Cracking Animation: The Aardman Book of 3-D Animation. By Peter Lord and Brian Sibley (Thames & Hudson, $31.95).
With their impeccable sense of humor and top-notch craftsmanship, the artists of Bristol-based Aardman Animations has certainly raised the bar in stop-motion animation. Formed by Peter Lord and David Sproxton in 1972, Aardman continues to be on the cutting-edge of both stop-motion and CG-animated TV series (such as Shaun the Sheep and Timmy Time), movies ( The Pirates! Band of Misfits) and commercials. While the book came out in 2010, it offers a revealing look at the making of some of the studio’s biggest hits such as the Wallace and Gromit films, Chicken Run and
Flushed Away. Chapters on basic clay animation, model making, set designs, animating movements and expressions and using CGI are especially educational. The fact that the book also serves as a great compendium of images from our favorite shorts and movies is just icing on the cake.