Essential book for character animation

Acting for Animators, Revised Edition : A Complete Guide to Performance animation
by Ed Hooks

Along with the rebirth of Blender’s character animation department, I’m sure everyone will try to create their own short film. However, It takes more than the tools and technical knowledge to evoke emotion in a film. (empathy is always good, even with the bad guys.)

I found this book in my university’s library the other day, and spent everal hours today reading most of it (an interesting, informative, easy read). As far as I know, this book covers everything you need to create compelling characters and make them behave the way you want. Getting your characters to behave realistically is extremely important, but I doubt you’ll find much about it online.

Still not convinced? Ask yourself this: What made the Incredibles (sorry foreign people) great? While Visually stunning, I don’t think it was the hair/water/cloth that made $2xx million at the box office. On the contrary, it was the brilliant story, brilliant acting, and characters that anyone would empatize with. (and all of Disney’s marketing, but let’s not go there)

If you can’t get your hands on this book, at least know this:

  1. Movement accompanies even the slightest thought. Try visualizing hitting your toe with a hammer without moving at all. You can’t! Or at least I can’t. Pay close attention to eye movement.

  2. Every scene should have conflict of some sort. This could mean protagonist(or someone else) vs. some sort of obstacle, vs. himself, or…um…I forgot!

I’ll add more to this list later.