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on 30 July 2012
From LAIKA, the studio behind one of my favourite films, Coraline, comes another stop-motion animation marvel, ParaNorman.

This book features the detailed artwork that went into the film's creation, from character sketches and concept art to puppets, textiles, set dressing, and 3-D printed facial models.

The Art and Making of ParaNorman feels like a studio tour as Jed Alger charts the progression of the film's production.

We start with the introductions from LAIKA President & CEO (as well as being ParaNorman's producer and Lead Animator) Travis Knight and from the film's director's Chris Butler and Sam Fell. Then it's on with the tour, with a look at the different stages starting with 'Welcome To LAIKA' then onto the creation from original idea to physical puppet, building the puppets, the sets, the special effects and meeting the people behind the curtains.

It's a really interesting look at the process of what goes into making a film, even more so with stop-animation, because of how much detail is put into the production. And another welcome addition to my library of movie art books.

Definitely recommended.
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on 22 August 2012
Well, this is a beautiful book. Printed on thick glossy stock the artwork looks great.
It's not a long read, as many of the pages are filled with pre-production art, as you'd expect.
But it is a good read, with a strong sense of the order in which these films are made.
There are only a few shots of people in front of computer monitors, which should please the old school amongst us!
I would always prefer to see more photos of the sculpting stages in the puppet making process,but there are a few nice pics of Kent Melton's work.
A few shots of armatures, but as the bulk of the puppets use replacement faces, don't expect to see a lot of Corpse Bride style mechanics.
Lots and lots of character studies, from early pencil sketches, through digital renderings as well as early sculpts, though most of the photographs are of 2D artwork.
The rapid prototyping process has really come on since Coraline, all those faces had to be hand painted, whereas, ParaNorman's have their artwork painted and baked right onto the translucent material. I'll be very interested to see how they look on screen.
Again and again with this sort of book you are reminded how much craftsmanship, hard work and dedication goes into stop-motion filmmaking, especially on this scale, and it's especially gratifying to see how the old crafts and new technologies dovetail and bring something new to the stop-mo table.
I still feel they don't put enough anorak detail in these books for my nerdy liking but at least the films are still being made, and still being written about.

If you have an interest in stop-motion films and how they are made,I would recommend this,it's written in an accessible style and takes you through all the processes.
Anyway, well done Jed Alger the author, and well done everyone at LAIKA!
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on 16 October 2013
Now 3D printers are involved in the process and replacement animation seems to be the next thing in Stop, then this is really the book for you for how a feature-film was made in this form of animation. As a third year animation student at Uni, this book is probably going to be a bible amongst others. 5 star, worth every penny!

The book contents include:
1.Welcome to LAIKA (Studio)
2. Giving the Film Characters (Idea to puppet)
3. Face Facts (Replacement animation has raised the bar)
4.The Workshop of Little Wonders (Puppet Team)
5.Building the World (Scene setting)
6.Where the Story Comes to Life (Stage Floor)
7.Bringing it All Home (Special Effects and Finishing Touches)
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on 1 September 2012
If you love stop motion animation then you must own this book. The book has beautiful illustrations of art work and behind the scenes photos. It's well written and informative without being to over technical for people that know very little about the process of stop frame animation. For those who have an understanding or have studied animation this is also a must have book, as it shows how technology and how the combining of techniques are giving stop frame a new lease of life.Overall a fantastic book that is full of inspiration and makes you realise that stop motion is an art form in its own right.
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on 21 July 2013
After watching the film and having a great interest in stop motion animation, I decided to get this book for a more detailed look at the making of the film. Overall it's very good and shows a lot of the behind the sceneswork involved in such a production. It only misses out on a 5 star rating as I'd like to have seen more on the physical build up of models that could be used as a reference and also more of the filming technicalities, but then maybe they don't want to give away all of their information.
Overall a good purchase for anyone interested in stop motion work and especially for fans of the film.
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on 5 September 2013
As an art student it's fair to say I've amassed quiet the collection of 'Art of-' books; and this has to be up there with some of the best! The care and passion that went into every single aspect of this film is clear through both the writing and concept work shown in this book. It takes you though an almost step-by-step process of how the film was made, from the initial images, to the small sculptures all the way through to the final thing. It's an absolute joy to read through or just for having a quick browse. What I really loved about this book was the different processes it showed that you often don't get with an 'art of' book; this is so much more than simply concept art! Would definitely recommend, even my mum loves it!
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on 5 November 2012
This book is just epic. It is everything you could possibly want from an "art and making of" book.

Its a thick book jam-packed full of images and info. The artwork is atmospheric, unique and gives a brilliant view into the ideas behind the movie. There is a great selection of character, set and asset designs as well as detailed storyboards. The making of parts give an insight into how much work goes into a film like this. It's really interesting to see the models and sets in such detail. This book is really well put together and keeps you turning the pages, wanting more.

I am so pleased with my purchase and would highly recommend this book to anyone that loved the film. I could not find a single fault with this book. Buy it, buy it now!
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on 5 June 2013
I'm always interested on "art and making" books,specially from animation and stop motion films.This is maybe the best book i've ever bought!!!! I really recommend it,i have no words to say what i felt when i saw the incredible images that you can find in this book :)
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on 4 June 2014
I loved the film, and as a student studying animation this book is great to get in site into how the professionals do it. There is one woman who works on only hair it's amazing
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on 27 December 2012
I haven't finished this book yet but already it's filling my head with inspiration and wonder, fantastic stuff. A puppets life on Facebook page, check it out!!!
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