Cartoon Animation (Collector's Series) (英語) ペーパーバック – 1994/1/1
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Animation is the process of drawing and photographing a character in successive positions to create lifelike movement. Animators bring life to their drawings, making the viewer believe that the drawings actually think and have feelings. Cartoon Animation was written by an animator to help you learn how to animate. The pioneers of the art of animation learned many lessons, most through trial and error, and it is this body of knowledge that has established the fundamentals of animation. This book will teach you these fundamentals.
Animators must first know how to draw; good drawing is the cornerstone of their success. The animation process, however, involves much more than just good drawing. This book teaches all the other knowledge and skills animators must have. In chapter one, Preston Blair shows how to construct original cartoon characters, developing a character’s shape, personality, features, and mannerisms. The second chapter explains how to create movements such as running, walking, dancing, posing, skipping, strutting, and more. Chapter three discusses the finer points of animating a character, including creating key character poses and in-betweens. Chapter four is all about dialogue, how to create realistic mouth and body movements, and facial expressions while the character is speaking. There are helpful diagrams in this chapter that show mouth positions, along with a thorough explanation of how sounds are made using the throat, tongue, teeth, and lips. Finally, the fifth chapter has clear explanations of a variety of technical topics, including tinting and spacing patterns, background layout drawings, the cartoon storyboard, and the synchronization of camera, background, characters, sound, and music.
Full of expert advice from Preston Blair, as well as helpful drawings and diagrams, Cartoon Animation is a book no animation enthusiast should be without.
The Collectors Series books offer a selection of popular projects form best-selling titles in the How to Draw and Paint series. The Collectors Series books cover fundamentals and explore the techniques of featured artists. Each title provides in-depth instruction and numerous illustrations. All are perfect for the coffee table or reference library.
This book was perfect! It taught me the basics of many different techniques and principles that are the foundations for all animation, not just cartoons! Thanks to me spending one summer and a winter break with this book, I not only learned many skills at a more advanced level than most of my classmates, but more importantly, I learned DISCIPLINE. If you watch any review with animators on Youtube or if you have the opportunity to speak to one in person, do not be surprised if the main advice they give you is to have discipline. By using these exercises, I taught myself drawing stamina and the discipline to keep improving on my work.
A word of caution: many animators and reviewers on this site are probably going to advise that any "serious" animators skip over this book and check out Richard Williams' "Animator's Survival Kit". My opinion: start with Preston Blair's book first, then, if you are sure you are serious about animation, check out Williams book. I recently acquired the "Survival Kit" and while it is an excellent resource for animators in all fields, it will most likely intimidate beginners. If I had read Williams' book before Blair's I probably would have been put off by its encyclopedic size and its pages-upon-pages of massive keyframe breakdowns.
I do take points off for some outdatedness. While some information such as the infamous "ball bounce breakdown" in this book is somewhat outdated (Kahl's method is considered the standard nowadays),other methods, such as cel animations and limited animation for tv is even more outdated! You will be hard-pressed to find a studio that still uses cels and traditional film animation cameras. But even these aren't terrible problems since those chapters are educational and show what the industry used to look like not too long ago (this book was first written in the 80s, and I believe that the most recent edition update is from the early 90s).
If you are studying primarily computer animation such as myself, you will probably find that the basic principles are still relevant to CG, but that the absence of a mention of computers to be strange. Considering that Blair passed away in the mid-90s it is probably inevitable that computer animation would not be touched upon.
Despite this, this book is an important first step into the right direction.