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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
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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

4.34  ·  Rating Details ·  4,619 Ratings  ·  87 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 fifty years in the business, Williams has been one of the true innovators, winning three Academy Awards and serv
Paperback, 392 pages
Published September 25th 2012 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published 2003)
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 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
Sep 02, 2015 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Animation students and enthusiasts.
Recommended to Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) by: Coursebook for Basic Animation
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 refere ...more
Jul 30, 2011 Bert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sabine Terky
Jun 10, 2014 Sabine Terky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Gabriel Cruz
Mar 19, 2017 Gabriel Cruz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Um dos melhores manuais de animação. Essencial para qualquer um que quiser aprender essa arte. As lições de Richard Williams completamente ilustradas e anotadas nas páginas de TASK faz com que seja um livro para ter como eterna fonte de consulta tanto para quem aprende quanto para quem está executando um trabalho para o Cinema de Animação. Livro obrigatório para ter na estante do animador. Sua versão em Português intitulada "Manual de Animação" lançada pela Editora SENAC não fica atrás e não se ...more
This is such a great book. It is actually delightful to get such a personal insight in the animation world, and honestly when the author spoke about anecdotes and such and his friendships with famous animators I got really touched. & then I went and saw the author is in his 80s and got sad to think the world will lose such a precious person. The way he speaks to the reader as if he is a wise mentor giving you tips about the industry, a kindly teacher with subtle humour and jokes. I find it r ...more
Mar 04, 2017 Karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating read and an absolute treasure trove for anyone interested in learning animation.
Jan 30, 2011 Maya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 12, 2007 Jellysix rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finished
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
This review is coming from the perspective of someone who isn't an animator, let alone an artist. Animation is something that I have a lot of passion and appreciation for as a spectator, and I came at Williams' guide with the expectation that it could provide a stepping stone for me to learn about the technical side of things.

I did not expect this book to be as valuable to me as it has been. Not only does Williams have an uncanny ability for explanation, but his enthusiasm and gentle humor make
Afalstein Kloosterman
Absolutely fascinating--I would consider this a must for anyone entereing the animation field and a great resource for anyone interested in it. Contains animation techniques, tips, history, and examples, this offers a comprehensive view of the field in clear and easy-to-understand dialogue

Williams intersperses technical information with fun stories to demonstrate his point and examples from the development of animation. He provides instances of both typical and groundbreaking sorts of animation
Mar 29, 2013 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Jan 26, 2015 Kevin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is definitely a must-read for aspiring animators. From understanding the basic principles of motion to creating full-fledged animated works, this book has got you covered. The guides and diagrams are very thorough and easy to follow. It's useful for new recruits and seasoned veterans, for hobbyists and those looking to polish their career portfolios, for the traditional the new age technology. I studied animation in college and although I've put my passion on the back burner for quite some ...more
Erik Amill
Apr 17, 2012 Erik Amill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
May 20, 2008 P rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 15, 2007 Sere rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: manuals
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
Alec Longstreth
Oct 26, 2012 Alec Longstreth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
Mar 22, 2014 Natasha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent book and one that no doubt I will revisit. I’m an absolute beginner in this subject and this book was very helpful in breaking down and studying actions while also providing pointers for how to make variations on actions. Williams' drawings were simple and easy to follow while his writing style was entertaining as well as informative.
This is BY FAR the best book on animation out there with thousands of drawings demonstrating the basic and advanced concepts of animation. What differences these book from the others is that this one has more drawings than words. Every single basic action such as walking, jumping, waving and so on are described in this book.
Jesse Bray
Oct 06, 2012 Jesse Bray rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Amy M
Mar 25, 2013 Amy M rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: art, nonfiction, usa
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.
Aug 04, 2015 Gebanuzo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Un manual bastante interesante para los interesados en la animación, cargado con muchos ejemplos, y consejos. Me ha encantado como va desglozando conforme a su experiencia laboral, los diversos temas que conforman el contenido. Además contiene muchos datos curiosos y nombre de animadores importantes. Es muy recomendable en realidad.
Sep 14, 2015 Justin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: animation
Simply the golden standard. Excellent (and extremely extensive!) source of information of both history and technique. This book is a must read for anyone who aspires to make their own animations (traditional or digital mediums) or anyone who is just fascinated by the process (me).

For all animators and animation fans, this text should be at the top of the list.
Mario Russo
Aug 29, 2016 Mario Russo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: art-books
I was planning to read this book since very long. I wish I had before opening Toon Boom for the first time, as the classic animation sheet is covered in detail there. So yeah, there is not much praise can be said about this book that hasn't already. It is in every list of animators must read book and if it is not, it's a bad list.
Lota Carolina
Jul 14, 2011 Lota Carolina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Nov 30, 2007 Autumn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Serge Pierro
Sep 13, 2012 Serge Pierro rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: art
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.
Amanda Hamilton
Jul 03, 2012 Amanda Hamilton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
 photo tumblr_l0jkg1V1ri1qzc98h.gif

My mind is blown...
Aug 14, 2008 Josh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Herman Litt
Apr 20, 2011 Herman Litt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: animation-books
"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!!
Elizabeth Goldring
A must have companion for any aspiring animator, It's also an amazing help to comprehend the 2 dimensional flow and movement and its keys and pace for illustration. I read and re read it whenever I can or open it in a certain chapter to work a lot.
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Traditional Anima...: Influential Texts 2 10 Apr 26, 2015 01:11PM  
  • The Illusion of Life: Disney Animation
  • Cartoon Animation
  • Drawn to Life: 20 Golden Years of Disney Master Classes: Volume 1: The Walt Stanchfield Lectures
  • Character Animation Crash Course!
  • Timing for Animation
  • Force: Dynamic Life Drawing for Animators
  • Directing the Story: Professional Storytelling and Storyboarding Techniques for Live Action and Animation
  • The Animator's Workbook: Step-By-Step Techniques of Drawn Animation
  • Creating Characters with Personality
  • Dynamic Wrinkles and Drapery: Solutions for Drawing the Clothed Figure
  • Dream Worlds: Production Design for Animation
  • Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons; Revised and Updated
  • Creative Illustration
  • Animation (Walt Disney Animation Studios: The Archive Series)
  • Framed Ink: Drawing and Composition for Visual Storytellers
  • The Art of Pixar
  • The Animation Book: A Complete Guide to Animated Filmmaking--From Flip-Books to Sound Cartoons to 3- D Animation
  • Chuck Amuck: The Life and Time of an Animated Cartoonist

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Richard Williams (born March 19, 1933) is a Canadian–British animator. He is best known for serving as animation director on Disney/Amblin's Who Framed Roger Rabbit and for his unfinished feature film The Thief and the Cobbler . He was also a film title sequence designer and animator; his most famous works in this field included the title sequences to What's New, Pussycat? (1965) and title and ...more
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“Good drawing is not copying the surface. It has to do with understanding and expression. We don't want to learn to draw just to end up being imprisoned in showing off our knowledge of joints and muscles. We want to get the kind of reality that a camera can't get. We want to accentuate and suppress aspects of the model's character to make it more vivid.” 0 likes
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