Giveaway: Cartoon Character Animation with Maya

Update: Congratulations to the winner, Jyreme Mcmillon! Please contact us to claim your book.🙂

9781474238588Bloomsbury 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.

On Animation will be giving away one copy to a lucky follower. All you have to do to be eligible to win is follow us on Facebook or Twitter and share this post. Good luck!

Giveaway: Anatomy for 3D Artists

3D Total is back with another outstanding title, Anatomy for 3D Artists: The Essential Guide for CG Professionals. This book is absolutely packed with illustrations and reference material. It’s a complete anatomy resource on a foundation level, covering the entire muscle and skeletal systems for both males and females, as well as the differences in their scale and proportion. There’s also gallery of anatomical studies by top artists to reference when you get stuck or need inspiration. Continue reading

The Nine Old Men: Book Review


Focal Press was nice enough to send me a review copy of Andreas Deja’s new book, The Nine Old Men: Lessons, Techniques, and Inspiration from Disney’s Great Animators. As you would expect, each of the nine men (Frank Thomas, Ollie Johnston, Wolfgang Reitherman, Eric Larson, Marc Davis, Ward Kimball, Les Clark, John Lounsbery, and Milt Kahl) has their own chapter which details their personal history at the Disney Studios. Some of these men started as in-betweeners while others were able to skip that step due to their early potential, most notably their impressive draftsmanship. Each chapter talks briefly about each animator’s most notable assignments, and follows with several examples of their animation to study. Continue reading

Fifty Years in the Mouse House

81if2HrTM6L50 Year’s in the Mouse House: The Lost Memoir of One of Disney’s Nine Old Men was released in June of this year. Edited by Didier Ghez and Joe Campana, the book sheds light on Eric’s career from the perspective of those that knew and loved him. It also includes his animation lectures, which are pure gold. After reading his lectures, this book catapulted to the top shelf with the likes of Drawn to Life, Illusion of Life, and Animator’s Survival Kit.

How this book has flown under the radar since it’s release is beyond me. I’m surprised I haven’t seen other blogs gushing about it. This is a must own. Simply put, buy this if you are serious about animation. Eric’s fourteen animation lectures will inspire you for years to come.

3D Total Publishing – Review


3D Total was kind enough to send me a selection of books from their library for review purposes. I’m thoroughly impressed and inspired with the quality of the books they’ve sent me, so I’m compelled to share and recommend them with you.

Digital Art Masters is an ongoing series celebrating the best CG Artists and Painters around the world. Each volume features around 50 artists, and each artist gets their own spread to give readers an glimpse into their process and personality. I’m blown away by the technical artistry displayed in these spreads. Digital art is getting better every day, so having these on your shelf will not only keep you inspired every year, but will actually chronicle the history of the industry as well.

Digital Painting Techniques is a series that evolves with the industry, showcasing the latest tools and techniques of today’s best digital painters, concept artists, and illustrators working in film, television, and games. This series has its finger on the pulse of the industry. As production artists evolve with their respective studio’s deadlines and constraints, new techniques and painting styles are created. This information is passed among artists as they travel from studio to studio, and online in forums. This series attempts to bring the best of them together in a new book each year. Highly recommended.


A spread from Digital Art Masters Volume 9

Sketching from the Imagination is a unique series. Like the others, it also features around 50 artists, but the content is what’s different here. It features all the rough sketches and blue sky drawings from top concept artists. This is he stuff you rarely get to see. In addition, each artist breaks down their thought process, and talks about where they found the inspiration for the sketches showcased. This is where you get to see how an artist thinks. Very cool.

There’s a lot more to choose from in their library, so if you need a little creative boost, check out what they have to offer.

They Drew As They Pleased – Didier Ghez Interview

They Drew as They Pleased is the first in what promises to be a revealing and fascinating series of books about Disney’s largely unexamined concept artists, with six volumes spanning the decades between the 1930s and 1990s.

They Drew as they Pleased

This is a fascinating book full of incredible art. I had the opportunity to work with Didier on his Walt’s People interview series a few years ago, and I must say I haven’t met another individual with his passion and enthusiasm for animation history. It was a pleasure to sit down with him and ask him a few questions about the book, as well as what to look forward to in future volumes.

On Animation will be giving away a copy of the book to celebrate its release. Keep an eye on our social media feeds for your chance to win.

Continue reading