Who opened the flood gates?
Now that I'm on this "Illusion of Life" rant I just can't shut up. A couple of posts ago I mentioned that there is a section I would read before every shot I did on Toy Story 2 and Monster's Inc. Combined that's about three years worth of production and about 60 to 70 shots, worth of reading. The section I would read and still do although not as much, even though I should, was chapter 16. "Animating Expressions and Dialogue". Now there was a comment made somewhere that said "The Survival kit" told you how to animate and the "Illusion of Life" told you why. I don't know how that comment came about because this chapter is all about how to do it not why you should animate. I'll agree there are not a bunch of pictures showing you every frame exactly where it might be on a given frame, but there are still a bunch of great pictures that relate to the text. Like on page 454 and 455, the animation drawings of Stromboli by Bill Tytla. Where they talk about the face and how the elements of the face work together when creating expression, or just being animated that everything is related to each other. Or on page 465 Frank Thomas' drawings of the door knob from Alice and Wonderland and how he used the design of the lock to create new and interesting mouth shapes while still creating lip synch and how this mouth keep the viewer still believing it's a door knob and lock. Well there are too many wonderful drawings that tell you more about how to animate than why to animate.
I agree the book does do a great job of giving you history and the art behind animation the heart and passion of the individuals working in animation at Disney during the early years but that is just one part of the book. I see the Illusion of Life as an animation manual not just a great source of inspiration.
Just a note the principles of animation section is at chapter 3 that's a whole 13 chapters before chapter 16 so if you just keep getting stuck there maybe you should move forward in the book there is a whole bunch of how to animate chapters beyond that one.
-Dr. Stephen G.
My belief's may or may not reflect those of my fellow doctors.