Review of Simplified Drawing for Planning Animation by Wayne Gilbert

While attending Animation Mentor, I was turned onto this book by a few animators.  The book provides various simplified characters that anyone can draw.  It is great for individuals that are not too confident in their drafting abilities.  While it may be more beneficial to those creating 3d animation, the book gives easy to follow examples that any animator can apply to their workflow. Mr. Gilbert takes you from start to finish on basic drawing tools you need to successfully thumbnail your shot.  The moral of this book is that it is okay to simplify. Keep it Simple Stupid.  This simple concept increases workflow productivity and relieves stress.  Simplified Drawing for Planning Animation reminds the reader that the goal of planning is to quickly boil down the essence of a pose.  However, as I stated before, the examples show that anyone can plan effectively, even those not great at more traditional gestural drawing.  Personally, I like to look at this book whenever I feel stuck or I am over complicating my thumbnails.  Planning should be fun, not scary, and free for expression.  Simplified Drawing for Planning Animation reminds you of that every time you open the cover.

Reasons why I like Simplified Drawing for Planning Animation by Wayne Gilbert

  1. Provides basic and realistic thumb-nailing examples that go beyond just drawing.
  2. Builds confidence in the reader’s drafting capabilities rather than cause grief and anxiety.
  3. Gives beautiful posing examples.  Wayne Gilbert wrote, and drew, a beautiful section adding force to posing.

Dislikes about the book.

  1. My version seems like a black and white kinko’s copy.  I am not sure I would label it a book, more like a college course reader.  However, out of respect, I will still refer to it as a book since it is published and has amazing content. Simplified Drawing for Planning Animation is printed on low quality copying paper and has the fun spiral binding.  I find myself afraid of ripping the pages off of the binding.  It is the same binding you find on some sketchbooks or activity books you used in the first grade.  I wish the book was provided in an e-book form to prevent such terrors.  Or, more preferably, a better print\binding with color.
  2. The author decided to write the book from finish to start instead of start to finish.  Basically it starts with more complicated lessons and works backward from there.  I understand the concept but I am not sure if it works.  Personally, I found myself just reading from the back of the book forward, therefore defeating the purpose.  But hey, A for effort.
  3. It is short.  The content is awesome but I wish there was more of it!

Overall Thoughts about Simplified Drawing for Planning Animation.

I think it is worth the few bucks, especially those lacking drawing and planning skills.  I find myself going back to this book more than other reference materials because of it’s simplicity.  It often reminds me to have fun, slow down and simplify.  I just wish the book had a bit more content and was printed a bit better.  Because of the printing I cannot give it a five out of five, therefore I give Simplified Drawing for Planning Animation 4 out of 5.

If you would like to buy Simplified Drawing for Planning Animation please click here.  If you have any questions or comment please feel free to ask.

Short review of Simplified Drawing for Planning Animation by Wayne Gilbert
Simplified Drawing for Planning Animation by Wayne Gilbert, a must have book for all animators
Simplified Drawing for Planning Animation by Wayne Gilbert provides various simplified characters that anyone can draw to improve your animation workflow. It is great for 3d animators that are not too confident in their drafting abilities.
4 / 5 stars