The "book" for this class will be a reader of papers.
This year, a lot of those readings will come from a preprint
version of an animation textbook written by Rick Parent. We will be
"beta-testing" this book. Comments on how it will be distributed will
I will ask everyone to read some of a film book for part of the
class. I suggest that you purchase one, and asked to bookstore to get
copies of some of my favorites. I recommend that you come to class
first to hear about them.
There are many books you might want to use for the class. I list
some of them here. This list is by no means complete.
Books Discussing Software You May Use
- The Renderman Companion. by Steve Upstill. Published by
Addison Wesly. (should be available from the UW Bookstore,
borders, or any decent technical bookstore)
- I recommend the Renderman Companion not because its the
reference to Renderman (which you may or may not want to use in
the course), but because its worth having as a good general
graphics reference. In terms of a reference for how to write
programs that talk to Renderman, I actually think you're better
off using the RIB file format document, and other online
- Learning Maya 1.0 for Windows NT. Available from Journey
- I do notrecommend spending $50 for the tutorial manual for a
piece of software.On the other hand, it's hard to imagine learning
Maya without some kind of book. This book is (more or less) on
line in the Maya directory in html format. There are copies of
this book around, and I will try to make them available. Should
you decide you need your own copy, you can order it from
- Any number of books at the bookstore about 3D Studio MAX.
- There are lots of books about using MAX, all aimed at
animators. You have to flip through them to decide which ones you
- Opengl Programming Guide : The Official Guide to Learning
Opengl, Version 1.X by Mason Woo (Contributor), Jackie Neider, Tom
- This is the reference for the graphics
library that you are likely to use. For better or worse, OpenGL
seems to be the standard that everyone uses these days. Be sure to
get the most current version.
General Graphics Texts
- Computer Graphics: Principles and Practice. By Foley, Van
Damn, Feiner and Hughes. Addison Wesly.
- This is "the classic" textbook on computer graphics. I cite it
not because its the best, but because everyone else has used it
and refers to it, so if you're going to be a graphics researcher,
you might want to have it around.
- Image Processing for Computer Graphics. By Gomez and
- A more focussed book on an important area of graphics. Its a
bit mathematical, but it covers lots of important topics that are
not well covered by more traditional books.
Some knowledge of filmmaking (such as cinematography, editing,
direction, lighting, ...) is extremely useful for making
Here are books that I have liked to look at. Since I'm not a
professional filmmaker, I'm not sure their the greatest from the film
point of view. For the class, you will be expected to read some of
one of these, but not enough to warrant buying the book (unless you
decide you want to have a copy for yourself). Notice that the names
of the first two books are very similar.
- Shot by Shot; A Practical Guide to Filmmaking by John Cantine,
Brady Lewis, Susan Howard
- This little book is targetted at a very basic filmmaking
course. In fact, the way I learned about it was from taking an
intro film class at Pittsburgh Filmmakers, which used a
predeccessor to this book (a photocopies bunch of typed notes). On
one hand, this book is very basic, since it gets down to the nuts
and bolts of filmmaking (how to turn on the camera), but it does
give a very concise overview of the basic ideas of all aspects of
filmmaking. If you want a copy, you'll have to buy it through
- Film Directing Shot by Shot : Visualizing from Concept to
Screen by Steven D. Katz .
- This is a pretty comprehensive book on cinematography and
editing. I get the feeling that this book is something a
professional filmmaker would use to learn about their craft. The
book includes lots of examples. It also has a nice emphasis on
storyboarding and preplanning. The second volume of the set is
interesting because it consists entirely of examples, many from
famous movies. This book is more than you need to know for this
class, but if you have any interest in filmmaking, or in using the
craft of filmmaking for computer animation, I highly recommend it.
It's the kind of book you keep coming back to. If you can't find
it locally, you can get it mail
- Film Art. by David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson.
- This is a textbook for a comprehensive book on film. It is
less technical than the others (because its more about film
history and criticism). However, it does survey all of the
technique of filmmaking. It's a nice book, and its written by
Classic Animation References
- The Illusion of Life : Disney
Animation. by Frank Thomas, Ollie Johnston
- This is a "coffee table book" full of Disney Art. It's
basically a history book describing the process of making all the
original Disney films. However, there is a chapter where they
discuss the Disney "Principles of Animation" which is
the reference on the "animated style."
The early animated work at Disney is really important in the
development of animation. So while looking at lots of pictures of
Snow White, etc.may not seem like something to do in a grad CS
class, you can learn a lot about animation and character design
from it. For a while, this book was out of print. Fortunately,
- Animated Cartoons: How they are made, their
origin and development. E. G. Lutz.
- This is a 1920 book on animation that is neat because it
predates the "modern art" of animation. There is a modern reprint
available from Applewood Books.
Computer Animation Books
If you go to the bookstore, there are zillions of books on
computer animation. Generally, these are targetted at animators, not
at computer scientists, and are specific to a specific software
package and assume that you know little about computers. Some are
better than others. Unfortunately, I haven't really gone through all
that many. Some of the example-laden, package specific books actually
turn out to be intesting because their full of examples with tricks
on how to get results out of the tools, which sometimes can inspire
you to think about how the tools work, or how they should work to
make things better for a user.
- Understanding Motion Capture for Computer Animation and Video
Games. By Alberto Menache.
- I would assign this book as a reading if it didn't cost $50.
It's a great introduction to the nuts and bolts of doing motion
capture. (e.g. how to place makers, how to compute skelletons from
Books on Windows Programming
You may find yourself needing to write a program under Windows NT
or 95 or 98, if not for this class, then someday. Basically, windows
programming is not that bad because the tools shield you from the
horrors of the questionably designed windowing system.
- Inside Visual C++ by David Kruglinski
- The best way to learn how to write a Windows program is to
read through a book on the subject and try the examples. The best
way to find a book is to ask someone who you know is a good
Windows programmer, and find out what they recommend. I am not a
good Windows programmer, but this is the book that several people
suggested to me.
- OpenGL Programming for Windows 95 and NT by Glenn Fosner
- The main thing this book is useful for is getting started with
doing OpenGL under Windows. Once you've gotten started, its
unclear how useful this book will be.
- Numerical Recipes in C (2nd
edition) by Press, Teukolsky, Vettering, and Flannery
- "Real" numerical analysts seem to hate this book. It may not
have the best algorithms, the most rigorous theory, or highly
optimized implementations, but it does provide lots of insights as
to what algorithms work and why. The book is very helpful for
getting the intuitions required to do numerical programming. This
is an incredibly handy reference.
Amazingly, they have put the whole book on-line!
- Last modified: 20:10 Jan 24, 2000