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

4.38 of 5 stars 4.38  ·  rating details  ·  2,036 ratings  ·  57 reviews
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 more than forty years in the business, Williams has been one of the true innovators, winning three Academy Award
Paperback, 342 pages
Published January 7th 2002 by Faber & Faber
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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.
This book is an invaluable reference for anyone doing any level of character animation. There are diagrams for creating and timing a good walk cycle (as well as other actions), adding a more organic feel and weight, bringing in props, etc. These diagrams and the explanations surrounding them are things I go back to over and over again. I have never seen the process explained so clearly. When you get the book, if you are new to animation it is a good idea to read through the first few chapters at...more
Excellent book for anyone interested in animation. There's a a pretty good history of the medium, and plently of first hand accounts (and second and third hands too) of working in the business. All written in a very enjoyable, loose, often funny style. There are quite a few pages of pretty technical drawings, which the person with a more general interest will probably skip over (as I mostly did), but they'd probably be very useful for anyone interested in actually producing their own cell animat...more
Overall Rating: 5

“The Animator’s Survival Kit” is invaluable manual for animation enthusiasts. Although on the cover it says for classical, computer, games, stop motion and internet animators it is also perfect for traditional artists, comic book artists and illustrators, who want to improve their skills in posture, gait and general motion continuity. It’s detailed and basic, presenting all rules of turning pictures into a movie, all the little tricks of animation you never knew and would have...more
Erik Amill
Apr 17, 2012 Erik Amill rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Students of illustration, animation, and cartooning. Folks interested in animation techniques.
Shelves: how-tos
One of the best books I've ever had to buy for a class. The Animator's Survival Kit has helped me in everything from the animation class I got it for to my current graphic design projects and adding that extra bit of life my comics.

Richard Williams shares his stories and helps the reader understand the basics of animation in a clear and entertaining way. You'd be hard pressed to find a better way to both introduce new techniques and remind yourself of the fundamentals. Williams' artwork alone ma...more
Fantastic! My favorite part has to be that the font looks more like handwriting so I feel like I'm getting a personal tutorial.
The *best* animation book ever written, imho. I *finally* got it today and even though I was supposed to be working on other stuff I just couldn't put it down.

The first part of the book is about Williams' past and his experience...I assumed I was going to skip it and go directly to the technical bits, which is why I bought the book in the first place, but no, the whole manual is full of things and tricks a wanna-be animator (doesn't matter if traditional or 3d artist) just need to know. Great r...more
After 75 years, the secret techniques of traditional animators have finally been published for mass consumption. A few dozen years ago, Richard Williams put himself in a unique position to document the methods used by the masters of both the Disney and Warner schools of animation. No book covers these production techniques even half as good. This is not a history book or even a book for cartoon buffs, this is a practical how-to manual for people wanting to learn the art of creating cartoon movem...more
Lota Carolina
Fantastic book I would recomend for anyone dealing with animation. Even if you work with any other art form, I suggest you take it and read it. A lot changed in my own practice after I read it and I don't even work with animation - much good advice on technical questions and how to observe people. I keep reading it again and again and I haven't regretted getting it since.
One of the quintessential ressources for an animator.
Amy M
As a beginner whose barely touched upon the surface of 'Animation', I'd have to say that I've found Blair's animation book and Barron's Animation production book more helpful so take that as you will.

I could see this as being a very practical reference book, especially the walking diagrams. Otherwise it may come down to personal taste.
Alec Longstreth
It took me more than a year to read this book - a little bit at a time - a few pages a week. A lot of the information went over my head, but I still enjoyed every minute of it. I look forward to rereading this in years to come, and hopefully understanding a bit more on each pass through. Highly recommended!
Jesse Bray
This is one of the most important books any animator can own. You may not find yourself reading it over and over again but you'll never need a better reference guide. The only thing this book truly lacks is a graphic designers touch to update the layout of the book to modernise these timeless principles.
Amanda Hamilton
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My mind is blown...
Apr 03, 2012 Bethanie rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Animators, animation nerds
If you're considering a career in animation this book is for you. This isn't a how to draw book, it's how to make animation work. Though pricey (my copy was used), I would highly recommend it for anyone who hopes to become an animator or is just a huge animation nerd (like moi).
May 09, 2007 Grania rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: People who like drawing the same thing multiple times with only small variations
Shelves: le-geek
The animator's survival kit shows that it is a good idea to stare at people and see how they move, and that you can combine this with a love of Hanna Barbera, The Simpsons, and South Park. It actually makes re-drawing the same thing endlessly seem like a good, interesting pass-time.
It's a good book for basic information in character animation. However, it focuses only on animation and not the entire process of animation production. There are a lot of holes you need to fill in - storyboarding, casting, and that sort of thing. But great for how to animate
I can hardly believe it myself, but I read this book from start to finish, quickly. It is fascinating, because you learn way more than animating in this book. You learn why and how the body moves, and what that tells you about a person. Absolutely fascinating.
"The whole idea is to already have the knowledge absorbed into your bloodstream, and then it's automatic." - Richard Williams

Really good book, the principles can be applied to 3d animation aswell. Found it really useful especially the animal motion section. 5/5!!
In my attempt to animate a short film, this book has been a phenomal read, and a huge help. No one I know knows anything about animation, and neither do I, so this book is the best I've got, and the only book of it's kind. THANK YOU RICHARD WILLIAMS!
Fantastic book. Read and re reading all the time. Full of great stories and insights into drawing, motion, dynamism not just for animation but its helped my over all drawing. If your into drawing and animation this is a must.
Serge Pierro
An excellent book for learning about the techniques and production methods of professional animation.. This, along with the classic "The Illusion of Life", would make for a firm foundation on the art of animation.
Yasser Azmy
الكتاب مش عندي للاسف هارد كوبي كنت بروح اي شركة انيماشن بقرا منه شوية لحد ما جبته نسخة بي دي اف وقعدت اقراه فيه اثناء الشغل، كتاب ممكن تعتبره صديق لك اثناء عملك كا انيميتور وغني جدا بمعلومات عظيمة .
Aug 24, 2007 Mary rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: all purist animators or admirers of animation processes
Williams is a hero to many animation students; lesser known, but equally important in the field. I had the honor of a tour of his LA studio (main in London)... I was awe struck.
Josh Camire
Great resource for the aspiring animator. Introduces universal animation principles, but keeps it relevant to all types of animation (computer, stop-motion, etc).
Sep 14, 2007 Carly rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: anyone who wants to learn or re-learn the principles of animaiton.
This book is a great reference to have if you are looking to learn (or re-learn) the principles of animation. One of the best animation principles books out there.
Mike Moore
Very likely the best book on the subject of Animation. There are many other great books, but I always recommend this book as the first purchase, period.
Zelly B.
A great reference written exactly what it's for; but I've found that it's also excellent for giving your illustrations life and action, too.
This is a fantastic book that covers all the principals of animations with very good examples. A must for anyone studying 2D or 3D animation.
Freefallen ~ YA Reviewer
Every budding animator - young and old - NEEDS to read this.

Full to the brim of tips, tricks, advice and insight. Please do not miss out on this.
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Traditional Anima...: Influential Texts 1 6 May 24, 2012 12:15PM  
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  • Drawn to Life: 20 Golden Years of Disney Master Classes: The Walt Stanchfield Lectures - Volume 1
  • The Artist's Complete Guide to Facial Expression
  • Drawing the Head and Hands
  • Dynamic Figure Drawing
  • Bridgman's Complete Guide to Drawing From Life: Over 1,000 Illustrations
  • Animation (Walt Disney Animation Studios: The Archive Series)
  • The Art of Spirited Away
  • The Art of How to Train Your Dragon
  • The Art of Tangled
  • Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter
  • Perspective! for Comic Book Artists
  • Atlas of Human Anatomy for the Artist
  • Film Directing Shot by Shot: Visualizing from Concept to Screen
  • The Art of Pixar: 25th Anniv.: The Complete Color Scripts and Select Art from 25 Years of Animation
  • The Art of The Incredibles
  • Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative
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“However my mother had once said, ‘When you go to art school, you’ll find everybody sitting around practicing how to do their signature'; and sure enough, there they were, some of them doing just that.” 3 likes
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