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49 Reviews
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Animation book by far
This book is without a doubt one of the best how to animations books out there. Believe me there are many others but the fact that it was written and fully illustrated by master animator Erik Goldberg makes this an absolute must have. His drawings just pop off the page with life and it is very inspirational to look at. Goldberg takes a different approach to teaching...
Published on August 8, 2008 by Dane Romley

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14 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good companion book that will not change your life
Like Goldberg said on the book, the xerox copies of his notes on character animation have been going around for a while now, and it is very good to see them finally compiled into a proper book. The animator offers some good advice, but the book won't change your life if you already know how animation works. It is more like a good compilation of things worth remembering,...
Published on December 16, 2008 by Daniel Werneck


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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Animation book by far, August 8, 2008
This review is from: Character Animation Crash Course! (Paperback)
This book is without a doubt one of the best how to animations books out there. Believe me there are many others but the fact that it was written and fully illustrated by master animator Erik Goldberg makes this an absolute must have. His drawings just pop off the page with life and it is very inspirational to look at. Goldberg takes a different approach to teaching animation because here he assumes you already know the basics and shows you how to make your animation come to life with style and fluidity. It's different from say the Richard Williams book The Animator's Survival Kit because in this book it covers things like walk cycles and what not but in a more technical way. Don't get me wrong that's a wonderful book as well, but Goldberg expands on what Williams did. An example would be Williams talks about mouth shapes but Goldberg shows how and when the shapes should be used effectively; such as hitting accents with a bigger shape and pose. This is not for someone who is just starting out but more for someone who knows a little already and wants to improve to the next level. I've been a professional animator for years and nothing has helped me more than this book. I would highly recommend this book to students of animation and working professionals. The golden age isn't dead yet!
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Animation Timing & Breakdown Manual published so far., August 23, 2008
By 
Ronald Doucet (Nova Scotia, Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Character Animation Crash Course! (Paperback)
When I went to animation college 10 years ago, there were NO books to instruct you on actually HOW to practice weight balance, mass and volume in your character animation tests. Plenty of old books existed with great artwork, with the exception of Preston Blair's book Cartoon Animation (The Collector's Series) and later on (after I graduated) the great Richard William's book The Animator's Survival Kit. But there was nothing to actually show you step by step the principles of posing, timing and movement for hand-drawn animation, Richard's book had some nice technical stuff for walk cycles and timing, but Goldberg's book is a first for really outlining the basics efficiently.

This book IS the first and best book to lay out the principles of character movement; antics, overshoots, settles, squash and stretch, break downs, in-betweeing, timing, spacing and all the other basics needed for any classical or CG animator.

I highly recommend this book to all students, teachers and even veterans, because not only does it cover all the fundamentals but it goes beyond into more advanced concepts that ALL types of animators must know and practice, whether it be 3D, traditional paper, or stopmotion animation, this book is definitely worth it.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yeah, Get This One Too, October 18, 2008
By 
Grant Beaudette (Missoula, MT United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Character Animation Crash Course! (Paperback)
Animation is an insanely broad topic. Far too huge to ever cover in one book. Listening to master animators on "The Animation Podcast" and else reveals that everyone's approach to this artform is different. And yet most animation books cover the same content.

For many years, Richard Williams' The Animator's Survival Kit has been the gold standard of animation books, and rightfully so. Lucky for us, fellow animation guru Eric Goldberg's "Character Animation Crash Course" isn't just overlap from Williams' work and teaches us different aspects of animation that other books haven't covered.

Goldberg covers aspects of animation far less academically than Williams and rather focuses on things from a character standpoint, how you could apply a technique to a specific character. He also list several classic cartoons (most if not all of which are on DVD) for examples of each particular technique.

He also covers how control the overall shape volume of what's moving, even for flat, graphic characters, and goes in depth on animation "gimmicks" like smear drawings, zip lines, staggers etc... that are often mentioned, but never properly explained.

Probably the most informative part of the book for me was the section on character construction, covering many of the ins and outs of designing an animatable character that I haven't seen in other books.

"Character Animation Crash Course" also has the one big thing "Animator's Survival Kit" doesn't: A CD-ROM of the animations shown that you can watch and frame through to better understand the lessons in the book.

Hopefully someday other master animators will do what Eric Goldberg's done with "Character Animation Crash Course." Write an animation book that has unique outlook on the artform and that imparts some new pearls of knowledge on the subject. Until then, you have to at least add this book to your shelf. Right next to The Animator's Survival Kit of course.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Animation Book for Students and Pros Alike, August 17, 2008
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This review is from: Character Animation Crash Course! (Paperback)
This book by esteemed Disney animator Eric Goldberg is a must-have in your animation library. There are a lot of books out there which are hundreds of pages long and seem to have a lot of information in them, but the actual meat of the lessons get lost in history lessons and fluff. Not in this book: lessons are simple, clear, concise, heavily illustated, and even animated by Eric on the included dvd! This is a godsend to animation students and teachers -- it's like having a pro animator at your side to give the lesson and then show it to you animated to confirm you are "getting it". I am an animation pro and have taught for years, and I think this is a great book for students (can't beat the price!) and also for pros who like to see an individual animator's way of working. This is pure "school of Eric Goldberg". Now you will know his secrets!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book!, September 6, 2008
By 
stephen smelley (glenarden, Maryland United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Character Animation Crash Course! (Paperback)
An absolutely great book and a must have for artist and animators alike. If you like cartoony animation, this book,the preston blair book and the animating the looney tunes way will do it. The principles stressed in this book can be applied to CG, stopmotion animation and just pure drawing in general. This book is a great read and source. I highly recommend it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get it!!, July 29, 2011
By 
A You (Pleasanton, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Character Animation Crash Course! (Paperback)
This is a great, concise book on character animation. It is not necessarily new material but the way it is presented in this "crash course" fashion is amazing. There is no bull, just the facts. Goldberg is an icon and his book will become a standard. The DVD is worth it's wait in gold showing videos of the animations in the book, with timing charts. I do love this book and I have MANY on this topic.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Invaluably Helpful, January 27, 2011
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This review is from: Character Animation Crash Course! (Paperback)
My shelf is littered with books about the history of animation, the practice of animation, the making of animation, and the art of animation, I even have books on theater for acting...however this book brings a certain something...something more to that shelf of endless books.

As a comic artist and animator, this book has both inspired me and truly helped me far greater than anything on that shelf. This book will go though "why" a character acts in a certain way, will explain to you what you should know about your character or a character in general, and will both spell it out and show it to you in the included DvD that holds animation files that support the reading. This book is for the animator, comic artist, and even cartoon enthusiasts who want to know more about why characters are the way they are.

So many times I have read a book where it was like "Heres the technique, now run with it" and that doesn't really work unless you know your character...unless you really are your character and this book really expresses that and shows you how to obtain that feeling.

I would have to rate this book a 5/5 even though it deserves much more. Eric Goldberg is an amazing animator who truly understands, lives, and breaths animation. To be able to have this book in my hand and learn from it is a privilege, and I'm very thankful of him for making this wonderful book!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Gold, February 13, 2012
This review is from: Character Animation Crash Course! (Paperback)
As someone who has been in the industry for many decades, I know gold when I see it. If you are interested in becoming an animator THIS BOOK SHOULD BE YOUR BIBLE. It should be required reading at every Art school that has an Animation Program. Eric is not only one of the best animators in the business, but he is also a wonderful teacher. This book is full of gems of knowledge. It is like having your own personal tutor by an animation genius!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Full of great pearls of animation wisdom, February 24, 2009
This review is from: Character Animation Crash Course! (Paperback)
I'm shocked there are any bad reviews for this book: it makes me think those reviewers know little about animation. This book is a treasure. With a forward from Brad Bird and explanations of character animation explained in unique form, I would suggest any animator should add this book to their collection and APPLY the principles asap. After all, animation is an ongoing learning process, and Eric Goldberg has much to share: and he shares it in this book.
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14 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good companion book that will not change your life, December 16, 2008
By 
Daniel Werneck (Belo Horizonte, Brazil) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Character Animation Crash Course! (Paperback)
Like Goldberg said on the book, the xerox copies of his notes on character animation have been going around for a while now, and it is very good to see them finally compiled into a proper book. The animator offers some good advice, but the book won't change your life if you already know how animation works. It is more like a good compilation of things worth remembering, with good examples demonstrating what he says.

If you never animated before, this book won't teach you from scratch, and if you already have been through Richard Williams' book entirely, this one will not add too much. It is more like an intermediate book between "Cartoon Animation" by Preston Blair and "The Animator's Survival Kit" by Richard Williams. Besides, it focus too much on "Disney animation" and might be a little useless for stop motion animators for instance.

Only two things really bothered me on the book. One is that the CD-ROM comes in a plastic bag that is binded together with the paper leaves, which makes the book difficult to read and also ruined the binding - it was already breaking when I first opened the book.

The other thing is that many americans talk about each other as if everybody was a genius and had invented the wheel. This book even praises the author for having worked on a movie that haven't been produced yet! Goldberg is an excellent animator, but we don't need to be reminded of that over and over again.

In a nutshell: buy it if you already know how to animate, but is too lazy to read Dick William's book five times, and is looking for some good advice.
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Character Animation Crash Course!
Character Animation Crash Course! by Eric Goldberg (Paperback - July 15, 2008)
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