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Storytelling through Animation (Charles River Media Graphics) 1st Edition

4 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1584503941
ISBN-10: 1584503947
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Editorial Reviews

Review

PART I EMOTIONS IN MOTION Chapter 1 The Illusion of Cinema And Animation Chapter 2 The Story PART II VISUAL STORYTELLING Chapter 3 Developing the True Critical Eye Chapter 4 Directing Chapter 5 Art Direction Chapter 6 Cinematography PART III PREPRODUCTION Chapter 7 Preplanning and Preproduction Chapter 8 Storyboarding Chapter 9 Animatics Chapter 10 Sound, Music, and Voice Chapter 11 Character Design and Production Design Chapter 12 Lighting PART IV PRODUCTION Chapter 13 Animation Chapter 14 Character Animation PART V POSTPRODUCTION Chapter 15 Editing Chapter 16 Postproduction Chapter 17 Tools and Techniques and Modern Animation

About the Author

Mike Wellins is a prolific indie filmmaker and commercial director of animation. He was a director at Will Vinton Studios for five years, and also worked with Walt Disney Feature Animation, Hanna Barbera, Nickelodeon, and Warner Brothers TV. He has created numerous commercials, episodic television, pilots, shorts and music videos, and over 70 films (long, short, live, animated, and three low-budget features). His professional and independent work has earned him numerous awards, including an Annie for outstanding achievement in an animated commercial. His films have also been featured in The Sick and Twisted Festivals, The Animation Celebration, and the Sundance Film Festival and have appeared on Cartoon Network, MTV, the Sci-Fi Channel, and Atom films. Additionally, he has spoken at the Game Developer Conference and Siggraph on storytelling, animation, and direction.
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Product Details

  • Series: Charles River Media Graphics
  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Charles River Media; 1 edition (January 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1584503947
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584503941
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #759,696 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
First, this is not a book on the mechanics of producing animation. Instead it is a book that comes before that. It's about how to tell a story through animation. It's about the first steps that must be done right if the story is to be told at all.

It all begins with the story. Without a story, animation is just a bunch of pictures. How do you make the story better? How do you make it fit animation as opposed to live action?

How do you create the character? How do you make the image, the story give the character a personality? What kind of a background, a world do you design?

From here the book goes through the whole production process. Once again, this is not a book on how to use a software package to produce the animation, it's a step before that. The author is a professional at film making. In addition he interviews quite a number of professionals from the major studios to get their view of the process.

Finally the CD included with the book include film strips that you can use to evaluate just how well these guys did in following the precepts of the book.
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Format: Paperback
I've read a lot of animation books over the years, but this is one I don't think I'll ever look at again. Most of these "one stop shop" type books that cover every single aspect of filmmaking end up not saying much no matter how long winded they are.

There's no shortage of information in this book. The problem is little, if any of it is in a form you can be readily applied to your own work. Complex thoughts with little elaboration. Highly visual ideas with no pictures explain things. Just a glut of film making tibits with little actual learning.

The CD content is better than ones in some other books I've read, but it doesn't help if the disc takes the place of illustrations in the book. That way I'm forced to be at my computer while I'm reading to get the most out of the book. Overall I think the CD added more to the price of the book than it did the content.

For my time and money, books like CGI Filmmaking: The Creation of Ghost Warrior are a much better buy.
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Format: Paperback
This book is well written, and follows a logical progression through examining the story, pre-production, animation, and post-production. Many of these concepts apply to the different kinds of animation mentioned in the book (cel, stop-motion, 3d), and also to traditional film.

The author clearly has a lot of experience creating animations. Unfortunately, the book doesn't live up to its promises to explain and teach specifics for each part of the creative process. It hints at ideas and details that need to be considered, but remains vague and doesn't give many examples of how a specific mood or reaction might be achieved, or how design choices affect audiences. For example, the chapter on lighting describes three-point and night lighting in some detail, but doesn't give many suggestions beyond those.

The book is a good read for a beginner who is interested in how an animated feature is made, but isn't detailed enough as a reference text for someone who has already begun the creative process.
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Format: Paperback
Lovely book, it has very interesting bits of information to guide students in animation.
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