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Animation in Context is an illustrated introduction to cultural theory, contextual research and critical analysis. By making academic language more accessible, it empowers animators with the confidence and enthusiasm to engage with theory as a fun, integral and applied part of the creative process.
Interviews with contemporary industry professionals and academics, student case studies and a range of practical research exercises combine to encourage a more versatile approach to animation practice – from creating storyboards to set designs and soundtracks, as well as developing virals, 3D zoetropes and projection mapping visuals.
Mark Collington focuses on a core selection of theoretical approaches that shape animation narrative, supported by a broader set of shared theoretical principles from the worlds of art, design, film and media studies. This discussion is underpinned by cross-disciplinary thinking on a range of topics including genre, humour, montage and propaganda.
These are applied to the analysis of a range of animated films and projects, from Disney and anime to independent artist-filmmakers such as Wendy Tilby, Amanda Forbis and Jerzy Kucia. These ideas are also applied to other uses of animation such as advertising, sitcom, gaming and animated documentary.
'This textbook offers a thoughtful and lucid guide to students at all levels and enthusiasts of all ages, one which connects the theories, ideas and ideals which underpin animation to the work of the animator in practice. This is a fascinating, valuable and eminently readable work produced by an accomplished teacher and practitioner – a book whose use of examples from popular culture and from high art makes the complexities of cultural theory not only accessible but also enjoyable. Its scope is broad, ambitious, often eclectic, and reassuringly civilising.'
– Alec Charles, Head of Media, University of Chester, UK
'I love how this book sneaks up on you, engaging you with an idea, illustrating it with mostly commonly known films, and once it has you hooked, pulling you deeper into more theory, more ideas and ultimately impacting your practice.'
– R Brad Yarhouse, Chair of Digital Media, Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University, US
'Animation in Context is one of the best instructional books on animation I have seen. Each lesson is perfectly composed with excellent examples and assignments that really help students get to know terminology, animation structure and process. The author Mark Collington has created a structure that forces the student to creatively learn design terminology: semiotics, design theory, history etc., and makes them place it in the context of animation. I have yet to learn so much from a book and am adopting Mr Collington's learning structure into other areas of my classes – for example, reading about terms and history, then applying those to a fill-in-the-blanks essay. Really brilliantly done!'
– Ginelle Hustrulid, Assistant Professor, Visual Communication Design, Eastern Washington University, US