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Timing for Animation Paperback – September 2, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0240521602 ISBN-10: 0240521609 Edition: 2nd
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Timing for Animation + The Animator's Survival Kit: A Manual of Methods, Principles and Formulas for Classical, Computer, Games, Stop Motion and Internet Animators + The Illusion of Life: Disney Animation
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"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.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 174 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: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,466 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Lars Kingbeard on March 2, 2012
Format: Paperback
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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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?
**Sub-topics
***Pro's and Con's
****Conclusion

*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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By S. Horwatt VINE VOICE on 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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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Brian Connors VINE VOICE on 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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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
When it comes to animation, timing is more than half the equation. With the right timing, even a stick figure or blob could come to life and be exciting to watch. I found that out the hard way, playing around with Anime Studio Debut. I created an intriguing character, and figured out how to bend and alter his motions according to my will, but he still felt like he was "walking on air," that there was no weight to his movements, no inertia and no life. It is timing and rhythm that gives meaning to animated movement -- that makes one movement an exertion and another a casual gesture. How to achieve that is the subject of this book.

"Timing for Animation" outlines the principles of timing for meaning, to give life to movement. The focus is on "cartoon style" animation - and most of the illustrations are of that sort - but the principles outlined here would be relevant to any kind of animation, and in this new and updated edition there is some effort made to indicate applications to contemporary animation technology. There are useful discussions of how exaggeration of movement, roughly consistent with Newtonian principles, can give the feeling of weight and solidity to action; also how force gets transmitted through joints and in action; on the timing of character action and interaction; on characteristic movement patterns of inanimate objects and of animals; of walking and talking, including lip sync. It's a lot to take in, and while it is clear enough to understand, it is not pitched at an introductory level, so that this would really work best as a supplement to other more introductory works on animation.
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