Thursday, November 3, 2016

The Lego Animation Book

LegoAnimationThe Lego Animation Book – Make Your Own Lego Movies!
Written by David Pagano and David Pickett
Published at No Starch Press

About the book

Have you ever wondered what your LEGO creations would look like on the big screen? The LEGO Animation Book will show you how to bring your models to life with stop-motion animation--no experience required! Follow step-by-step instructions to make your first animation, and then explore the entire filmmaking process, from storyboards to post-production.

Along the way, you'll learn how to:

  • Create special effects like explosions and flying minifigures
  • Convey action and emotion with your minifigure actors
  • Design sets for animation--make three buildings look like an entire city!
  • Light, frame, and capture consistent photos
  • Add detail and scope to your films by building in different scales
  • Build camera dollies and rigs out of LEGO bricks
  • Choose cameras, software, and other essential animation tools
Dive into the world of animation and discover a whole new way to play!

My Thoughts

I was really excited when I saw this title available for review.  Why?  Well I have kids who uses the Lego Movie app on their iPad to create little movies.  However, they do not know all the techniques needed to make really good movies.   My second son is the creative child who will design his own Lego machines and initiate most of the idea of making a movie.  So I think he will enjoy this book quite a bit when it gets in his hands.

The book will definitely show the reader how to bring Lego models to life with producing a stop-motion animation.   With clear step-by-step instructions to make your first animation and exploring the entire filmmaking process, I suspect that kids who possess a keen interest in creating animation with Lego will enjoy this book.

The table of contents is very well presented:

The Basics: what you’ll need and all the steps to start.

Animating the minifigure: know your minifigure, body language, walking, facial animation, jumping, flying, floating, thinking outside the joints, practice, people-watch, experiment.

Animation principles: exaggeration, squash and stretch, timing and spacing, easing, anticipation, follow-through, recovery, arcs, ovelapping action, secondary action, staging and blocking, trial and error.

Building for brickfilms: building stable sets, building for movement, building for versatility with modular sets, bruick-built special effects, build what the camera sees.

Working in different scales: microscale, minifigure scale, miniland scale, paganopuppets, puppet building instructions, little guys scale, other scales.

Tools of the trade: cameras, tripods and camera mounts, lighting, odds and ends, microphones, computers, software and hardware compatibility, stop-motion software, your animation toolkit.

The creative process: brainstorming (what if?, play approach, plan approach), writing a script, storyboarding, animatics, organizing your work with spreadsheets.

Cinematography and production: aspect ratio, frame rate, take your shot (types, movement, composition), light (everything you need to know about lighting), get into focus, set the exposure, action.

Post-production: Sound (types of sound, recording sound, using other people’s sounds), Editing (8 steps to follow through), Advanced post-production (compositing, lip-sync prep work, digital facial animation), sharing your film.

Conclusion: giving and receiving feedback, what next?, have fun!

The book contains plenty of images which allow the reader to visualize the explanation read.   It is so much easier to grasp a concept when you have colorful images showing what it looks like.   Honestly, I can already picture my son trying out all the examples found in this book while reading it.

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When you take the time to explore this book, you get a feel on how much a child who is interested in making Lego animation movies would learn using it.   I mean this can be a great book to use for a subject in homeschool as it contains all the steps and training necessary to create their own animation using Lego.  The book also contain exercises within the chapters in order to better understand what you have read by simply doing it yourself.   Every once in a while the authors (in a minifigure format) will pass comments on what is presented in the pages by suggesting some tips and hints on how to do animation.   It is very clever and original to see them in the pages that way.

As I mentioned this book is perfect for kids who have shown an interest in making their own stop-motion animation already.   It is a great gift for anyone who desire to explore movie making with Lego.  It is particularly well written and contains a ton of instructions and numerous exercises in order to develop the skill of making stop-motion movie with Lego.   I can’t wait to see what my kids will be doing with it. 

The Lego Animation Book is available for purchase at your favorite bookstore, even on and


It is also available in the Kindle format.


Disclaimer: Thanks to no starch press for sending me the above mentioned product for review purposes . I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

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