Since I have the The Art of Avatar as well, I'll start by saying that this is major step-up from the art book, in terms of visuals, writeup and construction.
It's a thick 272-page hardcover filled commentary and huge pictures. Yup, the pictures are in high resolution so there's no more of that pixelation you see in the art book. The film stills, even though you know it's computer generated, is less jarring, more natural. There are a lot of behind-the-scenes photos as well as concept art sketches of the creatures on Pandora.
The writeup is extensive. It really provides an in-depth look at the technical aspect of making the movie, from the conceptualisation stage down to mixing of life-action and 3D footage. There's plenty to read about the concepts behind everything has to be visually created, like the creatures, the sculptures, environments, weapons, props, etc. It's all really detailed and carefully explained, even the captions are informative. Stuff like creating characters are broken down into several steps, such as the creation of clay sculptures (handled by Stan Winston Studio) and the actually modeling of 3D models (handled by Weta).
And then you have the motion performance part where they show how action is mapped into the movie, and all the little production tricks that are used. There are actually horses in the studios to capture the part where the Navi ride the Direhorses. And those horses are also had their bodies pasted with the little beads for motion capture.
This book is a very satisfying read. Highly recommended if you like movie production books.
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