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Stop Motion Animation Book Reviews

3D StopMotion

If you are a first-time animator, or are just starting out, this book is a good place to start. It provides a good overview of the animation process, with plenty of pictures and examples. It covers equipment, lighting, techniques, models, sets, and performance. It also covers the history of animation. In depth. In great depth. In fact, about one-third of the book is dedicated to the history of animation. That's all well and good, but I was really wanting (and expecting) quite a bit more in some of the other areas. For example, the section on models and model making gives several examples of Aardman models, and briefly describes the processes involved in making them. Although there are many helpful hints in these pages, I would have liked an in-depth description for at least one of the models. I want to know what tools I need, what supplies I need, and step-by-step instructions for building a simple model with a wireframe skeleton. Unfortunately, the pages that described that were replaced by 50 pages of history. If you are interested in animation, and need a place to start, 'Creating 3d Animation' is great for beginners. On the other hand, if you are looking for answers to the many problems that face 3d animators, you may be disappointed.


Review by

By  Michael Brent "Darkstrider" (BELLEVILLE, IL United States)


I've got pretty much all the stop motion books in print, and this one is really something else entirely. It's not a text, not a beginner's lesson book and not just an appreciation for the art form (and, as Mr. Purves proves, it really IS an artform). Rather it's a very passionate reflection on the creative process of making stop motion, and on the larger aspects of creativity in general. Barry is one of the best among animators.... and has frequently been writer and director of his own films, resulting in some of the most startling and original animation to date (such as his brilliant Achilles or my favorite Rigoletto). He expounds with great articulateness and intelligence on the strengths and weaknesses of the various forms of animation, revealing his obvious love for stop motion above all the rest. And as he does, he reveals truths about animation that you had always felt but couldn't quite put into words.

He also shares a wealth of his own hard-earned tips and techniques, some about animating, but more on the art of storytelling and on how best to utilize the special properties that stop motion alone has. It's not a book about "how to animate" but rather Why.... and he stresses the importance of playing to the particular strengths of our quirky art. If it can be done in live action or CGI or drawn animation, then why use stopmo? As many, he feels the sheer potential of stop motion has only begun to be tapped, and he expounds at great length on how that might be done. And reading his words, it's difficult not to feel the same inspiration he obviously does.

Review by

By  Christy Fletcher (Houston, TX United States)


I ordered this book and am very impressed. While on the way to the book store Christmas Eve, with a nasty ear ache, on the phone, and very content, I called the bookstore in advance to pull anything off of the shelf for my purpose. When asked to check for books about stop-motion animation, I was told that there is a book on 'the art of stop-motion animation'. I said order it. There I was driving to the book store to do the usual checking the shelf, to look in the arts section (for my intended mission) on clay animation, or puppets.... anything about stop-motion animation?, I asked. Yes. Order it I said. I have the book now. And I have not put the book down since. My goal is to learn how to make puppets like the one in Rudolph, and all the Rankin & Bass specials. I got a lot more from this book. It is right in line with everyting you will want to know about stop-motion animation. The author has the passion for the art. Extensive background on the history of rare antiquated movies in the art and also contact with very recent directors and producers from movies like 'Corpse Bride' and 'The Night Before Christmas.' Also within this book is golden information from those who have private studios and offer courses with valuable knowledge in the field of puppetry for stop-motion animation. The book is easy to read, very informative from what is needed to film, how to animate, and even interviews with teachers, and Professionals within this field. It is an art that will survive and will continue to, even along side CG (Computer Graphics). It is almost like a class college book,(regarding the lay-out and the interviews with associates-a special bonus added!), yet is so simple to ready. The author speaks like he is talking. It is and continues to be a very special treasure! The author even includes classes one can take a professional colleges. I find it fascinating and one that I will keep.

Hats off to this author!!! Now -- in persuit those who are serious in entrepreneurial venture, or hobby.





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