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Halo: The Art of Building Worlds
Halo: The Art of Building Worlds
von Titan Books
  Gebundene Ausgabe
Preis: EUR 21,70

5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Scope of Halo is too much for just one book, 2. November 2011
Länge:: 1:22 Minuten

When I first realise that another Halo art book is coming out, I was wondering what they are going to put inside.

Turns out this art book is sort of a look back at Halo from the art. That's looking back at 10 years of Halo, which really needs a few books to be comprehensive. So this book tries to cover in its 192 pages, Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo: ODST, Halo: Wars, Halo: Legends and Halo: Reach. Seven titles if you're counting.

The art is grouped in chapters that look at the environment, the enemies, vehicles, alien beings, the good guys, Master Chief and homeworlds.

The art is beautiful. There are sketches and also huge paintings. Some are development art, some made it to final. Selected bits are featured so you only get snippets of information, bits and pieces of the whole Halo story. There isn't much duplication compared to other art books because the book shows new art and is made up of stuff that were left out in other books.

Because of the immense scope of Halo, this book is a bit underwhelming even though the art is spectacular. Something in my mind keeps telling me there's more. If you've seen Halo Encyclopedia, you know that there's a whole lot more.

If you want to check out more Halo art, you can look for The Art of Halo: Creating A Virtual World, The Art of Halo 3: Prima Official Art Book (incredibly rare), Halo: Reach Legendary Edition Guide (Brady Games Cover image may Vary) (art section at the back) and Halo Encyclopedia (the ultimate reference).

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


Alive Character Design: For Games, Animation & Film
Alive Character Design: For Games, Animation & Film
von Vincent Zhao
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 29,90

13 von 13 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Marvelous character design book, 1. November 2011
Länge:: 1:24 Minuten

The author Haitao Su has been creating character design, cartoons and illustrations for nearly 20 years. It's a privilege to have a character design book written by him. Good character design books are rare, and this is a wonderful book.

The book starts with the definition of character design, basic principles and procedures for character design, sources of inspiration, concept development, techniques and even talks about the handling of proposals. The latter half of the book looks at nine categories of characters:

Female
Male
Q-Style
Monster
Animal
Supportive Role
Bad Guys
Inanimate
Mechanical

The amount of character designs featured are immense, beautiful and incredibly varied. The pages are packed with unique and expressive characters which are a joy to look at. The physical form of the characters can be felt and that really adds on to the believability.

Almost all examples are drawn by Haitao Su himself. They are all accompanied by insightful commentary and really gives you lots to think about when designing your own characters. Lots of individual characters that he drew for commissions are analysed. There's even a chapter on inanimate character designs which gives tips on how you can turn static household objects alive.

The book ends with interviews with five top character designers, namely Dean Yeagle, Stephen Silver, Florian Satzinger, Francisco Herrera and Ben Caldwell. There's also an interview with Haitao Su himself.

This is a inspiring art book on its own, made even better with useful information that's shared.

Highly recommended to character designers and art book lovers. This should be one of top 2011 art books.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
Kommentar Kommentare (2) | Kommentar als Link | Neuester Kommentar: Dec 30, 2011 4:15 PM CET


Rebus
Rebus
von James Jean
  Gebundene Ausgabe
Preis: EUR 26,95

3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Exquisite, 1. November 2011
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Rebus (Gebundene Ausgabe)
Länge:: 1:29 Minuten

Rebus is an exquisite book. Large format, trimmed pages with red edges, 240 pages thick.

Rebus is a collection of James Jean's paintings, personal and commercial, from 2001 to 2011. In 2001, he was 21 and just graduated from art school. This book is very impressive considering how much he has achieved over the last 10 years.

Some of his work which has appeared in other publications are now also collected here. There's nothing from Fables or his life sketches (The Hallowed Seam). There isn't much duplication overall.

There are work from his Kindling exhibition. Some of them have appeared in the similarly titled poster-book Kindling. Then there are his personal works, commissioned work from Prada, the panorama illustrations that appeared in the accordion book Rift, some you might have seen on his website, some are published in the book for the first time.

The illustrations are beautiful, haunting and inspiring at the same time. It's surrealism that's uniquely James Jean. These images are best seen than described. There are also some photos from his exhibition.

I only have one minor quibble and that's regarding the presentation of his panorama illustrations that span 8 pages. They aren't printed as gatefold pages which is perhaps the most appropriate way to present them, and possibly the best way they should be seen.

Rebus is an enthralling collection. Highly recommended for any James Jean fan.

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


Star Wars Art: Comics
Star Wars Art: Comics
von Dennis O'Neil
  Gebundene Ausgabe
Preis: EUR 23,95

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5.0 von 5 Sternen Nice selection of Star Wars comic art, 15. Oktober 2011
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Star Wars Art: Comics (Gebundene Ausgabe)
Länge:: 1:28 Minuten

Star Wars: Comics is an art book that collects the original art that have appeared in the comics since 1977.

It's a large hardcover book with 180 pages. Each piece of art is on a page by itself. The artworks are beautiful, big and satisfying to look at. There are pencil works, inked illustration, and full coloured paintings.

Lots of great artists are included, like Dave Dorman (who drew this book's cover), Al Williamson, Howard Chaykin, Adam Hughes, Bill Sienkiewicz, and more.

The selections includes the cover art for the first Star Wars issue that was published by Marvel in 1977, including its special edition. The variety is quite huge, including webcomics pages as well. Besides the pages and covers, there are also new work created just for this book by artists such as Mike Mignola, Paul Pope, Jim Steranko and more.

Reproduction is clear and sharp. Many of the pages and covers are drawn on the Dark Horse comic art boards, complete with bleeding lines, sometimes with blue pencils still visible. Some of the complicated scenes are drawn in higher than usual amount of detail, collected in the book to be admired. I think comic artists can be inspired by the high standard of work. There are a few average pieces, but don't really bring down the quality of the book much.

The book ends with an interview from 1976, with George Lucas, comic book artist Howard Chaykin and Marvel comic book editor Roy Thomas. The Star Wars film was still in production at the time. The interview discusses how they are going to approach creating the comic. They even talk about whether the comic characters should have likeness to the film actors.

Easily recommended to Star Wars fans.

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


Kolonie: The Forgotten Empire
Kolonie: The Forgotten Empire
von Christian Schellewald
  Gebundene Ausgabe
Preis: EUR 50,80

5.0 von 5 Sternen It's like plein air art on an imaginary planet, 9. Oktober 2011
Länge:: 1:29 Minuten

I've the paperback edition, but I'm reproducing my review for that edition here in case you missed it. Here's the paperback edition: KOLONIE

It's a large book, slightly larger than A4 in size. 160 pages total.

I like the concept Design Studo Press is using to publish some their books. Choosing a theme and then creating a concept art book based on that theme. Some of them are Alien Race: Visual Development of an Intergalactic Adventure, Exodyssey: Visual Development of an Epic Adventure by Steambot Studios or even Worlds: A Mission of Discovery.

The concept here is about a new found planet called Kolonie. It was industrialised for its oil, and then abandoned when oil was replaced by other energy sources.

The premise is simple but the exciting part comes from how the two artists, Patrick Hanenberger and Christian Schellewald, visualise that new world. It's must be pretty fun coming up with the various concepts.

The concept art is on the deserted areas, the cities, oil pumping plants, spaceports, and environments. It reminds me of photos I see online on deserted places. It's a dystopia where there are still people living, so there are some character designs as well. There are also designs for taxis, race cars (hobbies of people there), the non-drilling areas and other interesting stuff.

Most of the illustrations are printed huge. Some sketchy, some detailed. But all give a nice idea of what it's like on Kolonie. They are sort of like plein air sketches on an imaginary planet. The short descriptions for the various places provides additional interesting background stories. One or two pieces are pixelated because they are blown up too big - not really a big deal.

This book should appeal to concept artists.

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


Kolonie: The Forgotten Empire
Kolonie: The Forgotten Empire
von Christian Schellewald
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 18,95

2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen It's like plein air art on an imaginary planet, 9. Oktober 2011
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Kolonie: The Forgotten Empire (Taschenbuch)
Länge:: 1:29 Minuten

There are two editions, the hardcover and paperback. I've the paperback. It's a large book, slightly larger than A4 in size. 160 pages total.

Here's the hardcover edition: KOLONIE

I like the concept Design Studo Press is using to publish some their books. Choosing a theme and then creating a concept art book based on that theme. Some of them are Alien Race: Visual Development of an Intergalactic Adventure, Exodyssey: Visual Development of an Epic Adventure by Steambot Studios or even Worlds: A Mission of Discovery.

The concept here is about a new found planet called Kolonie. It was industrialised for its oil, and then abandoned when oil was replaced by other energy sources.

The premise is simple but the exciting part comes from how the two artists, Patrick Hanenberger and Christian Schellewald, visualise that new world. It's must be pretty fun coming up with the various concepts.

The concept art is on the deserted areas, the cities, oil pumping plants, spaceports, and environments. It reminds me of photos I see online on deserted places. It's a dystopia where there are still people living, so there are some character designs as well. There are also designs for taxis, race cars (hobbies of people there), the non-drilling areas and other interesting stuff.

Most of the illustrations are printed huge. Some sketchy, some detailed. But all give a nice idea of what it's like on Kolonie. They are sort of like plein air sketches on an imaginary planet. The short descriptions for the various places provides additional interesting background stories. One or two pieces are pixelated because they are blown up too big - not really a big deal.

This book should appeal to concept artists.

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


My Monster Burrufu
My Monster Burrufu
von Alberto Corral
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 8,51

5.0 von 5 Sternen Charming story, beautiful illustrations, 7. Oktober 2011
Rezension bezieht sich auf: My Monster Burrufu (Taschenbuch)
The story by Alberto Corral is about a little girl named Olivia who moves to a new house and discovers a monster named Burrufu living in a secret attic. It's a charming story about their friendship, one with some surprises as the monster has some secrets of its own.

The illustrations from Alessandra Sorrentino are so beautiful I want to squeeze them.

The book's an enjoyable read. Recommended.


The Manga Guide(TM) to the Universe
The Manga Guide(TM) to the Universe
von Kenji Ishikawa
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 13,95

1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Intriguing subject in manga format, 30. September 2011
This is another one of the Manga Guide series from No Starch Press.

The story follows a group of students from a drama club struggling to find a good ending to their performance. Their performance is based on an old Japanese story called the Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, where a bamboo cutter finds a child who happens to be from the moon. So the students seek to expand their knowledge of the universe to help finish their script.

At the end of each chapter is a more technical explanation which can be quite lengthy, like up to 12 pages of text with some diagrams, to elaborate on what the characters have learned. It's written for the layman, but can be quite dry sometimes. Unlike the Physics book, the nature of this subject that makes it quite hard to translate it totally into manga.

Despite the lengthy non-manga format explanation, I still enjoy reading the book very much. The universe is a very fascinating subject. I became more intrigued as I proceed on reading because there's so much interesting information, like the discovery new planets and galaxies, how gravity of the sun is so strong it can bend the path of light, the scale of space, the creation of space, etc.

At the end of the book, one can get a good idea of the cosmic universe, the progress human has made so far in space exploration and understanding. And yet there's still so much more we have yet to learn and discover about the universe.


Legendary Visions: The Art of Genzoman
Legendary Visions: The Art of Genzoman
von Udon
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 29,00

4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Good art. Bad binding, again., 27. September 2011
Länge:: 1:15 Minuten

It's a cool idea to do character designs from mythology and folklore, to be able to see a manga-style interpretation on these mythical characters.

Some of the mythology included are the Greek, Arabian, Japanese, Norse and many miscellaneous ones. The illustrations aren't grouped in any way, unfortunately, and they don't even appear alphabetically.

Genzoman's illustrations are beautiful, mostly printed full page except for the few he did for the Castle Age MMORPG. The costume designs are wonderful to look at. There are plenty of characters like sexy pirates, gods, and creatures like dragons, mermaids, etc. All comes with a short description on who they are. The book has numerous scantily clad female characters.

The quality of art is great but there's something off about the illustrations which I'll attribute it to the pin-up style format, more specifically the choice of perspective which is mostly straight on. There would be more dynamism if higher view points were chosen - anything above eye level, even if it's just a bit. Basically, the use of comic book perspective and poses once in a while will bring the art to a higher level.

The binding of this book is fragile, the type that will have your pages detach from the spine if you open the book too wide. Good binding continues to be a hit and miss for Udon. I wish they would just change to a new printing company and stop putting good art in poorly constructed books.

It's a good book for fans of manga style and mythology. The binding is yet another disappointment.

You can check out even more work from Genzoman on deviantART.

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


Deus Ex: Human Revolution Collectors Edition Guide
Deus Ex: Human Revolution Collectors Edition Guide
Wird angeboten von ImLaden
Preis: EUR 10,15

5 von 7 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Great guide, 25. September 2011
= Spaßfaktor:5.0 von 5 Sternen 
Länge:: 1:36 Minuten

The Deus Ex: Human Revolution guide is published by Future Press, and it's up to their usual high standards in terms of comprehensiveness. It covers the walkthrough, upgrades to player and weapons, maps, side quests and enemies.

Walkthrough

The walkthroughs are split into Stealth, Stealth Combat, and Combat path. They are detailed and good to refer to when stuck. The walkthroughs are great for subsequent plays when you want to change your style of play.

If you're the type who refers to the walkthrough only when stuck - to avoid spoilers - I recommend reading in advance the "Optional Exploration", side quests, and trophies so that you don't miss them out. For the first mission on rescuing hostages, I wasted too much time in the checking out what this guide has to offer while the game was still running and forgot all about the hostages (and they got killed - Oops!).

Maps

The maps are great and they serve different functions. First, there's a general schematic overview with all the items, vents, computers and security panels. Those are the spoiler-free maps. You can use to find items sneakily hidden under movable boxes.

Then there are the maps in the walkthrough with marked out paths. Finally, the maps with all the security codes - you can imagine how useful this is.

I realised that not all items listed on the map are in the actual game. It seems that there's a different version of the game with those unlocked items. There's no mention in the book about that or I've missed that info.

Upgrades

The way to getting maximum XP is different for each play style, and they are all laid out in the walkthrough. The various augmentation are well explained and there are a few recommended paths to upgrading them as well. Same for the various weapons, on their recommended usage, statistics, upgrade paths and what they are capable of.

Side Quests

They are as detailed as the walkthroughs, complete with maps. More importantly, you're presented with the information required to access them.

Extras

The extras consist of character profiles, a summary of the story, achievement and trophy guides, locations of weapon sellers and their inventory. The information on what weapon dealers are selling is very helpful.

Additional 32-page art section

This section features the concept art and interviews with the game creators. It's an interesting read. The artists fired real weapons to help design more realistic weapons in the games. The illustrations are very beautiful. Unfortunately, they aren't credited to artists so I can't find out more on them online. I'm not sure if they are all drawn by the art director.

Price disparity

This is about the price disparity between the collector's edition and standard edition. On some Amazon sites (e.g. the US site), the collector's edition cost more than twice the standard edition. The difference? The collector's edition has the hardcover, additional 32-page art section and the bookmark ribbon.

If you don't want the art section, you can save quite a bit of money by getting the standard edition.

Conclusion

Highly recommended if you want to know and get everything out of the game. This is a helpful guide, even more so if you're planning subsequent plays after completion.

The next guide from Future Press is for Dark Souls. I can't wait to get my hands on it.


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