Gessture lines of an animated figure

OER Textbook for Animation Students : The Animatorʻs Companion Essentials

“The Animatorʻs Companion – Essentials” is a technology-enabled animation textbook suitable for entry level and intermediate animation students. It offers historical context as it presents animation principles discovered by animators in the 1930ʻs and 40ʻs for todayʻs modern digital artists. Where traditional animation textbooks provide static illustrations, the Animatorʻs Companion Essentials offers moving illustrations and video reference movie clips to elucidate key concepts. Concepts such as Timing will benefit from this new approach of moving-illustrations. Examples and non-examples will clarify animation concepts with the added benefit of motion.This approach will not only enhance learning but also provides efficient way for students to absorb subtle visual differences. The goal is to have this digitally enhanced book ready for introduction into ACM curriculum by Spring 2018.

As an Open Educational Resource (OER) text book, the potential for widespread dissemination among university animation programs is possible. Although the Creative Commons license allows for free use of the materials in the book, the volume is designed for use in ACM Animation Track curriculum at UH Mānoa. It will be introduced in ACM 216 in Spring 2018. The hope is this text will provide a basis for other campuses in the UH System to provide a curricular experience consistent with ACM Animation curriculum core concepts. This alignment will improve articulation and smooth the pathway to ACM Animation from outlying campuses. It also is important to highlight that this book will be free to all students and replace current texts which result in additional financial burdens to our students.

Joints and angles in movement

A variety of software is being utilized in the production of this book. On the desktop front there is the Adobe Master Suite, most notably Photoshop, After Effects, Animate and Premiere Pro. Additionally ToonBoom and Maya software provided digital 2D and 3D animation support. In the tablet computer environment, apps like Stop Motion Pro, Animation Creator and Animation Desk provided additional support in creating the digital illustrations. Microsoft Word is the platform the boos text was written in. Through the technical assistance of the UH Outreach College specialists, other web-based enhancements will further distinguish this book. Digital web-based links and user analytics will be possible.

This textbook represents the work of one author. I wrote most of the text within the last 5 years and am currently editing while creating a blueprint for the illustration pass. This core text will eventually be a companion book to a larger comprehensive textbook which will go beyond the principles to include acting, figure drawing, sketching and design concepts. The body of knowledge in the book is the culmination of almost 30 years of experience as a professional animator and filmmaker. The illustrations are all from my own work or designed specifically for this book, so there will be no complex permissions necessary to complete the project.

Project Lead

Dan Boulos

Dan Boulos

Dan Boulos is a classically trained animator who has worked for such animation studios as Walt Disney Feature Animation, Warner Brothers and DreamWorks. His many screen credits include The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Space Jam and The Prince of Egypt. Dan has been teaching animation for over 20 years. He founded the Animation program at Leeward Community Collegeʻs Digital Media Dept., was the founding instructor for the European Animation Masterclass in Halle/Saale, Germany and is the head of the Animation Track for the Academy for Creative Media at UHM. He currently is Chair of ACM. He holds a Masters in Education from UHMʻs Learning Design and Technology program in the College of Education, and a BFA in Character Animation from California Institute of the Arts.

Posted by Dan Boulos