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The Art of Avatar: James Cameron's Epic Adventure

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Academy Award-winning writer/director James Cameron, the maker of Titanic and the creator of the Terminator series, has been crafting Avatar for over four years. The film follows the story of an ex-marine who finds himself thrust into hostilities on a distant planet filled with exotic life forms. As an avatar, a human consciousness in an alien body, he finds himself torn b Academy Award-winning writer/director James Cameron, the maker of Titanic and the creator of the Terminator series, has been crafting Avatar for over four years. The film follows the story of an ex-marine who finds himself thrust into hostilities on a distant planet filled with exotic life forms. As an avatar, a human consciousness in an alien body, he finds himself torn between two worlds, in a desperate fight for his own survival and that of the indigenous people. The Art of Avatar, the companion book to this epic 3-D action adventure, explores the developmental and conceptual art used by the creative team to create the original world of Avatar.   With over 100 exclusive full-color images including sketches, matte paintings, drawings, and film stills, The Art of Avatar reveals the process behind the creation of set designs for the imaginative vistas, unique landscapes, aerial battle scenes, bioluminescent nights, and fantastical creatures. Interviews with art directors, visual effects designers, animators, costume designers, and creature makers bring insight into this creative process. The Art of Avatar brings readers behind the scenes of this unprecedented moviegoing experience.


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Academy Award-winning writer/director James Cameron, the maker of Titanic and the creator of the Terminator series, has been crafting Avatar for over four years. The film follows the story of an ex-marine who finds himself thrust into hostilities on a distant planet filled with exotic life forms. As an avatar, a human consciousness in an alien body, he finds himself torn b Academy Award-winning writer/director James Cameron, the maker of Titanic and the creator of the Terminator series, has been crafting Avatar for over four years. The film follows the story of an ex-marine who finds himself thrust into hostilities on a distant planet filled with exotic life forms. As an avatar, a human consciousness in an alien body, he finds himself torn between two worlds, in a desperate fight for his own survival and that of the indigenous people. The Art of Avatar, the companion book to this epic 3-D action adventure, explores the developmental and conceptual art used by the creative team to create the original world of Avatar.   With over 100 exclusive full-color images including sketches, matte paintings, drawings, and film stills, The Art of Avatar reveals the process behind the creation of set designs for the imaginative vistas, unique landscapes, aerial battle scenes, bioluminescent nights, and fantastical creatures. Interviews with art directors, visual effects designers, animators, costume designers, and creature makers bring insight into this creative process. The Art of Avatar brings readers behind the scenes of this unprecedented moviegoing experience.

30 review for The Art of Avatar: James Cameron's Epic Adventure

  1. 5 out of 5

    عمران ابن مصر

    الانسان الرب ؟؟؟!!! فينك يا جدو من زمان بقالك مده كبيره واحشني موجود -بس انت اللي مش فاضي -بتتفرج علي ايه يا بني ؟؟؟ فيلم افتار يا جدو تحفه تعالي تعالي ومعايا لب وسوداني خيال علمي جامد خيال علمي؟؟؟!! انت مفهمتش الرسايل اللي بتبعت في الفيلم؟؟؟ انت عارف ليه اختاروا اسم افتار؟؟؟؟ وعارف ليه لونهم ازرق ؟؟؟ وعارف الغابه المنوره فسفوري دي ايه ؟؟ والحاجات اللي زي الفراشات البيضا دي ايه؟؟؟ وايه شجره الحياه؟؟؟ لا ياجدوا مش عارف ؟؟؟ افتار معناها الانسان الرب في اللغه اللسنسكريتية ومشهوره في الهندوسيه - افتار هي الانسان الرب ؟؟؟!!! فينك يا جدو من زمان بقالك مده كبيره واحشني موجود -بس انت اللي مش فاضي -بتتفرج علي ايه يا بني ؟؟؟ فيلم افتار يا جدو تحفه تعالي تعالي ومعايا لب وسوداني خيال علمي جامد خيال علمي؟؟؟!! انت مفهمتش الرسايل اللي بتبعت في الفيلم؟؟؟ انت عارف ليه اختاروا اسم افتار؟؟؟؟ وعارف ليه لونهم ازرق ؟؟؟ وعارف الغابه المنوره فسفوري دي ايه ؟؟ والحاجات اللي زي الفراشات البيضا دي ايه؟؟؟ وايه شجره الحياه؟؟؟ لا ياجدوا مش عارف ؟؟؟ افتار معناها الانسان الرب في اللغه اللسنسكريتية ومشهوره في الهندوسيه - افتار هي قدره الروح علي الارتقاء وذلك بالوصول للحاله القصوي من الطاقه الايجابيه النورانيه وهذه الطاقه لونها ازرق تركوازي كما تظهر في الاشعه السينيه وعند الوصول لتلك الحاله بتنجذب لك كل الطاقات النورانيه الايجابيه من حولك اللي هي الفراشات البيضا اللي بيقولوا عليها في الفيلم ارواح نقيه وبذلك تكون طاقتك تعدت الطاقات الاعتياديه وتتمكن من التواصل مع الانوار العيا الالهيه والتي يرمزوا لها في الفيلم بشجره الحياه او الشجره الام التي تمنح الحياه الخالده لكل ما في الكون وانا يابني بعتلك كل ده في لوحاتي وتماثيلي حتلاقيهم باللون الازرق وعين حورس الزرقاء التي هي عين البصيره والاستبصار والتخاطر والتواصل الروحي بس انت مفهمتش شفره الالوان ولا الاشكال لما توصل لتلك الحاله سيتحقق قول الله كونوا ربانين اي لكم من الروح الطاهره والطاقه النورانيه الصافيه ما تجعلكم جزء من روح الله وفي صله دائمه معه -علي الجانب الاخر حتلاقي في الفيلم الانسان المادي الذي قبع في الماديات وانهمك بتعظيم نفسه واستهلاك طاقته في صنع الات مدمره ضخمه يعتقد ان بها سيخلد يغرور وتكبر وعدم وعي ويقوم بتدمير ما هو المفروض يستعمله للخلود النوراني الحقيقي -ولكنهم كما يقولوا في الفيلم مثل الطفل الغبي الفارغ الغير واعي المندفع خلف غرائزه الماديه وشهواته في التسلط والسيطره والعظمه -لذا في نهايه الفيلم ينهزم بالاته امام اصحاب الارواح الصافيه وتسقط اجاسامهم وارواحهم في الهاويه يا نهار ابيض ياجدو ؟؟ كل ده في الفيلم وان مش فاهمه ؟؟ طب وهما فهموا الحاجات دي ازاي ومنين ؟؟؟ فهموا من حضارتنا القديمه لما فكوا شفرتها صح وعرفوا الحكمه الخفيه او المخفيه عن الناس عمدا طب والاديان بتاعتنا مش برضه فيها الكلام ده ؟؟ بس فين فيها انا مش لاقيها؟؟؟ الاديان بتاعتنا والاديان بتاعتهم !! ايه الكلام ده ؟ هي تعاليم واحده منذ بدء الخليقه و احنا سطرناها من ادريس وابراهيم وهي هي من تنزل بيها الانبياء والرسل تباعا كلما انحرف الانسان عن الطريق الصحيح هي ارتقاء الروح ووصولها للحاله النورانيه بالتسامح والحب والسلام والرحمه والتواصل بالصلاه مع الذات الالهيه والصيام عن الفواحش وهي في كل الكتب السماويه بس كل واحد بيفسر من واقع رؤيته الماديه وليس الروحيه وكل واحد بيلوي التعاليم حسب هواه علشان يريح روحه ان ما يفعله حلال -ولكن لو بص للدين علي انه خطاب للروح وكما يسميها المسيحيين اللاهوت حيفسر صح ويعيش صح بس يا جدو كلمه انسان رب دي صعبه جدا ازاي انسان حيبقب اله مين قال ان الرب معناها اله انت بتقول الاب رب الاسره والام ربه منزل وصاحب العمل رب العمل وده لان الرب لغويا هو اعلي شئ في الكيان سواء اسره او شركه او دوله او وزاره الخ وليس معناها انه يستطيع انه يخلق او يحي ويميت ولكن ايضا لغويا ممكن ان تطلق لفظ رب علي الله لانه اعلي شئ في الكون لذا تفسير كلمه رب تكون حسب سياق الجمله اما كلمه الله فليس لها اي معني الا الخالق الذي ليس كمثله شئ.فهمت ولا اقول كمان لا شكرا كدا تمام دا انا حرجع الفيلم واتفرج تاني ؟؟ تمام اتفرج وسيب اللب وركز حتفهم هما وصلوا لايه وانت لسه بتقزز لب وفاكر انها تضييع وقت وتسليه -تصبح علي خير

  2. 5 out of 5

    Parka

    (More pictures at parkablogs.com) The concept art for this book is very different from most I've seen, in terms of style. Most of the art in this book are computer generated or look computer generated. There are very few pencil sketches. Quite a few pieces are created with mixed medium. For example, the extensive use of photography in matte paintings and the digital paintings over 3D models. I found the contrast of artistic style between the mediums quite jarring. There's a reason why artists (More pictures at parkablogs.com) The concept art for this book is very different from most I've seen, in terms of style. Most of the art in this book are computer generated or look computer generated. There are very few pencil sketches. Quite a few pieces are created with mixed medium. For example, the extensive use of photography in matte paintings and the digital paintings over 3D models. I found the contrast of artistic style between the mediums quite jarring. There's a reason why artists are taught not to mix mediums. If you're blown away by the visual quality of the Pandora, as shown in the trailers, you'll be glad to see that majority of the art in this book are on the environments. There are also designs for the plants, animals, vehicles and the Pandora inhabitants, the Na'vi. Weta Workshop is also roped in to provide some models and help in designing the Na'vi. The creativity behind the design and the scale of work is of course amazing. The only negative part which I didn't like are the colour choices for the animals. Aren't animals supposed to camouflage themselves for survival purposes? Maybe they are too high up in the food chain to care. I'm intrigued that James Cameron actually wrote the script in 1995. But he had to wait until 2006 before technology was (deemed) advanced enough (for him) to make the film. I thought technology was already available when Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within was released in 2001. So what technology are we really talking about here? It's not mentioned. I also wanted to find out about how stereocopy, which James Cameron is an advocate of, is used, but it's only briefly mentioned. The writeup talks only about the concepts behind the designs and very little on the production. Somehow, this art book doesn't really appeal to me. There's an element of artifice that's very hard to describe. I would recommend this book strictly for Avatar fans.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    The concept of the "Art of ..." book is quite a varied one - you have some who give you page after page of high quality rough sketches which illustrates the processes and journeys film makers take, often with few words of explanation, letting the artwork do the "talking" instead. Then there are others who use it as a promotional tool - showing glimpses of the film so that rather than seeing the artwork connected to the film you are in fact seeing little more than a cleverly composed taster inten The concept of the "Art of ..." book is quite a varied one - you have some who give you page after page of high quality rough sketches which illustrates the processes and journeys film makers take, often with few words of explanation, letting the artwork do the "talking" instead. Then there are others who use it as a promotional tool - showing glimpses of the film so that rather than seeing the artwork connected to the film you are in fact seeing little more than a cleverly composed taster intended to make you see the film rather than appreciate its inception and creation. And finally you have the third book which really has no connection to the film or show at all, in so much as it could have been published at any time and shows not only the art work and the concepts but also the dialogue that went on that took the ideas and turned them in to the image we all recognise. These books are all the more interesting as they are timeless - and provide a view point rarely seen on how a film goes from an idea to a finished production. Some of the best of these (and the ones I love the most) are the early star wars concept books. But we are talking about the art work of AVATAR. Well for me this book falls between the first and the last category - a good thing although a little light on the actual concepts and often it feels that the images were constructed for this book rather than lifted from the studios archives. But you do get to read the briefs given which led to the recognisable creatures, landscapes and crafts from the film. The book is beautifully printed with artwork carefully printed (hate it when they are printed over two pages and the most details parts of the picture disappear down the centre fold)

  4. 4 out of 5

    Alexander Curran

    ''I see you.'' The world of Pandora and it's people(The Na'vi) are threatened by humans searching for an expensive resource. (A review of the film and story 8 years ago on 17 December 2009 20:29 http://www.listal.com/viewentry/383395) James Cameron has always been a man of unsurpassed imagination, a man with vision and a fun loving disposition for using technology to achieve his dreams. The fact is Cameron isn't just a director; he is an artist. I have grown up with James; having been born in the 8 ''I see you.'' The world of Pandora and it's people(The Na'vi) are threatened by humans searching for an expensive resource. (A review of the film and story 8 years ago on 17 December 2009 20:29 http://www.listal.com/viewentry/383395) James Cameron has always been a man of unsurpassed imagination, a man with vision and a fun loving disposition for using technology to achieve his dreams. The fact is Cameron isn't just a director; he is an artist. I have grown up with James; having been born in the 80s when he was churning out his projects which still remain dear to me to this day. Who can forget The Terminator(1984)? A time travel spin with machines ruling the future. Or his fun, quirky screenplay for Rambo 2(1985); showing wit, charm and adrenaline. Then we have the sequel to Ridley Scott's Alien; one of the best sequels of all time: Cameron's Aliens(1986). The deep imaginative piece The Abyss(1989) would follow a few years later; showing us Cameron's other glimpse into good natured extraterrestrial life and his love of the ocean and romance; a new world in itself. As for the 90s; it seemed as if the 80s were in essence merely a warm up for the maestro directors talents. Having received attention and Awards for his illustrious effects and wizardry usage of technology, he steps up his game; Aces up his sleeve in the guise of another untouchable sequel Terminator 2: Judgment Day(1991), then later True Lies(1994), and the immortalized romance with historical preference Titanic(1997). Years later we reach 2009 and James Cameron seems to have resurfaced from his exploration under the ocean, from his dabbling with 3D technology and has unveiled his latest epic fantasy sci-fi; Avatar. Cameron had to wait ten years for the technology necessary to realize his baby. Upon seeing the character of Gollum in The Two Towers(2002) James Cameron knew CGI effects were at last ready to unleash his new world Pandora. The film results in being 40% live action and 60% photo-realistic CGI. Large quantities of motion capture technology were used for the CGI scenes. This however does not sum up the beauty and magnificence Avatar truly is; My early claim of Cameron being not just a director but an artist is certainly a gross under-statement. So what is the story of Avatar? The brief synopsis doesn't particularly sum it up. Yes, it is about humans exploiting a new world for their own pockets; it is about Jake Sully whom has lost the use of his legs being transported into a 10ft Avatar body...BUT it is also a love story between the hero and heroine whom are from different worlds. This is a Ferngully outsider meets natives, a Last of the Mohicans integration romance wherein the evolution of the hero is saved by love. Neytiri(Zoe Saldana) teaches Jake Sully(Sam Worthington) the Na'vi's way of life after becoming lost in the Jungles of Pandora. Slowly he begins to learn how every living creature, being and plant is entwined in harmonic proportions; energy and cosmic balance without industrial destruction to nature. Titanic showed us the epiphany of romance from Cameron; Avatar shows a union of two soulmates destined to be together always. When Jake and Neytiri kiss for the first time, under tendrils of memories, you can feel the connection deep within; Your heart skips a beat. The creatures, plants, machines, locations, vehicles are all breathtakingly beautiful. In fact as we see this New World and these gigantic humanoids, one begins to feel as part of proceedings, as if we are on this world with them. Every blade of grass and plant can be felt when witnessed in 3D, every sound and noise ambient with unsurpassed depth. The casting assemble Avatar has to offer is of course pure indulgent cream. Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldana excel as the romantically destined Jake and Neytiri; their chemistry as real and believable as the 3D world we are sucked into. Sigourney Weaver as Dr. Grace Augustine makes for another great Cameron character whom hasn't lost her edge since her Alien days; Grace is scientific, interesting and harbours all the teaching instincts towards the Na'vi one would expect a scientist to maintain. A Doctor smoking in the future was perhaps not so believable yet perhaps portrays the level of stress her character endures. Special credit must go to Stephen Lang as the military titan Colonel Miles Quaritch; whom is a villain you love to hate. This is a man not only doing his job but enjoying it; the typical fire first Army Colonel whom loves quite literally blowing the living daylights out of anything that moves. Michelle Rodriguez playing Trudy Chacon was definitely a fun character with some memorable lines; ''You're not the only one with a gun bitch!'' gained a belly laugh of humour. Giovanni Ribisi, Joel Moore and Laz Alonso also helped flesh out the assemble with memorable characters. It must also be said that the characters whom inhabit Avatar bodies actually look like their human counterparts. Every facial move, gesture and movement effortlessly captured in a splendid array. Avatar also has an epic score; original haunting Music by James Horner. Perfected Cinematography by Mauro Fiore(director of photography) and a fabulous team for the Artful work and costumes accumulated within the making. The battle sequences will literally have you on the edge of your seat, while fast paced chases are elevated to majestic grandeur; flying creatures attacking huge orca-type aircraft, alien horse-riders battling against mech-warriors with marines and Jake's encounters with the many types of creatures all induce awe. Overall, this is an emotional turbulent journey that never loses momentum in the whole of its 2 hours and 40 minutes. Avatar will pull at your heart strings and make you care for a people from another World. Cleverly it doesn't give us a title for the film at the beginning but waits until the glorified magical ending of rebirth. By then I was moved to tears on a fair number of levels; many scenes invoking emotion, passion and inspirational bursts of imagination. Who could of thought that the song I see you by Leona Lewis could be such a sweet soothing reminder to this beautiful realization we have just witnessed. James Cameron's Avatar will undoubtedly win numerous Awards in the future, even if not, this is pure escapism and a colourful escape to another breathtaking world which cannot be ignored. This is art at it's highest pinnacle. This is love in its truest form. This is perhaps the swan song masterpiece ever to be conceived from Cameron; Avatar is the baby we waited 10 years for Cameron to make...and it was certainly worth the wait! Visionary. ''Out there is the true world and in here is the dream.''

  5. 5 out of 5

    Zeus Ezekiel

    I even watch the movie & like all others, I'm speechless!!! yeah, it's true. James Cameroon has made something beyond this world. A world where we would like to be born lived & even die, because it's a beautiful & conventional world from ours. It has all the aspects which are better than our world!!! Hats off to James Cameroon for bringing in the AVATAR concept into this world!!!!! I even watch the movie & like all others, I'm speechless!!! yeah, it's true. James Cameroon has made something beyond this world. A world where we would like to be born lived & even die, because it's a beautiful & conventional world from ours. It has all the aspects which are better than our world!!! Hats off to James Cameroon for bringing in the AVATAR concept into this world!!!!!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    It was cool to look at, but I wish they had better coments about the making of the film.

  7. 4 out of 5

    78sunny

    Ich mag solche Art of... Bücher zu Filmen. Der Film Avatar gehört für mich zu den beeindruckendsten Filmen überhaupt. Das Buch enthält eine Einleitung von Peter Jackson, ein Vorwort von Jon Landau und ein Nachwort von James Cameron, die einen Einblick in die Entstehungsgeschichte bzw. die Idee zum Film geben. Wahnsinnig interessant ist dies aber nicht. Wirklich interessiert haben mich, aber sowieso eher die Pflanzen und Tiere, die im Film vorkamen. Einige werden etwas genauer beschrieben und es g Ich mag solche Art of... Bücher zu Filmen. Der Film Avatar gehört für mich zu den beeindruckendsten Filmen überhaupt. Das Buch enthält eine Einleitung von Peter Jackson, ein Vorwort von Jon Landau und ein Nachwort von James Cameron, die einen Einblick in die Entstehungsgeschichte bzw. die Idee zum Film geben. Wahnsinnig interessant ist dies aber nicht. Wirklich interessiert haben mich, aber sowieso eher die Pflanzen und Tiere, die im Film vorkamen. Einige werden etwas genauer beschrieben und es gibt detaillierte Zeichnungen von ihnen. Es wird erklärt worauf es bei diesen Tieren besonders ankam. Auf die Pflanzen wird nicht so intensiv eingegangen, was ich schade fand, aber es gab einige schöne und detaillierte Zeichnungen. Man erfährt einiges über die verschiedenen Orte und auch die Flugobjekte, die im Film eine große Rolle spielen. Alles ist aber nicht sehr detailliert oder beschreibt bestimmte Situationen beim Dreh. Das fand ich schade. Die Bilder und Zeichnungen sind meist sehr schön und die Farben und der Kontrast haben mich genauso umgehauen wie im Film. Einige wenige waren etwas pixelig, aber größtenteils waren sie sehr hübsch und detailreich. Allein für die Zeichnungen hat sich das Buch für mich gelohnt. Meine Wertung: 4 von 5 Sternen

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lesley Looper

    I didn't see "Avatar," the movie, but I enjoyed looking through this book and reading a bit about the creation of the movie. It didn't make me want to go see the movie, but still, it was a nice book to look through. I didn't see "Avatar," the movie, but I enjoyed looking through this book and reading a bit about the creation of the movie. It didn't make me want to go see the movie, but still, it was a nice book to look through.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sanjay Kumar

    i think i can read this book for free of cost but you are not giving you are just providing a link to buy in amazon if we can get we wolud pay and get it there. why we are visiting your web site???????

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nathan

    Not just a book with images from the movie or just basic drawings, but it also shows the evolution of the characters, their concepts before they came to the final product as well as explanations from some of the artists on how they came about designing them.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    i love this book. pandora is such a beautiful planet. the art is amazing. absolutly amazing. i recommend the movie and books to anyone. i learned a lot from the movie including how to see into someone and not look at whats on the outside. i see you.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Natalia Jagielska

    Some of the great pictures are low quality, blurred or set tipsy turvey, but it was an enhancing read

  13. 4 out of 5

    Tandriin

    A nice Book with some interesting facts to the Making of Avatar. Especically the creation of pandora and its fauna and flora.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Alisa

    Not enough of the Na'avi in this...which is what I wanted Not enough of the Na'avi in this...which is what I wanted

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lyssa :)

    Dude it is a amazing book n i REALLY REALLY like the movie

  16. 5 out of 5

    Belsi

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This books is interesting to me know

  17. 4 out of 5

    Carla

    The drawings in this book are so beautiful! It's so interesting to see how they created the beautiful and daunting world of Avatar. The drawings in this book are so beautiful! It's so interesting to see how they created the beautiful and daunting world of Avatar.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jess

    I definitely didn't enjoy this as much as the usual The Art Of books I read. I definitely didn't enjoy this as much as the usual The Art Of books I read.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Maysaloon Abu-Zaglan

    i like the movie more than the book. Maybe if i read the book first my mind will be changed.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lim Ying Hui

    Beautiful artwork but I wanted more in depth details than I got

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Rosinski

    Ask me a question from this thing....and i'll know it! Ask me a question from this thing....and i'll know it!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Cherissa Allysha

  23. 5 out of 5

    Leon Combtts

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ruth

  25. 4 out of 5

    Gary

  26. 5 out of 5

    Oliver

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sherry Edadiz

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kiwi Sparrow

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ezra

  30. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Collins

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