Creating 3-D animation
Peter Lord & Brian Sibley
I tend not to like non-fiction or reference books, always preferring novels but having recently completed an Honours degree in animation I was very interested in this book when I found it for a bargain price.
I’ve never been a massive fan of Aardman animations but in terms of claymation you don’t get much better, therefore you would think an educational book from them would be a no-brainer, sadly I didn’t find this to be the case.
The problem I usually have with books designed to educate on a particular topic, is that these books are usually written by people at the top of their fields. These people are able to write in detail to a professional level but often struggle to give basic steps for people with no experience. This is very much the case here, after a few pages of basic exercises the reader is bombarded with tips on how to work at Aardman’s level. Given that Aardman animators have been working since the 70’s to get to their level I find it unlikely that a job from amateur to pro can be made after ten pages of trial and error.
It’s educational value aside, the book does a good job of telling the history of Aardman and the chapters detailing their work are a good read. The highlight, the opening sixty pages that give a detailed history of claymation, listing several obscure films that I will now definitely track down.
While these are a treat to run through I couldn’t help but feel let down that the book doesn’t live up to it’s purpose and I can’t really recommend it for anything else than the opening essay. If you can get it cheap, it’s worth a look, but I’d refrain from getting it at full price.