, and the info here is helpful whatever your chosen medium.
I have to say that the most fascinating part is the historical info provided by Richard, of both his own exploits and those of the master animators he learned from. These guys drew the cartoons we all grew up with and love, the Tom & Jerrys, the Road Runners, the golden age Disney films, and they discovered not only the best ways to bring inanimate oblects to life, but to give them wieght and character at the same time. Richard has distilled their pearls of wisdom so that anyone who wants to can learn the ins and outs of animation.
The drawings are nice and clear, the explanations easy to understand and you can practically animate the figures just by moving your eye across the page, they're so well done. While it undoubtedly concentrates on the 'classical' animator using pen and ink to make his mark, his character animation tips, timing sheet info and action design hints are invaluable for computer character animation. The man says himself that you have to be good enough with your chosen tool (pen or computer) to be able to stop worrying about how you're doing something and concentrate on the performance itself, what you're making your character do. Thus, most of his theory concentrates on performance and not drawing technique, a boon for the computer artists among us.
Overall I'd say this book was a damn good buy. It's well made, clear, concise, interesting and full of hints, tips and ideas that are obviously gleaned from many years experience in the trade. He himself learned from the masters and applied what they taught him, might we not do the same?
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54 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE reference book for animators., 6 Nov 2001
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This review is from: The Animator's Survival Kit: A Working Manual of Methods, Principles and Formulas for Computer, Stop-motion, Games and Classical Animators (Applied Arts) (Paperback)
For anyone with any kind of interest in either learning how to animate, honing their skills or just curious about how it's done, then this book is absolute gold.
I was fortunate enough to attend one of Richard Williams 3 day seminars in the art of animation a few years ago. Reading this book reminds me of those 3 packed days of Richards non-stop knowledge and expertise being poured out and all of us students trying desperately to absorb every word.
Many of the nuggets of information that the hundreds of hopefuls were desperately trying to scribble down were inevitably missed at the time. Well, given that practically everything he said over those 3 days were gems of information that came straight from the masters of animation all those years ago, we were bound to miss much of what he said. That's what makes this book so invaluable - a ton of priceless information finally in a form that can be dipped into as and when it's needed.
Packed with hundreds of drawings to illustrate the theory, the information in this book is appropriate for all forms of animation be it traditional 2D cell or 3D computer animation. I am in the computer games industry and estimate that only around half a dozen out of the 340+ pages of this book aren't relevant to me. So, if you're starting to learn animation or think you're an expert, buy this book.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading for all character animators, 23 Mar 2003
This review is from: The Animator's Survival Kit: A Working Manual of Methods, Principles and Formulas for Computer, Stop-motion, Games and Classical Animators (Applied Arts) (Paperback)
As an animation student, I can't recommend this book highly enough if you seriously want to improve your character animation skills. It really opened my eyes as to how much I still have to learn. This book should be on the top of every animators book list, and have a permenant home on their desk.
Focusing entirely on traditional animation techniques, the advice it offers translates perfectly to all mediums from hand drawn animation to 3D computer animation to whatever else you do.
Entirely hand written in a very light hearted and very funny style and obviously brilliantly illustrated (What else would you expect from Richard Williams), you can't help but become infected with his love for animation.
This book is just overflowing with useful information. It's certainly not like most other animation books I've seen which provide you with a few useful techniques, and then become assigned to gather dust on your bookshelf. After owning this book for many months I'm still returning to it again and again and again, and gaining new thing from it each time. With all the examples and techniques to try out, I've not even got half way through yet.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The single best book on the subject of animation. Period., 5 Dec 2001
Based on on the recommendation of Steve Sappington of Hash, Inc, I bought this book. It just arrived today. I'll share my first impressions.
First, this book is a classic. Every once in a while, the question comes up: "What books should I buy if I want to learn animation?" I guarantee you, from now on, every such list will have this book no more than third from the top. Most will have it at the top. There is no doubt in my mind that everyone who is studying animation will own a copy within the next six months. Buy the hardback; this one will get used, and a paperback won't survive it. Although many will want one of each, a hardback for the desk and a paperback to peruse everywhere else.
The Illusion of Life is about 90% inspiration and anecdotes, with 10% priceless instruction. Survival Kit reverses those proportions, and then some. If you have The Animator's Workbook by Tony White, Survival Kit picks up where White leaves off. White's book is a great supplemental workbook to Williams'. Williams goes into much more detail on how to animate, and why. The amount of detail is almost overwhelming. He is a very clear and precise writer, and in the drawings, he uses alternating colors to keep the information coherent.
The subject matter is the same as in any good book on animation: straight-ahead vs. pose to pose; why learning to draw realistically is important; animating on ones and on twos; spacing; walks; runs, jumps, and skips; flexibility; weight; anticipation; takes and accents; timing, staggers, wave and whip; dialogue; acting; animal action; directing; and review. But there is no other book, probably no other three books, that have all this in such depth and detail, presented so accessibly. What Preston Blair and Tony White suggest (and very well, too!), Richard Williams nearly exhaustively explains. If you can't learn animation from Williams' book, you probably can't learn animation.
Plus, there is the nearly ten percent of the book in which Williams shares his struggles and triumphs on the road to becoming what he is today: a three-time Academy Award-winning master of the animator's art. Very inspiring.
The production values are high. The paper is WHITE and glossy, the text (most of which is hand-lettered) is easy to read, and the drawings are to die for.
If you're at all serious about animating, you will acquire several books on the subject. This one will be among them, right at the top of the heap. You are going to love this book!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Animation Bible, 26 Nov 2004
This review is from: The Animator's Survival Kit: A Working Manual of Methods, Principles and Formulas for Computer, Stop-motion, Games and Classical Animators (Applied Arts) (Paperback)
I have just finished a course in the very subject this book is about, and what can I say, if you are interested in animation this book won't just be a "Bible" for you it will be the divine power that governs your work. When I finished the three-year animation course, I thought I knew just about every thing there was to know about animation, I had just scratched the surface, this book didn't just teach me how to work more efficiently it helped me improved the quality of my work. So if you like making cartoons buy this... go on, add it to basket you know you want to.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply the best book on the subject., 5 Dec 2001
Based on on the recommendation of Steve Sappington of Hash, Inc, I bought this book. It just arrived today. I'll share my first impressions.
First, this book is a classic. Every once in a while, the question comes up: "What books should I buy if I want to learn animation?" I guarantee you, from now on, every such list will have this book no more than third from the top. Most will have it at the top. There is no doubt in my mind that everyone who is studying animation will own a copy within the next six months. Buy the hardback; this one will get used, and a paperback won't survive it. Although many will want one of each, a hardback for the desk and a paperback to peruse everywhere else.
The Illusion of Life is about 90% inspiration and anecdotes, with 10% priceless instruction. Survival Kit reverses those proportions, and then some. If you have The Animator's Workbook by Tony White, Survival Kit picks up where White leaves off. White's book is a great supplemental workbook to Williams'. Williams goes into much more detail on how to animate, and why. The amount of detail is almost overwhelming. He is a very clear and precise writer, and in the drawings, he uses alternating colors to keep the information coherent.
The subject matter is the same as in any good book on animation: straight-ahead vs. pose to pose; why learning to draw realistically is important; animating on ones and on twos; spacing; walks; runs, jumps, and skips; flexibility; weight; anticipation; takes and accents; timing, staggers, wave and whip; dialogue; acting; animal action; directing; and review. But there is no other book, probably no other three books, that have all this in such depth and detail, presented so accessibly. What Preston Blair and Tony White suggest (and very well, too!), Richard Williams nearly exhaustively explains. If you can't learn animation from Williams' book, you probably can't learn animation.
Plus, there is the nearly ten percent of the book in which Williams shares his struggles and triumphs on the road to becoming what he is today: a three-time Academy Award-winning master of the animator's art. Very inspiring.

The production values are high. The paper is WHITE and glossy, the text (most of which is hand-lettered) is easy to read, and the drawings are to die for.
If you're at all serious about animating, you will acquire several books on the subject. This one will be among them, right at the top of the heap. You are going to love this book!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Book God of Animation Books, 14 Feb 2006
This review is from: The Animator's Survival Kit: A Working Manual of Methods, Principles and Formulas for Computer, Stop-motion, Games and Classical Animators (Applied Arts) (Paperback)
If you're a total beginner in animation like me, this is the book to buy.
If you're an experienced, professional animator, this is the book to buy.
The Animator's Survival Kit focuses on the movement in animation as well as giving you behind-the-scenes information on how animators work and the history of animation, complete with humourous illustrations.
How many levels of rocking can you think of? Well this book rocks on all of them and more.
Go. Buy. Now.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every animator or character artist should have a copy!, 16 Sep 2008
By 
Topscore1632 (Birmingham, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Animator's Survival Kit: A Working Manual of Methods, Principles and Formulas for Computer, Stop-motion, Games and Classical Animators (Applied Arts) (Paperback)
This is the one, the daddy, the absolute MUST-HAVE for anybody with an interest in animation, character design, or concept art. Richard Williams is a genius and he shares his observations on the difficult life of a trainee artist as well as giving the benefit of his huge amounts of talent and experience.

This book is full of easy to follow hints and tips covering character posing and animation of all sorts. There's no hiding from the fact that even if you use computers to create 3D animation you still need a solid grounding in the fundamentals of motion, weight and timing and this is what Williams helps to explain. Everything is accompanied with detailed illustrations and sketches to help you work through to basic character setups through to complex walk cycles.

I've seen a lot of art books in my time but this is the one that stands head and shoulders above the rest. Invaluable advice from a master of his art.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is great., 2 Jun 2006
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This review is from: The Animator's Survival Kit: A Working Manual of Methods, Principles and Formulas for Computer, Stop-motion, Games and Classical Animators (Applied Arts) (Paperback)
I am student studing all types of animation. This book has lived with me for the last 3 years by my side and will continue through the rest of my life as my animation bible. It teaches you so much about how to do animation and the principles behind it. I've never found a better animation book suitable for the beginner and the expert.
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