The Animator's Survival Kit: A Manual of Methods, Principles and Formulas for Classical, Computer, Games, Stop Motion and Internet Animators Info

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The definitive book on animation, from the Academy
Award-winning animator behind Who Framed Roger
Rabbit?

Animation is one of the hottest areas of filmmaking
today--and the master animator who bridges the old generation and the
new is Richard Williams. During his fifty years in the business,
Williams has been one of the true innovators, winning three Academy
Awards and serving as the link between Disney's golden age of animation
by hand and the new computer animation exemplified by Toy Story.

Perhaps even more important, though, has been his dedication in
passing along his knowledge to a new generation of animators so that
they in turn could push the medium in new directions. In this book,
based on his sold-out master classes in the United States and across
Europe, Williams provides the underlying principles of animation that
every animator--from beginner to expert, classic animator to computer
animation whiz --needs. Urging his readers to "invent but be
believable," he illustrates his points with hundreds of drawings,
distilling the secrets of the masters into a working system in order to
create a book that will become the standard work on all forms of
animation for professionals, students, and fans.


Average Ratings and Reviews
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4.72

6712 Ratings

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Reviews for The Animator's Survival Kit: A Manual of Methods, Principles and Formulas for Classical, Computer, Games, Stop Motion and Internet Animators:

5

January 6, 2015

Core required book for animators.
If you are an animator and you don't own this....*sigh* Nevermind.
If you want to be an animator, this is a MUST in your library sitting right next to your copy of the Illusion of Life.

This is CORE reading for aspiring animators and a survival guide for working professionals. For the last 11 years of my career, I have referred to this guide religiously.
5

August 30, 2017

Came Highly Recommended - A Dense, Rich Reference Book!
I bought this at the recommendation of animator Ross O'Donovan from Game Grumps (he recommended this book during the Pokémon Art Academy series). I haven't started really diving into it, but so far the book is AMAZING.

For one thing, the Animator's Survival Kit is no casual reference - it's a brick of a book overflowing with learning material. There are chapters upon chapters of really rich references and diagrams.

I hope to learn a whole lot from following this book. I will update this review when I've explored it in more detail. But so far, everything about this book seems top knotch.
5

April 29, 2016

Five Stars
Super helpful for beginners :)
5

April 2, 2018

A must read for anyone interested in animation
Awesome book to understand how animation works. The history/biography, in the beginning, was a little boring. But once I got past that, it was really good. I have been spending most of my time learning how animation software works from Adobe and Toon Boom Harmony (personal fave). And this book really fills all the holes on how animation works. I'm about 1/3 of the way done with the book already. I will have to update when done...but so far...I love it!
2

March 14, 2019

I should have looked at the lower reviews
Not what I was expecting. I saw methods for computers and games in the description but I didn't see anything to indicate that is so. Also not appropriate for children. I saw a lot of high reviews of people giving it to their sons, but their is no way I'm giving this to my 12 year old step son. I posted a few pictures but not all. There is literally 4 pages of an old woman walking with her boobs bouncing in whichever direction. WTF?!
5

November 8, 2015

best animation book ever.
This is an amazing book!!! I cannot see why anyone would give this book less than a five. For the people out there that have never attempted to do an animation or find it very difficult and though if they bought this book they would be able to instantly do it with minimal effort. I'm sorry to say, the answer is No; animation is a difficult yet extremely underrated skill that most people assume to be easy. This book helps you with some of the steps to make a lot of the common animations you may encounter (Lip syncing was very helpful). It is more of a tool or reference guide to help you out during the animation process; It will not do the work for you; even thought I wish it would.
5

June 19, 2018

Absolutely Recommended by an Amateur Animator
As a budding animator, reading this book was extremely helpful in thinking about animation in a different way from one of the pros.

A lot went over my head as I'm a digital animator and a lot of the tips and tricks were more specifically for traditional, hand-drawn, cel animation, but the techniques are still extremely handy.

The book is also quite easy to read. And not just because the language isn't overly complicated or technical. It's just a joy to sit down and study. Not dry at all and doesn't feel like a textbook.

Absolutely recommend for anyone who wants an offline guide for animation techniques.
4

Sep 02, 2015

I read this for my Basic Animation class. I wouldn't say I read every page, but enough that I will count it. It's mainly illustrations but that's probably the best learning tool for this subject. Mr. Williams clearly knows his stuff when it comes to animation. He worked with all the greats, including the Old Men of Disney and he knew some of the other greats like Tex Avery. This is a must for animation students and those who want to explore the technical side of animation, and it's a good I read this for my Basic Animation class. I wouldn't say I read every page, but enough that I will count it. It's mainly illustrations but that's probably the best learning tool for this subject. Mr. Williams clearly knows his stuff when it comes to animation. He worked with all the greats, including the Old Men of Disney and he knew some of the other greats like Tex Avery. This is a must for animation students and those who want to explore the technical side of animation, and it's a good reference text for would-be animators, even if you don't officially take classes. ...more
5

Jul 30, 2011

After reading this, I quit my job and went back to school to learn all about animation! Interesting, up-to-date, "complete" and very useful guide.
5

April 24, 2016

Amazing
I'm no kind of animator, and not a 'great' artist or anything (need far more practice ^_^). But even just skimming this book, it's amazing! It goes into depth that feels like someone is tutoring you on each little topic, and you're like "Yeah, that makes a LOT of sense!" It SHOWS everything that it's saying. I have enjoyed it immensely so far and once I ever actually try to animate anything I'm sure it will come in even more handy.
2

May 2, 2016

ugh...
Sexist, and a bit racist. The book will teach you how to be an animator if you're a white straight man in the forties. It talks about the boy's club rules as if they can't be broken and that that's the only way to get an animation job. Well, let me tell you Williams, the internet exists, and now anybody can animate however they want, and they don't need to sexualize the way women walk, or stereotype the way gay men walk...
2

April 22, 2007

Just a college textbook...
I bought this book as it was a required text for my Animation 101 course. While it's interesting because it was written (and drawn) by the creator of Roger Rabbit, it's quit boring if you are not enthusiastic about animation. It focuses on drawing techniques to help cel animation, but does not touch on any computer animation which is why I gave it 2 out of 5 stars.

If you are a serious artist interested in cartoons, live drawings, and animations, this book is a great reference tool. (Especially for creating walking sequences.) For those of you like me who prefer creating things on the computer, you'll be disappointed.
1

September 11, 2008

I wouldn't recommed this book to anyone
Animation is now done in 3-D this book is dated.
The book I have on by Don Bluth were much more elaborate on the animnation process then this book. The drawings are primative and don't offer much of the way of substance you can take them at face value.
If you like stick figures you might like this book.
2

August 29, 2015

This book was recommended for my 7 yr old aspergers nephew who is ...
This book was recommended for my 7 yr old aspergers nephew who is obsessed with animation. However it is not appropriate for a young child b/c it contains nude drawings. I was disappointed I wasted money buying it.
5

Apr 05, 2017

This book has a great deal of Richard Williams in it and it's absolutely amazing. Of course it does a fine job explaining all the notions necessary to grasp the basics of animation but ultimately, what makes it so enthralling to read is getting to enjoy Richard's perception of the craft and see it manifest through the pages. This is especially true if one gets the chance to watch the accompanying DVDs while reading the book. Warm and mellow in its speech but unmistakably driven and passionate, This book has a great deal of Richard Williams in it and it's absolutely amazing. Of course it does a fine job explaining all the notions necessary to grasp the basics of animation but ultimately, what makes it so enthralling to read is getting to enjoy Richard's perception of the craft and see it manifest through the pages. This is especially true if one gets the chance to watch the accompanying DVDs while reading the book. Warm and mellow in its speech but unmistakably driven and passionate, The Animator's Survival Kit is both an excellent guide and a beautiful celebration. ...more
1

March 7, 2018

Not what I had hoped for
The description says it includes "for computer, games". There is nothing specific to computer 2D animation which what I was hoping it would have. Also the animations of the human figure are not appropriate for children, preteens.
3

December 10, 2018

Illustrations not really kid appropriate.
Kind of disappointed. Guess I knew it was geared toward children but didn’t realize it was inappropriate for kids. To be fair, we tend to be pretty conservative here so maybe you wouldn’t mind. Maybe it’s a great book on illustrating but my almost 13 yr old will never know because I’m sending it back. If it were simply showing how to draw male or female bodies/characters, that wouldn’t bother me. But it’s WAY too suggestive to give to a child. I’ll include a few pics.
3

June 7, 2018

The images in the book are wonderful, but the narrative is terribly dated and depicts ...
The images in the book are wonderful, but the narrative is terribly dated and depicts a homophobic and misogynist culture in the early days of animation. It's not something I can really share as a teaching resource with my design students and that's disappointing. There are some great fundamentals that I can share, but as a whole, I can't really assign a chapter for reading as it is very much a stream-of-consciousness writing. A little disappointed, especially since it was not cheap.
5

Sep 05, 2018

ULTIMATE BOOK ON ANIMATION.
iF YOU WANT TO BECOME AN ANIMATOR, THIS IS practically available everywhere. :)

Just get it! Just practice it! Get good doing your great! This book is the only of it's kind, thank you to Richard Williams, I will forever be reading this.
5

Jun 10, 2014

This book is a must-read for anyone interested in learning animation. I always refer back to it while working. Priceless tips by an animation mastermind.
5

March 11, 2018

One of the best books I have ever read !
Richard Williams is a truly amazing animator (look up behind the scenes on who framed Rogger rabbit and the thief and the cobbler) , he's had decades of experience and learned from many of the all time greats. He condensed that knolage and put it into this book , it's entertaining, easy to read , and most importantly teaches you what need to know about being an animator.
I'm a 3d animator and I understood the machanics of that medium but I really didn't know the fundamentals of animation until I read this book . This book teaches animation from the prospective of 2d but the information is transferable to 3d or stop motion as long as you get the basics of those mediums , like with 3d as long you know how to set key frames and pose amateurs etc.
This book also works if you've never animated anything before .
3

December 22, 2016

Three Stars
Book was great but took awhile to get to me
5

Jul 23, 2018

Full of beautiful and helpful illustrations! There's so much information, I almost want to reread it so I can reinforce what I've learned.
3

Jan 30, 2019

I doubt I'll ever become an animator but I sure did learn a lot from this book! And now I appreciate more the effort that goes into making animations.
Can't say I enjoyed the whole journey, though. For someone studying the subject or working in the business the book is surely a gem, but a layman like me might find the countless pages on 'how to make a character walk' quite a slog to go through...

I totally recommend this book to anyone who has even the slightest dream of becoming an animator.
5

Jun 14, 2017

excellent reference. i also recommend watching the videos for more understanding

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