Authors: David Pagano & David Pickett Publisher: No Starch Press RRP: $19.95 Available: Now
As fans of LEGO, we are getting spoiled for choice now when it comes to book publications. Each year more titles become available covering all areas of our favourite hobby/toy/adult collectibles. One I’ve been particularly looking forward to checking out is the recently released LEGO Animation book by David Pagano and David Pickett.
The LEGO Animation Book comes as a 216-page paperback with a slightly harder outer cover and quality binding. First impressions on the front/back cover and after a quick thumb through are that it is bright, colourful and very well presented. Yet again No Starch are delivering a high-quality publication fully aware that presentation is often as important as content. Luckily when I started to read it, I soon realised that there was actually much more than initially meets the eye.
Being a brick film maker myself I have come across the authors online before, but after an obligatory index page they introduce themselves and set the tone for the rest of the book. It’s written in a very light-hearted way, aiming to ‘create a definitive reference for folks of all ages and skill levels’. I read this as being ‘family-friendly’, which it certainly is, but assumed that it would be mostly rather basic information about stop motion. This is where I was pleasantly surprised.
The book is spread out over several chapters which starts from the very basics, covering animating minifigures, through to more detailed principals of animation techniques, set design, then ending with cinematography and post production.
The whole way through there is excellent imagery to support the text and methodology behind how to create and produce your very own brick film. It is great if you are starting from scratch for the very first time, although that’s not to say that a seasoned pro wouldn’t learn a thing or two from these guys. There is so much information and I greatly enjoyed the way it was written, with some of the captions from the pictures actually making me chuckle out loud.
David and David, have even made a film called ‘the Magic Picnic’ (you can see the teaser for it here) which has its creative process detailed throughout this book with examples to try yourself.
In summary, I was extremely impressed with the overall quality of this book. Several parts of it covered areas I already had some knowledge of, it was scattered with a wealth of useful tips and tricks which would make this a valuable resource on any aspiring filmmakers bookshelf.
It’s clear that the authors are hugely passionate about their craft and, luckily for us, are willing to impart their years of knowledge and experience with the reader. If a more dry and technical resource is what you’re after, then this isn’t the book for you, but for everyone else it is well worth a look.
The LEGO Animation Book is available now from all good bookstores and online retailers.
This product has been provided by No Starch Press.