The contents are rich and comprehensive, starting from the conception of the film’s story, the creation of the characters by famed designer Crash McCreery, and the collaboration with ILM to create their first animated feature. CG stills from the film are kept to a minimum, and the bulk of the book is filled with original character designs and drawings by Crash, all intriguing and offers a fascinating peek behind the scenes.
(above) Sculptor Adam Cramer works on some amazing macquettes for the lead characters.
(above and below) Rango encounters an out of this world character called Roadkill, who instructs him to seek the path to “the other side”. I was lucky enough to work on some of the shots in this sequence ( including one where Rango walks up Roadkill ), and although it took the longest time to complete I’m really happy with the finished look.
(above) A menagerie of bizzare looking creatures from Dirt forms a posse under Rango’s leadership to investigate the source of their trouble. (below) Bad Bill and his band of miscreants. Certainly one of Rango’s biggest highlights have to be the massive cast of supporting characters that are so amazingly detailed, and all of them come with interesting back-stories of their own.
The final section of the book runs through the numerous challenges the crew faced with each different setting and background environment that Rango passes through on his epic journey, explaining the creative approaches for art direction, animation, lighting, modelling and more.
More than just a pretty coffee table book, The Ballad of Rango serves up a wealth of fantastic “making of” content, most notably in the huge collection of art work by character designer Crash McCreery. Highly recommended. ( Folks who are interested in a more technical look behind the CG creation of the film should definitely check out the April 2011 issue of Cinefex. )
– Dimensions – 11.4 x 10.3 x 1 inches
– 200 pages, hardcover
– full color
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