View Full Version : Books/DVD comparison/recommendation

01 January 2003, 08:46 PM
Hi all,
I would like to buy some book and dont spend many for bad one. Some tip or recommendation?

Here is my first choice:

1) The Animators Survival Kit
(I read only the best about this book)
2) Inspired 3D character animation
(there are lots of I can download from author web)

->some next tips? Any other book I missed? Or one of this books is good enogh and I have not to have both of them?

There are seems to be good books/DVD on AW web. (Im Maya user)

1) Book: Learning Maya -- Character rigging and animation

2) DVD: Maya techniques -- Integrating creature animation rig within a production pipeline

3) Maya techniques -- Fast animation rig

**** What I would like to learn: *****

-- "Profi" character rig setup with absolute and right control over whole character:
(Shoulder setup, Arm IK/Fk, Foot IK/Fk + Reverse Foot Lock, Back setup, Joint orientation, ...)

And animate, of course. Right weight, timing, ...

So, what is your recommendations? Which of them I MUST have and which of them I can miss. I have not much many so I would like invest into serious and good book and dont waste for bad or unnecessary ones.

Thanks, aLES

(Sorry for my bad english)

01 January 2003, 11:58 PM
"The Animators Survival Kit" is *definately* a must have, and a pretty good buy too. I've browsed through the Inspired book in the store, but I wasn't too impressed.

I've got the first rigging DVD you mentioned, and the other one on order. Again, they're definately must haves - even though they're pretty expensive. The Learning Maya rigging book is...ok. But if I had to choose, I'd spend the money on the DVD's instead.

my .02


01 January 2003, 11:32 AM
If I might make a better *FREE* suggestion to you.

Books are great and all, especially the animators survival kit, however, your best bet is to use on-line reference if you can.
There's quite a bit of FREE information out there on the net, much more than you'll ever find in any one book, or even a whole shelf of books.

Luckily, alot of links are posted on pages like this, and many other 3D sites. Go through the tutorials, one by one. Ask questions in forums when you get stuck, and above all, be dedicated. Make sure you are comfortable and enjoying what you are doing, and try to learn at a steady pace. There's alot of GREAT training videos online as well.

Above all else, continue to develop your 2D skills, always draw, and always make preproduction for anything you do. It will save you time. Write down what works, and write down what doesn't, then refer to that when you get stuck.

If you find yourself really attracted to a book, make sure it's got something that you can't find on-line, and something you'll read more than once.

The DVD's are a great investment, but be wary of what you buy. make sure you know enough about the subject matter before jumping in with both feet.

Best of luck to you,


01 January 2003, 12:50 PM
Well, I heard only the best about "The Animators Survival Kit", so it could be a good choice.

> -DC- You are right, there are lots of great info around the net (specially on the forums like this one) and tutorials too.
I read severals tutorials and find them very valuable and improve my skills with them.
So Im still thinking if could be good step to higher level or if it is wasting money (AW DVDs and so... )

Thanks for comments

01 January 2003, 04:55 PM
Of the animation books I've read, my top 4:

Animation: From Script to Screen
Shamus Culhane
my favorite. learn about the history of animation while receiving some very insightful tips, tricks, tutorials. also not very expensive. under 20 bucks i think.

Animator's Survival Kit
Richard Williams
this goes into more detail than any other books i've seen out there. it's not just theory and full of great examples which is nice.

Illusion of Life
very inspiring read but rather expensive

Acting For Animators
This one's only about 15 bucks and a lot of great info in it

01 January 2003, 08:19 AM
diakonas- I have every single one of the books/DVD's you mentioned(except Jason's new DVD on fast rigs), and my recommendations:

Definitely get Animator's Survival kit. You won't regret it. There's so much useful knowledge in there that you'll be shocked.

Don't get the Inspired 3D books. I have all of them except the modelling one. The Inspired 3D book are not as well written as other books that teaches the same things. The only good thing about the books is the interviews with pros.

I'm about to order the Fast Animation rig myself. I can't wait to get it. I suspect that if you get that DVD, you'll be set to go. For a primer before that DVD, why not just read the documents that came with Maya?

So, if I were you, I'd just get the Animator's Survival Kit, and the new Fast Animation Rig DVD.

01 January 2003, 06:47 PM
Thanks a lot for recommendations.

Im absolutely clear with my choice. Ill try Survival Kit and another info I could learn around the forums.
Also Ill try to learn and create my own techniques and if I will still need a help I will begin to think of to buy another books or DVDs

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