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The Art of Avatar: James Cameron's Epic Adventure Hardcover – November 30, 2009
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I feel this book was limited to a number of pages they could be printed, so to solve that, all the art has been shrunken down into tiny images so multiple art pieces could fit on a smaller amount of pages. You won't be able to see much full blown detail of artwork because of this. I also have a feeling they wanted to do two books, which explains The Making of Avatar. The Making of is twice the thickness of this book, and a great companion book to this.
The art in here is beautiful and I really wanted to see more of the ideas that were explored during the conception process. Hopefully, the future sequels will provide a more in-depth book.
The bottom line is that I enjoy this book and am glad that I bought it. For the price I do think it's a decent value. But I do wish it had more art, and more discussion of the art that it contains.
Personally, I was very disappointed. For a movie that so heavily touted the visuals as being the most prolific in film-history, this book just fails miserably at portraying it. Sure, there's sketches of every character and creature that was digitally created... but mostly the finished products. It doesn't show the development and earlier design evolution of characters/creatures. For me, I would imagine they didn't just get it right on the first try, and probably agonized and had alot of creative development with James Cameron's feedback/desires to produce a plethora of character drafts/sketches, but this just doesn't show it.
I could compare this to the "Art of Star Wars" books that are phenomenal in breadth and variety, with how they include dozens of design sketches for characters that never even made it in the films. It was in a word, comprehensive. This "Art of Avatar" is almost like a kids book of the art, with very pixelated pages as well. They took screenshots from the movie and inserted them as full page bleed images in the book, but the pixelated quality defeated the point of viewing the images full-page. And for a film that claimed to have such high resolution and an incredible 120 (?) frames per second, the lack of carrying over that prestigious quality to this book is pathetic.
All in all, disappointing.
James Cameron and his crew should get in touch with the publisher immediately!!!! So far I have two copies of this book, and both of them have bad binding. The pages literally fell apart in the second week. I bought a second copy, but one of the centerfold spreads was sliced instead of folded, and again the pages are popping out of the book. Also the book cover jacket was not folded correctly. Being a published Science Fiction writer myself and noticing some problems with my own works, I was able to correct with my publisher on any problems... This book has major binding problems. Both copies were bought with three weeks in between so as not to get the same batch.
If not for the pages falling out, this review would have been a full five stars.
Few films have created as much controversy as 'Avatar'. From those who say that it is the work of the devil to those who complain about what the movie could have been, criticism seems to be boundless. This book is as perfect as the movie that it elaborates on.
James Cameron has, evidently, worked years on visually creating Pandora, the Na'vi, and the biosphere that they belong within. This book gathers some of his creative process in the form of drawings, sketches and accolades from his peers and co-workers. 'The Art of Avatar' is useful to the person who wants to explore the creativity behind the film and some of the development of key parts of the movie's biosphere, although there are some very large holes in explaining why certain approaches were taken.
The text ranges from informative to something of adoration of Mr. Cameron. Some of it is quite useful in understanding what went into the visual construction of this movie, but it is not an unbiased look at the creation of this remarkable film. The quality of the paper and the reproductions are marginal to good. Like the film, this book leaves one wishing for more: high resolution reproduction and high quality paper, less biased verbiage, more information both visual and textual.
Like the film, many flaws, but I return to it time and again with anticipation.
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Gives many fresh perspective on the behind the scene of the movie.Read more