Smaug: Unleashing the Dragon (25.04.14 by Pieter Collier) - Comments

Come face to face with Smaug the Magnificent, the most realistic, breathtaking and destructive dragon ever to appear on screen, in this gallery of exclusive images that tell the story of how he was created.

Smaug is one of the most memorable characters in JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit: a huge, malevolent, fire-breathing, talking dragon! But while he makes quite an impact in the book, in Peter Jackson’s film adaptation he is definitely the most spectacular creature ever to appear on screen.

So how did the filmmakers manage to take the dragon that has lived in millions of readers’ imaginations and turn him into a totally unique and unforgettable living, breathing character?

The answer can be found in Smaug: Unleashing the Dragon. Packed with stunning, exclusive new images, it reveals how he grew out of thousands of detailed and fantastical concept designs into the beast that is unleashed in awesome digital glory.
Smaug: Unleashing the Dragon

This book brings a look into the collected process of bringing this grand fire breather to the big screen. A lot of detail about the creative process and active collaboration between several artists is mentioned in this art book.

The concept art of John Howe's really shows hows Smaug started with various and different forms. Examples being that the dragon started out with the classic four legs, and a more ferret form body. It later progressed through muscular adaptations to a more sinuous wyvern (a 2-legged, winged drake). John Howe's concept art really shows how the (concept of the) dragon changed over time and how a quest for bringing an anatomically correct dragon to the big screen.

Andrew Baker, Jamie Beswarick, and several others bring the story of the extensive process of building a convincing and performance-driven character. Even Mr. Cumberbatch, who provided the voice and motion capture, talks about his history and personal take on Smaug.

Once you have read this book you will not be able to wait to see the dragon in action in the third Peter Jackson movie.

Compiled by the Academy-Award-winning teams at Weta Digital and Weta Workshop, who provide fascinating insights telling the story of the dragon’s creation, and featuring an exclusive foreword by Benedict Cumberbatch, this is the perfect companion for every fan who was blown away by Smaug, the Magnificent!

I do still prefer Tolkien's drawing of the dragon, but hey... might be the Tolkien fundamentalist in me!

Title: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Author:
Benedict Cumberbatch (Foreword), Daniel Falconer

Publisher:
HarperCollins

Publication Date:
3 April 2014

Type:
Hardcover, 104 pages
ISBN-10: 0007525788
ISBN-13: 978-0007525782

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