Book Review: The Alchemy of Animation

Book Review: The Alchemy of Animation

This book is like a pass that will give you access to a tour in an animation studio. The tour guide here is Don Hahn, who has been in the animation industry for years, directing some popular movies like The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, etc.

Don Hahn brings us down to the production floor, visiting every department, talking about the people and their role in movie production. You may have seen many making-of videos from DVDs but this book is the one stop source to the introduction to animation.

The book introduces the process of animation from idea creation to the ending post production work. It looks at three forms of animation that exist today and talks about how they are created. They are the computer-generated, 2D hand-drawn and stop-motion production.

Included concept art, sketches, set photos, sculptures, storyboards, 3D renders and some discarded ideas are included. This is like walking along studio corridors looking at all the art pinned on the boards.

The roles and responsibilities of every crew working on the film is explained. In a sort of way, it's also a guide to finding what kind of jobs are available in the animation industry. For the longest time, I've been trying to find out what a clean-up artist does and now I know, which is to "clean up" characters making sure they are consistent in style.

For people interested in the animation industry or how animated movies are made, this book provides a very good introductory background.

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2 Comments

I have just bought this book

I have just bought this book and thought it was pretty good, a nice history of animation but didnt really go deep enough, I was looking for more of a how too guide. This great website called The BookArmy recommended The Animator's Survival Kit, which is written by a master animator and underlies the prinicals of animation with great detail. There are also a few other reccomendations on the site which are well worth checking out...

I guess it is for young

I guess it is for young adults. Don Hahn is also a good teller, and he adapted the animation process for that age group perfectly.
Images inside the book are beautiful but the content is not enough for us, the people who involved with animation.

I'm waiting a solid book from him with full of details and stories. I think he can do it, he's part of the Disney renaissance and after watching "Waking Sleeping Beauty" I'm really convinced.

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