Talking about this book will not be complete without mentioning LAIKA, the animation studio that made ParaNorman. They were founded in 2005 and this is their second film. Coraline (2009) was their first. I think they have tremendous faith in their craft of making stop motion films, especially in today's climate where 3D animated films seem to be more popular.
This 160-page hardcover artbook features a good amount of concept art and behind-the-scenes set photos that made the film possible. Most of the pictures are printed quite big.
It's interesting to see how the characters designed by Heidi Smith were created into actual puppets for animating. The fully clothed and painted puppets look amazing compared to the sketches.
I enjoy looking at the many production photos of the puppets, props, and the studio. You can see the detail that went into casting, molding and making of necessary parts like hair, clothing, metal armature, furniture, and just about everything in the world of ParaNorman. Photos of the tables where they keep working tools are great. There are countless brushes, screwdrivers, pincers, threads and an assortment of instruments whose purpose you can only guess.
The lengthy commentary covers the production process and explains how stop motion films are made nowadays. It might not be surprising to discover that they also use 3D printing for creating props.
It's a nice art and making-of book. Recommended to fans of animation, stop motion and the film.
Publisher Chronicle Books has also made this book available as a Kindle ebook. I bought it to see the difference.
Here are some takeaway points on the Kindle ebook edition.
Landscape pictures will appear much smaller, and portrait pictures will appear bigger. The more interesting layout of the book is replaced by simpler flowing text and pictures. I'm not sure if I like this format. Perhaps it might be better if they were to release it in PDF so as to retain the layout.
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