Reading lists for our undergraduate courses

If you want to prepare for your course this September, here's a useful list of books that will help your understanding of the subject.


These are the two books which we think are pretty much essential for learning character and creature animation in Maya. Buy them, read them, consult them often, and you won't go far wrong. 

No. 1 - The Animator's Survival Kit (ASK)

We recommend that any serious student of animation should buy a copy of The Animator's Survival Kit (ASK), by Richard Williams. The ASK is now the standard textbook for animators and easily the most comprehensive book available for learning animation. You can also buy it as an eBook download, for use on your iPad. It's even better as an eBook since you can watch the videos as well, to illustrate the examples. 

No. 2 - Animation Methods by David Rodriguez 

Animation Methods is an excellent book on learning animation in Maya. It is a book that focuses primarily on 3D Character Animation, a step-by-step guide for learning Maya, and the Maya animation tools. It also has useful sections on how to get into the industry, how to make a great demo reel, and how to get a job in animation. We think this is a very useful companion book to our course. It is also an unusual book in that it makes extensive use of QR codes - meaning you can use your smartphone to scan the codes and then view a 3D animated clip of the lesson.

More Animation books


Compositing for VFX: Essentials for Aspiring Artists
by Steve Wright

Nuke 101: Professional Compositing and Visual Effects
by Ron Ganbar

The VES Handbook of Visual Effects: Industry Standard VFX Practices and Procedures
by Jeffrey A. Okan and Susan Zwerman

Rotoscoping: Techniques and Tools for the Aspiring Artist
by Benjamin Bratt

More VFX Compositing books can be found here.


The PBR Guide: A Handbook for Physically Based Rendering 
by Wed McDermott

Light for Visual Artists: Understanding and Using Light in Art and Design
by Richard Yot

The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses
by Jesse Schell

Level Up! The Guide to Great Video Game Design
by Scott Rogers

How to Draw: Drawing and Sketching Objects and Environments from your Imagination
by Scott Robertson with Thomas Bertling

More Games books