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.

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.

Why you can trust Creative Bloq Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Animate That

Get to grips with the basics of animation with Animate That!

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 (opens in new tab) magazine issue 131. Buy it here (opens in new tab).

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

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.

Topics
Tom May

Tom May is an award-winning journalist and editor specialising in design, photography and technology. Author of the Amazon #1 bestseller Great TED Talks: Creativity (opens in new tab), published by Pavilion Books, Tom was previously editor of Professional Photography magazine, associate editor at Creative Bloq, and deputy editor at net magazine. Today, he is a regular contributor to Creative Bloq and its sister sites Digital Camera World, T3.com and Tech Radar. He also writes for Creative Boom and works on content marketing projects.