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VWN Product Reviews: Computer Animation: Algorithms and Techniques
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One of those rarest of rare books: An animation tome that is not tied down to a specific package. Instead, expect a hefty dose of mathematics, as the author leads you through a variety of animation techniques, both 2D and 3D, from a formulae and expression based perspective.

Rather than steering you towards any one package, this work is determined to impart the fundamentals that you can take to any system later on. Great pains are taken to use clear, concise language, and to really cover each topic in enough depth so that the uninitiated can readily understand, then implement.

Hardbound, liberally illustrated, and with an eight-page colour gallery, there are six chapters and three appendices. The book starts with an overview of animation and works through some technical background information, and then delves into interpolation and basic techniques for representing 3-D motion and space on a 2-D display. Later chapters walk through advanced algorithms (kinematics, rigid body simulation, constraints) and then a discussion of ways to represent natural phenomena. There's also a focus on modeling and animating articulated figures. It's important to note that these chapters are not about which buttons to push in a given software package, but rather about the use and explanation of formulas for representing a specific simulation.

 

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