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Top 5: Best animation books

Updated: Jun 21

animation books

Ready to jump into animation?

Whether you're a beginner or a pro, these 5 books are Essential

Learn from the best

Do you love books? Me too!

I bet that when you started learning animation, you heard everywhere: Read Richard Williams' book, "The Animator's Survival Kit." !

So when I began my learning process at school, I bought it and placed it on a shelf for later...

Then I remember making my first 2D animation with only a poor understanding of animation's rules. It was hard and painful.

And one day, I finally decided to read it, and it blew my mind!

It was not hard to read at all! Very clear, easy to understand!

So many good tricks, well-explained with a great sense of humor, not a heavy, big, boring book.

Here is my best animation books list:

The Animator's  survival kit

Richard Williams

If only I had read it on Day 1!

Start reading Richard Williams; you will save weeks of training!

Yes, weeks! Do you remember "Who framed Roger Rabbit" well he co-directed it with Robert Zemeckis.

If you are from the new generation, have a look at this movie, it will give you a great taste of 80-90's movies vibe !

animator survival kit

Force: Dynamic Life Drawing for Animators

Michael D. Mattesi

I love his approach to life drawing. Yes it is 2d drawing and you might think it is not useful for 3d animation. But I like that he make you think about sources and contacts applied to the body. Two nice notions to keep in mind while animating.



The Illusion of Life

Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnson

I won't lie; this is not a light and easy-to-read book like the previous ones. Your arms might shake if you intend to read it in bed :)

However, this one is undoubtedly a classic. I enjoy picking bits of it from time to time.

It's where the 12 principles of animation are born! I'm not sure if you can find a new copy on Amazon, but used copies are available.



Creativity inc.

Ed Catmull

Dive into the Pixar organization, learn about leading and managing a company to create beautiful projects! A lot to learn about a great teamwork!

creativity inc


Animal Anatomy for Artists

Eliot Goldfinger

This is soooo important: If you animate a creature, you need to know its anatomy.. At least the basics. Alway good to have a look into this book before jumping on a new creature animation!



More books here!

Animation Press

What's better than a little magazine to read on the train, all while listening to the sweet names of small cities stations... Here's a selection of cool magazines. Personally, I have free access to some of them through my city's digital library!

Animation Magazine
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