Animation Mentor Adventure

Chad Swanson’s Journey at becoming a Character Animator!

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  • Archive for January, 2009

    Furthering myself for a higher education!

    Posted by chad3d on January 6, 2009

    As I had my first break from Animation Mentor, before we start up the 2nd term I seized the opportunity to learn more about animation!


    During the break I got a hold of Richard Williams, “The Animators Survival Kit“,  on a 16 DVD set. I just got finished reading his book about 2 weeks ago. It was great everything that didn’t make 100% sense was cleared up watching it in full motion. Richards personal notes on things and fully animated examples made it so much more fun and  easier to understand. It was like having Richard Williams give you lectures right there in your living room. I was glued in front of the TV from dusk till dawn on Sunday and still have 2 DVDs yet to watch. I recommend this one to anyone looking to get into animation 2d,3d, or stop motion, no matter what level you are at. He starts off with the basics and grind them into your bloodstream and then gets into more advanced concepts that ever animator should know!

    I have also Signed up for Jason Ryan’s Webinars at .  So far I have learned the most advanced stuff from Jason. Its great to see how a highly respected, proficient animator goes about his work. I have learned a great deal of AWESOME techniques to incorporate into my work flow (that work well for me) as well as grasped a better understanding of how important golden poses and breakdown keys really are! I have also started his tutorial services he offers on the site. So far I have only purchased a few of them but they are great and I plan on getting more as I finish these. So far this has been my favorite source of education. I think everyone could at least benefit from the webinars.

    I bought the animation cartoon characters set from Digital Tutors this year at SIGGRAPH in LA. They are a great learning video. They give you the ability to rewatch things and go at your own pace. I would say they are mostly geared towards the beginner. There are some things that get more in detail, however they just dont have the beautiful level of animation that you see in Richard Williams or Jason Ryans work.

    I have also just started watching some of Keith Lango’s Video Tutorial Service.  So far its good information, I like that he has a different style of teaching. I wish the Videos where longer and of better quality. He seems like a great guy and knows his stuff. For the price and the quality and quantity of work I would suggest Jason Ryan Animation over this one.

    Among the great visual training sources I have found, I have also Invested in some books. Among the already read and highly recommended are

    “The Illusion of Life” – Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston (read twice!)

    “The Animators Survival Kit” – Richard Williams

    “Timing for Animation” – Harold Whitaker and John Halas

    “Simplified Drawing for Planning Animation” -Wayne Gilbert

    “Acting for Animators” – Ed Hooks (currently reading)

    “Character Animation Crash Course!” – Eric Goldberg  (currently reading, highly recommended)

    I also have been looking through some Eadweard Muybridge, Mark Simon, and Harold Edgerton books I bought for reference footage. Motion and Emotion are simply amazing and these books are great for showing that.  I would look up these authors and check out what they have to offer.

    Well I’m back to Animating, my 2nd term at Animation Mentor started today so I have some thumbnails to go plan out.

    Till next time!

    Chad “3D” Swanson

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