How to Make Animated Films : Tony White's Complete Masterclass on the Traditional Principals of Animation book cover
1st Edition

How to Make Animated Films
Tony White's Complete Masterclass on the Traditional Principals of Animation

ISBN 9780240810331
Published May 12, 2009 by Routledge
512 Pages

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USD $64.95

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Book Description

Become Tony White's personal animation student. Experience many of the teaching techniques of the golden era of Disney and Warner Brothers studios and beyond.all from the comfort of your own home or studio. Tony White's Animation Master Class is uniquely designed to cover the core principles of animated movement comprehensively. How to Make Animated Films offers secrets and unique approaches only a Master Animator could share. Includes hands-on Tutorials, demonstrations and final sample animations. . Whether you want to become a qualified animator of 2D, 3D, Flash or any other form of animation, Tony White's foundations bring you closer to that goal. The downloadable resources are invaluable, in that readers are not only taught principles and concepts in the book, they are able to see them demonstrated in action in the movies.

Table of Contents

Tony White's Animation Master Class


1) Why this book?

For 2D Animators
For 3D Animators
For ALL Animators

2) First Principles

Equipment & techniques overview
Dope Sheets & Production Folders
Top Pegs versus Bottom Pegs
Flipping Techniques

(This section will include video footage on DVD)

3) Inbetweening

Timing & Charting
Arcs & Paths of Action
Even Inbetweens
Straight Ahead Animation
Assignment 01

(This section will include video footage on DVD)

4) Bouncing Ball

Weight & Timing
Assignment 02

(This section will include video footage on DVD)

5) Generic Walk

Cycle Action versus Moving Forward
Keys (legs only)
Passing Position
Inbetween positions
Keys (upper body & arms)
Head action
Assignment 03

(This section will include video footage on DVD)

6) Personality Walks

Alternative Passing Positions
Eccentric Inbetweens
Assignment 04

(This section will include video footage on DVD)

7) Runs

Positions (lower body)
Positions (upper body)
Variations in action
Assignment 05

(This section will include video footage on DVD)

8) Quadrupeds

Breaking down the action
Back legs
Front legs
Head & Neck
Assignment 06

(This section will include video footage on DVD)

9) Weight

Weight in action
Weight moving
Carrying weight
Throwing weight
Assignment 07

(This section will include video footage on DVD)

10) Anticipation

Starting an action
Assignment 08

(This section will include video footage on DVD)

11) Dialogue

Body language
Lip Sync
Assignment 09

(This section will include video footage on DVD)

12) Putting it all together

Working with audio
Dope sheet timing
Key pose test
Pencil Test
Lip Sync
Final movie
Assignment 10

(This section will include video footage on DVD)

13) The future of animation

The still untapped potential for animation.
2D or not 2D?
The Animaticus Foundation
Readers critique (information)

14) Tony White's Animation Master Class ~ DVD Outline:


Author at his drawing desk offering an overview of animation. Presenting the tools of the trade, the principles of movement and key concepts. Demonstrating everything, especially key drawings, dope sheets, flipping techniques, inbetweening and superimposition.

Assignment 01: Inbetweening test. (Key poses provided in book.)

Bouncing Ball

Presentation of the principles of weight, flexibility, timing and movement on arcs. Author at desk animating a bouncing ball. Examples of animated movie clips to demonstrate the final work.

Assignment 02: Bouncing Ball.

Generic Walk

Presenting the principles of a generic walk movement, cycle action versus moving forward, key stride positions, passing positions, inbetweening options. The author breaking down the action of a walk first the lower legs, then the body and arms, then the head action options. Discussion on timing.

Assignment 03: Generic Walk.

Personality Walks

Demonstration on how the generic walk can be evolved to something with more eccentricity or personality. Author animating various styles of walk from identical keys. Side-by-side demonstration of each walk, in comparison to the generic walk.

Assignment 04: Personality walk.


Author defines what a walk is and discusses the various forms from minimum to maximum number of frames. Demonstrates walk animation, first showing lower body, then upper body, then variations in action. Animated examples of runs.

Assignment 05: Animated Run.


Author discuses the principles of generic quadruped action and their anatomical make-up, then presents variations of movement from critter to critter. Desktop demonstration of how the action is broken down for a cartoon quadruped walk first the back legs, then the front legs, then head, body and tail. Example of eccentric quadruped walk.

Assignment 06: Eccentric quadruped walk.


Author discusses the principles of weight and its importance in animated action. Demonstrates how to put weight into a moving, bouncing, jumping flour sack. Example of sack animation.

Assignment 07: Flour Sack animation.


Author discusses the principles of anticipation and discusses the various moments where the implementation of anticipation is necessary. Demonstrates the creating of anticipation in a running action. Examples of anticipation animation.

Assignment 08: Anticipation with throw.


Author discusses the principles of animation and the process of placement in action moving to and from the camera's point of view. Demonstration of walk in perspective. Examples of perspective animation.

Assignment 09: Perspective walk through 360 degrees.


Author discusses the principles and requirements of dialogue animation. The principles of body language, facial expression and lip syncing are presented. Demonstration of talking character animation, approached and illustrated (with pencil test clips) stage-by-stage.

Assignment 10: Dialogue sequence (from free audio tracks downloadable from author's website).

Multi-character action

Author discusses the principles of action and dialogue between two or more characters on the screen at the same time. The principles of principle and secondary action are explained, plus the importance of the role of the passive character in a dialogue sequence. Author demonstrates action between two characters. Examples of animation shown.

Assignment 11: Two-character dialogue sequence (from free audio tracks downloadable from author's website).

Production secrets

Author discusses the stages of animation production, emphasizing the importance of animated storytelling and filmic technique for animators. The stages of production are presented breaking down audio tracks, storyboards, animatics, dope sheets & timing, key pose test, inbetweening secrets, pencil test, coloring, compositing and post production.

Assignment 12: Short film project.

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Tony White, renowned animator, director, professor, lecturer, and author, has been in the animation industry for over 30 years, and currently teaches 2D animation and oversees principal animation production classes at DigiPen Institute of Technology. White began his career working with legendary industry professionals like award-winning illustrator Ralph Steadman, animation gurus Ken Harris, Art Babbit (original lead animator on Pinocchio, Fantasia, and others at Disney). He also personally assisted, then directed/animated for Richard Williams (3-time Oscar winner and author of The Animator's Survival Kit). In addition to being the Dean of Fine Art and Animation at DigiPen, White founded and presides over The Animaticus Foundation, which he formed to preserve, teach and evolve the art form of traditional 2D animation.


"Tony White is a marvelous teacher. He has great love for the art of animation, and also a talent for explaining complex ideas in simple, accessible language." -Nancy Beiman, Professor of Animation, Sheridan College and author of PREPARE TO BOARD! Creating Story and Characters for Animated Features and Shorts

"Tony White's enthusiasm for animation is contagious. His deep knowledge of the medium continues to guide and inspire eager students every year. That's why I'm delighted to see Tony's special brand of expertise made available to a wider audience. Animation enthusiasts will find this book a treasure trove." -Michel Gagné, Artist/Filmmaker

"Tony White offers a wealth of knowledge from his vast, extensive experience in the art of animation. From the basic mechanics to the sophisticated complexities of hand drawn character animation, Tony covers it all." -Don Crum, Professional Character Animator