Thursday, April 15, 2010

Timing for Animation Book Review by ChristineMM

Title: Timing for Animation second edition
Authors: Harold Whitaker, John Halas, updated by Tom Sito
Genre: nonfiction
Publication: Focal Press, September 2009
ISBN-13: 978-0240521602

My Star Rating: 5 stars out of 5 = I Love It

Summary Statement: Tons of Information for Beginner and Intermediate Animators (Just a Bit Over My Kid's Heads)

Both of my sons (aged 12 and 9) are into comics and want to create their own. After a couple of classes with different art teachers they have mostly been teaching themselves at home. The books and classes we’ve accessed so far are about general comic drawing and none addressed the timing issue. How should we show action from panel to panel? When is too much being shown to show movement through panels? What should be shown to imply the action as the artist intends? The publisher states on the back cover this book is for beginner to intermediate animators. I thought this book might be perfect for our family. Since we homeschool, I'm their facilitator and often read and use books alongside my children.

Being a novice, I had not realized this second edition is an update of an old classic that was long held as the best book out there on the topic of timing and animation. The book has been updated by Tom Sito to accommodate so many changes in technology that have taken place since the original book was published in 1981. The book does not teach how to use each software program as there are too many and they change so often, that’s perfectly understandable.

For our family I found this book full of wisdom but over our heads. This is not the fault of the authors. I think we need something more along the lines from a Dummies book (as much as that series’ title makes me cringe). Also because my kids are preteens the writing in the book is a bit too complex, more for upper high school and adults.

This book is NOT dumbed down. The authors are subject matter experts who put into words processes that are hard to write about. As is the case with CUTTING RHYTHMS and THE LEAN FORWARD MOMENT, the artists worked hard to put into text things that come to artists instinctually or are felt from the gut more than being done after being taught by someone step by step.

Anyone who really wants to learn the art of comics and animated films can learn from this book.

Another comment is if you have already read through more than one other book on this topic I’m not sure how they would overlap and if this book is redundant compared to others already on the market that you’ve found useful and have already learned from.

I rate this book 5 stars = I Love It because it is a high quality book and is useful despite it not being dumbed down enough for kids my children’s ages. (This is not a children’s book, I know that.) I'm holding onto this for my kids to use when they are older.

Disclosure: I received an advance review copy of this book from the Amazon Vine program for publication on the site. I also purchased a copy of this book. I did not get paid to write this review or to post the review on my blog. For my blog's full disclosure statement see the link at the top of my blog's sidebar.


Norman said...

Thanks so much for the second mention of THE LEAN FORWARD MOMENT. I worked very hard on making the book entertaining, informative and accessible and I'm glad you felt I succeeded.

I do want to point out that the publisher of that book is not Focal, but Peachpit Press.

Thanks again. I really appreciate your kind words.

christinemm said...

Sorry for that error I corrected the blog post and will do the same after Amazon publishes the review and I'm able to edit that one.