Tag Archives: reference

Animation books


We always hear about 2 books on animation that seem to be regarded as bibles, The Illusion of Life and The Animator’s Survival Toolkit. So I’ve decided to focus on 3 other books which I’ve found immensely useful. They’re all very simple reads and all very reasonably priced considering the influence they will have on your career.

Acting for Animators – This is a great introduction to acting for any animator, Ed Hooks has been able to breakdown the differences between how an actor approaches a scene and how an animator would approach a scene. The ideas of power centres, creating empathy even in villains, starting a scene in the middle, etc are all golden points to keep in mind when approaching a shot. This video is almost a summary of the book:

Character Animation Crash Course – Breaks down animation to its simplest forms. It covers everything from timing sheets to staging, breakdowns and animation principles. What really makes the book golden in my opinion is the CD where you can easily step through Eric Goldberg’s animations. Studying and reproducing his breakdowns is really an eye opening experience.

Creating Characters with Personality – While character design might not be directly applicable to a CG animator who is given a rig, it’s still a useful resource. I think the book helps to hone your sense of who your character is and how to convey that while also retaining appeal. The book talks a bit about anatomy, posing and also animals.

Character/personality walk cycles

I decided to collate some references for when thinking about what character/personality walk you want to do. Just sitting outside and observing people around you as I did recently will bring out a whole variety of walks. Films also have a never ending number of personality walks, compare how Wreck it Ralph walks for example to Vanellope and you’ll see two distinct characters.

If you use one references below I recommend using it just to get some ideas and then shoot your own footage, you’ll end up having a more unique base to build from.

I also like how in this clip around the 33 second mark Richard Williams recommends mimicking how a person walks, in order to really get a feel of the body mechanics at work:

A great blog with some animated walk cycles: http://walk-cycle-depot.blogspot.jp/



From Preston Blair’s Cartoon Animation book:

Endless reference has a few good walk cycle reference clips on youtube. Check out their channel.

How to walk in high heels:

How to walk with a cane: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFMEmG6YKDI

Charlie Chaplin walking:

Seven Dwarfs (around 2:00 mark)

Monty Python’s Ministry of Silly Walks

A few student reference videos with a variety of walks:

(It is in 15fps, definitely shoot your own material)