The imaginations and passions of a whole new generation of Star Wars fans have been ignited by The Clone Warsthe new animated TV series from Lucasfilm; over 8 million viewers tuned in to watch the series' debut on Cartoon Network. This richly illustrated book is the only publication about the art and making of the popular series, giving fans a behind-the-scenes look at the immensely talented Lucasfilm Animation team and its groundbreaking work.
Frank Parisi is an editor at Lucasfilm and has written dozens of articles about video games, film, comics, music, and Star Wars under a half-dozen nom de plumes.
Gary Scheppke is design and continuity coordinator at Lucasfilm Animation.
Dave Filoni realized a lifelong dream with the opportunity to work as supervising director on Lucasfilm Animation's Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
This book is actually published by two publishers, Chronicle Books and Titan Books. I've seen both and they are the same except the price which depends on the country you're in. Chronicle Books is also releasing a US$120 limited edition as well but it's cheaper on Amazon. It comes with a white slipcase with 8 prints in an envelope inside the back cover.
The Art of Star Wars: The Clone Wars is a pretty thick book at 272 pages. It covers art for the movie as well as the TV series. The chapters are arranged according to the 22 episodes with the last chapter containing a sneak peak into Season II.
We have character designs, ship designs, storyboards, environment design, lighting studies, some film stills and plenty of beat boards (scenes featuring major story points). The artistic style and feel here are very different from the usual Star Wars art books since this is for the animated series. The characters might be a little over stylized but that's why it's done in animation.
A great deal of illustrations are digitally painted, to a point I feel there's an overdose and makes traditional pieces stand out by contrast. The detailed pieces are great because they have a hint of textures. The less detailed paintings look like a speed painting pieces with that blotchy feel. Curse the round-point tip brush! I guess I still like to see textures created by brush bristles.
The pencil sketches and other non traditional medium pieces are delightful to look at because they are more organic and the style is a breath of fresh air compared to the digital paintings. Many of the sketches come with handwritten notes from the artists.
Film stills are very few and there are almost no 3D models. This book really focuses on the pre-production concept art.
All the drawings are captioned by the artists and production team. They talk about the concept and sometimes some production stories, such as rigging, modeling and texturing. The pencil drawings on General Grievous's original form before mechanical "improvements" are interesting to look at, and read since the artists couldn't decided whether he's should be a gorilla or cockroach.
Overall, I consider this art book is worth the money because of its satisfactory volume, and art of course.
My reservation is only to the insane amount of full coloured illustrations digitally created. It's a personal preference.
(More pictures are available on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
a must for fans of the show2013/1/14
I've had mixed experience with "Art of" books. Some of "Art of" books just contain a few movie stills. Others, especially for animated movies, contain far too much about the process of digitally animating the film. While the process of digital animation can be fascinating, I personally don't find the digital "skeletons" for animated characters to be visually appealing.
Fortunately, The Art of Star Wars: The Clone Wars contains a copious amount of genuine art. The book has a lot of concept designs, light concepts, and maquettes of characters and scenes from the film and every episode of the first season of the TV show. By far the most common form of art is the lighting concept, which the artists use when adjusting lighting in the final show. However, these are not simply stills from the show - they have their own unique texture.
One added bonus is that the book contains many of Dave Filoni's own drawings. Filoni has a very unique style, almost blurred. I sense that these are speed sketches to nail down character concepts. However, they have their own unique energy and are wonderful to look at. It's also fascinating to see how the supervising director visualizes Star Wars artistically.
The book does contain some commentary about the making of the show. There are some fascinating insights. I found it particularly interesting to see which characters/planets/story arcs George Lucas personally approved or pushed for. Unfortunately, this is an "Art book" and the short commentaries will probably leave many hungry for more. I'm sure Lucasbooks will publish a "Making of Clone Wars" when the series is over. However, I do hope they stick to the format of this book, focusing a few pages on each episode - each episode deserves at least some attention.
Definitely recommended for fans of the TV show.
The Art of Clone Wars2009/9/23
The Art of Star Wars: The Clone Wars is a coffee table book that looks excellent and is packed with renderings from the theatrical release and Season I of the TV series. The book also includes a quick peek at Season II. The emphasis is on concept art and you can get a real feel for the development of characters and places. My suggestion would be to take your time going through the book. Study the pictures and absorb the artwork.
Each picture in the book has a caption explaining specifically what you are looking at and what the artist's name is. Many of the pictures also come with much longer explanations giving excellent background information, e.g., a particularly interesting write-up on the influence of Ralph McQuarrie. We hear from Director Dave Filoni a good deal as he explains the initial concepts of The Clone Wars and takes us through some of the changes that took place as the project came to fruition.
If you are a fan of The Clone Wars and enjoy the visual presentation, then this book is for you
Designer for Games Films and Animation
This book offers a unique view of the production of a large scale animation. It goes through many different stages from Maquette and lighting studies to animation concepts and environment design.
Its a good source of information for artists who like a more visual absorption style book rather than one with alot of text. It does offer some insightful comments on each page relating to the development but manages to walk a good line and remain balanced.
Good book, you don't always get to see some of the stages of character design, but that is really my only gripe.
I could find only one fault with this excellent and expansive collection of Clone Wars pre-production art, it only covers season one! Sure, there are a few pages teasing the second season, but since this show ultimately made it to five, I would have expected more books by now. Sadly, I think this is all we’re going to get. It’s too bad because this book was obviously compiled with great care by Parisi and Scheppke.
This book covers the genesis of the show, the subsequent expansion into a movie, and then the realization of the entire first season. It’s fascinating to see how a show of this magnitude is put together, from preliminary character sketches to fully sculpted maquettes, and from color studies all the way to the finished rendered frame. This is a solid piece of work, and anyone in love with the show should enjoy it, but be warned, it doesn’t make the cancellation of the series any easier to take.