Sunday, January 24, 2016

The Art of Kung Fu Panda 3 - Book Review

 Kung Fu Panda 3 © 2016 DreamWorks Animation L.L.C. All Rights Reserved.

I have generously received a review copy of the Art of Kung Fu Panda (thanks Lauren!) and you'll find my thoughts on it below.

The Art of Kung Fu Panda 3 is by Tracey Miller-Zarneke, published by Insight Editions and is available for $45. If you're buying it online you'll find a lower price tag on Amazon.

It's 168 pages, so on par with the usual art-of release sizes that I have (except for the massive 366 pages behemoth that is the Art of Fallout 4). And for those who store/display all their art-of books, you'll notice that the size is a bit bigger than the Chronicle Book art-ofs, yet smaller than the recent Force Awakens.

I'm a huge fan of the first two movies and if you haven't seen the third one (which I haven't yet, it comes out January 29th here in the US), this book will obviously spoil a few things for you.

All in all The Art of Kung Fu Panda 3 does not disappoint. The concept art, storyboards, character backgrounds, design explorations and inspirations are beautiful. I also love the inclusion of brainstorming pages, which talk about the use of 2-D in the movie, setpiece ideas, character evolutions, both in written and drawn form.

In more detail, the book is divided into multiple parts.

Part 1 is about Characters, highlighting Po, Mr. Ping, Li, Master Shifu, the Furious Five, Mei Mei, Bao, Lei Lei, Grandma Panda, Panda Villagers, Master Oogway, Kai and Masters Turned Jombies.

Part 2 is about Locations, like the Valley of Peace, Dragon Warrior Noodles and Tofu, Jade Palace, Hall of Heroes, Training Hall, Scroll Room, Scroll Vision, Master Garden, Forbidden Suite of Untold Luxury, Panda Village, Li's Hut (love Max Boas' art), Mei Mei's Hut, Apothecary Hut, Hot Springs, Panda Village Training Ground, Peach Grove, Frozen Waterfall (great piece by Jason Brubaker), Tavern River Bed and Spirit Realm.

Towards the end of the book you'll find a deeper exploration of the Sequence 2000: "Valley of War" as well. A lot of artists are featured and the talent is really impressive.

The book is a worthy addition to your collection, even if you don't have the art-of books of the first two movies. I can't wait to see the third movie. This is going to be a really cool trilogy movie box set!

You'll find the official press release below:

The Art of Kung Fu Panda 3 
December 15, 2015, $45.00, 978-1608874941
By Tracey Miller-Zarneke

Following the success of DreamWorks Animation’s Kung Fu Panda 2, legendary warrior Po the giant panda returns to the big screen in Kung Fu Panda 3, the third installment of the film series that has charmed viewers and critics worldwide. When Po’s long-lost panda father suddenly reappears, the reunited duo travels to a secret panda paradise to meet scores of hilarious new panda characters. But when the supernatural villain Kai begins to sweep across China defeating all the kung fu masters, Po must do the impossible—learn to train a village full of his fun-loving, clumsy brethren to become the ultimate band of Kung Fu Pandas! Kung Fu Panda 3 is directed by Academy Award®–nominee Jennifer Yuh Nelson and Alessandro Carloni.

The Art of Kung Fu Panda 3 provides insights into the making of the third chapter in the beloved animated franchise. Included in this exclusive behind-the-scenes look is a rich selection of concept art, character backgrounds, design inspirations, and interviews with key members of the creative team. A testament to the hard work, talent, and imagination of the artists who created this hilarious yet poignant comedy-adventure, The Art of Kung Fu Panda 3 will take readers through Po’s most epic quest yet.

About the Author:

Tracey Miller-Zarneke has long been fascinated with the world of animation, way beyond her credited roles on the feature films Meet the Robinsons, Chicken Little, and The Emperor’s New Groove. She has previously authored eight books on the art of animation, including the first two books in the Art of Kung Fu Panda series, The Art and Making of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, The Art of Planes, and The Art of How to Train Your Dragon. Tracey worked as technical editor for the second edition of the textbook Producing Animation and as an editorial advisor for Directing for Animation. She also serves on the board of directors for the organization Women in Animation. In the non-animated realm, Tracey lives in Los Angeles and channels her creative energy into work as a writer and playtime with her two sons.

About Insight Editions:

Insight Editions is a publisher focused on creating superlative illustrated books on photography, music, and popular culture. Lavishly produced and visually stimulating, every volume from Insight is dedicated to the skillful interplay of word and image. The books produced are unique works that combine the highest quality print production values with time-honored traditions of publishing and rich subject matter. Elegant and informative, books from Insight showcase the best of art and photography in exquisite presentations of the bookmaker’s craft. For more information, visit

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Last of Us - Mocap session

Cool to see the filming process. I wish they kept his acting a bit more like the live action footage. The final anim had a lot of head moves that felt a bit over the top. Subjectively.

Emotional mocap Last of Us Scene8Gaming is all you need for the best gaming content around!
Posted by 8Gaming on Sunday, January 17, 2016

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

14th annual Visual Effects Society Awards

It's awards season! Now with the Golden Globes behind us, we have the VES and soon the Academy Awards. Head over here for the full list.

Monday, January 4, 2016