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Book Review: Cracking Animation, The Aarman Book of 3D Animation

Cracking Animation is one of the very few book in the medium that covers everything on the subject of Stop Motion, it doesn't spend 240 pages babbling on about passion and never getting down to how to actually execute making a film.

The book starts with an intro by Nick Park (Wallace & Gromit, Shaun the Sheep) and is followed by a note by Peter Lord (founder at Aardman) then jumps right into the history of Stop Motion, including the history of Aardman.  Now we finally get the juice, by which I mean DIY animation studio.  Now the book breaks up into chapters that concentrates on essential skills needed to make a Stop Motion short, TV show, or feature film.  My personal favorite chapter is, what I believe is chapter 5 'Puppet Making.'  This chapter includes how they made the character Shaun for the Shaun the Sheep TV show, this is wire armature to final fabrication so, 100% start to finish.

Cracking Animation is a great mentor that will hold your hand through the entire process which is glorious. So if your just beginning or just dabbing with Stop Motion or you are an experienced professional this book will give you brand new insight on your project, and hey, might even open a few door that were closed before.

*Note: I never suggest taking one book and copying there business model entirely.  If you did that  you would just end up with a Wallace & Gromit rip-off.  But what I do recommend is to apply the information to your brain so that in the future you can critique your production with helpful tips and tricks from Nick Park, Peter Lord, David Sproxton, Steve Box and many, many more.

Overall score: 
Pros: Great insight on how Aardman executes an Oscar winning film.  Chapters including model making, puppet fabrication, screenwriting, storyboard writing, and lighting.
Cons: N/A
Amazon price: $26.09
Link: http://www.amazon.com/Cracking-Animation-Aardma

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