Animations help in creating 3D and realistic models. They are constructed to give an impression of motion. Animation helps in cognitive and language development.
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A typical animator usually has a bachelor’s degree in fine arts, animation, computer graphics or a related field.
But there should be nothing stopping you from following your passion. If you are passionate and determined enough to be a good animator, these self-help books will make you a finest animator.
Animation makes life more exciting, interactive and realistic.
The employment of special effects artists and animators is gradually increasing. Sometimes people don’t have the right knowledge and guidance to start a career.
We have brought you a collection of books that will strengthen your knowledge about animation.
The history, the people behind it and the future of animation is well-explained in these books. Enriched with additional information, this collection is a total blend of creativity, imagination and information.
- List of 20 Best Animation Books for Animators -Beginners & Experienced 
- 1. The Illusion of Life: Disney Animation
- 2. The Animators
- 3. The Animator’s Survival Kit
- 4. Your Career in Animation : How to Survive and Thrive
- 5. Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination
- 6. The Nine Old Men: Lessons, Techniques, and Inspiration from Disney’s Great Animators
- 7. The Queens of Animation
- 8. Cartooning Animation 1: Learn to Animate
- 9. Character Animation Crash Course
- 10. Directing the Story
- 11. How to Draw Animation
- 12. Animated Storytelling
- 13. Ink & Paint: The Women of Walt Disney’s Animation
- 14. Life, Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes, and Autism
- 15. The World History of Animation
- 16. Modern Cartooning
- 17. Animation from Pencils to Pixels
- 18. Creating Digital Animations
- 19. Stop-Motion Filmmaking
- 20. Physics for Animators
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List of 20 Best Animation Books for Animators -Beginners & Experienced 
by Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas
The Illusion of Life: Disney Animation by Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas — Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston were students at Stanford University and joined Walt Disney together. They wrote this book after withdrawing from Walt Disney.
Their unrestricted collaboration with Walt Disney Productions and free access to the studio’s priceless archives, helped greatly in the writing of this book. The book contains a great deal of information about how the amazingly lifelike effects of Disney character animation were achieved, including charming stories about how many popular cartoon characters were given their unique personalities. A very interesting book for the beginners and experts in animation. Read More
by Kayla Rae Whitaker
The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker — It is the story of two young women who meet in art class at East Coast College. Both come from different backgrounds, but they become good friends. Sharon is from rural Kentucky and Mel is from upstate Florida. Both have common interests, such as their love of classic cartoons.
Both become successful in life, but success began to break their friendship. They won several awards and started working near Brooklyn. The story goes from the beginning of the friendship to the end of the friendship. The book has a unique content and gives the readers a good experience. Read More
by Richard Williams
The Animator’s Survival Kit: A Manual of Methods, Principles and Formulas for Classical, Computer, Games, Stop Motion and Internet Animators by Richard Williams — Richard Williams (1933-2019) is the Director of Animation and designer of the new characters for Who Framed Roger Rabbit. He even won two Academy Awards. He lived with his family in Wales.
Animation has become an important part of filmmaking. Richard Williams fills the gap between the older generation and the new generation in animation. This book is based on his sold out master classes in the United States and Europe. It is a brick of a book overflowing with learning material. There are chapters upon chapters with really rich references and diagrams. This book really fills in any holes about how animation works. Anyone who wants an offline guide to animation techniques can read this book. The stories Richard Williams has to tell are all interesting. Additional information provided in the book is very appealing. This book is a wonderful addition to any animation fan’s bookshelf and is a treasure for any true animator. Read More
by David B. Levy
Your Career in Animation : How to Survive and Thrive by David B. Levy — David B. Levy is the director of animation Disney+. His work includes producing and developing original short-form content for social media and series for Lucasfilm. He lives with his family in Los Angeles.
The book features advice from top talent in the industry making toons – including Brooke Keesling, Head of Animation Talent Development at Bento Box, Mike Hollingsworth, Supervising Director of BoJack Horseman and many others. Invaluable resources such as animation schools, societies, film festivals, events, websites and publications are also provided by the author. The book is inspirational for anyone starting their adventures in the beloved animation industry. Read More
by Neal Gabler
Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination by Neal Gabler — This book is the biography of Walt Disney, who created so much of American iconic popular culture, is really worth reading. Well written and filled with facts and stories you may never have thought could be part of Disney history. Anyone who wants to delve more into the early life of Walt Disney before Mickey, the princesses, or the parks were even thought of should read this book. The writing style is excellent and pulls the reader along as Disney and his staff take bigger and bigger leaps into the unknown in the 20s and 30s. The disappointments of the 40s and early 50s are well documented and Disney’s evolution into theme parks is described in impressive detail. The author uses a light conversational style. Appropriate evidence was used to support the statements. Read More
by Andreas Deja
The Nine Old Men: Lessons, Techniques, and Inspiration from Disney’s Great Animators by Andreas Deja — Andreas Deja has worked as a Disney animator. He designed characters for The Great Mouse Detective, Oliver & Company, and Who Framed Roger Rabbit. He was named a Legend of animation by the Walt Disney Company.
Walt Disney’s team of animators, were known as “Nine Old Men.” They were known for creating Disney’s most famous works. This book offers a thoughtful analysis of their techniques. It includes character drawing, acting, story structure, and execution. It will help you refine your creative choices and approaches to character animation. You’ll learn the fundamentals of timeless characters and scenes from some of Disney’s most memorable feature films and shorts. Read More
by Nathalia Holt
The Queens of Animation: The Untold Story of the Women Who Transformed the World of Disney and Made Cinematic History by Nathalia Holt — Nathalia Holt is a bestselling author. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including the New York Times, The Atlantic, Slate, Popular Science, and Times.
In this book, you will learn about the women behind the groundbreaking features of Snow White, Moana, Pinocchio, and Frozen. You will learn how these women infiltrated the “boys’ club” of Disney’s story and animation departments. The author explains how these women used early technology to create the rich artwork and unforgettable narratives. The book draws on extensive interviews and exclusive access to archival and personal documents to support the testimonies. Read More
by Preston Blair
Cartooning Animation 1: Learn to Animate Step-by-Step by Preston Blair — Preston Blair studied art at the Otis Art Institute. He was a member of California Watercolor Society and American Watercolor Society in New York. He is an expert of Animations.
The author explains and demonstrates the magic of cartoon animation. You will learn how to develop the shape, personality, features and mannerisms of a cartoon character and how to create movement. Tips on using action lines and creating realistic movements are well explained in the book. The book is specifically designed for beginners. After reading the book, you will be able to animate a character, from character development to movement and dialog. Read More
by Eric Goldberg
Character Animation Crash Course by Eric Goldberg — Eric Goldberg , an experienced director, designer and animator. He is an expert in the design of feature films, commercials, title sequences and television specials.
Classic animation techniques are well analyzed in the book. The book imparts knowledge of the author’s experience gained in his 30+ years in professional animation. Terms are defined, connections are made, and the universal features of the process are outlined in a friendly, accessible manner. This book is intended for the animator, the cartoonist, and the cartoon enthusiast. Even the beginner can learn a lot from this book. Read More
by Francis Glebas
Directing the Story: Professional Storytelling and Storyboarding Techniques for Live Action and Animation by Francis Glebas — Francis Glebas worked as a story artist for many Disney Feature AniAnimations. His some famous work includes Aladdin, Lion King, Pocahontas, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Dinosaur, Treasure Planet and Hercules. He currently teaches storyboarding and works as a creative consultant. He has worked with Korean Government, General Motors, Los Alamos Labs, Walt Disney Imagineering and other film studios.
The author teaches artists a structural approach to presenting visual stories clearly and dramatically. They also learn how to spot potential problems before they cost time and money. The book covers everything a director needs to know to prepare the storyboard for an effective and memorable film. People interested in animation, theater, Film Studies at the high school, college, and university level should read this book. Read More
by Christopher Hart
How to Draw Animation: Learn the Art of Animation from Character Design to Storyboards and Layouts by Christopher Hart — Christopher Hart is a well-known author of drawing and cartooning books. His books have been translated into several languages. His books have been selected by the American Library Association for special consideration.
The book shows aspiring cartoonists and animators how to learn or adapt skills for the lucrative, ever-growing field of animated art. The book offers instruction on how to create images of hilarious antics and mischief, bring enchanted fairy tales and action adventures to life. It shows you how to design contemporary-looking backdrops and backgrounds and create professional-quality storyboards. The book includes examples and exercises to help the budding animator create motion. Read More
by Liz Blazer
Animated Storytelling by Liz Blazer — Liz Blazer is an art director, designer, animator and educator. Her animated documentary Backseat Bingo has won numerous awards, including HBO Comedy Arts Festival, Animation Magazine, and International Documentary Association.
Artists can use animation to create worlds, defy gravity, move from the factual to the fantastic. You will learn how to apply various processes to create successful nonlinear animation stories. Concepts such as development, pre-production, storyboarding, and design are well explained. The book provides clear examples and easy-to-follow exercises to give you the guidance, encouragement, and tools you need to get your designs off the ground. Read More
by Mindy Johnson
Ink & Paint: The Women of Walt Disney’s Animation (Disney Editions Deluxe) by Mindy Johnson — Mindy is a speaker and writer on animation. She is also an award-winning playwright, songwriter, musician, and contributor to several internationally acclaimed recordings.
The book describes the invaluable role women have played in animation history. The book tells about the unsung heroines of the world of Disney animation. You will learn how women have managed to break the gender barrier and find positions in animation, editing, story, production, cinematography, writing, and research. Learn how some amazing women brought the world of Disney to life, not only in the animated films, but also in the animated films and the theme parks. Read More
by Ron Suskind
Life, Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes, and Autism by Ron Suskind — Ron Suskind is an author and has written several best-selling books. He also won the Pulitzer Prize. Confidence Men, The Way of the World, The One Percent Doctrine and The Price of Loyalty are some of the books written by him.
This book is based on the true story of Ron Suskind’s son. You will learn how the autistic son regained the ability to speak through the medium of Disney cartoons. The author has shared not only the triumphs, but also the heartache and fears that life constantly throws into the mix. Read More
by Stephen Cavalier
The World History of Animation by Stephen Cavalier — Stephen Cavalier has been in the animation industry for two decades. He has worked as Animation Director for Disney TV shows.
This comprehensive volume offers a fine compilation of all the major works of animation. It shows the evolution of animation techniques that are at the core of the genre. It covers pioneers, feature films, television programs, digital films, games, independent films, and the web. It is an exciting and inspiring journey through the vast and still expanding animation universe. It also includes comprehensive biographies of leading practitioners. Read More
by Christopher Hart
Modern Cartooning: Essential Techniques for Drawing Today’s Popular Cartoons by Christopher Hart — This book is aimed at beginners who are interested in cartooning. You will learn basic tips for creating the funniest and most whimsical characters inspired by today’s cartoons. It gives artists of all ages the tools they need to let their imaginations run wild.
Much of the book deals with modifying the face and body to give the characters more individuality. The author is an expert at taking such simple changes and creating new, unique, but easily recognizable cartoon types. Anyone who wants to know more about cartooning and has always wondered about cartooning should read this book. Read More
by Tony White
Animation from Pencils to Pixels: Classical Techniques for the Digital Animator by Tony White — Tony White is a renowned animator, director, lecturer and author. He teaches 2D animation and leads animation production major classes at DigiPen Institute of Technology.
You will learn about popular classic animation techniques. This book is suitable for beginners as well as very experienced digital animators. You will get professional advice that will strengthen your work and well-being as an animator. It includes chapters on project funding, management, copyright issues, production planning and more. Additional information is also provided by the author. Read More
by Derek Breen
Creating Digital Animations: Animate Stories with Scratch! by Derek Breen — Derek Breen is a former designer. He works on the Digital Media Arts and Instructional Design program at Harvard Extension School.
Learn how to turn your idea into a real animation with sound effects and more. Add your own details, and develop a complete, working character from scratch. It introduces you to important game design concepts through three simple projects. Learn to add your own details and develop a complete, functional character from scratch. Additional information in the book makes it very engaging. Read More
by Christopher Walsh
Stop-Motion Filmmaking: The Complete Guide to Fabrication and Animation by Christopher Walsh — Christopher Walsh is a professor in the undergraduate program Animation Program at Sheridan College, Canada. He holds an MFA in Film Studies.
The book provides specific instructions for creating 3D designed and printed doll components as well as handmade elements. It is enriched by exclusive online content in the form of detailed tutorials and examples, as well as dynamic sidebars and inserts. It offers tutorials on everything from puppet building and studio setup to animation and filmmaking. It guides readers through the intricacies of armature construction, set and prop making, costume design, and much more. Read More
by Michele Bousquet
Physics for Animators by Michele Bousquet — Michele Bousquet is an animator and lecturer. Michele has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and computer science from McGill University.
The book makes it easy to apply realistic physics to your work. Physics concepts are explained in animator terms, relating the concepts specifically to animation motion and appearance. It teaches animators how to create scientifically correct scenes and fix trouble spots quickly and efficiently. The book gives animators solutions that are simple, quick, and effective. The author has managed to explain some fairly complex topics in simple language. You will learn how animators break the laws of physics for comedic or dramatic effects. Read More
Animation is a huge subject. You need to know everything about animation and its techniques to become a successful animator. All the books are well-researched and explained by their respective authors.
You get to know animation from all sides. Biographies and history of people who indulge in animation are also included by the authors to inspire the readers.
You can visit StartAStudio.com if you want to Learn to build a Career in Animation or Start an Animation Studio.
You can also visit Wikipedia if you want to learn more about animation.
In case you do not find your favorite book in this list, you can leave it in the comment section. We will for sure include it in our article titled Best Animation Books for Animators -Beginners & Experienced  in our next article update.
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