Animated Performance: Bringing Imaginary Animal, Human and Fantasy Characters to Life (Required Reading Range) 1st Edition
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Once again Nancy Beiman has come through for aspiring animators with an inspirational text on what it takes to really be an ‘actor with a pencil’! I've known Nancy for many years as a professional colleague in both traditional and contemporary formats of animated production, as well as an exceptional teacher of this medium. Her new book reaches a very underserved area of publications on this subject, and should be on the reference shelf of every student, as well as the current new generation of animator 'pros' in our industry.
Bill Matthews, Training & Recruiting Manager, Walt Disney Feature Animation (Retired)
Veteran animator Nancy Beiman has harvested a lifetime of lessons from her Hollywood mentors, added inspiration from her favorite entertainers, a pinch of her own illustration, and distilled it all down into a wonderfully whimsical yet concise how-to of the animator’s art. A must-have for the serious student of animation.
Tom Sito, animator, author of Drawing the Line: The Untold Story of the Animation Unions from Bosko to Bart Simpson
‘Animated Performance by Nancy Beiman is an instant classic. Beiman’s new book concentrates solely on character animation and she knocks it out of the park. It is a thorough, step by step examination of the art, aimed at the advanced student or professional animator who already knows the basics. The principles she discusses can apply to any technique (CG, Flash, stop motion, etc.) and she has packed the book with ample examples of her own animation, as well as classic comic strips, commercial art and movie stills to illustrate her points.’
Jerry Beck, www.cartoonbrew.com
‘A beautiful 234-page instructional text that should inspire both beginners and long-term experts in animation. Packed with amusing illustrations, inspiring anecdotes and lively examples, Beiman’s book acts as the kind of teacher we all wish we had in school.’
Animation Magazine, October 2010
‘Nancy Beiman's new book Animated Performance should find a place on the bookshelf of anyone who creates character based work, whether it's animation, illustration, comic art, writing or portraiture.’
Elliot Cowan, www.elliotelliotelliot.com
‘If I had to select one book, today, that I would recommend people read to learn about the art of animation, I’d probably pick Nancy Beiman’s latest tome. It’s a bona fide gem. This book does as its title suggests, it shows you how to get a *performance* out of your characters.’
Michael Sporn, www.michaelspornanimation.com
‘Nancy Beiman's Animated Performance is a personal, professional and historical introduction to the animation process. It's top notch primer. In fact, I would recommend first time animation students begin with this text (and Miyazaki's Starting Point) before proceeding to Tony White or Halas & Whittaker and then Williams. Right there you'd have a solid three year course of study.’
Asterisk Animation, August 2010
'Animated Performance offers a comprehensive study of movement in animation. The book covers basic concepts, such as lip sync, character analysis and motivation, but also delves further into topics of contemporary concern, such as varying languages and their effect on mouth movement, as well as approaches to masculinity and femininity. Highly recommended for all film libraries and readers high school level and up.'
Animation Journal, Volume 18, 2010
'[Nancy Beiman's] imagination-based exercises are where this book really shines. They're great. Every five or 10 pages, Nancy adds a clear, concise, well-planned and thoughtful exercise that directly relates to the preceding text. They are the kind of exercises that appear to have been developed by an excellent teacher after years of hands-on knowledge in the classroom. I'd love to try them all.'
Fran Krause, Animation World Network, October 2010
‘Toon town veteran and animation teacher Beiman delivers a well-designed (both aesthetically and functionally) and indispensable resource in this primer volume. In its 200-plus pages you’ll find tons of information on the study of movement in animation, from lip synching to character analysis and motivation. Beiman guides you through the principles of designing motion with a level of care and knowledge you’d be hard pressed to find in many how-tos – grab a pack of gold star stickers to keep on your desk and you may as well have a personal toon tutor.
Animated Performance discusses the fascinating process of bringing animated characters to life. This unique introduction to the art of animated performance explores the power of animation to portray an almost unlimited variety of characters.
Animator Nancy Beiman demonstrates how animators need not be constrained by the bodily limitations that restrict human actors. Students will learn how species, weight, and design affect character actions, so that no two character performances are ever alike.
The book also examines the ways in which an individual character’s movements vary with the emotional or narrative context. Hundreds of thumbnail drawings show how cloth, paper, wood, stone, animal, invertebrate, winged, aquatic and mechanical beings can live and move without losing their non-human qualities.
- Item Weight : 2.76 pounds
- ISBN-10 : 2940373817
- Paperback : 232 pages
- ISBN-13 : 978-2940373819
- Product Dimensions : 8.72 x 1 x 11.81 inches
- Publisher : AVA Publishing; 1st Edition (September 15, 2010)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,687,534 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The hefty volume is packed with detail and terrific, color artwork and delves deep into the art of bringing animated characters to life. What I like best about this book is that she spends a great deal of time focusing on non-human characters. Many other animation books focus on things like four-legged walks and similar topics for animals, but Nancy goes way beyond this and provides great instruction on making animals *perform*. And that's the real theme of the book -- performance! Not just acting, not just animating, but performing.
There are also lots of exercises so you can apply what you have learned. The best way to self-study is to draw draw and draw, and that's what these exercises get you doing, starting with a daily sketchbook and learning how to observe. The book is a large format and opens flat, so you can have out it on your lap or desk while drawing (the best way to study this book!)
This book applies to all animation styles, not just hand-drawn Disney-style animation -- the principles apply to 2D & 3D digital animation, stop-motion and cut-out animation, too. If you have the Richard Williams book, you need this one at your desk, too. Williams will teach you how to make your characters walk and run and stay on a bear, Beiman's book will teach you how to make your characters breathe and laugh or cry and make you care about them. Your animated characters will become memorable characters not with just what they say but what they *do*.
This book in particular provides new ways to think about the performance and acting, or rather to pry away the self-imposed restrictiveness we have in order to approach the topic with an open mind and a few pointers to start from. It always gives great ideas to obtain hands on experience through the practice of such a subject. I would recommend joining a local area animation society or finding a close school teacher professing the subject to look over the work, and if not then try a close friend or family because it would be beneficial to obtain alternative feedback for your work without one supervising it for you. Our eyes are able to pick out peculiarities, but we might be closely regarded to the work of have worked with it for such a period that it hinders the self criticism needed to succeed in the beginning. If not just drop it for a few days and come back to check it out after the eyes and brain have had a break from it.
Touches on some key principles. Not fluff or stuff you've read before (novice) but rather insightful, original & honest insight for someone with experience.
Has a nice focus on acting (hence the title) of people (different sizes / ages) & animals. Isn't that what animation is?
Comprehensive enough while keeping it under 250 pages. A textbook on becoming an animator (here's what you should consider ...).
Filled with Ms. Beiman's delightful drawings, inspiring text, and practical exercises,"Animated Performance" will lift the aspiring artist to the levels needed to perform professionally. Included throughout are interviews with some of the great animators of all time.
This is truly a beautiful book but,hey,get it off your coffee table and put it on your drawing board where it counts!
I'd think the only thing better than owning "Animated Performance" would be a seat in Nancy Beiman's classroom at Sheridan Tech, Ontario.
Top reviews from other countries
The author, Nancy Beiman, has been at the top of animation for years, being one of the first students in the famous A113 class with Brad Bird, John Lasseter, John Musker, Tim Burton etc before going on to work with Disney, Warner Bros and other well respected studios. So you don't need to worry about the credibility of the information given.
I thoroughly recommend this book to all animators as, aside from the knowledge contained within, it is put across in a way which makes it clear to understand and you can almost feel it in your brain that you are improving with each chapter.