Animators by day Animation teachers by night.

Monday, April 23, 2007

I haven't posted in a while because....


My number one animation prescription is this. READ "THE ILLUSION OF LIFE" BY FRANK THOMAS AND OLLIE JOHNSTON. Don't just look at the pictures, READ THE BOOK, and when your done READ IT AGAIN. I've read it over and over for the last 14 years, it got so bad that I would re-read certain sections every time I started a new shot on a film. Most of it will be over your head and you won't understand it, I know I didn't either I still don't but it's like a magic book. Over time it starts to make more and more sense. Also I know this sounds crazy but READING THE WHOLE BOOK is actually really helpful, not just the squash and stretch section. Anyways READ "THE ILLUSION OF LIFE" I always say if you have money to buy only one book on animation buy "THE ILLUSION OF LIFE" BY FRANK THOMAS AND OLLIE JOHNSTON, and if you don't have money to buy the book sell all your other books on animation and buy "THE ILLUSION OF LIFE" with the money you've made. You can buy it on Amazon.com.

Thanks,
Dr. Stephen G.

14 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good tip.

I am reading the book now myself. It's great and it embraces so many areas of animation filmmaking. The way Johnston and Thomas wrote the book makes it so fun and interresting to read. And I love how the pages are so shiny and smooth...

Thomas.

3:02 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm still borrowing it from my uncle (for over a year now...) Don't tell him.

6:30 PM

 
Blogger Blake said...

I was at RedStick animation festival last weekend and Rob Russ and Frank Gladstone asked the question "Who here has read The Illuision to Life?" And when only one hand in the audience raised, they said get that book! Well my copy is on the way!

6:39 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

there's an old chinese proverb that goes like this "no one can become a good animator without The illusion of life"

1:05 AM

 
Blogger Mathew Rees said...

So what are you trying to say? :)

I actually read it a few years back and was amazed how much information was in there. I naively thought that it wouldn't really apply to Cg, but animation is animation is animation. Pretty much everything you need to know is in this book.

Best £40 I ever spent.

Mat.

3:33 AM

 
Anonymous David Nethery said...

Good advice.

I'm amazed at the number of people who think that The Illusion of Life is just a "coffee table" book , look at the pretty pictures, but never actually sit down and read it cover to cover.

Same goes for Richard William's The Animator's Survival Kit. I can't tell you the number of times I've brought that book up in discussion with people who ought to know better only to have them say : "oh , it's just a book about a bunch of walk cycles". This tells me the person has never read the whole thing. Yes, indeed, Williams has some great stuff on how personality can be conveyed by well thought out walks, but there's so much more.

1:42 PM

 
Anonymous Dang Ling said...

David > I actually remember the first time I read Survival Kit, I sort of "waited" as I read for the walk part to be over. It's all to easy to read through and not comprehend a damn thing. I knew lots about animation so I let it go over my head. Now that I've actually animated I realize it simply WAS over my head, and it means something SO different to me now that I can't believe it's -given away- for the price it is.

As for "Illusion," I've only read it once but it's truly inspiring. Not this "Ooh, this or that is GOLD" all talk and ass-kissing and no substance stuff, it actually makes you feel good and motivate you and appreciate your roots all at once.

There's a post on AWN that says it...Survival is how to animate, Illusion is WHY...

7:54 PM

 
Blogger tobitoon said...

alright...I will read it again!

9:42 PM

 
Blogger KarazyKayhill said...

I kind of chuckled a little when you said, "Don't just look at the pictures"......cause, I have to admit, I've been guilty of that with the Illusion of Life.

7:40 AM

 
Blogger Alfo_O said...

i admit too..i only looked at the pictures..but i promise i will read it all, i start now..:)

PS.What is this one?

http://www.amazon.com/
Illusion-Life-2-Alan-Cholodenko/
dp/0909952345

4:32 PM

 
Blogger Blake Johnson said...

Thanks for the reminder. I need to dive in again.

8:46 AM

 
Anonymous Qslugs said...

You may want to comment about all the fools that are stock piling copies of the book.( I know a few, and yes I said copies) They think the book is a collectors item, not a learning tool.

They get so disappointed when I mention the book is in print again.

12:03 AM

 
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2:09 AM

 
Anonymous site said...

Here, I don't really believe this will work.

3:39 PM

 

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