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The Art of Monsters vs. Aliens [Hardcover]

Linda Sunshine
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Newmarket Press,U.S.; Mti edition (3 Mar 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 155704824X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1557048240
  • Product Dimensions: 28.7 x 25.4 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 962,010 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By Parka HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Length: 0:35 Mins
This is a great art book filled with concept art, and the content is well written by Linda Sunshine.

The book is split into 5 parts, Character Design, Locations, Special F/X, The Making of Monsters vs Aliens and Out of the Picture.

The book starts off with an foreword by Stephan Colbert who voices President Hathaway. Just like many animation films, he coincidentally looks like the character he voices.

Every animation film has a specific technical or visual problem to solve. In this case, it was the tricky portrayal of size and scale. This is all in the introduction where the staff talks about this and other technical and story challenges to making the movie.

Under Character Design, we have concept sketches and digital paintings. Each character comes with writeup on how they come into being, from idea to how many times it has evolved as required by story. The characters featured are Susan aka Ginormica, Dr. Cockroach, The Missing Link, B.O.B, Insectosaurus, Gallaxahar and clones, Robots, President Hathaway, General W.R. Monger and other humans.

On Locations and Set. The art featured here shows how the set is caricatured to fit into the comedy. Everything is captioned to explain the rational. There are lots of interesting stuff to read and see. For example, there's one cross-section blueprint on the Area Fifty-Something, and just right outside the facility, there are people tunneling to China. And the humpback commercial airplane looks hilarious.

Part four addresses the more technical aspect of making the movie, like rigging, lighting and texturing. There are 12 pages in all, and I'll probably be getting the DVD when it eventually comes out for additional behind-the-scenes production process.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of context and art makes for an enjoyable read 6 Mar 2009
By Parka - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a great art book filled with concept art, and the content is well written by Linda Sunshine.

The book is split into 5 parts, Character Design, Locations, Special F/X, The Making of Monsters vs Aliens and Out of the Picture.

The book starts off with an foreword by Stephan Colbert who voices President Hathaway. Just like many animation films, he coincidentally looks like the character he voices.

Every animation film has a specific technical or visual problem to solve. In this case, it was the tricky portrayal of size and scale. This is all in the introduction where the staff talks about this and other technical and story challenges to making the movie.

Under Character Design, we have concept sketches and digital paintings. Each character comes with writeup on how they come into being, from idea to how many times it has evolved as required by story. The characters featured are Susan aka Ginormica, Dr. Cockroach, The Missing Link, B.O.B, Insectosaurus, Gallaxahar and clones, Robots, President Hathaway, General W.R. Monger and other humans.

On Locations and Set. The art featured here shows how the set is caricatured to fit into the comedy. Everything is captioned to explain the rational. There are lots of interesting stuff to read and see. For example, there's one cross-section blueprint on the Area Fifty-Something, and just right outside the facility, there are people tunneling to China. And the humpback commercial airplane looks hilarious.

Part four addresses the more technical aspect of making the movie, like rigging, lighting and texturing. There are 12 pages in all, and I'll probably be getting the DVD when it eventually comes out for additional behind-the-scenes production process.

Finally, the book ends with a few unused concepts.

The beautiful illustrations are printed in low gloss thick paper, well bind in hardcover (with a dust jacket).

Linda Sunshine has done well by providing lots of context into the art and story, making this a very enjoyable book to read.

(More pictures are available on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best 'Art of' books out there. 14 Mar 2011
By Armando N. Roman - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
It's funny- with so many great animated movies coming out over the last few years, a good number of them don't have very good art books. The Incredibles, one of my top 10 favorite animated movies ever, had an art book that was mostly locations and scenery, done mostly in one style, and had very few pages for character design. The Art of Monsters vs Aliens however, comes packed with all kinds of gorgeous art for every aspect of the film. Character designs, locations, special effects, you name it. I hadn't seen the movie since it came out, but after going through this book several times since I bought it a few months ago, I really want to see it again. While I do tend to like traditional hand drawn animation, seeing that a lot of what's in this book is done with digital paint, it's going to be easy to defend modern techniques against the uppity people who think that art done with computers lacks the heart of the ol' pencil and paper.

The Art of Monsters vs Aliens is divided into several sections: character design, locations, special F/X, The Making of Monsters vs Aliens, and then some concept art that never got used for the movie. I'm more of a character person when it comes to drawing, but every page in this book has artwork that I'd stare at and examine for minutes at a time, no matter how 'boring' it might be (like a simple space ship control room). Usually I'll spend the least amount of time with the location portions of an art book, but that section got just as much attention from me as the characters portion did. A lot of things are covered here and accompanied by very useful text that never gets boring. How they stylized the Golden Gate Bridge while trying to keep it more realistic, the mapping out of Area Fifty-Something: showing every part of the base and then some, the monster prison...I could go on about this for a while. It's that good. A couple of storyboards are featured as well.

The characters section alone is worth the price. There are some absolutely beautiful paintings of Susan done in digital paint, and the only negative thing I can say is that it's such a tease having these pictures here without any prints or posters available like Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon got. Dr. Cockroach's design stayed pretty much the same from the initial sketch to the final product, but Susan's changed a bit over time. The Missing Link had a good story too, as the first few drawings were labeled as being a little too gruesome and scary, but still fun. They mention a lot about how BOB's design seems so easy to do when you look at it, but they had a lot of difficulty animating him and having limits on what he could and couldn't do. Insectosaurus had her own problems, mostly when it came to scale and looking too small in some scenes, but they were obviously able to work it out. There are also pages for the President, a couple of military officials, extra characters, Gallaxhar and more.

All the text that's here is interesting, and it shows that DreamWorks' animators and writers put a lot of thought into making the movie. The fact that they only wanted shots done that they could replicate in real life, instead of zany camera movements, is something I admire.

I'm really surprised that this book isn't going for a lot more money like some others do once they go out of print. Maybe it's just overlooked, or maybe people don't care enough about the movie to give it a shot. Either way, fans of animation in general will get a lot out of this one. I can't stress enough how much I'd love some huge prints of the art here. The portrait of Susan, the Missing Link trying to be a charmer, Insectosaurus vs the alien robot at the bridge, etc. Get this book while it's still cheap, though it's definitely worth the original price and more. If anything, this is the book that really got me into 'Art of' books, and is my standard.
5.0 out of 5 stars Grandson Happy 24 Feb 2014
By MARION - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
My grandson (age 12), who draws cartoons, loves this book. He said there are good illustrations and lots of information. He is very happy with it.
5.0 out of 5 stars Love that Art of Monsters... 2 Oct 2013
By Bob - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It was better than I expected, chocked full of developmental sketches. I would recommend this to any graphic artist out there.
5.0 out of 5 stars Pretty much what i expected 28 July 2013
By Amber T - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was excited to find this art book because... well i like art books... especially from movies/shows/series that i like...

anyway i particularly enjoyed the 'old timy' style used in the book/movie and liked the little blips on the various characters...
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