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The Cinematic Art of World of Warcraft: The Wrath of the Lich King Paperback – January 6, 2009

4.5 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review


"Every now and then, we get sent cool stuff - like awesome books. The Cinematic Art of 'World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King', is one of said awesome books, with tons of concept art for the Lich King intro. If there's one thing that Blizzard is known for, it's making relentlessly addictive (and awesome) games. But if there are two things that Blizzard is known for, it's making relentlessly addictive (and awesome) games and having some of the best pre-rendered cinematics in the industry.Remember the Terran-Zerg battle on the abandoned space station? Or Tyrael battling the forces of evil deep inside the crypt? What about Prince Arthas' betrayal of his kingdom and family? Yeah, that's what I thought."

-JOHN FUNK, THE ESCAPIST


"The Cinematic Art of World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich Kingis an art book any WoW fan would be proud to have in their home. Here are some fashionable suggestions about what to do with it when you get it. Cinematic Art provides a very pretty look at the behind-the-scenes development of WoW's well-received second expansion. There are over 200pieces of artwork in the book – conceptual and developmental – as well as 75 exclusive pieces of original art. With back story, character descriptions and lengthy explanations of the rendering and development of Lich King concept art into WoW's engine, this book makes for a good read as well as for sweet, sweet eye candy.

-AJ GLASSER, KOTAKU


“Containing more than 150 early drawings, concept art pieces, and final renders, this book gives WoW fans a rare, behind-the-scenes glance into the creative process of Blizzard’s highly-praised cinematics.”

-GAME INFORMER
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Insight Editions (January 6, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933784814
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933784816
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 11.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #965,599 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Parka TOP 50 REVIEWER on December 25, 2008
Length: 0:18 Mins
The publisher of this book is Insights Editions, one of my favourite publishers. Their art books always have extra goodies, at least for the ones I bought. In this case, there are two 8" x 10" original art cards in a tipped-in-vellum sleeve and a 12-page booklet on the creation of Sindragosa.

This is a paperback book and the binding doesn't look strong. Strangely, no hardcover version alternative is available. The pages are rather glossy and oily fingers will definitely leave smudges. They are given the silver-color treatment and the text printed on these silver "plates" is extremely classy.

The book details the production process of the animation in great detail. There is conceptualization, story development, character development, production design and even the 3D execution. To make the book complete, they also included how they did the soundtrack and audio.

On the art side, it starts off with storyboards on the introduction of Tuskassr and Lich King's entrance. Following that are pages of characters, armour, monsters, dragons and environment paintings. There's a generous amount of concept art on Sindragosa and the undead. Also included are multiple screenshots of their 3D creation process like creating matte paintings, composition, animating, rendering, etc. This book is literally packed with artwork.

Blizzard has done a tremendous job with the book and with their game. They have brought together a brilliant team of artists to showcase their talent to the world.

The Cinematic Art of World of Warcraft: The Wrath of the Lich King is a stunning art book. I recommend it to all fans of World of Warcraft, or any fantasy concept artists.

(More pictures are available on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
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The book was well protected with air pockets all around so I received it in pristine condition. But the copy I got, the glue on the spine already dried :( Thankfully it's threadbound so it's not falling all over the place. Nonetheless, the content is absolutely gorgeous, my boyfriend loves it a lot :)
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I picked this up on a whim because I'm a fan of concept art and I thought the cover was cool. I actually started playing World of Warcraft AFTER I got the book. You'd think a cinematic that runs about 3 minutes and 30 seconds wouldn't been enough to make a whole book about. But man it is! There are a lot of pictures here, but that's not a bad thing. It's utterly flabbergasting the amount of work, love (and surely some blood, sweat and tears) went into the creation of the Lich King, the dragon Sindragrosa and their environment.

The concept art was probably my favorite part. You get to see tons of beautifully rendered art. The section on the actual construction of the CGI images is also fascinating for someone who knows only the basics of how this work is done. An elaboration on some of the more technical passages might have been nice but it doesn't detract from the book.

My copy, at least, seems to have a printing error. A couple pages are printed twice. There doesn't seem to be any pages missing that I can tell, however. There are two prints included which are very nice and a small illustrated (in pencil) story of Sindragrosa. The silver 5th color used on some of the pages is subtle and well done, but lends an air of class to the whole book.
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Wrath of the Lich King is my favorite expansion of World of Warcraft, and I'm glad that they released something that specifically looks at the awesome opening cutscene for the game. Blizzard still has some of the best talent in the world, and this book continues to prove that with its beautiful artwork.
The only criticism I can give it is that I really would have liked it to be in hardcover. Regardless, if you're a fan at all of quality fantasy art, this is a great addition to your collection.
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The Cinematic Art of World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King is an astounding, full-color panorama of the painted, pencil-and-paper, and digitally created cinematic art of "Wrath of the Lich King", the latest expansion to the wildly popular high fantasy massively multiplayer online role-playing game World of Warcraft. From the design behind the game's title sequence of the nefarious Lich King raising the dragon Sindragosa from her icy grave as an undead horror, to sweeping landscapes of the new continent of Northrend, to character designs for new undead enemies (and Death Knight player characters!) to a behind-the-scenes glimpse of how rigging, rendering, and other processes bring art to life, The Cinematic Art of World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King unquestionably lives up to its title. Two removable special cells - one a portrait of the Lich King in battle armor, another picturing Sindragosa in flight - further enhance this dramatic artbook, enthusiastically recommended not just for World of Warcraft fans, but also any collector of epic high fantasy art.
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I myself do not play World of Warcraft, but as an aspiring video game concept artist, this is an excellent buy. It has everything from concept sketches, storyboards to character design, 3D modeling and animation. It shows the process of the art itself as well as the game, showing different stages in sketching/drawing as well as modeling. The book is printed in excellent quality, and includes several photo quality prints in protective sleeves throughout the book. It also includes a look into the making of the music, the lighting and effects, and of course some story bits.

This book is for both the Blizzard Entertainment fan and the artist.
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