The Art Of Avatar by Liza Fitzpatrick (book review).

May 27, 2016 | By | Reply More
The Art Of Avatar by Lisa Fitzpatrick, preface by Peter Jackson and foreword by Jon Landau. Published by Abrams

The Art Of Avatar by Lisa Fitzpatrick, preface by Peter Jackson and foreword by Jon Landau. Published by Abrams

I was surprised but delighted when a request to Abrams Books came up with a copy of Liza Fitzpatrick’s 2009 book, ‘The Art Of Avatar’ to review. It’s a good reminder that first hand editions of books are still available.

Although I always felt that ‘Avatar’ as a three hour film isn’t going to make me watch it on a regular basis, me as a lover of the effort taken to put it together is always going to love to look at the design end. Jim Cameron’s film had two years design work before turning it into CGI and a lot of that is condensed here. You get to see the landscape, animal and character designs and only wonder what was wasted. The Na’vi have an eight page foldout, so be very careful when you reach that part of the book to know that it will open out. The fan lizards get a similar treatment at the back of the book. You also see some designs drawn by Cameron himself, which in case you didn’t known, was how he got his leg up into the industry via Roger Corman in the first place. I was also interested to discover that the floating mountains were based off hot air balloons from China.

The Art Of Avatar by Lisa Fitzpatrick, preface by Peter Jackson and foreword by Jon Landau. Published by Abrams

The Art Of Avatar by Lisa Fitzpatrick, preface by Peter Jackson and foreword by Jon Landau. Published by Abrams

Studying the illustrations, it was Jim Cameron’s intention that the Panadoran creatures didn’t breath through their nostrils but through a vent in their chest. Oddly, they still have nostrils, presumably for smell only although you would have to ask yourself how do they expel the odours for a fresh set of odours.

The Art Of Avatar by Lisa Fitzpatrick, preface by Peter Jackson and foreword by Jon Landau. Published by Abrams

The Art Of Avatar by Lisa Fitzpatrick, preface by Peter Jackson and foreword by Jon Landau. Published by Abrams

There are several sculptures photos as well showing that this still employment for this particular kind of work and I suspect it was handy for those in CGI to be able to look at the figure from all angles. It’s also reassuring because sculptors were always nervous about whether their talents would still be used in the CGI Age.

Seeing these visualisations, you can understand how Cameron enthused his team when it came to bringing his fantasy world to life in ‘Avatar’. If you missed out on getting this book the first time around, then feel reassured that you don’t have to get a second hand copy to study the work behind the film.

GF Willmetts

May 2016

(pub: Abrams Books, 2009. 108 page illustrated large oblong hardback. Price: £19.99 (UK), $29.95 (US), $38.95 (CAN). ISBN: 978-0-8109-8286-4)

check out website: www.abramsbooks.com

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Category: Books, Illustration, Scifi

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About the Author ()

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 15 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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