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Timing for Animation [Paperback]

by John Halas, Harold Whitaker, Tom Sito
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)

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Book Description

September 2, 2009 0240521609 978-0240521602 2

A classic of animation education since it first published in 1981. For more than 25 years, copies of Timing for Animation have been sitting dog-eared and spine-split on desks and workstations around the world wherever animation is produced. All you need to breathe life into your animation is at your fingertips.

All the vital techniques employed by animators worldwide are explained using dozens of clear illustrations and simple, straightforward directions. Learn how animations should be arranged in relation to each other, how much space should be used and how long each drawing should be shown for maximum dramatic effect. Fully revised and updated, the second edition includes timing for digital production, digital storyboarding in 2D, digital storyboarding in 3D, the use of After Effects and much, much more!

  • Timing shows weight, mood, and power and can make or break an animation - get it right the first time with these tried and tested techniques
  • Get straight to the good stuff with simple, no-nonsense instruction on the key techniques like stretch and squash, animated cycles, overlapping, and anticipation

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Editorial Reviews


"Among my favourite books, Timing for Animation (Focal Press), by Harold Whitaker and John Halas ranks high. Originally written in 1981 (and newly revised in 2009) this slim volume presents a thorough analysis of the many kinds of timing issues one encounters in producing a narrative style animated film. Timing on Bar Sheets, Movement and Caricature, Newton's Laws of Motion, Objects Thrown Through the Air, Timing a Slow Action, Timing a Fast Action, Timing to Suggest Weight and Force... these are only a few of the many chapters included. A thoroughly compiled manual, it's an old and current favourite."--Animation World Network

About the Author

Known as the "father of animation" and formerly of Halas and Batchelor Animation unit, John produced over 2000 animations, including the legendary "Animal Farm" and the award winning "Dilemma". He was also the founder and president of the ASIFA and former Chairman of the British Federation of Film Societies.
BAFTA-nominated professional animator and educator for 40 years, many of his students number among today's most outstanding animation artists.
Tom Sito is an Adjunct Professor of Animation at USC, Woodbury College, and UCLA and has written numerous articles for Animation Magazine and Animation World Network. Tom's screen credits include the Disney classics THE LITTLE MERMAID (1989), BEAUTY & THE BEAST (1991), ALADDIN (1992), THE LION KING (1994), WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBITT (1988), POCAHONTAS (1995), FANTASIA (2000) and SHREK (2001). Tom is President-Emeritus of the Hollywood Animation Guild Local 839 IATSE. He is vice president of the International Animator's Society (ASIFA/Hollywood) He is a member of the Motion Picture Academy, the National Cartoonists Society and Hollywood Heritage. In 1998 he was named in Animation Magazine's list of the 100 Most Important People in Animation.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Focal Press; 2 edition (September 2, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0240521609
  • ISBN-13: 978-0240521602
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 7.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #297,719 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Update: July 2, 2011

I received a comment from J Fella with regards to a comment that I made in reference to another book but one that has no correlation to the subject of this book. I can't for the life of me remember why I had mentioned it. Maybe it was because I was reviewing 6 film books that month and the one mentioned really, really impressed me.

This book, TIMING FOR ANIMATION, is more of a theoretical than applicable book. And, as such, it should be viewed in that context. Having this book for almost 2 years now, and picking it up on random occasions, I've had a change of heart about it's worth. But, since this book has been the foundation text for animators for almost 30 years, I felt (and still do feel) that we should have seen more examples of animated films whose success was, at least, in part attributed to this work. That omission makes it a 4-star and not a 5-star book.

Again, thanks to J Fella, for the constructive criticism, it is warmly received and needed.
******* ******* *************

TIMING FOR ANIMATION is a newly revised version of one of the film industries revered books on animation since it was first published in 1981. This second edition is essentially an addendum to the first edition and not an adjustment to the material.

*Introduction-- What is this book about and how it should be used?
***Pro's and Con's

*Timing For Animation is not exactly a thematic book on animation. It is a sub-topic. Timing For Animation is essentially a philosophical discussion about the execution of movement for any and all scenes within a project.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A roadmap out of the uncanny valley January 16, 2010
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I can't think of much higher praise for this book than the fact that I loaned it for a bit to a friend of mine who does animation and she fell in immediate raging lust with it.

"Timing" seems inadequate to describe exactly what this book covers -- what it amounts to is a discussion of character motion in animation and how to avoid that cheezy, limited-motion Filmation/old anime style of production. Fundamentally it's about flow -- the little things about motion, like followthrough on a swinging arm or the appearance of inertia in a dance move -- and how attention to these things makes an animation look much better. The book's primary focus is on old-style cel animation and the styles that derive from it, but there's really no reason to limit its lessons to that particular genre.

Not being an animator but just an interested outsider, there isn't much more I can say about this book that I haven't already. If you are an animator, though, you really should have this.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 1st edition is superior March 2, 2012
For this second edition, Focal press had Tom Sito write a new preface, a conclusion, and a few bare-bones entries on various types of computer/digital animation which are so basic as to be virtually worthless. The book also got a facelift, consisting of a color-coded header bar on every page which gives you the chapter and lesson titles, presumably to prevent any possibility of a reader getting lost in this slim little volume. It's possible I guess. Unfortunately, this header means that now all of the images have been shrunk by 10% in size and seem to have lost some clarity in printing as well, with more noticeable areas of fade out in the line work. I also find the text smaller and harder to read, as they have switched to a sans serif font.

For a similarly inscrutable reason, the design team attempted to position all of the text on the right hand page and all of the images on the left hand page if at all possible, contrary to the original design, and the result is several awkward layouts where the images and text no longer flow smoothly. The paper stock is now glossy and twice as heavy, but as I have noted, the image quality is worse, so I prefer my lighter, slimmer 2002 edition. Unless you really want to see pictures of steve buscemi getting mo-capped and president obama riding a unicorn, I suggest sticking with the first edition of this seminal animation book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What's the most important thing--Timing!--in animation? January 22, 2011
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is an update of a classic 30-year-old book giving instruction on all aspects of timing for creating animated films. When I say "all aspects," I mean it talks about tools for developing the timeline of a piece, the various constraints of timing on various animated media (tv, film, etc.), drawing techniques to properly illustrate the timing of an animated character's actions, the interplay of the timing of dialogue and illustrated actions, etc. The preface indicates that a driving force for the new edition is the revolution of digital animation. I have not read the original edition, but the quantity of material included on digital animation seems relatively light, so I'm not sure how much was really added for this edition. However, keeping this book in print seems like a boon to animators, because it really does contain a wealth of information on this critical topic.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Update to a classic November 17, 2011
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Timing for animation is a great book and works well when you're using illusion of life or the animators survival kit.

the second edition updates to take advantaged of the latest advancements, but it's nothing so groundbreaking that you should feel the need to upgrade over the first.

if you haven't used this book before get it now and it will easily help you add more life to your characters and animations

highly recommended as one of the essential animation books.

right behind illusion of life and animators survival kit.

5 stars.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Invaluable
The updated version of this classic has performed an invaluable service. A wealth of details about what makes animation work now comes alive for a modern audience.
Published 10 days ago by CarlEd
4.0 out of 5 stars Seems like an interesting book
I checked it out a bit. Seems pretty detailed, but I never ended up really using it for my animation class.
Published 1 month ago by Stephanie
5.0 out of 5 stars Really insightful
Very good book that opened my eyes to some really important facts about timing. I started reading The Animators Survival Kit and noticed I was not getting enough info about Timing. Read more
Published 1 month ago by G. Stapleton
4.0 out of 5 stars It's basic.
I'm studying animation for awhile now, and I was expecting a thoughtful aproach about timing but it's not that deep, the book is very good for who is starting and trying to... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Diego Souza
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT
If you are beginning in the animation this book really opens your mind despite being very short in pages length. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Carlos F. Pimentel
5.0 out of 5 stars buen libro
me llegó en el tiempo justo que me dijeron que llegaría, muy puntual y perfecto todo solo que la caja muy grande y por eso me cobraron de mas
Published 14 months ago by Laura Brando
5.0 out of 5 stars Tremendously helpful
This book was one of the 'suggested' books for one of my college classes. I'm glad I didn't pass it up. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Rebekah Weatherly
3.0 out of 5 stars Good as a start but has could be better
I had been interested in purchasing this book for a long time and when I finally read it I feel that it's good as it lightly covers the basics of animation instead of just... Read more
Published 22 months ago by AZ Animators
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book on the market!
This book resides on most of the animations desks at Pixar! While others cover many aspects of animation, this is really the best book for this particular subject--timing.
Published on April 9, 2012 by Wade and Lynn Buffington
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great book
I have many books on the topic and this is a very, very good one. Timing is key and this book proves it. Read more
Published on July 29, 2011 by A You
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