I'm writing a second book.
It's taken longer than I thought it would to get it going, but I'm very pleased to say that ANIMATED PERFORMANCE will be published in June, 2010 by AVA Publishing.
This is the same company that produced DRAWING FOR ANIMATION, by Paul Wells and Joanna Quinn. (see below.) AVA's books are beautifully produced, and they have decided to give my release the 'large format' which means that the illustrations will also be large and clear.
So why write yet another book on animation? Hasn't the topic been exhaustively covered?
Nope. Not even close.
I'm going to cover stuff that most other books leave out. I will show how to ACT in animation, not merely produce animation exercises. And no, it won't involve setting up a video camera...how can you possibly do this if your character is part fish, or is a tiny machine, or is a group of quarrelling octopi? The only other book on 'animated acting' wasn't written by an animator. I aim to correct this omission. The cover mockup gives you some idea of my subject matter: chapter headings include 'Animal Acts', 'Moving the Furniture' and so on. I will discuss how to animate groups of characters, creatures made of straw or wood, fantasy animals and monsters, and female, male, young and old human characters. Yes, there is a difference in movement, even in ways of speech. There will be a lot of information on dialogue animation that doesn't duplicate material in Dick Williams' or Eric Goldberg's books.
There will also be interviews with Ellen Woodbury (animator of PEGASUS and ZAZU for Disney), and my former SCAD student Jamaal Bradley, who was lead animator on the House in Sony's MONSTER HOUSE and is currently directing cut scenes for Valve Entertainment. We will speak about games animation as well as theatrical/television style acting.
I also will use my wonderful 1979 interview with Art Babbitt that has never been published until now. None of the material in the interview is duplicated in Richard Williams' book. I plan to scatter all interview segments throughout the book, rather than group them in the Appendixes, as I did with PREPARE TO BOARD!
So you might say that ANIMATED PERFORMANCE will fill in the chinks in the literature of animation.
Most of the drawings will be mine, but I have one very important additional contributor: my former RIT student Ignacio Barrios, who is currently a rigger at Blue Sky Studios, has agreed to use his beautifully modeled and rigged ape character from his master's thesis to illustrate some of my points. So ANIMATED PERFORMANCE will demonstrate the same exercises modeled by hand drawn and CGI characters, which can be useful to the reader, since about 90 per cent of current animation is done in CGI.
Sheridan College, unlike RIT, is extremely supportive of faculty who publish, and is even having a special 'author's day' today for its faculty members who have had books published recently. I will make the first (non Internet) official announcement of ANIMATED PERFORMANCE at this show. I plan to ask some of my current Sheridan students for permission to use a few of their drawings, and Professor Mark Thurman has given me permission to use his hilarious caricature of the 'flour sack' as well.
But you heard it here first!