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supesfan

books on animation?

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Anybody know of any good books or websites that will teach you how to animate 3D models? I'm looking to design a sword fighting combat system.
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While there's considerable difference between 2D and 3D animation, in the end, 3D graphics are rendered onto 2D images as frames of a film or a computer game. Therefore most -- if not all -- of the theory involved in making convincing traditional animation can also be applied to 3D animation.

You have the theoretical knowledge (what makes an animation look good) and you have the practical knowledge (how to use Maya etc. to make an animated sequence).

For the practical knowledge you can search for a book or other learning material on your preferred software suite.
For the theoretical knowledge, you can get a copy of "The Animator's Survival Kit," one of the most recommended books in the field:
http://www.amazon.com/The-Animators-Survival-Kit-Principles/dp/086547897X/ Edited by Kryzon
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Hey thanks a lot. I am always excited about reading new books. However, this looks like it might be more for cartoon animation. Forgive me for my ignorance but does it apply to game animation?
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I wouldnt waste your time with books. Purchase a subscription to digitalTutors.com and you will be 100% happy with the return. Everything you would ever need to know about animation.

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The reason a cartoon animation book was linked was because good animation, whether game or screen media, applies the same core principles. It's been a mistake made by game animators in the past to ignore the huge leaps made by traditional animation; if you want to have impactful and good animation that conveys any feeling whatsoever, buy that book. It's also a great read. tongue.png

 

If you were looking for technical knowledge on literally what buttons to press; buy Digital Tutors, too. Great resource.

 

Though, I think you're more likely to find some good references on swordfighting animation systems looking up devblogs or finding tutorials online, honestly.

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The reason a cartoon animation book was linked was because good animation, whether game or screen media, applies the same core principles. It's been a mistake made by game animators in the past to ignore the huge leaps made by traditional animation; if you want to have impactful and good animation that conveys any feeling whatsoever, buy that book. It's also a great read. tongue.png

 

If you were looking for technical knowledge on literally what buttons to press; buy Digital Tutors, too. Great resource.

 

Though, I think you're more likely to find some good references on swordfighting animation systems looking up devblogs or finding tutorials online, honestly.

 

It may have been a while since you browsed their inventory of videos. They have design concepts, animation tricks of the trade, scene setup, key practices for making clean and elegant rigs/animator control schemes, and countless other tutorials that are NOT just geared to "pressing buttons". There is something to be said about reading a book sure, but for myself (and maybe others) seeing something in a real sense makes it that much easier when learning.

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Yea good point, watching videos defanitly makes learning easier. As for the theory of animation I'll probably reada book, fortge practical knowledge I will watch videos.
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When you are actually animating your sword fighting characters, one thing that will help you a lot as reference is recording yourself performing the swings and sequences that you want your characters to perform.
Once you transfer the footage to your computer, you can go frame-by-frame on it with a player like Media Player Classic - Home Cinema (which has frame-step controls) and study how everything is moving - timing, rotation etc.

This helps you get better results in a shorter amount of time. You will also learn a lot from this analytical observation.
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