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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Chronicles: Art & Design Hardcover – December 14, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Weta Workshop is a multi-award winning conceptual design and physical manufacturing facility based out of Wellington, New Zealand, servicing the world's entertainment and wider creative industries. Weta Workshop is also a multi-disciplinary facility, with crew members expert in a diverse range of disciplines all housed under the one roof. These services include conceptual design and the manufacturing of weapons, armor and chainmail, specialist props, custom vehicles, specialty costumes, miniatures and models, special makeup and prosthetics, and public art installations or displays. The team at Weta enjoys engaging in projects holistically, from preliminary technical analysis and conceptual design through to manufacture across all departments and the final delivery of product and crew to set, anywhere in the world. Drawing on more than twenty years of filmmaking experience, five-time Oscar-winning design and special effects supervisor Richard Taylor is intimately involved in all projects from concept through to delivery. Best known for the company's design and effects work on award-winning film projects, including The Lord of the Rings trilogy, King Kong, The Chronicles of Narnia, Avatar, District 9, and The Adventures of Tintin, Weta Workshop is not limited to film and television, offering services to creative industries worldwide

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Design (December 14, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062200909
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062200907
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 12.5 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (142 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #157,710 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

J.R.R. Tolkien (1892.1973), beloved throughout the world as the creator of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, was a professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford, a fellow of Pembroke College, and a fellow of Merton College until his retirement in 1959. His chief interest was the linguistic aspects of the early English written tradition, but even as he studied these classics he was creating a set of his own.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

120 of 121 people found the following review helpful By Parka TOP 50 REVIEWER on December 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Length: 1:30 Mins
This is a wonderful companion art book for the movie. In some ways, I like it better than the ones from LOTR.

The cover is beautifully embossed with texture and shine. It's 208-pages and big. Behind the cover is Thorin's Map that you can tear out from the perforated edges, and at the back is a long gatefold of Bilbo's Burglar contract should you want to read the fine prints to see what Bilbo has gotten himself into.

There's a generous amount of concept art included that feature the characters, props and environment. Yes, it's all fantasy art, and they are all very beautiful and detailed. There are art from Alan Lee, John Howe, Dan Hennah (production designer), Richard Taylor and many others from Weta Workshop. The book is all art and there aren't a lot of photos, so you won't find behind the scenes shots and there are only small thumbnails of the actors in makeup.

The majority are mostly character designs and the related, such as costumes, weapons and other props. There are Bilbo and his entourage of dwarves, trolls, goblins, and creatures. Each character has many designs variations shown, but mostly from the hair and facial hair -- probably more hairstyles that you can find in a hair saloon brochure.

The environment art are mainly of close ups of locations and interiors. There are a few of those wide shots as well but could have been printed bigger. Many of the nice textured pencil drawings are from John Howe and Alan Lee.

Those who like production design will enjoy the insightful commentary. There's lots to read and often, there will be a few designers talking about just one character, about the design, clothing and their weapons. The extra information gives more depth to the characters.
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Graham Swearingen TOP 1000 REVIEWER on December 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The first chronicle in the series, Art and Design presents hundreds of full color conceptual drawings and paintings, along with set designs, sculpture and photography. The book showcases art by the film's concept art directors, Alan Lee and John Howe, alongside work from other artists of the film's 3 foot 7 (which used to be 3 foot 6 when making Lord of the Rings) Art Department, Costume Department and Weta Workshop.

Included is a foreword by Academy Award winner Dan Hennah, 3 foot 7 Production Designer for the films. The book also features commentaries by Dan, 3 foot 7 Costume Designer Ann Maskrey, Peter King, 3 foot 7 Make-up and Hair Designer, and Weta Workshop's Design and Special Effects Supervisor Richard Taylor.

There is a fold out Thorin's map with glow in the dark runes printed on it as well as a copy of Bilbo's contract which is pretty awesome, though not quite as good as the prop replicas. It's great to see so many awesome and detailed pics of all the Dwarves, everything from their weapons to close up shots of their beards and clothing. Since it'll be at least 4 months until the Blu-Ray release of this movie, this is the next best thing to all the special features to come on the home video front. I've watched all the special features for Lord Of The Rings a few times now and love to watch how all these master craftsman use their skill and talent to bring things to life. This book is a great inside look into how this movie was designed and then subsequently executed. Highly recommended.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Calibandar on December 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Received this last weekend.

I am fan of the 4 artbooks that were released for the Lord of the Rings books. You can still easily find them on Amazon, they are by Gary Russell, compiled with the help of WETA. I'm also a big fan of WETA's artbook "Crafting Narnia".

To my mind, this new and superb looking Hobbit artbook is on equal terms with the Narnia book, and probably with the LoTR artbooks as well. The one thing that led me to detract one star and which makes it fall short of perfect for me, is that they skimped on beautiful digital renders and film stills, when it came to Bag End and Rivendell.

Maybe they thought "hey, we've already been there in LoTR, let's just show the intricate drawings for this one rather than the finished GCI work". This buyer of the product finds that a shame, as Hobbiton and Rivendell are two of the most glorious places visited in film 1 "Hobbit: Unexpected Journey", and we should have been given various gorgeous shots of the places. They've now gone for pencil drawings, by and large, which are nice, but they should be in addition to the beautiful CG renders that you see in the actual film.

However that is the only niggle I would have. Otherwise, the sections on the Dwarves and Radagast are highlights of the book. Glorious. I also find the chapter "High Fells" interesting, speaking as it does about Gandalf and Radagast's investigation of the actual tombs of the Nazgul, after the Rivendell White Council scene. It seems to have been a stirring scene, with Gandalf ultimately finding all of the tombs empty, and opened from the inside. This scene has been cut from the theatrical edition of the film, so I hope it is in the extended edition.
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