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Guide to Computer Animation

Book Description

Any questions you have about 2D or 3D animation in this new digital age are answered in this comprehensive guide for all budding digital animators, games artists and media production students. It is lavishly illustrated with inspirational colour throughout to show you what you can achieve.

Whether you want to create moving digital imagery for TV, computer games, or new media you need to understand the production and creative processes, the constraints of each and how they fit together. Ensure you have all you need at your fingertips to compete in this fast-moving arena with this unique book and web package. provides the moving imagery outcomes of some of the animation discussed in the case studies chapter, where top FrameStore-CRC and 3 Ring Circus creatives give you their invaluable behind the scenes perspectives.

In addition there are non-software specific 3D tutorials and direct links to a comprehensive range of related websites with further downloadable resources to make sure you stay up-to-date.

Marcia Kuperberg is Deputy Head of the School of Media, Arts & Technology, West Herts College, UK. Contributions are also included from Martin Bowman, Rob Manton and Alan Peacock.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover Page
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Contents
  5. Acknowledgements
  6. Introduction
  7. List of contributors
  8. Dedication
  9. Chapter 1. Exploring the background, tools and techniques of computer animation
    1. Introduction
    2. Perception
    3. The mechanism to make moving pictures
    4. Birth of the movie industry
    5. Traditional animation production techniques
    6. 2D computer animation
    7. 3D computer animation
    8. Digital convergence
    9. Animation: the art of making things move
    10. Conclusion
  10. Chapter 2. Understanding the technical constraints of creating for different digital media
    1. Introduction
    2. Some technical issues
    3. Display devices
    4. Bitmap images and vectors
    5. Image size and resolution
    6. Frame rate
    7. Data rates and bandwidth
    8. Compression
    9. Types of software used in animation
    10. Hand-drawn animation
    11. Spline-based keyframe animation
    12. 2D morphing
    13. Using ready-made animations
    14. Output options
    15. 3D modeling and animation
    16. Modeling techniques
    17. Animating 3D worlds
    18. Linked hierarchies
    19. 3D morphing
    20. Procedural animation
    21. Output options
    22. Video editing and compositing tools
    23. Delivering animation
    24. Conclusion
  11. Chapter 3. Techniques and stages of creating 3D computer animation
    1. Introduction
    2. Following the brief
    3. Scheduling your work to deliver on time
    4. Doing your research
    5. Checking the proposed action from your storyboard before creating the model
    6. Thinking about the most efficient way to make your models
    7. Constructing the basic room
    8. Paying attention to materials
    9. Paying attention to lighting your scene
    10. Fine-tuning the effects of lights used in your scene
    11. Lighting setups
    12. Using your camera effectively
    13. Camera lenses
    14. Using a number of cameras
    15. Basic camera moves
    16. Using your camera to explore the room
    17. Creating camera moves
  12. Chapter 4. Animation for multimedia and new media
    1. Introduction
    2. Motivation and responsiveness: animated objects in multimedia
    3. Changing moves: animation and interaction
    4. Animation: an everyday experience
    5. Early games and hypertext
    6. Animation in iTV (interactive TeleVision)
    7. Approaches and working methods
    8. Rollovers, buttons and other responsive objects
    9. GIF animation
    10. Movable objects
    11. Animated worlds
    12. Conclusion
  13. Chapter 5. Creating artwork for computer games: from concept to end product
    1. Introduction
    2. How is a game made?
    3. Animation in the computer games industry
    4. Animation to game
    5. What art positions are there in the games industry?
    6. What skills do employers look for?
    7. Conclusion
  14. Chapter 6. tv case studies: looking behind the scenes at the creation of network idents and commercials
    1. Introduction
    2. TechTV
    3. Moviepix
    4. The Movie Network
    5. Super Écran
    6. Behind the scenes of Cingular Wireless
    7. The making of Chrysler’s ‘Golden Gate’
  15. Chapter 7. The art and craft of telling a story: narrative and characterization
    1. Introduction
    2. The importance of understanding filmic techniques when creating screen narrative
    3. Audience perception
    4. Narrative theory in practice
    5. Using camera angles and framing to tell a story
    6. The soundtrack
    7. The storyboard
    8. Characterization
    9. Stylization and realism
    10. CGI combined with live action
    11. Character creations
    12. Making your characters talk
    13. Observation and inspiration
    14. Conclusion
  16. Chapter 8. Project briefs, self-tests, tutorials and resources
    1. Introduction
    2. Self-test based on Chapter 1
    3. Self-test based on Chapter 2
    4. 3D modeling project based on Chapter 3: creating a room
    5. Self-test based on Chapter 4
    6. Web tutorial rollover project based on Chapter 4
    7. Self-test based on Chapter 5
    8. Exercises and 3D modeling project tutorials based on Chapter 5
    9. Exercises and projects based on Chapter 7
    10. Exercises in characterization based on Chapters 1, 5 and 7
    11. Useful online resources
    12. Magazines
    13. Books
  17. Index