34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
The single best book on the subject of animation. Period.,
This review is from: The Animator's Survival Kit (Hardcover)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!