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Animators Survival Kit: A Working Manual Of Methods Principles And Formulas For Computer Paperback – Jul 3 2001

4.9 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; 1 edition (July 3 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571202284
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571202287
  • Product Dimensions: 24.2 x 2.4 x 28 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #75,561 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"Williams is miles ahead of anyone in the world of animation." -- The New York Times

From the Back Cover

The definitive working manual on animation, from the triple Academy Award winning Director of Animation of Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

Animation is one of the hottest and most creative areas of film-making today-- and the master animator who bridges the old generation and the new is Richard Williams. During his more than forty years in the business, Williams has been one of the true innovators, and serves as the link between the golden age of animation by hand and the new computer animation successes.

Perhaps even more important, though, has been his dedication to passing along his knowledge to a new generation of animators so that they in turn can push the medium in new directions.

In this book, based on his sold-out Animation Masterclasses in the United States and across Europe attended by animators from The Walt Disney Company, PIXAR, DreamWorks, Blue Sky and Warner Bros, Williams provides the underlying principles of animation that every animator-- from beginner to expert, classic animator to computer animation whiz-- needs. Urging his readers to 'invent but be believable,' he illustrates his points with hundreds of drawings, distilling the secrets of the masters into a working system in order to create a book that will become the standard work on all forms of animation for professionals, students, and fans.

"Williams is miles ahead of anyone in the world of animation." New York Times
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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4.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on Sept. 24 2003
Format: Paperback
I can't belive I didn't buy this book sooner. I can't believe I haven't reviewed this book sooner. I graduated with a 4 year university degree in classical, traditional animation and this book actually provided more information than my college education. I got it my senior year, just in time for my thesis. His ability to simplify exposure sheets is worth its weight in gold. This book put into practice will give any student a head start. An earlier review said the only reason you shouldn't buy this book is due to bankruptcy. I agree. Wholeheartedly. I can't even believe you are sitting here reading this review instead of buying it. QUICK! BUY IT! You're wasting time that could be used reading it!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Some love this book, Others hate it. Depends on your thinking style. Those that are able to use some left-brain (logic) thinking will love the book.

Throughout the book Richard shares his personal experiences as an artist starting out working with other great animators and passes on what these folks taught him when he was learning.

It is a book of formulas (sort of). He explains a lot on timing and spacing, Walk cycles, Movement, etc. Fully illustrated with the cell markers (traditional start, end, passing positions and inbetweening) marks.

You may love page after page of "what-if we" as he moves from boring poses to add dynamic poses for maximum effect.

I appreciate his teaching style:
1. Building a base knowledge of animation (timing and spacing)
2. Disects various walk, dance, run, movement of things (what makes movement work)
3. Then explores how to improve or adds a "What-if-we..." to build better action cycles (Tries getting people the ability to think how they can improve their future drawings).

This book was written for 2d animation but concepts carry over to 3d. (using pop-through to set key start-end-pass through middle keys).
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By A Customer on April 21 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is essential if you're just getting started in animation, and I suspect it would prove equally useful to someone with experience too.
It's well-written, funny, and accessible. It's worth reading just for William's anecdotes about the business and the people.
It covers the history of animation in such a way that modern techniques make sense within context. Most books treat the history in boring, unimaginative ways. Not Williams.
It offers a wealth of practical, how-to information. Want to know how to make characters stride, using only two poses? Williams tells you. When should you use "ones" and "two's"? It's in there. How can you troubleshoot your work before you're too far into a project? He covers this too.
Williams doesn't just give you a toolbox full of tips and tricks though -- by the end of this book you'll understand _why_ things work the way they work. The result? You'll be ready to handle even the new and unexpected as you pursue animation.
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Format: Paperback
I have been a computer animator for 4 years, with a focus on character animation for 1 year. I have been searching for information that will get my work closer to ILM/Pixar quality, and this book has advanced my skills a generation ahead, bringing me much closer to my goal. Richard Williams breaks down all sorts of different walks (maybe a hundred?), runs and motions that imply weight, which is essential for a complete animator. He also gives suggested timings for different types of motions, so you have a starting point for a certain action... you don't have to reinvent the wheel. He has a straightforward style of animating that really improved my workflow, as well. As I act out the motions of a character I want to move a certain way, using Williams's techniques I can now breakdown the important parts of the motion with much more accuracy and efficiency. I read this book while working on a project, and the quality of my shots went up exponentially with every page I read. I now have tons of confidence in my abilities, I can animate better and quicker, and I have an added level of life in my characters that was lacking before. For me, this was a must read. I thank Richard Williams profusely for writing this book, and I recommend it to everybody that wants to animate characters.
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Format: Paperback
I'm a graduate of a one year animation certificate program in classical animation. In many ways, this book covers a lot of the ground of Preson Blair's classic bible "Cartoon Animation", as well as Tony White's excellent "Animator's Handbook". However, it also deals with practical examples to extend the lessons from these initial books. The whole section on 'walks' has lessons on acting, character and animation that deal with all areas of acting in animation, not simply walk cycles.
It's also more practical than the Illusion of Life, in that it has a logical progression of lessons and enough custom illustrations to more precicely demonstrate these points. In many ways, It's the intermediate book between the intellectual aspects of the Illusion of Life, and the basic principals of Cartoon Animation.
For me, this was like a second year of school: I had learned all the concepts and basic principals I needed in that first year of school using Tony White and Preson Blair. Richard William's book expanded on those concepts, and has already started to improve my work in the first two months of receiving it. I highly recommend this book to any animation students out there, as well as graduates looking to increase their skills.
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