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ESSENTIAL BOOKS

  • The Animator’s Survival Kit, Richard Williams (definitive book on animation technique)

  • The Illusion Of Life: Disney Animation, Frank Thomas & Ollie Johnston (bible of animation theory)

  • Drawn to Life: Volume 1 & 2, Walt Stanchfield (drawing for animation)


  • DRAWING, STORY & COMPOSITION

  • Temple of the Seven Golden Camels (drawing and story for animation)

  • John K Curriculum (cartoon drawing crash course from creator of Ren & Stimpy)

  • Deja View (Andreas Deja archive/blog of Disney animation drawings)

  • Pencil Test Depot (pencil animation from Disney & others)

  • Living Lines (character design, concept art & storyboards)

  • Animation Treasures (Hans Bacher on concept art & composition)

  • Character Design (interviews with character designers)

  • Animation Meat (various animation notes)

  • CTRL Paint (digital painting & Photoshop techniques)


  • PODCASTS

  • The Animation Podcast (interviews with legends of animation, mainly Disney)

  • Bancroft Brothers (Disney veterans interviewing other artists & animators)

  • Toon Talks (interviews with various animators, Pixar, Dreamworks, ILM, etc)

  • iAnimate podcast (film & games)

  • Spline Doctors (Pixar animation & story)

  • Speaking of Animation (Dreamworks + others)


  • GAMES

  • GDC - Animation Bootcamp (animation lectures + slides from GDC vault)

  • Extra Frames (games animation analysis by Daniel Floyd of Extra Credits)

  • Anim State (games animation community, blog & podcast)

  • Game Anim (articles & interviews)


  • REFERENCE

  • Getty Images (nature, archive & general footage)

  • Frame Pool (more of same)

  • Art Beats (good effects reference)

  • Eadweard Muybridge (photography of humans & animals in motion)

  • NOTE: stock footage sites let you download free watermarked preview clips.


    ANALYSIS

  • How to make birds fly good (analysis of bird flight by Brendan Body)

  • Stuart Sumida (PDFs on anatomy for animation)


  • 3D RIGGING & CHARACTER SETUP

  • Animator Friendly Rigging (Jason Schleifer on rigging)

  • Stop Staring: Facial Modeling and Animation Done Right, Jason Osipa (book on facial rigging)

  • NOTE: tutorials focus on Maya, but principles apply to other software also.


    TOOLS

  • Plastic Animation Paper (free digital 2D animation)

  • Krita (free open source digital 2D painting & animation)

  • Blender (free open source 3D modeling, animation, video editing & compositing)

  • Kinovea (free open source tool for video analysis, paintover, etc)


  • Originally compiled for Pixel Prospector (by me). This is an updated version.