The Animator's Survival Kit
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Product Description

The definitive book on animation, from the Academy Award-winning animator behind Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

Animation is one of the hottest areas of filmmaking 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, winning three Academy Awards and serving as the link between Disney's golden age of animation by hand and the new computer animation exemplified by Toy Story.

Perhaps even more important, though, has been his dedication in passing along his knowledge to a new generation of animators so that they in turn could push the medium in new directions. In this book, based on his sold-out master classes in the United States and across Europe, 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.

Customer Reviews:

  • First 10 Pages!
    Already familiar with some of the history of how animation began, I was looking forward to reading this. Within the first 10 pages, I learned how much I love the author and his passion to animate inspired me to just flip through the pages to see what was coming as I read. Wow. This book is full of examples, history, more inspiration and what looks to be a profound experience.

    What a book!...more info
  • Lots of detailed information about animation.
    In The Animator's Survival Kit, Richard Williams shares valuable information that he has gleaned during his many years of working in animation. He explains how to achieve the motion you want in your animation with drawings that show a character's movement frame by frame. These are details that other books on animation just gloss over and leave you to learn on your own through trial and error. He delves into various ways to express real personality in your characters with nuances of movement and facial expressions. He is an amazingly talented animator who learned from the greats in the industry, and his insight into the great animators and animation companies with whom he has worked is fascinating. I'd recommend this book to anyone who is seriously interested in character animation....more info
  • NEVER RECEIVED IT
    I don't know what's the problem between AMAZON and this book.

    I order it over THREE MOUNTHS, and never received it. After a few weeks, I receive a mail from AMAZON asking me to wait more than the initial estimations. 2 mounths later AMAZON managed a replacement order for it, but I never receive a book.

    I have not received anything in Madrid but excuses, although the adress is correct, and I receive daily many packages, letters, comunications, etc. coming all around the world. ...more info
  • it is great
    honest and good shipping. I have the product in good condition..but it doesn't arrive on time.....more info
  • Animator survival kit review
    The book is great. It have a lot of info on how to animate correctly characters. This is a must for animators and newbie. There is some history and part of the story of the author on how he goes in this industry. Really interesting....more info
  • Good animation book
    this book as the title says runs over the princibles and methods of animation. in this book YOU DO NOT LEARN HOW TO DRAW!!! you only learn how to animate, but what you learn on the animation will be infintely useful.richard kind of writes a auto biography the first 40 pages which tells about his journey through animation. it's exciting but the meat of the book is after that. how much he goes into detail in the animations is incredible. he talks about important cartoon techniques such as anticipation,action, reaction. also he talks about weight to make your characters look fat pick up heavy objects etc. like i said before you do not learn how to draw ,but you learn how to animate well. if you want to put these animation skills to the test i suggest picking up preston blair's cartoon animation
    (the one made in 1994) I suggest reading throught it first then getting a sketch book and drawing these animations. like i said before pick this up with preston blair's book and you'll be a good animator in no time....more info
  • The animator's Survival Kit
    This is a very good book for any animators. From this book, I have learned how to animate people walking and build up special characters as the way they walk....more info
  • THE Book to Get For Any Kind of Animation.
    The Animator's Survival Kit is not specific to any one kind of animation, instead it is focused on the art of animation itself. As it says in the title, it's a manual for the methods, priciples, and formulas for animation. These basics of animation apply no matter the media being used.

    It is litereally filled with examples and is a very easy read. I'd recommend it to anyone who is at all interested in animation.

    To put it simply, every animator no matter the skill level should own a copy of this book. It's that good....more info
  • Indispensible
    This should have been required reading during my first year of college. The writing is sharp and stays interesting throughout.

    It is strictly comprised of hand-drawn animation. Don't be afraid. I've never created a decent drawn animation, yet I've taken entire chapters of the book and applied them to a 3D character. The book will teach you the fundamentals of walk and run cycles, but just as importantly, it'll tell you just how easy and fun it is to break those conventions and do exactly the opposite. Break joints, flip feet, spin a character's head 360 degrees - he does all of those, though always referring back to the basics.

    This shouldn't be the only animation book you own, but it should definitely be in your collection, and is probably the best introduction to animation that anyone can read....more info
  • The Animator's Survival Kit
    This book arrived in Pristine condition and was exactly what I was looking for.
    It is informed and also a fun way to learn about animation.
    I would definately recommend this book to anyone that is studying animation.
    ...more info
  • are you prepared to be a total animator?
    This book fleshes out the process of traditional (pre-computer) animation more than the Preston Blair book which I had purchased earlier. If you found that book useful, this one will be even more helpful in understanding overall workflow.

    A prerequisite for this book would be good fundamentals at sketching humanoids and understanding volume, especially with figures. Just a warning -- until you are able to draw shapes consistently, you will be stuck on the first few pages.

    Williams' book begins with an overview of moving simple volumes, but quickly dives into the complexity of making figures walk. He spells out similar-but-different nuts-and-bolts approaches to the traditional animation process through the construction of walk cycles, of which there are many examples. I am strictly a beginner, but for the seasoned animator, I expect this book would be a handy reference for walk cycles.

    Over the course of the book, Williams touches on virtually all key areas which animators have to deal with including fabric and mouth movements. The author also offers sagely advice from the colleagues he learned from over the years. The text is very readable and makes you feel like you are moving along, learning the business of animation from the inside out.

    This edition DOES NOT give detailed explanation of the nuts-and-bolts, tools, or workflow of COMPUTER animation as it is evolving today. HOWEVER, anyone who masters the fundamentals stressed in this book would be prepared for most any style of animation.

    This is not a book to give you quick-and-dirty shortcuts. The examples progress in a direction to build you into a total animator. I found the examples to be very clear upon studying and practicing them. The forms begin simple and gain complexity throughout. For someone who is very serious about the CRAFT of animation, I would recommend this book. ...more info
  • Interesting for everyone
    If you are interested in what makes animations move, what rules apply and how things work this is you book. Even for someone who is not an animation professional (or amateur) like me this is a very interesting book. Read it immediately cover to cover. Love it!...more info
  • Buy It!
    Without question, if you are interested in creating animation, you will be glad you bought this book. I have several other animation books, but this one has been the most useful to me in moving from refining animation basics to staging longer performances. I work entirely on the computer, but page after page this traditional animator had a lot to teach me!

    Over 90% of this book focuses on animating the body. It has a brilliant (but short) section on animating the face, expressions, dialog, and eyes. The focus of the facial animation section tends to be more about the curves and lines involved than the underlying muscles, so I recommend as a nice complement to this also picking up Gary Fagin's excellent "Artist's Complete Guide to Facial Expression" as well.

    Richard Williams is a master of his craft and also a brilliant writer. The Animator's Survival Kit is Highly Recommended!...more info
  • recommended, animator must have!!
    This book is a short key to be the great animator!! All basic and essential principles are perfectly described in this book. The drawing pictures help you understand easier. It helps me save time to animate, and improve my skill ,timing, beat, keying ... in conclusion, this book is very suitable not only for 2D but also 3D animator (actually good for all kind of animation). ...more info
  • The best animation book EVER
    There is no question about it. Richard Williams is da man.
    This book is for everyone who wants to learn animation. I mean REALLY learn animation.

    Tons of illustration, fun and intuitive reading, it's a must have for everyone who loves animation. I just love this book....more info
  • Best animation book out there.
    I needed this book for my Traditional animation class and its been SO helpful. When it came down to the breaking down (redundant) of inbetweens and timing this book is great. I couldn't have done my run cycle or my walk cycle without it... and the ball bounces! Plus, it's written bu the guy who did "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" How can you go wrong? Great book....more info
  • Student
    This book is a must for the animation student! It has detailed and easy to understand examples for the 2D and 3D animator. It has been a huge help in improving my work....more info
  • Wonderful, Informative, Creative and Technical
    This book is absolutely amazing. I cant believe the amount of knowledge between each chapter. And when you begin to put these simple techniques into practice you open up a whole new world. You can breathe life into old cycles and ideas that you thought were good before too. The only crit I have here is that even though these skills can transfer to 3d, there is no real technical advice. Otherwise this should belong on every animator's book shelf!...more info
  • A must have for any animator!!!
    I cannot reccomend this book enough. When I bought this book, I went home and threw away all my other animation books. This is the only one you will ever read. Richard Williams draws on a lifetime of experience working with some of the world's greatest animators and presents his knowledge with a beautifuly designed book.
    Rather than a dull "text book" or technical manual feel, this book reads like you are sitting down at a drawing table right next to the author. If you are an animator- or even just interested in the art of animation, do yourself a favor and get this book!...more info
  • Over sold by the title
    First gripe is this book is only about cell animation, I suppose is an abstract way it would be help full to "Computer, Games, Stop Motion, and Internet Animators", but practically speaking there isn't much here that would help.

    Second, more of a tips and ideas book, calling it a 'survial kit' is melodramatic. It is a bigger, more expensive version of Prestion Blair's book 'Cartoon Animation' so if you have that one, you will be getting double of the same info....more info
  • Awesome!
    My son is in college majoring in film/animation and asked for this book for Christmas. He read it immediately and said he learned tons of stuff from it (he's in his sophomore year). He knows about some of the stuff the book talks about, but he said he got so much more information from reading this and he thinks it's going to be a huge help in his education. Definitely recommend this to anyone in the animation field....more info
  • The Animator's Survival Kit
    Along with the Career guide this book will give any prospective Animator a great founding and help along the way. Another big smile on Christmas morning....more info
  • The best animation book so far
    There are a million books who teach you how to start to animate (making bouncing balls, etc) - but this is the one that may actually take you further. It doesn't only explain how animation works in the movie, but also in real life - what does it mean to be an animator. Excellent book and very reasonably priced....more info
  • I wouldn't recommed this book to anyone
    Animation is now done in 3-D this book is dated.
    The book I have on by Don Bluth were much more elaborate on the animnation process then this book. The drawings are primative and don't offer much of the way of substance you can take them at face value.
    If you like stick figures you might like this book....more info
  • An indispensable reference
    This a must-purchase for the starting animator. I read The Illusion of Life first, which was a lot of words and theory but fewer walk-throughs (though you should buy that, too!). Get it, you won't be disappointed. ...more info
  • easy to follow, with great examples
    this was the textbook for my principles of animation I class, and it was an immense help. if I was ever confused about how to liven up an animation, or make a movement more believable, I could look in the book for an explanation of a walk, run, jump, or any of a number of movements and get an example of the keyframes at the very least.
    while it doesn't sit down and explain the 12 principles of animation in a section, it does end up covering the essentials in an easy to understand way.

    my instructor put it this way "The Illusion of Life: Disney Animation is the old testament of animation, and this book, is the new testament." ...more info
  • Great book for animation students
    This is an easy to understand book that i am sure will give me an edge starting my animation history classes. It lays everything out in an understandable format. great book ...more info
  • a much needed item
    a much needed item for an inspiring animator or anyone interested in the entertainment field...more info
  • GrrrrrrrEAT!
    Exactly what I was looking for! The perfect guide for the beginning (and the more experienced)animator.
    ...more info
  • Amazing book
    Anyone remotely interested in animation should pick up this book. It is amazing. It is truly the perfect reference book for anyone who wants to animate, and do it well....more info
  • Excellent
    This is one of the best books on frame-by-frame 2D non-vector animation. The only problem is, Richard Williams overdoes it by a large margin. He is a man possessed with talent, and he demands perfection of himself. That is a hard way to do things, no? In every other respect, this book is excellent. By the way, the culmination of Richard Williams' style of work is the movie The Cobbler and the Thief, available online on [...]. The exact title to search for is this: The Thief and the Cobbler (2007 Recobbled Cut) [v2.0]...more info
  • A Great Animation Book! GO BUY IT!
    This is one of those books that has helped me out alot. If you are a beginning animator in need of learning the principles of animation or if you have had difficulty figuring out how to create walk cycles and facial character animation, then this book is for you....more info
  • If you like normal animation, you must have it
    If you like normal animation and if you like 3d animation or if you like stop motion animation...you'll find all information needed and much more inside this unique book!...more info
  • Fantastic Resource
    The Animator's Survival Kit is one of the most useful resources for anyone interested in animation. As a textbook it is easily referenced, and it is also clear and interesting enough to read from cover to cover. I was a computer animator until I picked up this book. It took me from the most basic hand drawn exercises until I was able to hand animate just about anything. I strongly recommend this text....more info
  • Every Animator Needs to Own
    Besides Frank and Ollie's book, this is another have to own. It is very informative and the pictures are amazing! It really helps us visual people in understanding the process of animation and how to start and continue with it. Richard Williams made another great one! ;)...more info
  • the best animation resource I've ever seen.
    This is te best animation resource I've ever seen. Specially if you are a beginner in this area. You must see this....more info
  • This book taught me to look at stopmotion in two dimensions
    Weight, timing, and anticipation are just a few of the classic 2D animation principles that have stood the test of time over many decades. Stopmotion is not mentioned much in the book, but the same techniques can and sometimes do apply. I'm still getting a lot out of this text as I learn to adapt it to my style of charicature and animation....more info
  • Great Information - Haughty Tone
    This IS a great book, and the information contained herein is invaluable. You really WILL learn the intricacies of how to produce truly wonderful animation.

    However - I have to mention the depressing and reproachful tone the author takes towards people just getting started in the 'biz'. Right in the beginning of the book, the author spends a total of FIVE pages complaining about how many ways assistants can screw up and 'ruin your animation'! I don't have assistants, probably never WILL have, but he's definitely made me think twice about BEING an assistant! The point is, the author's tone can be a bit condescending, he's big into 'name dropping', just a trifle vague in his direction (what do you mean by 'thing'? What thing?), and certainly NOT empowering or encouraging.

    But, hard nosed as he is, the book IS a requirement for any animators bookshelf. Only read it when you're absolutely confident in your skills and abilities, because the only thing it will inspire is your insecurity!
    ...more info
  • You can't do it without this book.
    If you're fascinated with all aspects of animation, if you're looking for The One Book to get you started on your journey as an animator, or even if you just have a box office smash brewing in your head and want to get the jist of how to get it on screen.. there are hundreds of books out there on the subject of animation. I've read many of them, and nothing rivals this book.

    Simply put, this is the alpha and omega of animation how-to books.. the only one you'll ever -need-.

    Why?

    You'll have to find out for yourself :)....more info
  • Sheer Genious
    Well all I can say is Richard Williams knows his stuff better than anyone. He has learned from the best, hes overly passionate about animation, it is all a lifestyle for him, and he does nothing more gracefully other than teaching it to others. This book is one of the reasons animation has had a leap in quality towards the better.

    Definitly a musthave if you are seeking to learn the basics of animation regardless of the medium you are using, wheather classical, stopmotion or 3D animation.

    ...more info