Book Information
Title: The Art of Cartooning with Flash
Author: Daniel Gray, Gary Leib, John Kuramoto.
Published by: Sybex Inc.
RRP: USD $49.99 (Less at Amazon)
Format: Mass-market paperback
CD: Yes.
User Level: Intermediate
Review By: Andy (20 Ton Squirrel, for ActionScript.org)

At a glance: 7/10

A great introduction into the world of cartooning in Flash that details everything you need to know from concept to completion. Learn all about the tricks of the trade from Twinkle Studios.

Review:

The Art of Cartooning with Flash takes you from start to finish of cartoon creation using the concepts laid out by the great ones at Disney and Warner Brothers honed by the folks at Twinkle studios. You'll learn basic techniques of animation both inside and outside Flash. It's not code-intensive; In fact I didn't see a single line of ActionScript. That doesn't mean this business of cartooning is simple, not by a long shot.

How many aspiring artists looked at Flash as their chance to break into the world of cartooning? How many crappy Southpark knockoffs have there been since Flash became so popular? Countless! Now… how many of these suckers dropped out of the race once they realized it was hard? How many people do we wish DID drop out of the race because their work was either terrible or unimaginative?

This book will teach you time-honored techniques such as story boarding and plot devices as well as the proper use of camera angles and scene transitions. The author packed a great deal of information in this book and still made it comprehendible. This book is rich with information and has plenty of examples along with scads of references to relevant material.

While I didn't care much for the art style, the author(s) did a great job in detailing how cartooning really works, from within Flash and without. I especially enjoyed the sections about character development and motivation. It just goes to show these guys are legitimate.

A quote from the book is, "Moving things around is not animation. Animation is about bringing characters to life." The world does not need another poorly contrived Flash cartoon. Stop the madness, people. If you are going to make a cartoon in Flash, buy this book. It was good.