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The Animator's Survival Kit Paperback – January 7, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-0571202287 ISBN-10: 0571202284 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 342 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; 1st edition (January 7, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571202284
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571202287
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 9.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (136 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #383,525 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Williams is miles ahead of anyone in the world of animation."--The New York Times

From the Inside Flap

Praise for Richard Williams:

"Arguably the best animator working in the field today." Hollywood Reporter

"Richard is a genius." Robert Zemeckis (director, Back to the Future, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Forrest Gump)

"Probably one of the most respected draftsmen in the world." Los Angeles TV Times

"Williams is miles ahead of anyone in the world of animation." New York Times

"Voted by peers as 'The Animator's Animator'." Observer

Richard Williams is best known as the Director of Animation and designer of the new characters for Who Framed Roger Rabbit, for which he won two Academy Awards including a Special Achievement Award.

Canadian-born Williams has won three US Academy Awards, three British Academy Awards, and an Emmy among 246 international awards-- starting with his first film The Little Island in 1958.

Williams has also animated title sequences for Return of the Pink Panther, The Pink Panther Strikes Again, What's New Pussycat, Casino Royale and linking sequences for The Charge of the Light Brigade, as well as countless prize-winning commercials.

In 1990 he was voted by his peers as "The Animator's Animator," and in 1995 he started giving the Richard Williams Animation Masterclasses for professionals and students worldwide in London, Hollywood, New York, San Francisco, Vancouver, Sydney, Hong Kong, France and Denmark.

He lives with his family in Wales and works as an independent film-maker.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Richard Williams is best known as the Director of Animation and designer of the new characters for Who Framed Roger Rabbit, for which he won two Academy Awards including a Special Achievement Award.Canadian-born Williams has won three US Academy Awards, three British Academy Awards, and an Emmy among 246 international awards-- starting with his first film The Little Island in 1958.Williams has also animated title sequences for Return of the Pink Panther, The Pink Panther Strikes Again, What's New Pussycat, Casino Royale and linking sequences for The Charge of the Light Brigade, as well as countless prize-winning commercials.In 1990 he was voted by his peers as "The Animator's Animator," and in 1995 he started giving the Richard Williams Animation Masterclasses for professionals and students worldwide in London, Hollywood, New York, San Francisco, Vancouver, Sydney, Hong Kong, France and Denmark.He lives with his family in Wales and works as an independent film-maker.

Customer Reviews

I'd recommend this book to anyone who is seriously interested in character animation.
Ms. Dakini
Williams systematically demystifies virtually every aspect of animation from simple walk cycles, to breaking joints to dialogue and acting.
Ronnie L. Ashlock
After thumbing through it myself, it looks like a great book, but very technical and difficult to read.
Mom

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

92 of 98 people found the following review helpful By Ronnie L. Ashlock on February 19, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Any animator looking for a book to help them improve their craft knows that most books on animation usually fall short in so many ways, it's easy to think it's impossible to write a comprehensive and accurate book on the subject (don't even get me started about the abysmal state of computer character animation books). Williams is the penultimate animator's animator and he tells it like it is. Williams systematically demystifies virtually every aspect of animation from simple walk cycles, to breaking joints to dialogue and acting. Along the way, he corrects or eliminates information that is inaccurate or practices that distract (lose the headphones and the rad tunes when you work and watch your quality and quantity improve). Williams also is a great storyteller and writer. His accounts with Milt Kahl, Art Babbit and Ken Harris are gems, giving real insight into the personalities of these ingenious men. Since so much of the book is gleaned from his tutaluge under the now-gone "greats" of animation, any price for this tome is a steal. His gift to the world is this book.
If you want learn to REALLY animate characters with life and believability, get this book.
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78 of 86 people found the following review helpful By Nancy Beiman on January 3, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Richard Williams is a man who is largely responsible for the revival of the art of animation in the early 1970s. Williams had Disney animator Art Babbitt and Warner great Ken Harris working in his studio in London and training a new generation of animators in the techniques of good character animation, which was not taught at the time in any school or considered an art form.
Williams' long awaited book on animation technique is the logical successor to Preston Blair's CARTOON ANIMATION and it successfully updates some of the weaknesses of that book, particularly in handling dialogue animation. He covers a lot of the same ground that Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston did in their now out-of-print THE ILLUSION OF LIFE.
There is some history, but that's available in other books. What is unique about this book is that Williams writes how surprised he, an Academy Award winning animator with a successful professional studio, was to learn that he needed to learn just about everything over again from Harris and Babbitt. Fortunately for us he is now sharing these priceless lessons with the public.
The most important thing that an aspiring animator will get from this book is: that animation IS an art form, and good animation has nothing to do with whether it is done on computer or on paper. Williams exhorts his readers to 'draw whenever possible' and even though there is a computer modelled figure on the cover of the book, there is not a single piece of computer generated imagery in it. The book is about the bare bones, about creating life in art. Animation is the twentieth century's contribution to world art and deserves to be taken very seriously.
Buy this book.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By William Wira on April 10, 2002
Format: Paperback
I have been a computer animator for 4 years, with a focus on character animation for 1 year. I have been searching for information that will get my work closer to ILM/Pixar quality, and this book has advanced my skills a generation ahead, bringing me much closer to my goal. Richard Williams breaks down all sorts of different walks (maybe a hundred?), runs and motions that imply weight, which is essential for a complete animator. He also gives suggested timings for different types of motions, so you have a starting point for a certain action... you don't have to reinvent the wheel. He has a straightforward style of animating that really improved my workflow, as well. As I act out the motions of a character I want to move a certain way, using Williams's techniques I can now breakdown the important parts of the motion with much more accuracy and efficiency. I read this book while working on a project, and the quality of my shots went up exponentially with every page I read. I now have tons of confidence in my abilities, I can animate better and quicker, and I have an added level of life in my characters that was lacking before. For me, this was a must read. I thank Richard Williams profusely for writing this book, and I recommend it to everybody that wants to animate characters.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Roth on February 26, 2002
Format: Paperback
I'm a graduate of a one year animation certificate program in classical animation. In many ways, this book covers a lot of the ground of Preson Blair's classic bible "Cartoon Animation", as well as Tony White's excellent "Animator's Handbook". However, it also deals with practical examples to extend the lessons from these initial books. The whole section on 'walks' has lessons on acting, character and animation that deal with all areas of acting in animation, not simply walk cycles.
It's also more practical than the Illusion of Life, in that it has a logical progression of lessons and enough custom illustrations to more precicely demonstrate these points. In many ways, It's the intermediate book between the intellectual aspects of the Illusion of Life, and the basic principals of Cartoon Animation.
For me, this was like a second year of school: I had learned all the concepts and basic principals I needed in that first year of school using Tony White and Preson Blair. Richard William's book expanded on those concepts, and has already started to improve my work in the first two months of receiving it. I highly recommend this book to any animation students out there, as well as graduates looking to increase their skills.
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