The Animator's Survival Kit

The animation industry's bible, by Oscar-winner Richard Williams, brought to life on the iPad.

The challenge

Faber and Faber, publishers of The Animator's Survival Kit, asked us to help convert their bestselling animation book into an iPad app. We quickly realised that the touch-based nature of the iPad made it the perfect device for animating the book on screen.

The approach

We worked directly with Richard Williams – multi-Oscar winner, industry legend, and Director of Animation for Who Framed Roger Rabbit – to bring his definitive reference work to life.

The app contains over a hundred original animation examples by Richard himself, presented in our unique Animation Player. This is the equivalent of a flipbook, reinvented for iPad, with a simple ‘slide to animate’ control. With this control, you can slide slowly to see exactly how the animation was created frame by frame, or swipe quickly to see the whole animation come to life. We've also added onion-skinning to many of the examples, to show the flow of each animation in detail.

The app also contains the full 392-page illustrated text of the of the Animator's Survival Kit Expanded Edition book – edited and re-laid for the iPad – and a number of exclusive unreleased animations from Richard, including a 9-minute film, ‘Circus Drawings’.

We even created a custom typeface from Richard's own handwriting, for use in the app's interface. After all, the entire book is hand-written by Richard – why shouldn't the app be too?

In addition to the full app, we've created a free Sample app, which contains a selection of content from the full version, including many animated examples. This enables animators (and would-be animators) to try the app for free before deciding to buy.

The Animator's Survival Kit is available on the iTunes Store from Faber & Faber, priced at $34.99 / £24.49.

The Animator's Survival Kit: Sample is available on the iTunes Store as a free download.


  • All 17 chapters from the Expanded Edition of The Animator's Survival Kit, laid out in a fast and intuitive reader.
  • Over 100 animation examples from the DVD Box Set - The Animator's Survival Kit - Animated, appearing inline to build upon the lessons from the book.
  • Custom built video and animation players, including multiple playback options, fine grain controls, and onion skinning.
  • Section navigation and video index to allow the user to easily navigate through nearly 1,000 pages of content.
  • Bonus video content including specially-filmed piece to camera videos from the author, and the previously unreleased 9 minute film - Circus Drawings.

The results

The app became the top-grossing iPad reference app in both the US and UK App Stores within a day of launch.

Media pack

Download the media pack, containing hi-res screenshots, artwork and icon images for the app.