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The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Chronicles: Art & Design Hardcover – December 13, 2013
This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
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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
Top customer reviews
This artbook is still hardcover, 208 pages, and is as detailed and packed as the earlier Hobbit Chronicles books.
Featured in this particular book are the environment, props, character and creature designs. It's predominantly hand drawn plus digital painting art with some 3D renders, and a few photos of miniature props. The art is fantastic.
Covered, of course, are the locations as they appear in the film, such as Mirkwood, the Elven kingdom, Lake-town and the others. The designs are wonderful and really set the tone for the movies.
Character art are for the new characters, such as Beorn, Evangeline Lilly's Tauriel, Legolas, the many orcs, creatures like the spiders and other miscellaneous characters of which there are a lot. Strangely, there are only a few pages of art for Smaug the dragon.
You'll see quite of a lot of pencil sketched concept art from Alan Lee and John Howe, who are both concept art directors for the film. The other contributing artists are also quite amazing as to the quality of work they are putting out. It's nice to see a good mix of pencil and coloured artworks.
This is mostly a showcase of the concept artworks of Weta Workshop and 3 Foot 7 Art Department. The environment and character designs are from Weta, while the sets, props and dressings are from 3 Foot 7.
The writeup is also very extensive. Usually for each subject, be it character or location, there will be a few designers giving their own views and elaboration on the designs. It's very insightful as there are inputs from lots of the artists that work behind the scenes.
By the way, there's going to be another artbook for this film coming out later called The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Chronicles: Cloaks & Daggers. Very good.
This artbook is really worth the money. Highly recommended to fans of the film and concept art. There's plenty to see and read.
(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
I loved all the new information on the elves, particularly Thranduil and Tauriel and the elves’ home, Mirkwood. We follow the journey of Bilbo Baggins and the dwarves there and on to Lake-town and then to the Mountain with illustrations and art of these areas.
As always lots of new creatures, characters and places. I loved seeing the illustrations of Alfred, the Master of Lake-town’s sycophant because he was such a funny character. On the back inside cover there is a portrait of the Master of Lake-town as a bonus.
Azog and the Orcs are also illustrated and shown as well as spiders and Beorn. Only a few pages on Smaug. Perhaps they show more in subsequent volumes.
There’s 208 pages of beautiful work to look at and study. If only all big movies franchises did companion books such as this I’d be one happy camper.
This encapsulates all the precise detail and effort put into this second installment of The Hobbit. I loved reading the commentary of what inspired the various location props, costumes, and architecture. It showed some of the progression to and from the artists' first attempts to finalizing the right looks for each scene. I loved how Lake-Town advanced, especially. It also looks like a few characters are even detailed more here (more orc knowledge). Some scenes that included Thrain will probably pop up with extra film footage when it's releashed on DVD and Blu-ray. It looks like more serpentine art could have been included for Smaug, but I believe that will be covered in a bonus book next year. I'll definitely be looking into more of those dragon concepts. I'd like to see how it went from the beginning of del Toro's sketch notes to further concepts done with Howe and Lee (then under direction from Peter Jackson) to be fully fleshed out for the movies. Overall, with all these amazing concepts I can't wait to see how this trilogy winds down.