The Bottom Line
This fun book will appeal to young teens who enjoy drawing cartoon layouts and copying from favorite strips or fanzines. It introduces budding animators to basic concepts of the art without overloading them with technical data. A young friend of mine who tried the Chris Hart books says that overall 'this book is so cool', but pointed out that good drawing skills are needed for this one - he suggested a numbered series to help people progress through the books. How about it, Watson-Guptill?
- bright, colorful and fun
- explains important animation concepts
- clear, fresh layout
- requires existing drawing skills
- skims over content
- Published by Watson-Guptill, NY 2003 ISBN 0-8230-0627
- 48 pages, 8 x 10 inches, 230 color and 75 black-and-white illustrations.
- Learn how to create characters and give them personality and expression.
- Learn the basics of animation sequence, especially walking, flying and adding creative effects.
- Find out about settings, layout and camera angles.
Guide Review - Christopher Hart's Animation Studio - Drawing Book
There are all kinds of interesting snippets in this book that make you feel like you are learning animation trade secrets. This shouldn't come as a surprise, given Christopher Hart's impressive career in cartooning and animation. It is worth noting however that this is a slim volume, that can only skim the surface of the subject it covers. Advanced artists might find it too lightweight, and reasonably good drawing skills will be needed to take advantage of the concepts it explains, but given those limitations, I feel this is a book with a lot of appeal. I've certainly enjoyed looking through it, especially seeing how an animator must look at the world, and how they use this to create the illusion of action.
I recommend this book for young teens who've done a fair bit of drawing both on their own and copying from cartoons, and who might have begun creating their own characters. The book also comes in a kit, 'Christopher Hart's Portable Animation Studio', which comes with a pencil and a couple of flip-books. <a href="http://erclk.about.com/?zi=10/per">compare prices</a> for the portable version.