So yesterday I made the long journey back to George Mason University to use their library.  The same girl was working there as when I worked there years ago.  I’m not sure if she recognized me or not, but if she did she didn’t say anything.  Then again, neither did I.  Anyway, I found a lot of books I’d like to check out, but I only checked out 6 for now.  Not that I’ll read them all cover to cover; some of them are more of the scan-through kind.  So here’s what I got:

  • Timing for Animation, Second Edition – Well, actually, I got the first edition, but the second edition is what’s on Amazon now.  This book was in Animation Mentor’s “recommended books” section, and just flipping through it it looks like it will have some helpful tips.
  • Acting in Animation: A Look at 12 Films – I’m not really sure exactly what this is about (besides animated “acting” of course) but it looked interesting.
  • Three Uses of the Knife: On the Nature and Purpose of Drama – Someone mentioned this book in the comments of this blog. I forgot to look for Mamet’s book on directing though. Anyway, this book is very short. So I got it. Looks interesting. It’s just on story writing in general, I think, so could be interesting since I’ve always got screenplay and novel ideas floating around in my head.
  • Pure Animation: Steps to Creation With 57 Cutting-edge Animators – This is definitely just a scan-through book with lots of pictures in which animators make a few points about the creation of some of their short animations.
  • Cinematography: Theory and Practice: Image Making for Cinematographers, Directors, and Videographers – This was also recommended by Animation Mentor. It’s obviously about cinematography. It looks like its full of great and interesting film-making stuff. I’d like to read it cover to cover, though I don’t think I’ll have time, especially since I need to focus on actual animation. But it looks like it will definitely be interesting to at least flip through.
  • Autodesk Maya 2010: The Modeling and Animation Handbook – Here’s another one I’d like to read cover to cover if I had more time, which I don’t, so I’ll just flip through it. It’s just about how to use Maya. I think I’ve got an OK handle on the animation side of things, at least the basics of it, but modeling, lighting, rendering, etc. are all still kind of beyond me. Though I don’t necessarily need to learn those things for Animation Mentor, I still think they’d be useful.

As I said, they’ve got some other books I’d like to check out in the future, but I’ll look through those for the next few weeks and should definitely learn some things.

Some of those books make me want to subscribe to Netflix (or Blockbuster) so I can have access to a lot of movies (both animated and non-animated) just to study film in general. It’s very tempting, but I’ll save my money (and time) for now. Maybe as I get closer to finishing Animation Mentor…

Lastly, I also checked out a book from the local library called The Talent Code. This kind of seems like a good sequel to The Genius in All of Us, which I read a few weeks ago. While that book was about how almost anyone can be a “genius” with the right kind of work and dedication, this book is more about just what the “right” kind of work is. What is the best way to gain a new skill? What is the best way to practice? As I’ve concluded from reading a few books, it’s not just about doing something over and over, it’s more about figuring out how to do something you can not yet do. So it’s like “the art of learning” which I find to be very interesting. So it seems like it will be a good book. And it’s pretty short, only around 200 pages, so it shouldn’t take too long.

I guess that’s pretty much it today, just wanted to blather about books I got from libraries! Hope it was interesting! If not, too bad!


2 Comments

LanthonyS · July 31, 2010 at 3:01 PM

I have 3 Uses of the Knife. It’s quite good. It deserves two readings, though — maybe three — maybe with a screenwriting attempt in between!

S P Hannifin · August 2, 2010 at 6:23 PM

Yeah, I think you were the one that mentioned it somewhere… looks very interesting, can’t wait to read it…

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