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Book Review: The Art of District 9: Weta Workshop

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Weta Workshop is a brand that's synonymous with quality creative work. The Art of District 9 is another testament to the amazing work they do, on top of what they have already done - Avatar, Lord of the Rings, King Kong and Narnia.

The Art of District 9 is a 160-page hardcover. This book actually cost a few dollars less than typical art books of this size. This is a fantastic bargain.

The book is filled with concept art. Most of the things you see are in their various stages of development, from the idea to the final designs. There are lots of iterations for character designs, the aliens, props, weapons, the mothership and many other stuff. All the visuals in the book are in high resolution with great detail.

What you see in the film is actually a small part of what's presented in the book. You can see a discarded concepts like crazy Organ Retriever which can harvest organs at the press of a button (I suppose), and then there's the variation of the exo suit which was designed to the stage where a life-size model was created and then dropped - I can't even begin to imagine how it feels like to have work at that stage of completion thrown out. And there are a few impressive mothership designs which weren't used as well.

Other than the illustrated art, there are also lots of pictures on the sculpts created. What impresses me are the weapon designs. They look really good, and they are printed really big, and there are lots of them.

Lead conceptual designer Greg Broadmore, creature designer David Meng, Neill Blomkamp and other artists provide good insight into the conceptualization process with their commentary.

This is one of the better art books for 2010.

Highly recommended.

The Art of District 9: Weta Workshop is available at Amazon (US | CA | UK | DE | FR | IT | JP | CN) and Book Depository

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