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Alien Race: Visual Development of an Intergalactic Adventure Paperback – International Edition, July 1, 2009

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 215 pages
  • Publisher: Design Studio Press; Export ed edition (July 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933492236
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933492230
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 0.7 x 9.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #576,042 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Peter Chan was born in Taiwan in 1980 and moved to Hong Kong at the age of 10. Interested in drawing and painting, Peter attended Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, U.S.A. where he began to focus his skills in fine arts. Afterwards, he received his B.F.A. in Furniture Design from the Rhode Island School of Design. It is not until Peter went to Art Center that he found his passion in the entertainment industry. Peter now works as a concept artist in Los Angeles, and feels very lucky to be drawing and painting everyday with great people!

At a young age, John's creative process began by doodling images from his imagination. He started attending Saturday High at Art Center for high school students, then transitioned into product design at Art Center College of Design. During his early educational terms at Art Center one of his greatest mentors, Scott Robertson, inspired John to commit to entertainment design. Now John is an entertainment design student at Art Center with a few terms left, ready to take on the next challenge ahead.

Justin was born in Los Angeles in 1986. At an early age, Justin started recording his experiences and surroundings through drawing, including his doctor visits, family vacations, trains, etc. Inspired by his grandfather, a painter in Thailand, he was determined to pursue the visual arts. Justin took classes in painting, figure drawing and comic book design in his teen years. Later, he attended Saturday High classes at Art Center College of Design, where he was subsequently accepted. For two summers, he interned at Design Studio Press, where he worked on various video games. Justin recently graduated from the Entertainment Design department at Art Center.

Ben Mauro is a Los Angeles-based artist and designer. He studied industrial design and entertainment design at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. He is currently working on freelance projects and looking for design opportunities in the entertainment industry.

Thom Tenery holds a Bachelor of Science degree  in Architecture and studied entertainment design and illustration at Art Center College of Design. Eight years of architectural and interior design, along with a passion for art, science fiction and film, led him to a career in concept design. When not roaming the stacks of used bookstores he can be found immersed in the visual development of his own worlds. Thom is currently a concept artist at ID Software.

Scott Robertson started his secondary education at Oregon State University, then transferred to Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. He graduated in 1990 with honors and a B.S. degree in Transportation Design. After Art Center he immediately opened a consulting firm in San Francisco, where he designed a variety of consumer products. In 1995, he began teaching at Art Center College of Design, first with a year-and-a-half stint at Art Center Europe in Vevey, Switzerland and then in Pasadena, California. Scott’s clients have included the BMW subsidiary Designworks/USA, Bell Sports, Raleigh Bicycles, Mattel Toys, Patagonia, Minority Report feature film, Nike, Universal Studios, Rockstar Games, Sony Online Entertainment, Buena Vista Games and THQ to name a few. Dedicated to art and design education, he founded the publishing company Design Studio Press in 2002.  He has authored or co-authored 8 books furthering design, drawing and rendering education and has co-produced 41 educational “how to” DVDs with The Gnomon Workshop. Scott himself has instructed on 9 DVDs, focusing on drawing and rendering techniques for industrial and entertainment designers. He continues to teach at Art Center and serves as Chair of the Entertainment Design department. Scott is married to film editor Melissa Kent.


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Parka TOP 50 REVIEWER on September 1, 2009
Format: Paperback
Length: 0:27 Mins
In 2006, Scott Robertson hired a few interns at the art school he teaches, Art Center College of Design. The interns are Peter Chan, John Park, Ben Mauro, Thom Tenery and Justin Pichetrungsi. Instead of doing the usual freelance projects, they opt to create a visual development art book.

The premise is racing. Planet Earth has been invited to join the Alien Race by the aliens across the Galactic Universe. Racers from each side are to compete riding on genetically created creatures.

The book has 216 pages and is loaded with concept art on character, creature and environment designs. The designs are very often extravagant but never do they lose the believability and functionality. Each fully painted illustration is printed gloriously big enough to show off the details of the characters, clothes and texture. Some have sketches accompanying. The creature designs are wildly creative, environments too. Have you ever seen a giant cabbage-like racing venue before? Anything goes.

All the pieces are captioned by the artists who talk about the concepts and design inspiration. Particularly interesting to read are the characteristics of the creatures.

There's even a section that talks about how they came up with so many alien designs. They are actually created with the help of Photo Booth, a Mac software. Photos of groceries -- yes, the onions, bananas, mushrooms, etc -- are captured and manipulated with the many effects provided. They are then digitally painted over to create each of these unique but believable aliens. Talk about improvisation and creativity!

This is a wonderful portfolio of work for the students, a fine technical showcase. They must be professional interns.

It is inspiring and no doubt a useful resource book for concept artists. There are both paperback and hardcover editions published by Design Studio Press.

(More pictures are available on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Adam Dickstein on November 20, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I would like to start by saying that I am by no means an authority on concept art, although I am a freelance artist. I am also by no means a professional science fiction critic, though I have been a sci-fi fan for as long as I can remember. Lastly, I may have given the book 4 stars but that's only because I can't give it 4 and a half.

Simply put, 'Alien Race: A Visual Development of an Intergalactic Adventure' is a stunning, well put together and artistically inspiring piece of creativity in book form. Designed as a collection of concept art, stories and ideas developed for a possible intellectual property, the book explores the various characters, creatures, environments and plot angles that might go into the creation of a film, animated cartoon, tv series or video game. While no such use of the material in 'Alien Race' actually exists as of this review (unfortunately), the artwork and concepts contained within the pages of this book could easily be from a 'making of the movie' book for a popular film.

Especially impressive is the way multiple artists and designers approached the same or similar concepts in the book. I also liked how they showed the ideas they did not go with, again bringing to mind the concept designs seen in the 'art of' or 'making of' books for currently developed properties like the J.J. Abrams Star Trek film or the Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series for example.

So why not five stars? Well, its a personal preference really and has less to do with the quality of the book itself. I felt a couple of the ideas in the book were underdeveloped and would therefore hinder its use as a 'real' property.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By manilla gurilla on July 1, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very interesting book, I especially enjoyed the section using chicken for alien shapes or forms for inspiration. Not a how-to, but definitely good for a little inspiration to get you out of your idea funk.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Teyon Alexander on November 16, 2009
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The thing I like most about the art in this book is the visual style. It's at once very expressive and completely believable. I hope that I get to see more from the folks who put this one together.
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