GAME ANIM: Video Game Animation Explained

“In 1981, Disney laid down the fundamental principles of cartoon animation. It’s time we did the same for video games.”
Edge Magazine


What makes the difference between great video game animation and the purely functional, and how does this relatively new medium of nonlinear animation creation differ from the more traditional fields of film and television?

This book demystifies the animation side of game development, explaining every step of the process while providing valuable insights and work philosophies for creating the best possible game animation for beginners and professionals alike.

Taking readers through a complete game production, GAME ANIM: Video Game Animation Explained provides a clear understanding of expectations of the game animator at every stage, featuring game animation fundamentals and how they fit within an overall project to offer a holistic approach to the field of game animation.

Key Features

20 Years of Insight
Accumulated knowledge from 2 decades of experience in all areas of game animation.

The 5 Fundamentals
Reinterprets the classic 12 principles & sets out 5 new fundamentals for great game animation.

Full Production Cycle
Walks through every stage of a game production from the animator’s perspective.

Animator Interviews
Notable game animators offer behind-the-scenes stories, tips and advice.

Free Animation Rig
Accompanying AZRI maya rig, tutorials and other resources at the foot of this page.

Author Bio

Jonathan Cooper is an award-winning video game animator who has been bringing virtual characters to life professionally since 2000, leading teams on large projects such as the Assassin’s Creed and Mass Effect series, with a focus on memorable stories and characters and cutting-edge video game animation. He has since been focusing on interactive cinematics in the latest chapters of the DICE and Annie award-winning series Uncharted and The Last of Us.

Jonathan has presented at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco and at other conferences across Canada and the United Kingdom, and holds a Bachelor of Design honors degree in animation. More detailed bio here.


Free Rig

The AZRI Rig is a simple animation rig for non-commercial animation.


Some basic tutorials to get you up and running animating with the AZRI Rig.

Demo Reel Gallery

Over 1500 video game animation reels to be inspired by. Join the group and add your own.

Software & Tools

Download free software for educational purposes and be directed to recommended tools.