Friday, 25 January 2013

Re-animating the animation library at Bucks

The Animator's Survival Kit - now the standard textbook for learning animation
We're in the process of beefing up the animation library here at Bucks. Not just more books, but more copies of books. And we're after journals too - such as Animation Magazine, Imagine Magazine - materials that help students learn from the best sources and keep in touch with the latest news from the industry.

The number one book every animator should have on their shelf is The Animator's Survival Kit, Expanded Edition by Richard Williams. No other book comes close (not that I'm biased or anything) in terms of its depth of coverage of character animation.

There are lots of other useful books, and the numbers are growing all the time. Rather than list my recommendations here, check out this reading list here at my online animation school website.

Actually, there are lots of useful books on animation in the Bucks library, and the staff are super helpful and very willing to take time to explain to individuals and groups how best to access their resources. Ask for Elik or Roland, they'll be happy to give you a tour.

The only tricky bit is where to find the right books. Animation as a discipline is notoriously hard to classify. Are we an art? a craft? An offshoot of computer science? The library is just as confused as everyone else is, and as a result you'll find the animation books in three different places on the shelves. Obviously, you can search the online catalogue (super easy to use) to find the right books. But to make things even simpler, here's where to find them:

We'll start in the comics section at 741 on the 4th floor (see image below). You can see Preston Blair's excellent book tucked up against one on Tex Avery:
Animation and comics at 741 - 4th floor
For other books on animation - look on the film-making shelves at 778, on the 5th floor (see below). You can see Shamus Culhane's book next to some books on special effects and sound design.
Animation and film-making at 778 - 5th floor

Finally, there's a section on Digital Animation on the 3rd floor at 006 (see below), nestling with various other materials on computers, game design and Flash.
Digital Animation at 006 on the 3rd floor. Flash, 3DS Max and Blender.
So, the bad news is there are three areas to browse. The good news is we are well stocked - and we will be getting in more books and more copies of the most popular and useful books.

And, if you have any suggestions, leave them in the comments section below. We'll do our best to get all the books we need to give students the best possible resources.


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