Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Animation Reading List: Animator's Survival Kit

Classes at Bucks start on 30 September, so now is the time to get ready, and start doing some general reading about animation.

We recommend one key textbook - all our students should get a copy of  The Animator's Survival Kit by Richard Williams.

The ASK was first published in 2002 as a book, and a few years later was released as a DVD set, and later as an iPad app.

Today the ASK is the leading resource for students wanting to learn animation.

The Animator's Survival Kit
Anyone who is serious about the medium should have a copy of this book. Books are less popular these days among undergraduates than they used to be, and much of the teaching on this course is focused on digital learning. But if you only buy one book on animation - this is the one to get.

iPad App
Animator's Survival Kit on the iPad
The Animator's Survival Kit is also available as an iPad app. The iPad app is arguably better than the book, and better than the DVD series - as it perfectly combines the best qualities of both. At £25, the app costs barely more than the book does.

The digital ASK has many of the traditional features of a book - plain text and nice pictures. As you scroll through the pages, you find video introductions to the chapters. Click on these, and you get a personal introduction to the subject by the author, giving his own view on why it's important to read it, and what you will learn.

Miniature icons pull up short animated video explanations of the principle being addressed. Much of this material is taken from the ASK DVD set. Confused about overlapping action? Successive breaking of joints? The importance of using silhouettes? A short video shows you what it all means, and demonstrates in simple clear terms exactly how these principles get applied in practice.

Frame by frame analysis
The videos are highly interactive. You can pause the video, scroll through it, fast or slow, focus on an individual frame, step through it frame by frame.  Tap the screen and the chapters are revealed on a scroll bar at the base of the screen - so you can easily navigate to the bits you need.

For more on the experience of studying at Buckinghamshire New University, come and visit us at one of our Open Days,  take a virtual tour of one of our animation studios, check out what our students think of our course, and see why we're ranked in the top 12 creative universities in the UK.

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