Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Quick book review: Eric Goldberg's _Character Animation Crash Course_

Well, this certainly wasn't what I was expecting but it was still a pretty interesting read.
I'm not sure if the "Crash Course" in the title is accurate though. Goldberg assumes you have *quite* a lot of prior knowledge. You know who Chuck Jones is, right? Well good because if you didn't I'd have to banish you from my sight. But do you know who Ken Harris and Gerry Chiniquy are? Because the author kinda assumes you do. You also better know how an exposure sheet works, otherwise this book is going to be very technical-looking for you.
And the book overall is technical almost to a fault. There's very little art in the book itself, although the art that is included is very good. I still have a hard time recommending this over, say, Preston Blair's classic Animation books.
"But Trish," you're thinking, "doesn't Goldberg's book come with a CD-ROM? What did you think of that?"
I have mixed feelings about books that include CD-ROMs. One of them is usually, "get with the times, dudes and dudettes; last time CD-ROMs were cool was that one facepalm-worthy line in 'Jurassic Park'." What I mean is that including a CD-ROM in with your book often feels too gimmicky; why isn't it in the book itself if it's worthy information?
But Goldberg's CD-ROM broke down my barrier here, because he uses it to demonstrate something important about the art in his book: it has to be seen in motion. Many pieces of animation from the book are made into Flash files which you can either watch at normal speed or frame by frame. It almost makes me wish he had produced an instructional DVD instead of a book. If anything, it would have given him the opportunity to give the reader/viewer more information, more film clips, and the whole thing would have been a lot less expensive (I feel a little buyer's remorse-by-proxy as this was a Christmas present.)
My verdict: borrow this from the library as it is an interesting read for sure.
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Sketchatheday! I have made more ACEOs for you!
Pegasaur ACEOs!

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Bonus/Addendum: My already-"Jossed" crazy theory! Let me show you it!

2.10.10 - My crazy theory, let me show you it!

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