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Zero: Illustrations 07-09
Zero: Illustrations 07-09
von J. M. Ken Nimura
Preis: EUR 9,93

5.0 von 5 Sternen Charming illustrations, 15. November 2011
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Zero: Illustrations 07-09 (Taschenbuch)
Länge:: 0:49 Minuten

ZERO is a 96-page paperback size art book that collects the beautiful illustrations of JM Ken Niimura. There are personal works as well as work for events, magazines and other publication. All from 2007-2009.

The book is published by Image Comics and they have given it some special but simple treatment. There are circular holes cut out from the front and back cover to review portions of art behind them.

Much of the illustrations featured are in manga style, with strong colours and dynamic poses. I like his use of colours which are predominantly red and green, and their close tints. He makes the colours work well against one another. Besides the manga style, there are also more cartoon-like drawings with more simple and loose strokes.

At the back of the book are some nude figure drawings of a slender lady with long hair. I love their poses. The compositions are particularly nice, and that can be said about the other pieces.

It's a charming art book. I wish there were more art but it's certainly worth the money.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)

Harry Potter Page to Screen: The Complete Filmmaking Journey
Harry Potter Page to Screen: The Complete Filmmaking Journey
von Bob McCabe
  Gebundene Ausgabe
Preis: EUR 40,95

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5.0 von 5 Sternen Wonderfully detailed, beautifully written, 14. November 2011
Länge:: 2:34 Minuten

This book exceeded all my expectations, and it certainly befits the Harry Potter film saga.

This is a large format 532-page hardcover. It's so huge and hefty so you can't really hold it for reading without resting it on something, like your lap. The cover is beautifully designed with an embossed title and a window looking at Hogwarts.

There are three parts to the book. The first is "The Making of Harry Potter" and covers the complete film making process of all the seven Harry Potter titles. The second is "The Art of Harry Potter" and that covers the characters, locations, creatures and artifacts. The third is the epilogue. It took me several days to finish reading.

I want to make special mention on the layout of the content which is beautiful and thoughtful. All the stunning photos and art are published at high resolution. On some pages, there are illustrations or patterns printed on a thin gloss that gives the page a slight shine as you flip over. The text is set on light cream coloured paper. There's an illustrated drop cap that starts every chapter, and every section in the chapter ends with a nice symbol. Even the choice of typography used is excellent.

The first part featuring the film production stories are a joy to read. It starts right at the beginning, from getting the copyright to make the films, to casting and filming right to the last day. There are lots of interesting details to read about, such as interactions between the actors and film crew, how the stage and props are made and the challenges and considerations of filming.

You read about how the children were like deers in the headlight on their first day of filming. There were extensive laughing, constant looking into the camera. As you read along towards the last film, you know how much they have grown as actors.

The writing is wonderful. The author Bob McBabely is a master at weaving the stories, controlling the flow and transition from one section to another. There's a part where Emma Watson admits to having a crush on Tom Felton and in the next sentence Tom Felton says,"Poor Emma. Of course I knew; it was obvious. But I never mentioned it.". There amount of research and interviews done must be incredible. Every film crew mentioned are given introductions and a thorough background on what they do.

The stories on set designs are really interesting. You can find out how sets are constructed, like Hogswarts and all the different rooms and secret locations. I thought the underwater scene in Goblet of Fire was totally CGI but it turned out that Daniel Radcliffe actually had to swim, while holding his breath, and act in a water tank. And of course, there are details on how that water tank was built, with heaters, bacteria-killing UV lights, and the little things that don't cross our minds.

The second part of the book is sort of like the encyclopaedic look at the characters, locations and artifacts. There are staff commentary on everything. You can look into the different classrooms of professors, read The Daily Prophet, check out The Weasleys' tent at the Quidditch World Cup, marvel at the different broomstick designs, etc. Amazing and detailed photos of the sets fill the pages.

There are concept art in the book as well, and they are great. There are designs for Dobby, dragons, props, environment art, etc. This is the only book where you can see them because there aren't any Harry Potter art books.

This book is highly recommended to fans of the Harry Potter films. It gives a new sense of appreciation for the film and the people who worked behind the scenes. It's something you'll want to make the magic last a bit longer.

- Compared to Harry Potter Film Wizardry -

Harry Potter Film Wizardry is like a condensed version of Page to Screen. Much of the content in terms of text and photos are duplicated. There are some information and photos that are not included in Page to Screen though. That book is designed like a scrapbook with little goodies -- booklets, stickers, maps, even Harry's letter of acceptance to Hogwarts, etc - attached to the pages. The layout is nice, magazine-like.

If you're just looking to get one book, then there's no doubt about choosing Harry Potter Page to Screen. If you're the true blue Harry Potter fan, then of course you'll want both books.

One Drawing A Day
One Drawing A Day
von Veronica Lawlor
Preis: EUR 13,64

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5.0 von 5 Sternen A creative and fun mixed media drawing course, 11. November 2011
Rezension bezieht sich auf: One Drawing A Day (Taschenbuch)
Länge:: 1:02 Minuten

This is a book that grew out of the One Drawing a Day blog.

There are 42 interesting daily exercises aimed at giving you ideas on what to draw, and encourages encourage exploration and experimentation. Some involves drawing simple subjects around the house, some encourages you to draw outdoors, drawing the nature or people at a cafe.

The instructions are minimal but give you a good starting point to generate more ideas on things you can draw. The exercises require you to find a subject to draw, something you can see and use a reference, and not on conjuring ideas from imagination. The drawing style you can use are suggested by the exercises. We're not talking about realistic representational drawings but more on the loose and expressive.

It's important to note that this is a mixed media book. There are lessons that require different materials, like charcoal, watercolour, crayon, bamboo pen, etc. If you don't already have them, it might be difficult to follow along. A lesson that requires using watercolour can't really be substituted with other materials without losing the point of the lesson.

This is not a book for beginners with absolutely no idea on how to draw. You can be asked to draw portraits, and that requires observation skills that are taught not in the book. However, it's a fine book to pair with beginner drawing books.

The ending gallery features the work of artists from Studio 1482, which author Veronica Lawlor is part of. Other artists includes Despina Georgiadis, Eddie Peña, Dominick Santise, Kati Nawrocki, Greg Betza, Michele Bedigian and Margaret Hurst.

I'll recommend this book to those who want to keep their mind creative, and those who just want to have fun drawing.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)

The Art and Making of Star Wars: The Old Republic
The Art and Making of Star Wars: The Old Republic
von Frank Parisi
  Gebundene Ausgabe
Preis: EUR 29,80

16 von 18 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Can feel sparse at times, just like being in space, 9. November 2011
Länge:: 1:38 Minuten

The book collects mainly character designs, environment art, and some spaceship designs. It's also a making-of book that explains at length on the production of a game with scope this big. I like reading insightful productions stories. The remaining text serve as commentary on the concept art.

The art is sci-fi art, of course, for the Star Wars universe. For the character designs, you can see some design clues that are distinctly Star Wars, such as armor and helmet. Sometimes they are also quite different. What you can see are the eight character classes with their few costumes and sometimes weapons. Creature and spaceship designs aren't a lot.

The main draw of the book would be the environment art for the different locations and planets. They are beautiful and gives a nice idea of the place, although I'm not sure if they are the actual place the game characters can run on.

The downside of the book is layout. There are pockets of space on pages which can really be used to pack more art. Text represents a substantial portion of the book, but is interesting to read so it's alright. As a MMORPG, I was expecting a lot more character designs, a whole lot more. There's a nice amount but somehow I don't feel like the universe is very populated. I'm comparing this to the other video game art book The Art and Making of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed which feels packed in every sense.

I've checked out the website for Star Wars: The Old Republic and there are lots of concept art there. Last time I check, it's over 160 pieces. There many on the website that's not even in the book. Maybe that's why the book can feel sparse at times. Some of the artwork in the book, especially the ones on spaceships are the more detailed pieces but they are printed too small. If you download the high resolution artwork from the website, they are several times bigger than the ones in the book!

This book is mixed bag. It's has good production stories but ruined by bad layout and seemingly incomplete selection of artwork.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)

Amazing Everything: The Art of Scott C
Amazing Everything: The Art of Scott C
von Scott Campbell
  Gebundene Ausgabe
Preis: EUR 18,41

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5.0 von 5 Sternen Imaginative and amusing, 9. November 2011
Länge:: 0:51 Minuten

Collected within the pages are beautiful watercolour illustrations of all things cute and funny. You'll see references to pop culture, like the cult tree with iconic movie characters. Some are single panel of cuteness, like flying cavemen, stacked up sandwiched tanks. His larger pieces of work are more elaborate, like the home slices with silhouettes of objects, such as a tank, with a network of tunnels with amusing characters living inside.

I like his use of watercolours that gives his work a very textured look. The colours are pastel, sometimes going to the earthly tones.

The book's 128 pages, hardcover.

This is an imaginative and amusing book. Recommended to those who like cute stuff and pop culture.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)

Ashley Wood's Art of Metal Gear Solid
Ashley Wood's Art of Metal Gear Solid
von Ashley Wood
  Gebundene Ausgabe
Preis: EUR 18,10

5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Loud and dramatic art, 4. November 2011
Länge:: 1:05 Minuten

I've reviewed this book before.

IDW had previously published this book with a different cover in 2009, Ashley Wood's Art Of Metal Gear Solid. The 2011 edition sports a white cover but the content is the same. It's now available at a saner price as the earlier edition is out of print.

Ashley Wood's art is still loud and dramatic.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)

Alien Vault: The Definitive Story of the Making of the Film
Alien Vault: The Definitive Story of the Making of the Film
von Ian Nathan
  Gebundene Ausgabe
Preis: EUR 25,40

8 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen You might have seen this book before, 4. November 2011
Länge:: 1:25 Minuten

Alien Vault is the movie companion to the masterpiece of Ridley Scott.

The 176-page book comes in a nice slipcase. The pages are filled with photos, artwork and some printed artefacts like Ridley Scott's annotated storyboards and other interesting stuff enclosed in vellum envelopes.

As for the content, much of the visual content were actually released in a much earlier book called The Book of Alien, just that the presentation is different. Some of the set photos are the same, as with Chris Foss' design for the Nostromo spaceship, Moebius design for the spacesuits, etc.

Alien Vault focuses on the movie production. The interviews and stories are interesting to read, especially when movies made nowadays are prone to using CGI for special effects. There are lots of insights to movie making and you can find out the little camera tricks they use. The content layout is organized, the artwork and set photos are great.

It makes more sense to get this if you've don't have the earlier book or the Alien DVDs with extras, or just new to Alien. It's 5 stars if you've not seen the content before.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)

The Art of Puss in Boots (Art Of... (Insight Editions))
The Art of Puss in Boots (Art Of... (Insight Editions))
von Ramin Zahed
  Gebundene Ausgabe
Preis: EUR 29,70

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5.0 von 5 Sternen DreamWorks have given classic fairytales more twists than imaginable, 3. November 2011
Länge:: 1:09 Minuten

This art book is wonderfully whimsical, just like the crazy fairytale world created by DreamWorks. It also made me realize one thing. The only thing cuter than Puss in Boots is kitten Puss in Boots.

The first image that blew me away is on page 2. It's the one with Puss and Humpty Alexander Dumpty (awesome name) lying on the grass on a lazy afternoon, looking at a giant goose made of cloud floating so casually in the sky. It's a beautiful yet simple image that says so much about the friendship between a cat and an egg.

The concept art in this book are not just stunning, they tell stories.

DreamWorks have given classic fairytale more twists than imaginable. All these are told in beautifully composed scene paintings, filled with so much details inviting you to investigate further. You can marvel at the Mexican and Spanish inspired neighbourhood Puss and Humpty grew up it, check out the bars and the amusing wanted posters, find out the secrets of fairytale characters and more.

There are lots of character designs, location drawings, and interesting commentary from the artists. Sketches, colourscripts, storyboards, but the best are the scene paintings. The other piece which I like is one of Humpty in prison with his shell defaced with childish graffiti. That's a heart wrenching scene and the artist totally nailed it.

This is a fun and entertaining book with well executed ideas. Highly recommended.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)

The Art of Pixar: 25th Anniversary Edition: The Complete Color Scripts and Select Art from 25 Years of Animation
The Art of Pixar: 25th Anniversary Edition: The Complete Color Scripts and Select Art from 25 Years of Animation
von Amid Amidi
  Gebundene Ausgabe
Preis: EUR 33,95

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5.0 von 5 Sternen Gorgeous and inspiring, 3. November 2011
Länge:: 1:28 Minuten

The Art of Pixar is a gorgeous book that represents the humble beginnings of an animation studio that is now loved by fans worldwide.

The first colorscript was drawn by Ralph Eggleston for Toy Story. That was in 1993 and it had enchanted John Lasseter, Steve Jobs and the rest of the then little studio. Today, many years and films later, it's nice to see that Pixar is still creating them, using them to communicate the emotional arc of their stories.

Collected within the 320 pages of this beautiful book are the colorscripts up to the latest movie Cars 2. Also included are the colorscripts for the many animated shorts that, if I'm not wrong, are all appearing in this book for the first time. The 100 over pages at the back are for selected pieces of art, one printed per page. These are the work from the last 25 years.

It's quite cool to see the artistic styles used by different artists to create the colorscripts. I love the pastel ones by Ralph Eggleston and Dominique R. Louis. The vector style art of Lou Romano for The Incredibles is still a refreshing departure of usual style of drawing them with pastel. Later on, the colorscript slowly evolved to being drawn digitally. The ones by Sharon Calahan for Cars 2 are so detailed I'm not sure if they aren't film stills.

The book claims to have the complete colorscripts but that's not exactly true. Since I have the other Pixar art books published by Chronicle Books, I went back to compare the content. I found out that the book didn't include some of the colorscripts that were featured in the earlier art books. Some from The Art of Finding Nemo weren't included. However, this book includes a lot of new colorscripts that aren't in the earlier books. In particular, there are many more extra pages of colorscripts for Cars and Cars 2. The colorscripts for Ratatouille in this book are not even in The Art of Ratatouille.

As for the selected pieces of art, many are from earlier art books. I guess there some are new pieces but I didn't do a detail comparison. Even if there are some duplication, you'll still want the book because of the colorscripts, all conveniently collected and beautifully laid out.

The Art of Pixar is a tribute to art, animation and the amazing people working at Pixar. It's an inspiring book authored by veteran animation writer Amid Amidi. Highly recommended.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)

The Art of the Adventures of Tintin
The Art of the Adventures of Tintin
von Weta
  Gebundene Ausgabe
Preis: EUR 21,95

3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Lots to read on the production process, 3. November 2011
Länge:: 1:24 Minuten

I managed to get this a bit earlier from Amazon UK. This book is also sold by Weta on their website, which is perhaps how I remember first hearing about the book.

Tintin's a motion capture CG film, directed by Steven Spielberg, and produced by Peter Jackson and Kathleen Kennedy.

In this book, there are lots to read about the making of the film, like how they capture swimming, walking on sand, animate Snowy, etc. Captain Haddock was actually performed by Andy Serkis, the King Kong/Gollum guy.

The transformation of Herge's characters to 3D is quite stunning. They are modeled by Weta and the details are amazing. They have gotten the skin textures spot on, and sometimes it can be a bit creepy to look at the caricatured version.

Much of the art is actually on trying to find the look for the film. There are some earlier concept art where specific panels of Herge's comics are painted over with a realistic style, using the same composition. Even the shark submarine and checkered rocket were re-imagined with more photo-realism.

The environment art are on the antique market, Tintin's apartment, Haddock's ship, the ocean, the desert and many other locations. The art is very distinctly digital painting, I'm not sure if I like the style here. There's still the charm of comics that's very difficult to translate across medium.

3.5 out of 5 stars.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)

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