In 2006, Scott Robertson hired a few interns at the art school he teaches, Art Center College of Design. The interns are Peter Chan, John Park, Ben Mauro, Thom Tenery and Justin Pichetrungsi. Instead of doing the usual freelance projects, they opt to create a visual development art book.
The premise is racing. Planet Earth has been invited to join the Alien Race by the aliens across the Galactic Universe. Racers from each side are to compete riding on genetically created creatures.
The book has 216 pages and is loaded with concept art on character, creature and environment designs. The designs are very often extravagant but never do they lose the believability and functionality. Each fully painted illustration is printed gloriously big enough to show off the details of the characters, clothes and texture. Some have sketches accompanying. The creature designs are wildly creative, environments too. Have you ever seen a giant cabbage-like racing venue before? Anything goes.
All the pieces are captioned by the artists who talk about the concepts and design inspiration. Particularly interesting to read are the characteristics of the creatures.
There's even a section that talks about how they came up with so many alien designs. They are actually created with the help of Photo Booth, a Mac software. Photos of groceries — yes, the onions, bananas, mushrooms, etc — are captured and manipulated with the many effects provided. They are then digitally painted over to create each of these unique but believable aliens. Talk about improvisation and creativity!
This is a wonderful portfolio of work for the students, a fine technical showcase. They must be professional interns.
It is inspiring and no doubt a useful resource book for concept artists. There are both paperback and hardcover editions.
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