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Concept Design: v. 1: Works from Seven Los Angeles Entertainment Designers [Paperback]

H. Belker

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Design Studio Press; Ill edition (Aug 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0972667601
  • ISBN-13: 978-0972667609
  • Product Dimensions: 30.6 x 23.2 x 1.5 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,803,641 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Gallery of Digital Art 20 Jan 2008
By Dianne Roberts - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The truly striking thing about this compilation is that it is apparently all digital art, basically done on photoshop. This is surprising as many of the pieces made this way really do look like traditional art pieces done on mediums such as gouache, but is not surprising in other pieces which sadly look a bit like cheap and easy "computer art" with block shapes and cheesily repeated surface patterns.

Like any work that represents many different contributors the art is of varying quality and style. Some artists I found personally very good and others less so, and naturally others will have the opposite take. All the artists are technically quite competent though and all interesting to some degree.

The theme of the art is mostly sci-fi oriented and as such features a lot of futuristic and far off worlds, high tech looking machines, and explorations of what aliens may look like. There's more than enough good artwork to make this book a valued addition to a sci-fi enthusiast's or designer's library. Some of the best art was actually not sci-fi at all though but simple paintings of everyday objects done quite tastefully, which provided for a nice contrast. Personally I found the cover piece (which is truly beautiful) by a noticeable margin the best piece of the entire book though, so it's sadly not indicative of the overall quality of art inside! There were a couple drawbacks for my tastes too. There's a lot of Syd Mead "copying" which was not necessarily well done. The best pieces in the book were the ones that looked like the artists were going for their own style. The Syd Mead copies were a bit over the top and really bring out the sophistication and "less is more" reserve of Syd's work. Also there were some common trends in the forms of shapes which I found clunky and even a bit ugly sometimes by trying to look way too "beefed up" or stylistic in the manner of many modern cars. (The artists are almost all from Art Center in Pasadena which supposedly graduates about 90% of car designers.) But these certainly don't mean this is a bad book, the art is definitely worth taking a look at and referencing. The book itself is also lovingly made, extremely well laid out and produced to a very, very high quality standard.

However I unfortunately have to say that the overall quality of work from these modern entertainment designers isn't as high as that of Syd Mead, Ralph McQuarrie, Joe Johnston, etc. who brought us the original Star Wars, Blade Runner, etc. This book explains to me why I find modern movies, particularly ones like I Robot or The Island, so visually grand in ambition but aesthetically lacking in execution.

All in all a good and interesting book with some really beautiful gems, and it looks gorgeous sitting on your coffee table.
4.0 out of 5 stars Concept Design at its highest level of execution. 22 Nov 2006
By C. MERRITT - Published on
This is a beautiful book illustrating what great Concept Design is all about, and as a designer, it's good to have examples of such stellar work; It gives us something to emulate (if we work REALLY hard). Excellent book, though i'd have liked more process drawings, and not only the stunningly finished work.
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