Book Review – Digital Character Animation 2, Vol. 2

Digital Character Animation 2, volume 2: advanced techniques
Author: George Maestri

Publisher: New Riders
218 Pages
$50.00 US, $74.95 CAN
ISBN 0-7357-0044-3

With Digital Character Animation 2, volume 2: advanced techniques, the maestro of animation, George Maestri picks up where he left off in volume 1 and delivers an amazing amount of knowledge in 218 easy to read, well illustrated, full color pages. Every page is short, sweet, to the point, and packed with tips that any aspiring digital animator needs to know. It is full of essential information that will help the reader turn out effective, believable animation.

Digital Character Animation 2, volume 2: advanced techniques is written from a software-neutral perspective and focuses on fundamental concepts that can be applied in any program. It begins with chapters on real world production and story development from an animator’s point of view. The heart of the book contains chapters on rigging characters, tips and tricks, human and animal motion, acting, and anthropomorphic animation (animating the inanimate). It ends with a chapter on animation for games.

George Maestri’s credentials are impressive. He has worked on projects for Nickelodeon (Rocko’s Modern Life), CBS (The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat) and was the original animation producer of South Park.

Whether you are a student of animation, a hobbyist or a professional, this book should be in your library right next to Digital Character Animation 2, volume 1: essential techniques. I consider both volumes required reading for any person interested in character animation. My copies are already dog-eared from constant use.

The only negative comments I will make are the lack of an accompanying CD to augment the text and the relatively high price tag for the book. At $50 (US), I would expect a CD, especially with a book on animation. Volume 1 of this series did come with a CD and I found it very helpful in understanding the concepts presented in the text.

MacMice Rating: 4 out of 5

Tad Scheeler

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