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5.0 out of 5 stars The Correct Way To See! Another Prerequisite for Animators. LAYOUT AND COMPOSITION FOR ANIMATION: A Critical Review., 6 Oct. 2010
Andre Lawrence (Miami, Florida) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Length:: 1:01 Mins

There are many titles within Focal Press' library that overlap in information. But, the vast majority has some important distinctions and unique expressions by the authors that makes owning several titles a very strong argument.

This book, LAYOUT AND COMPOSITION FOR ANIMATION by Ed Ghertner, is another book that I'm strongly recommending not because it is a subject-based book, i.e., "How To Cheat In Photoshop ... or Directing The Documentary," like the book, Timing For Animation, it is a sub-topic of the film making genre.

And, like Timing For Animation, LAYOUT AND COMPOSITION FOR ANIMATION is dealing with a theoretical issue. It is a specific and intimate conversation about "Perspective" and, let me be clear, it is not a guide, per se, about animation or even film making on the whole: it is a beautifully illustrated lecture on how would envision a scene.

Ghertner, a fine artist and animator who's worked in film for more than 30 years and has helped to create some of the most memorable animated films in that time including Beauty and The Beast, The Lion King, Mulan, The Hunchback of Notre Dame as well as The Simpson lays out simple-to-follow guidelines that an artist and/or director would need after the reading the initial script.

Some of the topic's discussed:
*Ch. 1/ Story Tools: Including Script breakdown, workbook and thumbnails, and research.

*Ch. 2./ Perspectives: Models, Horizons & Vanishing points, color values
Composition: Path of Action.

*Ch. 3/ Camera: Grids and Guides

*Ch. 4/ All The Right Moves: Camera Movements, Crossing The Line, Match Cuts, Straight and Bezier Movements, Multi-Level and Multi-Plane, Overlays and Underlays, Held Cell and Backgrounds.

*Ch. 5/ Lighting Effects: Shadows, Gradients and Reflections

*Ch. 6/ Workflow: Pre-Production, Production, Post-Production and Marketing and Distribution.

It is impossible to read a book like this and not alter the way you see better-animated storytelling (and live filmmaking, to boot.) This title should be an essential reference book to anyone who's considering a career in the field; it will give you the tools to make you more competent in storytelling.

Important [sub-] topic;, spoken in layman's language--no obscenely technical talk here, and visually stunning illustrations makes this book, LAYOUT AND COMPOSITION FOR ANIMATION a go-to and a must-have book.
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