Review: Animate That! The Principles in Depth

This book is a welcoming gateway to animation – but will also be of interest to illustrators who want to put more zing into their figure art.

TODO alt text

Our Verdict

It might not be the most advanced animation book out there, but Animate That! does an admirable job of laying down the foundations of illustration for budding animators. There's also plenty of refreshing material for seasoned artists to sink their teeth into and help refresh their skills.

The expressiveness of animation demands animators become keen observers. Required skills include knowing how best to pose a character to suggest mood, how various objects interact and how to stage scenes. The list goes on, and all these principles are applicable to static art as much as they are to animated figures.

Animate That! does a good job at giving beginners the basics and terminology that they'll need to know, before deciding which style of animation to pursue: 2D or 3D.

The book covers subjects such as timing, speed, weight and tension. These are topics that an illustrator may not naturally consider when producing their art, but grasping such animation fundamentals can only enhance their static artwork.

Animate That

Animate That! uses simple line art to get its advice across

The book's illustrations – the majority of which feature humans in various poses and situations – are simple and clear, and the text is broken down into short, digestible caption-length chunks. Occasionally the English suffers from translation issues from the author's native German, but we can forgive this seeing that this instructional book is so learner-friendly.

This article was originally published in ImagineFX magazine issue 131. Buy it here.

The Verdict

7

out of 10

Animate That! The Principles in Depth

It might not be the most advanced animation book out there, but Animate That! does an admirable job of laying down the foundations of illustration for budding animators. There's also plenty of refreshing material for seasoned artists to sink their teeth into and help refresh their skills.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom May is a freelance writer and editor specialising in design and technology. He was previously associate editor at Creative Bloq and deputy editor at net magazine, the world’s best-selling magazine for web designers. Over two decades in journalism he’s worked for a wide range of mainstream titles including The Sun, Radio Times, NME, Heat, Company and Bella. Follow him on Twitter @tom_may.

Topics