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Animation Cinema Workshop

Animation Cinema Workshop

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Book cover

Animation Cinema Workshop

From motion to emotion

By Robi Engler

Publication date: 2016
Total pages: 300
ISBN: 9780 86196 720 9
Price: £ 25.00


Animation is at the crossroads of the visual arts, music, dance and literature. It is an artistic, creative activity in the first place, but it is also a pedagogical tool for teaching and learning. And it is a social tool to learn to work in a team, to follow an idea, to never give up and go all the way from script to screen.

This book guides you through the different production steps of animated film making, from the creative impulse to the final editing of picture and sound. And not forgetting the most important: the content of the film. Learn the specific language of animation: its grammar and vocabulary. Create your own characters, make them act to express your feelings – from motion to emotion.

Over twenty different animation techniques are proposed. For each technique you will find the list of the necessary material, practical hints and the tricks-of-the-trade. Whether you work with tradional film cameras or with computer software, this book is a practical guide for students and teacher.


1. Basics: Film; video; digital; audio recording

2. Animation techniques: Synoptic chart; glossary

3. Animation without film: Thaumatrope; Phenakistiscope; Zoetrope; flip book

4. Animation without camera: Etching/painting on film; drawing sound

5. Animation with camera/scanner

Plane view/2D: Cut-out animation; Powder animation; Paint-on-glass animation; Pinart animation

Pegbar animation/2D: Animated drawings; Cel animation; Rotoscoping/Mocap

StopMotion/3D: Animated objects; Clay animation; Stop motion/armatures

Relief animation: Animated material

6. Grammar of animation: Time and space = timing; Extremes / in betweens; Dynamic movement; Anticipation - stretch - squash

7. Vocabulary of animation: Visual language; Light shadow; Perspective; Drawing in time / Sound structures

8. Characterisation

Development: Character design; character spectrum

Construction: Model sheet; Turn arounds

Animation: Walking cycles

Acting: From motion to emotion

9. Pre-production/Content: Ideas/creative inpulse; Story structures; Characters and their functions; Script/Pitch/ Synopsis/Music score; Storyboarding; Budget/financial planning

10. Production/Tricks-of-the-trade: Layout posing; Pencil test; Special effects; Dialogue/Lip synchronised animation

11. Post-production: Sound design/Sound track; Editing/ Compositing/Image and sound

12. Teaching/Learning animation: Teaching animation in school: Why?; Workshop organisation


Robi Engler was born in St-Gall, Switzerland on November 18th in the year of the dragon. He graduated from the School of Fine Arts and took an apprenticeship as a graphic artist. He studied animated film making at the Ecole National Supérieur des Arts Décoratifs in Paris.

In 1975, Robi Engler founded the Animagination company and established himself as an independent animation filmmaker in Lausanne, Switzerland. He is a scriptwriter and director of a great number of animated films and televison serials and made the first Swiss animated feature-length film.

He is a guest professor at various art schools and universities around the world: France, Germany, Portugal, Sambia, Serbia, Singapore, India, Nepal, Laos, China, Taiwan ...

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