The Illusion of Life – Disney Animation
“Man always has had a compelling urge to make representations of the things he sees in the world around him… ultimately, he seeks to portray the very spirit of his subject. For some presumptuous reason, man feels the need to create something of his own that appears to be living, that has an inner strength, a vitality, a separate identity – something that speaks out with authority – a creation that gives the illusion of life.” – Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston
This book is considered to be the “Bible of Animation” and was written by two of Walt Disney’s Nine Old Men, Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston, who among them virtually created hand-drawn animation as it is practiced today. The book covers an incredible time period of animation history, and is a must have for any animator.
The Animator’s Survival Kit
“I remember once saying to Emery Hawkins (a wonderful, unsung animator), “I’m afraid my brains are in my hand.” Emery said, “Where else would they be? It’s a language of drawing. It’s not a language of tongue.”” – Richard Williams.
This book thoroughly covers everything imaginable about animation. It teaches you all the basics of spacing, timing, walks, runs, weight, anticipation, overlapping action, takes, stagger, dialogue, animal animation and much more. It’s not called a “survival kit” for nothing and is definitely worth buying it. It is written by Richard Williams, who studied the art form and learned from individuals like Art Babbitt and Ken Harris. In this book, Williams shares the tips, tricks, and secrets he’s collected over the years, techniques any animator can use to make his or her job easier.
“An animator must consider a number of things when planning and creating animated movement. First, he or she must devise a plan for the action the character is supposed to perform. Once the plan is set, the actual movements of the character can be designed and rough sketches of the movements drawn. .. Next, key (or “extreme”) poses are drawn; then the key poses are used as guides to draw the in-between movements.” – Preston Blair
This book focuses on the five key areas character development, animation, dialogue, camera synchronization and sound. Preston Blair animated Mickey Mouse so this book is definitely a good inspiration and help for animator newcomers and those who want to broaden their horizon. Preston Blair died in 1995 but he has left a wealthy and vibrant masterpiece worthy of any animator’s bookshelf.