Book Review: Cracking Animation: The Aardman Book of 3-D Animation

Book Review: Cracking Animation: The Aardman Book of 3-D Animation

This is sort of a behind-the-scenes book that looks at animation production inside the famous Aardman Studios, creators of successful Wallace and Gromit films, Chicken Run and others.

The perspective is that of Aardman Studios so this book focuses on stop-motion animation. The 3-D in the title means the physical 3D, the actual construction of stuff, as compared to computer generated 3D (only a small section is on that).

The book starts with a long but interesting history of animation, right from the day stop motion was used for films up to the recent releases for Aardman Studios.

The second part jumps into the more technical side of making animation. There are chapters on basic clay animation, model makings, set designs, animating movements and expressions and using CGI. These are all furnished with lots of great pictures and insightful commentary from the staff. It's difficult not to marvel at the ingenuity behind making these animation. There are explanation on the camera tricks used, on how to create enduring characters on paper and in clay, and other production stories.

The final part looks at film making in depth, from scripting to animating, including thoughts given to creating other related content like games and websites. Several films were used as mini case studies, such as the early Peter Lord's Adam, Curse of the Were-rabbit, Chicken Run and other lesser known films.

This is a very insightful book on stop-motion animation, and on how Aardman Studios make theirs. Recommended to fans and enthusiasts.

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Cracking Animation: The Aardman Book of 3-D Animation is available at Amazon (US | CA | UK | DE | FR | IT | JP | CN) and Book Depository

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