Dear Animation Mentors, Mentees, Minitaurs, and Manatees,
The good people at Animation Mentor have graciously allowed me to shamelessly plug my new book in this newsletter, and I am only too happy to oblige. Character Animation Crash Course! is the book you need for all your animation instruction and inspiration. Buy it now. All your questions will be answered, and all your animation needs will be served. Your dreams of being the next great animator will be immediately fulfilled, and people will shower you with garlands of flowers, instead of spitting on your shoes like they normally do. Buy it now. You can already feel your fingers tingling, unable to resist that tempting "Order Now" button. You won't ever need anything else. Ever again. Promise. Not even Animation Mentor. Just send all your tuition money to me. You won't regret it. I certainly won't.
Oh, okay. I guess you can still do the Animation Mentor thing. If you must.
Seriously (if I haven't totally alienated you by now), I hope this book will be a great supplement to your courses and instruction here. I truly believe that there are many valid ways to approach this medium; those I write about in Character Animation Crash Course!, based on my famously Xeroxed and plagiarized notes, are the ones that have worked the best for me over the years. I was the beneficiary of a wealth of knowledge from many master animators, gleaned when they were still alive and when I was a geeky, starry-eyed young animator, struggling to learn my craft (as opposed to what I am now, a geeky, starry-eyed, fat, middle-aged animator, struggling to learn my craft). In a way, it's my way of keeping the knowledge alive, sharing it with new generations, the way it was shared with me.
The first half of the book concentrates on character conception and acting (and how you can find ways of showing an audience your characters' unique personalities). The second half is all technique - and how to utilize it to get great performances from your characters. I've always felt that you can't animate a character until you know WHO that character is first. Otherwise, animation can easily become technique over entertainment, style over substance. It also comes with an accompanying CD which has animation movie files (playable on any computer) that demonstrate, in real time or frame-by-frame, the principles from selected illustrations in the text. Each movie file comes complete with X-sheets, circled keys, underlined breakdowns, and inbetween charts, so they can be thoroughly analyzed and understood. To my mind, this might be the first animation book to come with actual animation. (What a concept!)
In the end, I hope this book helps you to become better animators, as a small part of the great information, instruction, and inspiration available today, and especially on this site.
P.S.: Buy it now.