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The Noble Approach: Maurice Noble and the Zen of Animation Design Hardcover – October 1, 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (October 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1452102945
  • ISBN-13: 978-1452102948
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 9.6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,618 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

" an exquisitely designed art book...The Noble Approach: Maurice Noble and the Zen of Animation Design is a truly essential book that belongs in every animator's and animation fan's library."
- AnimationWorld

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-Entertainment Weekly

"one of the best animation books of the year...a fantastic look at the master artist's inspiring work process, providing a rich collection of artwork, notes, lovely anecdotes and valuable lessons about creating timeless toons."
- Animation Magazine

"The Noble Approach: Maurice Noble and the Zen of Animation Design ranks among the most unique and delightful animation books in recent memory. It goes without saying that the book's well-balanced mix of technical tips and anecdotal advice makes it a must-buy title for professional artists and students, but it should also appeal to fans of classic of animation who will surely gain a renewed appreciation for the Chuck Jones canon."
- Cartoon Brew

"'I've used the term "must-have" before - but I compel every one of you reading this site and this review to order this book immediately. You will not regret it."
-Cartoon Research

About the Author

Tod Polson first studied design at Otis/Parsons, and animation at CalArts before apprenticing under pioneering animation designer Maurice Noble. Since then, he has worked extensively as a filmmaker, designer, and teacher. He lives in Wyoming.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Great information on dynamic layout and design.
Elizabeth B. Cox
Anyone with an interest in animation, filmmaking, or art in general should buy this book without hesitation.
Thad Komorowski
Simple and well organized like a check list with examples.
Jolene

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Thad Komorowski on August 16, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you're reading this review, you obviously don't need an introduction to who Maurice Noble was. His contributions as a designer and layout man to such landmark animated films as RABBIT SEASONING, WHAT'S OPERA DOC?, DUCK AMUCK, ROBIN HOOD DAFFY, the Road Runner series, and DUCK DODGERS IN THE 241/2TH CENTURY make his name as firmly inseparable from them as the director Chuck Jones's.

Tod Polson was a protégé of Noble's who has finally realized his generous teacher's dream of putting all of Noble's notes and theories on animation design in book form. You'll first learn about Noble's history and find out how things were like in the ever-evolving Golden Age of animation, and then how things got so bad that Noble was afraid the wisdom he mistook for common knowledge would vanish into the ether - hence why he wanted his thoughts recorded in the first place!

If you want to know how Noble did it and how you can possibly instill some of his own virtues into your work, don't just watch the films. Let Polson take you on this very intimate journey and show you how Noble took care to make sure his design met the needs of every single element of an animated film and not the other way around. More importantly, the book is lavishly and colorfully illustrated to appropriately aid the instructions, driving home every point clearly and beautifully.

Anyone with an interest in animation, filmmaking, or art in general should buy this book without hesitation. It'd be the Noble thing to do!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Parka TOP 50 REVIEWER on November 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Length: 1:33 Mins
The Noble Approach is a book that's part biography and part animation design tips featuring the late great Maurice Noble.

As a kid, I would watch the Warner Bros cartoons and never think about things like art and design. They are good which is why people watch them.

Well, in this book, you'll go behind the scenes and look at the person who has a hand at creating some of these animated productions, and understand his design philosophies.

Author Tod Polson who has apprenticed under Noble has done a good job with the biography detailing the designer's life and career right from the start. It's an inspiring tale of someone who has gone through a tumultuous period, with the need to support his family while still young, going through various career changes, having the ups and downs with co-workers, while still maintaining the passion to put out good design for animation and screen.

The biography is about a third of the book. The rest are his philosophies on design. It's on how he handles story beats, story elements, using reference, contrast, simplifying elements, colour theory, perspective, layout, and more. The text and the illustrated examples are insightful. It's a collection of design principles he has learned and compiled over the 60 years he spent in the industry.

It's a good book for those into animation and design, or into traditional animation design.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By tomm moore on September 7, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is treasure trove for animation professionals, students and fans. It's a must have for anyone interested in the art form of animation.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 9, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Maurice Noble was the biggest influence on me in my decision to enter the animation arena. Maurice created most of the layouts (the backgrounds) for Chuck Jones during the classic Warner Bros. cartoons era. As a kid, I would specifically look for Maurice's and Chuck's names to appear in the credits, because I knew it was going to be a great cartoon.

I now have a wonderful companion book to Frank & Ollie's "The Illusion of Life" as a valuable learning guide to study the masters of animation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By T. Schott on March 25, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
With so many books about other animation mavericks, this book is long overdue. Tod Polson created a great tribute to his old mentor. The book is packed with wonderful illustrations and stills from Maurice's life's work. There were a couple places where the book needed a proof-reader for grammar and repeated words; but let's face it, the book is for artists and when was the last time we actually read a book all the way through. I strongly suggest buying this book if you love animation art or if you are a student of animation. A great addition to my library.
Also, I recommend taking the dust jacket off to look at the two layout drawings on the front and back cover. They aren't reprinted inside the book and they are fantastic drawings.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Trudy Carrillo on February 7, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the layout and the history. The sample drawings were excellent. It was excellent and a great teaching aid.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Graphic Reader on January 18, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Noble was one of the all-time greats. His inventive backgrounds, spare and elegant, were the perfect complement to the Warner Bros animators, Chuck Jones in particular. Beautifully illustrated and a great backstage look at the outset of animated pictures.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nancy Beiman on November 27, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This stunning book by Tod Polson was years in the making...and it is worth the wait. It's not just a coffee table book--Polson, one of the "Noble Boys" who studied with the master, has edited and commented on Noble's lessons. Many of these lessons seem to be standard design theories...but what Noble does with them is anything but standard.
This is the "Must Have" animation book of the year--any year.
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