Thursday, December 2, 2010

Introducing the ground-breaking book - Making Indie Anime: Secrets of the Pros Revealed

Think of your favorite anime or cartoon.  Have you ever wondered, “How do they do that?” or “I wonder if I could do that?”  In his ground-breaking book, Making Indie Anime: Secrets of the Pros Revealed, Frank Freeman takes an in-depth look at just how Anime and American animation is made.  He speaks to the reader in a do it yourself how-to style.  He refers to the reader as an independent animator or indie animator.  The book shows the step by step process of how the animation production pipeline works from start to finish and explains all the details inbetween.
What will be learned?
  • Readers are introduced to anime and the animation style of cel shading.
  • He discuses why one would pursue indie anime and introduces the reader to successful indie anime projects.  There is also a spotlight on leading voices in the indie anime industry.
  • Next, he gets into how animation is made and starts to define its steps.
  • A large part of this book has been devoted to storytelling which includes scriptwriting, Character development, planning, setting up scenes, the software used to write scripts, storyboard theory, setting up shots, creating anime worlds and making the Animatic.
  • Then, an overview of the tools of the trade from pencils, pens, and ruler to advanced graphic software like Photoshop, Lightwave, Anime Studio Pro, Google Sketchup, eon-Vue, City Engine, Adobe After Effects and more.
  • Drawing and coloring is discussed and the principles of composition are featured as well as how to plan a drawing, how to design a character, color models, model sheets, creating backgrounds and matte paintings, as well as lighting and atmosphere.
  • Modern modeling and which modeler to use can be a difficult subject.  He uses Lightwave to break down the key elements of modeling, morph targets and rigging with bones.
  • He shows common processes of animating in 3D applications.
  • Cel shading and rendering is defined.  He breaks down the difference between cel shaders and the Node Editor.  He discusses what a cel render is by testing the Node Editor’s output.
  • The book then moves on to post production covering sound and voice-over, music, special effects, and finalizing the film.
  • In the final chapter called Marketing and Distribution, the reader is introduced to modern marketing concepts in a Web 2.0 Internet world.  He shows how to get the word out with topics like web hosting, squeeze pages, web galleries, web stores, keyword search tools, social media, blogging, and Facebook.  Next, he moves on to concepts of building traffic with topics of using concept art, creating a movie trailer, list building, email marketing, article marketing, creating popular threads on forums, Google Adwords, search engine optimization, and writing a successful press release.
  • The final section covers delivery and distribution options.  He defines retail distribution which is the most common method of distributing your product and its pitfalls.  Later, he introduces new popular indie methods of distribution like print on demand and digital downloads.
This book is a must read for anyone interested in how anime is made and for someone who may be interested in making animations themselves.  Frank Freeman’s step by step approach to introducing sometimes complex concepts is a bonus to anyone’s reading enjoyment and learning experience.  It shows readers just how to produce anime, how to bring characters and scenes to life, how to market a film with little or no capital, and finally, how to successfully distribute your film.


Frank Freeman is a freelance artist, trainer and CEO of Artistic Gurus, Inc. a training company that focuses on how-to videos in the 2D, 3D, Traditional Arts, Comics, Anime and Manga fields. http://www.artisticgurus.com/ or http://www.rentartvideos.com/

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