Computer Animation: Algorithms and Techniques [en]
Hardcover: 560 pages
Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann; 1st edition (September 4, 2001)
What many digital animators fail to realize is that someone needs to make the software that's used to bring images to life. Without the tools, the ideas can never be materialized. In Computer Animation: Algorithms and Techniques, the concepts and formulas used behind the scenes and under the hood of contemporary animation software are clearly explained for the programmer and the technical director.
Hardbound, liberally illustrated, and with an eight-page color gallery, there are six chapters and three appendices. The book starts with an overview of animation and works through some technical background information, and then delves into interpolation and basic techniques for representing 3-D motion and space on a 2-D display. Later chapters walk through advanced algorithms (kinematics, rigid body simulation, constraints) and then a discussion of ways to represent natural phenomena. There's also a focus on modeling and animating articulated figures. It's important to note that these chapters are not about which buttons to push in a given software package, but rather about the use and explanation of formulas for representing a specific simulation.
There are any number of books available on computer animation software packages, but precious few on how they do what they do. Computer Animation: Algorithms and Techniques is an invaluable resource, a textbook for anyone interested in computer animation programming or for anyone who simply wants to get under the hood of their favorite animation application. --Mike Caputo