Advanced Animation by Preston Blair
May 7, 2006 9:16 AM   Subscribe

Advanced Animation by Preston Blair, "the best 'how to' book on cartoon animation ever published." Blair, a Disney and MGM animator, put the book together in 1947 to illustrate the various basic principles of animation, only to have the book pulled from shelves after the rights to use some of the characters were revoked. Animation historian Jerry Beck has been hunting for a first edition of Blair's landmark book for many years. He finally found a copy and is sharing high-quality scans on the Animation Archive. (Archive previously linked in this thread; discovered via this thread.)
posted by soiled cowboy (11 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Great post! I've had various copies of Blair's animation books since I was a kid, but seeing those familiar pages illustrated with Tom & Jerry instead of the generic designs just feels so... right. I actually swooned when I saw that Jerry mouse expression page. I love MGM design work from the late forties, and these pages capture the essense of that style beautifully, and in a way that seems to have fizzled when Blair had to replace the studio owned characters. I really hope there's some way this can be reissued.
Thanks for making my Sunday, soiled cowboy.
posted by maryh at 10:09 AM on May 7, 2006

Wonderful. Cheers
posted by ZippityBuddha at 10:55 AM on May 7, 2006

Awesome post!
posted by Drexen at 11:20 AM on May 7, 2006

Oh, wow. This is great.
posted by brundlefly at 12:24 PM on May 7, 2006

Blair's book is a classic, but I prefer The Animator's Survival Kit, by Richard ("Who Framed Roger Rabbit?") Williams.
posted by grumblebee at 12:41 PM on May 7, 2006

me too. better animation advice I'd say, though the stuff on construction in preston blair is totally solid.
posted by 6am at 1:39 PM on May 7, 2006

I remember having the revised edition, but I very vividly remember that exact "right / wrong" page showing how a "line" of movement should be observed - and I'm sure it was Tom on that page. What gives?
posted by soyjoy at 1:50 PM on May 8, 2006

Soyjoy- In the original "Line of Action" page all the cats are Tom; in the revised version, the top four examples are still Tom, except for the most noticable one (the cat punching "correctly".) The pose is the same, but his face is generic. The 'Toms' also have extended color lines around their eyes to make them look more like the generic model, but they're still expressive. By comparison, he generic cat looks as botoxed as Cher.
posted by maryh at 4:45 PM on May 8, 2006

This post proves the theory that some of the best FPPs get practically no responses. Great post.
posted by papercake at 6:25 PM on May 8, 2006

No kidding, papercake.
posted by brundlefly at 7:05 PM on May 8, 2006

Fantastic post. I had that book years ago, then lost it somewhere along the way and gave been trying to find it. I've read a lot of animation books and this one truly is great.
posted by Outlawyr at 7:49 AM on May 10, 2006

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