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Acting for Animators: A Complete Guide to Performance Animation with CDROM [Paperback]

Ed Hooks , Brad Bird , Mike Caputo
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Book Description

October 2000
Until now, animators who have wanted to learn about acting have had no option but to study the subject side by side with stage and movie actors, a group that uses acting techniques in a wholly different way. Ed Hooks offers a better alternative with Acting for Animators, the first book about acting theory and technique written specifically for the animator.

Animators need to know a lot about acting, but they don't need to know everything. Acting for Animators sorts out the acting theory that animators need, presenting it in a form and with references that are more relevant to the animator's world. It explores the connections between thinking and physical action, between thinking and emotion; it provides the steps for an effective character analysis and the dynamics of a scene. Using references to animation and live action, acting principles are highlighted and explained. Plus, the accompanying CD-ROM provides explicit examples, including videoclips of improvs based on the seven essentials of acting and highlights of Rudolph Laban's movement theory.


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Review

Hooks has made a valuable contribution toward deepening our understanding of [animation]. -- Brad Bird

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Acting for Animators March 5 2001
Format:Paperback
As a novice animator recently graduated, I am really glad I picked up this book. I bought it more out of curiosity than anything else. I am glad to say that I was surprised to find this much useful information in such a consice form. The book highlights many different acting forms and excersices without rambling on endlessly, and more importantly does so from an animators point of view. An animator has to approach acting from an almost backwards way, which is addressed a lot in this book. Another nice feature is that the auther cites many other references and books on the subjects he discusses, so you are free to study even further on subjects that are impotant to you. The nice thing about that is that he's done the research for you. Hooks keeps things light, easy to understand, and interesting for artists and animators of all skill levels. The only minor complaint I could voice about this book would be the lack of artwork displaying the points discussed. After reading the book myself I think this is due to the fact Hooks is trying to avoid making a generic, cookie cutter, how to book. He succeeds, so I won't complain too much. Overall, best money I've spent on an animation book in a long time! I don't care how long you've been in the industry, you'll learn something from this book!
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Format:Paperback
This is a dense, thoughtful work, of lasting value, which will reward careful study. Hooks writes in an easily readable style, concisely and directly, about the most difficult and elusive portion of the art of character animation. Buy this book before you buy any other character animation title, or for that matter, before you choose software or other animation tools. You will find that Hooks' advice will also improve your script and storyboard development. One of the problems with books about computer-based character animation, such as my own "Character Animation In Depth", is that they lose value as the software they are written for becomes obsolete. Hooks' work will retain its value for a long time. Buy a copy, keep it handy, reread it frequently, and don't loan it to friends; you won't get it back. Give them a copy, instead. Highly recommended.
Was this review helpful to you?
Format:Paperback
This is a dense, thoughtful work, of lasting value, which will reward careful study. Hooks writes in an easily readable style, concisely and directly, about the most difficult and elusive portion of the art of character animation. Buy this book before you buy any other character animation title, or for that matter, before you choose software or other animation tools. You will find that Hooks' advice will also improve your script and storyboard development. One of the problems with books about computer-based character animation, such as my own "Character Animation In Depth", is that they lose value as the software they are written for becomes obsolete. Hooks' work will retain its value for a long time. Buy a copy, keep it handy, reread it frequently, and don't loan it to friends; you won't get it back. Give them a copy, instead. Highly recommended.
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1.0 out of 5 stars can I return it? May 10 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I have read about 40 pages and am considering stopping there. This book could be helpful for beginners... but there are definitely better wasy to start. I have been animating characters professionally for a number of years and from what I have read, can't see much in it that could be of use. Ed Hooks takes a long time to get to the point, and obvious points they are, followed by about 20 examples, then says "get it?" At one point he takes about half a page explaining whay he likes to use the word "negotion" rather than "conflict". And as for his opinions, eg all womens motivation being to find a man to support them and for breeding.... oh man, just don't go there!!!! The CD that comes with the book is just plain terrible. I don't even know where to start... little movies of people flopping about.. and acting badly...
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1.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing May 21 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I was very disappointed after reading this book as somehow Ed manages to be vague about making mostly irrelevant points and he writes with a particularly narrowminded, old-fashioned attitude (particularly when it comes to women). I have been a professional character animator for a couple of years now and I found that the book contained very little of any interest or help, Ed Hooks doesn't even begin to give the topic any justice. It may contain a few points that could be helpful to animation students just starting out but then I would strongly recommend that they take some acting classes instead to get some practical experience or spend their hard-earned money on the "Illusion of Life" (if they can find it)or for that matter just about any other book on this subject.
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3.0 out of 5 stars odd, but "useful" May 29 2001
Format:Paperback
The outer design of this book and cdrom seem to suggest a very professional, straight forward approach while actually the under lying concept is rather like an informal workshop.
Not everyone may appreciate the style of presentation but the information is some very good material for aspiring or established animators looking into character animation. It is mostly a study of motivation. I must add that the cd that came with this book is on crack. Actually I thourouly enjoyed it. If you ever tire of the book just pop the cd into your computer while you have some friends over. The aghast look on thier faces, as they watch these actors be attacked by unseen forces, is aboslutely priceless and well worth the cost of the cd.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Any actor should read this also!
While targeted towards animators, non-animator actors will find this book useful. I am studying acting myself, as well as traditional hand-drawn animation, and read this book in... Read more
Published on Oct. 17 2003 by Brett McCoy
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Have Book for Animation Students
Ed Hooks delivers a consise and insightful look at the background and fundamentals of acting for animators.
Published on Sept. 28 2003 by J. Schuh
1.0 out of 5 stars the least useful animation book
Of all the books about animation I found this to be the least useful. The important stuff is so diluted that the reader has to go through several pages before finding something... Read more
Published on Sept. 25 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm glad I bought this book!
I've been working in animation for 7 years professionally and bought this book with some hesitation, based on the negative reviews here. As it turns out, I LOVE THIS BOOK! Read more
Published on April 18 2003
2.0 out of 5 stars an overpriced book with thin content
I found the content of this book too thin to justify the price. There was really not much stuff in it that I didn't already know, which is a shame considering that I have never... Read more
Published on Nov. 23 2002 by smohadjer
4.0 out of 5 stars Worthwhile for all animators
Acting for Animators covers a lot of ground that doesn't get addressed much in animation school. Sure, we're all told to make the character "live and breathe", but most... Read more
Published on June 6 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars As Doug Kelly said: Look no further !
"Acting for Animators" is a real must-have book for any serious character animator. I agree that sometimes it needs a bit of digging around to find the information you... Read more
Published on May 15 2001 by "creatorstudios"
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