No Starch Press has a new book out. It’s called The LEGO Animation Book: Make Your Own LEGO Movies! I received the book for review on my dad blog and I can tell you it’s as cool as it sounds like. The 216-page book is full of great information on how to make animated LEGO movies. My oldest son has been playing around with making animated movies and he thinks this book is awesome. It features useful advice and wonderful graphics for the budding stop-motion animator. The book was written by expert brickfilmers David Pagano and David Pickett. In the book, they share their insight from over twenty years behind the camera and introduce readers to the basics of animation before walking them through the creative process step-by-step. The LEGO Animation Book: Make Your Own LEGO Movies! is available now. It has a list price of $19.95, but you can currently purchase it on Amazon for $14.76.
The LEGO Animation Book is organized around nine chapters:
- The Basics
- Animating the Minifigure
- Animation Principles
- Building for Brickfilms
- Working in Different Scales
- Tools of the Trade
- The Creative Process
- Cinematography and Production
As the name implies, the first chapter covers the basics of setting up your stop-motion animation studio. The second chapter shows how to animated your mini-figure Lego character. The third chapter explains the basic principles involve in animation.
The fourth chapter, Building for Brickfilms, explains how to build sets for your LEGO movie. Most of the book focuses on minifigure scale, but the fifth chapter covers other scales too — like micro and miniland scales. The sixth chapter focuses on animation tools (like cameras and animation software).
The seventh chapter discusses the creative process of animation. The section covers things like coming up with movie ideas, writing scripts, and storyboarding. The eight chapter gets a little technical by focusing on things like aspect ratio, frame rate, and lighting. The final chapter covers post-production topics like audio, editing, digital facial animation techniques.
The LEGO Animation Book will show readers learn how to:
- Use animation principles like exaggeration, timing and spacing, and overlapping action
- Convey action and emotion with plastic characters
- Add detail and scope to films by building in different scales
- Create special effects like explosions and flying minifigures
- Build camera dollies and rigs out of LEGO bricks
- Light, frame, and capture consistent photos
About the Authors
David Pagano is a LEGO animator and writer and the founder of Paganomation, a NY-based production studio. His work has appeared everywhere from BrickJournal to the Wall Street Journal. David Pickett is the LEGO filmmaker behind BRICK 101 and Nightly News at Nine. Together, they run the LEGO animation blog The Set Bump.