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Elemental Magic, Volume II: The Technique of Special Effects Animation (Animation Masters Title) Paperback – September 21, 2011


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Elemental Magic, Volume II: The Technique of Special Effects Animation (Animation Masters Title) + Elemental Magic, Volume I: The Art of Special Effects Animation + Drawn to Life: 20 Golden Years of Disney Master Classes: Volume 1: The Walt Stanchfield Lectures
Price for all three: $109.43

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Product Details

  • Series: Animation Masters Title
  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Focal Press; 1 edition (September 21, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780240814797
  • ISBN-13: 978-0240814797
  • ASIN: 0240814797
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 11 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #117,190 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

PRAISE FOR ELEMENTAL MAGIC, VOLUME I:

"Gilland's fascinating new book [is] a revelation of the amazing blend of the art and craft behind of classical effects animation."-Don Hahn, Academy Award-nominated producer of Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King

About the Author

In his 32+ year animation career, he has worked with such studios as Walt Disney Feature Animation, Don Bluth Animation, Productions Pascal Blais and the National Film Board of Canada. At Walt Disney Feature Animation, he served as Supervisor of Visual Effects for the Disney features Lilo & Stitch and Brother Bear. At Disney he also served as Head of Special Effects Units for the Disney features Kingdom of the Sun and Tarzan, and was Special Effects Animator on such notable titles as Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, James and the Giant Peach, Hercules and Mulan. He served as Designer and Supervisor for all 2D and 3D visual effects on the television series Silverwing, and Chaotic at Bardel Animation in Vancouver. He has also designed and directed a wide variety of television commercials. Clients include General Motors, CocaCola, Honda, MacDonald's, Gillette, Players Tobacco, Larrouse Dictionaries, and Radio Quebec. For almost three years, he was the Head of animation, and Digital Character animation at the Vancouver Film School. He lectures at animation schools in Canada, Europe and Asia, and has conducted workshops at animation festivals and schools around the world. he is a professional musician and performer as well. He has been writing professionally for over three years now, and has a bi-monthly column in the online Animation World Magazine, entitled 'The Animated Scene' which has an enormous readership around the world. He has also had articles published in Animation Magazine, the world's foremost industry magazine, as well as well as an article in 'Cartoons' The International Journal of Animation.

More About the Author

Joseph Gilland is an artist, animator, author, musician, singer/songwriter and avid motorcycle enthusiast. With over 30 years of experience in the animation industry as one of the world's most sought after special effects artists, Joseph was more than ready to write and illustrate his cornerstone animation book "Elemental Magic" His experience in the field took him to the very top at the Walt Disney Feature Animation Studio, where he was the head of the visual effects department for several years, most notably for the film 'Lilo & Stitch'. 'Elemental Magic' has been an international hit, selling well world-wide. The first book of its kind, it is a beautifully illustrated masterpiece, revealing long kept industry secrets of just how the elements have been animated through history. Based on Vancouver Island now, Joseph is working on an accompanying volume to Elemental Magic. He is in demand around the world of animation, bringing his 'Elemental Magic -An Organic Approach to Special Effects Animation' workshops and lectures to studios, schools and festival, in North America, Europe and Asia.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Like his first volume, this is a joy to behold.
M. Stewart
You always need to keep it fresh and think outside your own way of doing things to do so (it is easy to get set in your ways once you find things that work for you).
Bruno
The first Elemental Magic book was boon to animation student as the first book dedicated solely to effects animation.
Grant Beaudette

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By ut158 TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 22, 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Volume II has a lot of the same things that Volume I had. In many cases there is more detail. The first 1/2 of the book deals almost entirely with water--splashes, waves, etc. and the second half has a lot more to do with fire (and smoke). As it turns out, fire and water should be animated in much the same way, so I guess that makes sense. There is a fair amount of repetition between the first and second volumes. My recommendation would be to start with volume II and, if you really like it, get volume I. If you already have Volume I and would like a few more details, then I would recommend volume II. If you already have vol I and for whatever reason, you don't like it much, I wouldn't recommend this as it is more of the same. For those not already familiar with the series, you should know that it is a book of lots and lots of pictures with some good explanations of what is going on. I think this is a great way to do an informative "drawing" book. You should already have some artistic ability and a good eye--what this will teach you is to take those abilities and start animating the everyday things that are so difficult to get to look natural. Recommended if you already can draw and you're just wanting to make your animations look more real.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J. FELLA VINE VOICE on April 25, 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I've had this book for a while now and it's difficult to review on it's own, since technically it is part of a set. And also there really are no books out there specifically on this subject (that I'm aware of) so there's not much to compare it to. First off, if you didn't like the first book, you probably won't like this one. It's very similar and there is some overlapping material. There are some very good aspects to this book, but I have some issues with it: One, literally a third of the book is taken up by animating a splash, and two: I can't help but feel if both books were presented in a slightly more focused fashion it could've all fit into one book. For example in the chapter on fire he goes into a lot of scientific detail on combustion, which from a practical point of view, didn't do me any good and didn't need to be there.

His overall teaching/presentation style is often a little wordy and not as focused as in some other animation books I have. I agree this is complicated stuff, but probably no more so than animation in general. It's just different. Also, there is a LOT of wasted space in the book. Some of the pages have big, clear pictures in it, which is great, but there are many pages where the type only takes up like half of a page because the margins are so far in, and there is some random illustration on the page that doesn't show how to animate anything, it's just for decoration. Feels very padded at times. And lastly, the companion website that is supposed to exist, doesn't. I went to the address it listed and there is nothing there.

If you are really needing in-depth instruction on animating special effects then you'll probably want to pick this up. The fact that there isn't really any competition makes your choice pretty clear. Not what I'd hoped, but certainly has some good info in it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Claire Jordan TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 18, 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
If you can only buy one of these books, I would recommend getting this book rather than Volume 1. Both books cover a lot of the same material, but this one has very well-crafted tutorials. If you are attempting to develop your technique in the animation of fire and water (very difficult things to successfully animate) this book will guide you. The best thing is that the tutorials are not software-specific - you can use them with any animation tools you use.

This book is a must-have for anyone interested in animation.

PS - It always makes my day to know that people find these reviews helpful. If you'd also like to ask a question or leave a comment I usually respond the same day, so if you have a question or comment (even if it's just to say, Hi!") feel free to post it below.

Thanks,
Claire
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bruno VINE VOICE on January 26, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
About me:
I have been doing art and animation for well over 30 years now (since I was a child). I currently am a CGI animator by trade not a traditional animator (although as a kid I used to do traditional animation a lot).

The kind of resources I find most appealing to me over time are the ones that inspire me. Books intended purely for technique and training of software are definitely requirements for learning and performing up to par with your tools. However, once you master the tools you are still left with the the true essence of what it means to be an artists... taking inspiration and putting it into practice.

About, how this book applies to me:
We all know there are times whether it be at the start of a project or midway into a project you run into a stumbling block or two creatively. These sometimes can be due to the lack of inspiration all together. Perhaps it's just a lack of inspiration that meets your own self standards of what you come to expect of your caliber of work. Either way, this is why I collect a giant archive of "inspiration" to surround myself with. I never want to be at a lack of reference of inspiration when that time comes. These can be everything from photos, figure/sculptures, paintings, books, movies and music. You name it I have things that I specifically keep to motivate my creative process during these dips.

About the Book:
I now thankfully have found another such item for my archive. "Elemental Magic" is exactly the kind of gem that will stay on my permanent bookshelf until I am old and gray. It will serve as a practical reference to thinking through new ideas on how fire/wind/smoke/water move around. As well as a book to inspire me to keep creating (ideas incorporating the elements in this case).
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