Review: Cartoon Character Animation with Maya

Bring your characters to life with this essential guide to mastering the art of exaggerated animation.

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Our Verdict

Less about Maya and more about the fundamentals of getting your cartoon characters moving, this book is essential for animators who want to give their work that extra boost.

For

  • Full of advice
  • Not too Maya-specific
  • Helpful breakdowns
  • Industry insights

Against

  • No actual software training

Mastering 3D software and creating show-stopping 3D art is no easy feat. The big leap with Cartoon Character Animation with Maya is that Keith Osborn trusts you're already using the software. While this book is steeped in its author's 10 years' experience animating movies, it does so with theory, insights and advice. If you've made your lovable character but failed to make him or her move, this book will share ways to do so.

To that end, you don't need to be a Maya pro to get a lot from the book; indeed the advice presented here can be applicable to most CG animation software, but when it does touch on specifics, such as managing the Graph Editor and testing your pose, it's done so in a clean and informed way.

Insider insights

It's in the more general insights and animation techniques where the book comes alive, backed by some great examples and interviews as Osborn ropes in industry friends such as Matt Williams (The Princess and the Frog), Ricardo Jost Resende (Nut Job) and Jason Figliozzi (Wreck-it Ralph) to bolster the wealth of advice.

If you're looking for a dry, step-by-step approach to solving your Maya-specific dramas then this book isn't for you, but if you want to brush up on your core techniques and theory, and learn why your animations aren't moving with flexibility and invention, it's a must-have.

Cartoon Character Animation with Maya

The Verdict

10

out of 10

Cartoon Character Animation with Maya

Less about Maya and more about the fundamentals of getting your cartoon characters moving, this book is essential for animators who want to give their work that extra boost.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ian Dean is editor of 3D World and has been writing about film, video games and digital art for over 15 years. I have the grey hair to prove it.