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Top 13 Animation eBooks You Can Read Today!

"What is it about animation, graphics, and illustrations that create meaning? And this is an important question to ask and answer because the more we understand how the brain creates meaning, the better we can communicate, and, I also think, the better we can think and collaborate."

Tom Wujec, Founding Professor, Singularity University

Are you an animator looking for resources to improve your skills or a studio owner looking to produce quality animations? There are plenty of reading resources to learn all the skills, lessons, and techniques you need - they’re all available online in these animation ebooks!

In this blog, we cover our top 13 animation ebooks you can read today to understand the minds of phenomenal classical animators and grasp the technical skills prevalent in the modern animation industry.

animation ebooks can be read anywhere at anytime on any device for every animator

GIF via Giphy

As an animator, remember that reading provides a comprehensive perspective for understanding the core values of creating complete and seamless videos. All the recommended animation ebooks are insight-bearing to shape your techniques, whether you are a beginner or a veteran animator.

What Animation eBooks are the Best for Animators?

There is plenty of room to develop a skillset and thrive; the hard part is learning to animate well. Hence, we have curated a list of ebooks about animation that are a treasure trove for getting started or expanding your knowledge.

1. The Animator’s Sketchbook: How to See, Interpret and Draw Like a Master Animator

Animators learn how to enhance their work through observation and drawing from The Animator's Sketchbook, as well as how to unleash their "inner animator" through it. This book has more than 60 motion and drawing tasks for improving vision, analysis, understanding, and the fundamental abilities needed to become a great animator.

the animators sketchbook by tony white as an ebook is perfect for animators

Image by Tony White

Filled with extensive practice pages, each exercise has a time limit for animators to demonstrate their skills and optimize their efficiency and comprehension. Animation instructors can rely on this animation workbook to take animators to new tiers of classic visualizing expertise.

Download the animation ebook here.

2. The Power of Creativity (Book 1): Learning How to Build Lasting Habits, Face Your Fears and Change

This animation ebook is for any animator interested in knowing how they can become more creative, generate more ideas, focus on their thoughts, and just let them flow. Bryan Collins writes to help animators conquer personal and professional challenges affecting their creativity.

the power of creativity by bryan collins is an animation ebook for everyone

Image by Bryan Collins

Suitable for animators who want to discover how to build creative habits, this book helps animators find ideas faster, comprehend what their audience expects from them, and master themselves as artists in a broader context.

Download the animation ebook here.

3. Your Career in Animation (2nd Edition): How to Survive and Thrive

With this comprehensive guide, you will learn everything you need to know about breaking into the animation industry or transitioning to a better career. In this book, David Levy surveys the field and shares the advice of more than 150 top talents in the animation industry.

your career in animation is an ebook that can help you in the industry

Image by David Levy

With this newly revised edition, animators can learn how to keep their skills marketable for years to come, network effectively, learn from on-the-job criticism, start their studio or build a brand online, and pitch and sell a show of their own.

Buy the animation ebook here.

4. Animated Storytelling: Simple Steps for Creating Animation and Motion Graphics

The animation ebook shows animators how to combine character animation with design and intentional storytelling choices to create a film. Before creating a motion graphics video, animators learn a lot about pre-production, storyboarding, and design processes.

animated storytelling helps animators construct stories

Image by Liz Blazer

Animated Storytelling makes exploring traditional linear storytelling, learning different processes for creating nonlinear stories, and discovering experimental filmmaking easier, whether you want to make exciting animated shorts, films, or online broadcasts.

Download the animation ebook here.

5. Acting and Character Animation: The Art of Animated Films, Acting, and Visualizing

Animation has much to do with acting; that is, character animation, not the standardized, mechanical process of animation. This book introduces animators to the importance of actors and the variety of acting that goes into animation, then describes the various techniques from an actor's perspective.

acting and character animation helps animators with production

Image by Rolf Giesen

Through exhaustive research and interviews, this book covers acting from vaudeville to rotoscoping to performance capture and comprises case studies that bring the content to life while providing actionable tools and techniques for immediate use.

Download the animation ebook here.

6. The Animator’s Eye: Composition and Design for Better Animation

In this animation ebook, Francis Glebas guides animators in creating an animated short film. Sharing the principles used in animating in 2D and digitally, they learn how to become diverse visual storytellers through better use of color, volume, shape, shadow, perspective, and light.

the animators eye is an ebook that'll give your animation the quality it deserves

Image by Francis Glebas 

He also breaks down popular animated features to demonstrate how animators can channel their imagination and refine their vision, create unique worlds and compelling characters, and explain the difference between real-world and cartoon physics. 

Download the animation ebook here.

7. Creating Animated Cartoons with Character: A Guide to Developing and Producing Your Own Series for TV, the Web, and Short Film

This fully illustrated animation ebook helps animators produce animated series. Written by Joe Murray, animators can find insider advice, handy techniques, and behind-the-scenes anecdotes for animators to discover and explore their artistic vision while producing a commercial cartoon.

creating animated cartoons help character animators

Image by Joe Murray 

Creating Animated Cartoons with Character delves into the importance of characters and story hooks, creating pitch materials, detailing what goes into producing a series pilot, and assembling a creative team for production.

Buy the animation book here.

8. Frames of Anime: Culture and Image Building

The animation ebook unravels Eastern culture's deep inner workings and relationship with anime. It presents a historical perspective rather than a guidebook. Tze-Yue Hu interviews expert anime animators to investigate the origins of anime using linguistics and the history of Japan.

frames of anime is an ebook that helps animators learn about animation in different cultures

Image by Tze-Yue G. Hu 

The language medium of this remarkable expressive animation and its many socio-cultural dimensions come from various reference frames, tracing layers from Japan throughout Asia.

Buy the animation book here.

9. Character Animation Fundamentals: Developing Skills for 2D and 3D Animation

Animating humans is some of the most complex yet rewarding work. This animation ebook is a massive tome full of exercises, tips, and techniques for animating realistic characters.

its not too late to learn about character animation fundamentals in ebooks

Image by Steve Roberts 

Accommodating 2D and 3D animation designers, this guide applies to all animation movement and motion. Note that you will need solid drawing fundamentals before reading this book with ease.

Download the animation ebook here.

Animation eBooks on How to Start an Animation Business

Study as many resources as possible and stay current with the latest news, trends, tips, and tricks in the animation business, including the commercial aspects, if you want to succeed as an animator in this fast-paced industry.

10. Explain Yourself! How to Do Explainer Videos the Right Way

In this book, animators see explainer videos through Ben Marvazi's eyes, whose team at Promoshin has produced thousands of video projects for clients in every industry imaginable. Ben takes animators through the journey of creating an explainer video from an idea to a finished product and beyond.

explain yourself is the ultimate ebook for animating explainer videos the right way

Image by Ben Marvazi

Unlike other animation ebooks, Marvazi shows animators how to choose appropriate explainer video styles and tell their marketing story concisely while focusing on ideating sales messages, avoiding mistakes, and cutting costs to grow their business.

Buy the animation book here.

11. The Freelance Manifesto: A Field Guide for the Modern Motion Designer

School of Motion founder Joey Korenman worked in several motion design roles before discovering freelancing. Now, he shares his playbook for becoming a six-figure freelancer, his experience, and advice on breaking out of the 9-to-5 mold in this tactical animation ebook.

the freelance manifesto is an ebook that helps freelancers setup their career

Image by Joey Korenman

The Freelance Manifesto is a two-part field manual for motion design animators wishing to switch to freelancing. The first looks at freelance animators' objectives, advantages, myths, and realities, while the second offers aspiring freelancers a five-step plan for starting and running a solo venture.

Download the animation ebook here.

12. Show Your Work! 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered

The forward-thinking animation ebook shows animators how to get known; it is about being findable and shows why generosity transcends genius. It is more about self-discovery than self-promotion or letting others into your process and then letting them take from you.

show your work is an ebook that helps animators with getting discovered

Image by Austin Kleon

Kleon presents an animator's manual for embracing the communal nature of creativity, i.e., the "ecology of talent." From broader life lessons about work to the discipline of sharing—and the dangers of oversharing—to the practicalities of running a digital business, it is an inspiring read for succeeding as an animator and business owner.

Download the animation ebook here.

13. When Talent Isn't Enough: Business Basics for the Creatively Inclined

There is a tendency for many creative professionals to focus on their artistic abilities and not enough on their business interests. Animators of all types can benefit from Kristen Fischer's When Talent Isn't Enough, a powerful collection of strategies and stories from some of today's most renowned creative leaders.

business basica helps any creative with their business endeavors

Image by Kristen Fischer

As an easy-to-read guide for creative entrepreneurs and solo practitioners, this animation ebook covers every aspect of starting and managing a successful business, offering tips, tricks, and business advice for animators to

  • Run prosperous businesses
  • Understand the legal aspects of an animation business
  • Entrench accounting and financial practices
  • Overcome challenging situations with clients
  • Embrace self-promotion as a freelance animator

Download the animation ebook here.

Animation eBooks That All Animators Need to Know About

Learning through self-study does not have to be overwhelming with these top 13 animation ebooks you can read today. You will make steady progress if you do the work, follow the guides, and keep practicing.

these animation ebooks are all part of the animator book club for all

Image by Poppydeyes via Giphy

The animation ebooks we have detailed are perfect for beginner animators to gain knowledge from pioneering animators, and experienced animators can expand or revisit their animation knowledge.

More than staying informed through knowledge-packed reads like this and “How to Start an Animation Studio,” you can achieve success and live the life you have always dreamed of by watching our free masterclass.

Take full advantage of our experience and join the Animation Business Accelerator to make six to seven figures as a freelance animator or studio owner, even if you lack experience, money, or clients.

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