Friday, 13 June 2014

the book every animator should own

The one book every animator should own is The Animator's Suvival Kit. There has been nothing quite like it for our industry since Frank Thomas & Ollie Johnstone wrote  The Illusion of Life back in the 1970s - the first book which fully set out the secrets of Disney animation for anyone who took the trouble to read it properly.

The Animator's Suvival Kit is packed with knowledge, and consequently it is quite long. It is not necessarily a book to read from start to finish, but it is a vital resource to dip in to whenever you run into a new animation challenge. For me personally, I find it most useful when I get stuck on a shot, unable to figure out how to solve a problem. There is something about the density and completeness of the ASK that you can't help but find inspiration when you flick through its pages. One of the challenges of doing good animation is how long it takes to get it just right, and how easy it is to get stuck on an idea, unable to fix a problem. Sometimes it helps to stop work, flip through the pages of the ASK, and see what comes out.

Being an animator means mastering a wide variety of skills. Timing, Spacing, acting, performance, paths of action, silhouettes, anticipation, action, reaction....lots  of different principles which, when combined together correctly, can create a great performance. Flicking through the ASK helps remind you of those principles, and how to apply them. Often, I find I get a kind of light bulb moment, where a part of my brain is reminded of some half-forgotten principle. Apply it to the shot and - voila - problem solved.

For a full list of books which an animator might want to have on their shelf, see this page here.


No comments:

Post a Comment