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Character Animation Crash Course! Paperback – July 15, 2008
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Best known for designing the Genie in Disney's Aladdin, Goldberg is a cartoon-comedy mater who's crafted a terrific how-to. This is not a coffee-table tome but a textbook, full of technical detail. There's plenty to engage casual browsers, though. As he diagrams what makes great 'toons tick, whether hand-drawn or CG - the physics of double takes, the best way to splat a face into an immovable object - Goldberg will leave you bug-eyed at the intricacy of the medium. A- --Entertainment Weekly, September 19, 2008
From the Author
Foreword When I first started making films, books about character animation were rare, and most were written from the distant, historical perspective of an observer. Of the meager handful of books that actually discussed how to do animation, only two were really good: Walt Disney's Tips On Animation from the Disneyland Art Corner and the classic Advanced Animation by Preston Blair. In the half century since, many animation books have been written, but still few are considered indispensable to people interested in doing animation themselves. To that exclusive club we must add the book you now hold in your hand: Character Animation Crash Course. Among Eric's many achievements is the "Friend Like Me" sequence from Walt Disney Pictures' Aladdin, a chunk of pure cartoon magic so dense that it can be enjoyed two ways: at regular speed or one frame at a time... where every aspect of Eric's astonishing embellishments, caricature, and razor-sharp timing can be savored like fine wine. In this jam-packed book Eric will show you the rules for getting the most out of your animation. If you learn them well, you'll be good. If you can internalize these rules to the point where you can call upon them without thinking, you'll be exceptional. And if you learn them as well as Eric, you might even be able to successfully break a few of these rules and add to cumulative knowledge of how to make pencil lines (or pixels, clay, stop-motion models, etc.) come to life. You might even become accomplished enough to write the next great animation book. Good thing the rest of us don't have to wait until then. We have this terrific book right now. Brad Bird -- Writer / Director, The Iron Giant, The Incredibles, Ratatouille
Top customer reviews
For many years, Richard Williams' The Animator's Survival Kit has been the gold standard of animation books, and rightfully so. Lucky for us, fellow animation guru Eric Goldberg's "Character Animation Crash Course" isn't just overlap from Williams' work and teaches us different aspects of animation that other books haven't covered.
Goldberg covers aspects of animation far less academically than Williams and rather focuses on things from a character standpoint, how you could apply a technique to a specific character. He also list several classic cartoons (most if not all of which are on DVD) for examples of each particular technique.
He also covers how control the overall shape volume of what's moving, even for flat, graphic characters, and goes in depth on animation "gimmicks" like smear drawings, zip lines, staggers etc... that are often mentioned, but never properly explained.
Probably the most informative part of the book for me was the section on character construction, covering many of the ins and outs of designing an animatable character that I haven't seen in other books.
"Character Animation Crash Course" also has the one big thing "Animator's Survival Kit" doesn't: A CD-ROM of the animations shown that you can watch and frame through to better understand the lessons in the book.
Hopefully someday other master animators will do what Eric Goldberg's done with "Character Animation Crash Course." Write an animation book that has unique outlook on the artform and that imparts some new pearls of knowledge on the subject. Until then, you have to at least add this book to your shelf. Right next to The Animator's Survival Kit of course.