ED HOOKS' RECOMMENDED BOOKS for ANIMATORS
BOOKS BY HOOKS . . .
by Ed Hooks
Routledge, 2011 (rev. 3rd ed.)
This book is the basis for Ed's' widely taught masterclass. In it, Ed codifies how animators can learn and apply classic acting theory, not as stage actors do, but in a way that pertains directly to the task of the animator as storyteller.
"By intelligently and thoughtfully examining character animation from an actor's perspective, Mr. Hooks has made a valuable contribution toward deepening our understanding of it."
-- from the Foreword by Brad Bird
. . . AND BY OTHERS*
( *click cover images to order or to learn more)
Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston
Disney Editions, 1995
The Illusion of Life: Disney Animation is essential reading for any aspiring animator. (It is also beautiful to look at fascinating to explore.) Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston were two of the famous “Nine Old Men” and worked on such famous movies as "Snow White" and "Pinocchio.” They provide not only a guided tour through Disney animation -- which in many ways, is the history of American animation itself -- they painstakingly explain how animation is done, how lines on a page are endowed with that magical illusion of life.
Focal Press, 2009
This is a two-volume compilation of notes from Walt Stanchfield's gesture-analysis classes at Disney. These lectures are not only entertaining to read, they are important. The books, edited by Don Hahn in association with Walt Stanchfield's widow, Dee, are in the same must-have league as The Illusion of Life (above). See the Craft Notes from my Acting for Animators newsletters of May and June 2009 for some excerpts and a perspective on how Walt's teachings and my Acting for Animators workshops mesh.
Stone Bridge Press, 1999
Hayao Miyazaki: Master of Japanese Animation presents an excellent overview of -- and introduction to -- this legendary animator's work. Miyazaki is the creator of the epic "Princess Mononoke," "My Neighbor Totoro" and "Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind," among other outstanding works. He is to animation and manga what Shakespeare is to drama. Read the book, and then go see "Princess Mononoke." Prepare to be awestruck.
VIZ Media LLC, 2009
The animation legend talks about his personal philosophy, his religion, his approach to animation and more. A compilation of individual essays, directorial notes, interviews, etc., with very little illustration. Highly recommended.
Chronicle Books, 2011
This lushly illustrated book would be worth having even if it did not contain Fraser MacLean’s wise observations about layout. The subject deserves more coverage than it has been receiving since the evolution of CGI. Lovely, insightful book.
Oxford University Press USA, 2003
This book, almost 30 years in the writing, is an awesome, thoroughly researched and vastly entertaining history of American animation. The author, Michael Barrier, former publisher and editor of the highly respected periodical Funnyworld, has a deep understanding of what makes animation work for the audience. His book is chock-full of intelligent observations about acting in animation, complete with references to the theories of Constantin Stanislavsky. For my money, this is maybe the best book of its sort I have ever read. It's a major achievement, and I recommend it to anyone who is interested in animation or American entertainment history.
Peter Lord and Brian Sibley
Fans of Wallace and Gromit will love this book, which takes the reader behind the scenes at the world-famous Aardman Studios in Bristol, England. Peter Lord, co-founder of Aardman, takes the new animator by the hand and gently escorts him through the stages of puppet-making and stop-motion animation. Beginning with model-making and planning sets, and moving on through the nuts-and-bolts of editing and the addition of sound, Creating 3-D Animation is a must-read for serious animators and would make an excellent gift. The book is full of interesting illustrations and photographs.
AVA Publishing, 2010
Barry is one of the most knowledgeable animators I know, a true artist and born teacher. This book is a wonderful primer on stop motion as well as being exquisitely illustrated in color. Highly recommended.
for Classical, Computer, Games, Stop Motion and Internet Animators
Faber & Faber, 2009
Every professional animator and animation teacher will tell you that this book is essential. Richard Williams is a celebrated lecturer, and this is the substance of what he teaches.
Revised 2nd ed., Silman-James Press, 2001
If you want to understand human blinks and how they are used in film editing, this book is essential. It is a classic of its sort.
Roger C. Schank
Northwestern University Press, 1995
This book has nothing at to do with animation, but I am including it because Mr. Schank’s work has deeply influenced my personal understanding of story. He ties story to intelligence in a sublime fashion.
"THE ANIMATOR'S LIBRARY"
These titles are Ed's "recom-mended reading" and are good candidates for an animator's core library collection. To order any of these books – or just to learn more – click on the cover image.
Have a favorite book not listed here? Let Ed know by going to the Contact page and sending him a message.
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