Update: Congratulations to the winner, Jyreme Mcmillon! Please contact us to claim your book. 🙂
Bloomsbury Publishing was nice enough to send us a copy of Cartoon Character Animation with Maya: Mastering the Art of Exaggerated Animation by Keith Osborn. Keith is a veteran animator with a flair for the cartoony. We’ve featured his work on the blog before. It comes as no surprise that he has written a book on what he does best: cartoon animation. I’m personally more inclined to animate something cartoony than subtle/dramatic. When I first tried this as a student, I quickly realized how technically challenging it can be to create smears, multiples, and other such staples of cartoony animation in CG. Technically, it’s much easier to draw it. Rigs then and even today, especially free/student ones (with the exception of a few), aren’t built to support this kind of animation.
Enter Cartoon Character Animation with Maya. This book breaks down everything you need to know about cartoon animation quickly and concisely. It covers a lot of technical hangups of Maya, explains the animation techniques in depth, and provides real world examples for study and practice. Additionally, the book’s companion website includes a ton of supplementary material and resources. Keith shows his personal workflow and how he adjusts it for different scenarios. He walks you through creating exciting poses from thumbnails, and subsequently how to pose them out efficiently in Maya. The book also covers a few third party plugins that help you get the most out of your rig and really push it. I wish this book was around when I was a student. I had a chance to read through it over the holidays and I highly recommend it.