The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Chronicles: Art & Design Info

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The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Chronicles: Art &
Design
explores and celebrates the creative vision of the second
film in Academy Award–winning filmmaker Peter Jackson's
trilogy adaptation of The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien.

This
lavish volume follows Bilbo, Gandalf, and Thorin's Company of
Dwarves eastward, through hitherto unseen regions of Middle-earth, on
their quest to reclaim the lost realm of Erebor from the Dragon Smaug.
Exploring the design and development of the environments, cultures,
creatures, and artifacts encountered by the characters, it is filled
with more than one thousand stunning images of conceptual art,
supplementary photographs, and detailed commentary provided by the
film's cast and crew.

As a bonus feature, unique to this book,
there is a special fold-out replica of the portrait of the Master of
Lake-town, played by Stephen Fry, exactly as it appears in the
film.

Compiled by Weta Workshop senior concept designer Daniel
Falconer, this is the third book in The Hobbit: Chronicles
series, and it has been created in full collaboration with key members
of the production's creative team to ensure the most comprehensive
and authentic film companion possible.


Average Ratings and Reviews
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Ratings and Reviews From Market


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Reviews for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Chronicles: Art & Design:

5

January 2, 2014

Another detailed and packed artbook for The Hobbit
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This artbook is still hardcover, 208 pages, and is as detailed and packed as the earlier Hobbit Chronicles books.

Featured in this particular book are the environment, props, character and creature designs. It's predominantly hand drawn plus digital painting art with some 3D renders, and a few photos of miniature props. The art is fantastic.

Covered, of course, are the locations as they appear in the film, such as Mirkwood, the Elven kingdom, Lake-town and the others. The designs are wonderful and really set the tone for the movies.

Character art are for the new characters, such as Beorn, Evangeline Lilly's Tauriel, Legolas, the many orcs, creatures like the spiders and other miscellaneous characters of which there are a lot. Strangely, there are only a few pages of art for Smaug the dragon.

You'll see quite of a lot of pencil sketched concept art from Alan Lee and John Howe, who are both concept art directors for the film. The other contributing artists are also quite amazing as to the quality of work they are putting out. It's nice to see a good mix of pencil and coloured artworks.

This is mostly a showcase of the concept artworks of Weta Workshop and 3 Foot 7 Art Department. The environment and character designs are from Weta, while the sets, props and dressings are from 3 Foot 7.

The writeup is also very extensive. Usually for each subject, be it character or location, there will be a few designers giving their own views and elaboration on the designs. It's very insightful as there are inputs from lots of the artists that work behind the scenes.

By the way, there's going to be another artbook for this film coming out later called The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Chronicles: Cloaks & Daggers. Very good.

This artbook is really worth the money. Highly recommended to fans of the film and concept art. There's plenty to see and read.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
5

December 14, 2013

fantastic companion to a broadening film trilogy
Knowing that a fourth book in the Chronicles will arrive eventually (entitled THE HOBBIT CHRONICLES: CLOAKS AND DAGGERS - and if I were waging a guess, I'd think that fourth volume would be THE HOBBIT trilogy's look at armor and weapons for the new films), you would wonder if this volume would have a lot in it. I'd dare say it had more than we deserve? What a chunk of material is contained within these covers. I was flipping pages happily. There's been an improvement in movie-making companion that cater to scifi and fantasy fans, but this Middle-Earth related series has a long history of delivering the material goods. Lots of paintings, pencils, design and discussion. The exclusions are so very minor in comparison - I did seek out the Necromancer to see how much conceptual work we get in this volume, and found not so much on him, but honestly, you won't notice really - and he's due to get more coverage in the third film, I'd hazard. I felt that the film broadened the tale of THE HOBBIT visually, and this book is absolutely a wonderful companion for fans to peruse. Well done. I'm a happy camper.
4

Jun 18, 2017

Okay, I purchased this book at supanova (kinda like comic con but in Australia) and Daniel Falconer was there! Not only is this book super amazing for us Hobbit/LOTR nerds but he signed it as well!! Okay, I purchased this book at supanova (kinda like comic con but in Australia) and Daniel Falconer was there! Not only is this book super amazing for us Hobbit/LOTR nerds but he signed it as well!! 🎉🎉 ...more
5

December 22, 2013

Through the woods, rivers, lakes, and to the mountain's doorsteps...
**Slight Spoilers**
This encapsulates all the precise detail and effort put into this second installment of The Hobbit. I loved reading the commentary of what inspired the various location props, costumes, and architecture. It showed some of the progression to and from the artists' first attempts to finalizing the right looks for each scene. I loved how Lake-Town advanced, especially. It also looks like a few characters are even detailed more here (more orc knowledge). Some scenes that included Thrain will probably pop up with extra film footage when it's releashed on DVD and Blu-ray. It looks like more serpentine art could have been included for Smaug, but I believe that will be covered in a bonus book next year. I'll definitely be looking into more of those dragon concepts. I'd like to see how it went from the beginning of del Toro's sketch notes to further concepts done with Howe and Lee (then under direction from Peter Jackson) to be fully fleshed out for the movies. Overall, with all these amazing concepts I can't wait to see how this trilogy winds down.
4

December 18, 2013

Not enough Smaug.
As it goes, the book easily fits in with the rest of the collection. It is filled with many nice pieces of artwork and concepts with many pages dedicated to many characters and locations. However, the one thing it lacks are any good concepts of Smaug. I mean, the movie mentions the character in its title, and yet there are only five pages dedicated to the dragon. The spiders got six pages with over twenty-five illustrations, but Smaug only gets ten concepts? They kept mentioning how difficult it was to arrive at the finished version, but I saw very few illustrations of the process. They don't even address the reason Smaug went from six limbs to four, even though they changed him in the Special Edition release of An Unexpected Journey. Maybe they're waiting for the third book to reveal more pieces. I certainly hope so. Smaug is such a character, so iconic and so arrogant, voiced beautifully by Benedict Cumberbatch. Overall it's a good book, gorgeously wrapped in red scales with many 'precious' treasures therein, but severely lacking where it truly counted: 'A quest to slay a dragon.'
4

Feb 10, 2014

This is the fourth of these books I have purchased and read from Weta (three books on the Hobbit movies and one on Narnia) and have enjoyed every one of them! Excellent pictures, insightful text, excellent pictures ... I have to say that twice because that's what makes these books so great: detailed photos of objects glimpsed only briefly in the films and pre-production drawings of objects and moments from the films.

I was a little surprised that I enjoyed this book so much because I was more This is the fourth of these books I have purchased and read from Weta (three books on the Hobbit movies and one on Narnia) and have enjoyed every one of them! Excellent pictures, insightful text, excellent pictures ... I have to say that twice because that's what makes these books so great: detailed photos of objects glimpsed only briefly in the films and pre-production drawings of objects and moments from the films.

I was a little surprised that I enjoyed this book so much because I was more than a little disappointed in the movie. "Desolation of Smaug" is a fun movie, but it bears little resemblance to the text of Tolkien's novel "The Hobbit". Yes, I know that most movies depart from the text, but after "The Lord of the Rings", I had such hope!

Anyway, after reading this book, I went back and saw "Desolation of Smaug" and, while I'm still frustrated by the movie, I have a much better appreciation for what was done in it and the detail the craftsmen and women put into every scene. As a wanna-be artist myself, I look at so much of the artwork in this book and am impressed not only with the skill, but also a little envious because not only can I not paint like that, many times I can't even THINK like that! The text of the book, which consists mostly of quotes from the artists who rendered the paintings, drawings and sculptures depicted, gave me an appreciation for how they were able to take a printed idea and expand on it in amazing ways.

[Note: I didn't DISLIKE "Desolation of Smuag". it just wasn't the movie I would have wanted from the book. But it is a fun movie!] ...more
4

Dec 27, 2015

This is a gorgeous book. Its beautifully bound and filled with awesome drawings, paintings, and CG renderings. It goes through the entire 2nd Hobbit movie showing Beorn's house and various iterations of his design. Its interesting reading their thought processes as they iterated on many of the designs for the film.

I of course hated all the pages devoted to laketown's master and Alfrid characters, because FUCK those guys and their shitty additions. Removing them entirely would do nothing but This is a gorgeous book. Its beautifully bound and filled with awesome drawings, paintings, and CG renderings. It goes through the entire 2nd Hobbit movie showing Beorn's house and various iterations of his design. Its interesting reading their thought processes as they iterated on many of the designs for the film.

I of course hated all the pages devoted to laketown's master and Alfrid characters, because FUCK those guys and their shitty additions. Removing them entirely would do nothing but make the movies stronger as every second they are on screen the audience's eyes are collectively rolling.

I also would have liked to see more photographs of the physical props, sets, and locations built for the film. Again this material lacking in this book is another symptom of the Hobbit films missing the charm of the original LoTR trilogy.

Either way, the artwork is beautiful in this book and I'd recommend it to anyone who was a fan of the movies and the artistry that went into making them. ...more
5

Jan 07, 2014

Much like the last Art and Design book for The Hobbit, I thought this was fantastic and among the best art books you can buy. The design of the book, from the cover to each individual page is beautiful. It doesn't hurt that Desolation of Smaug has a lot of really interesting design choices from Mirkwood, the elves, Dale, and even Smaug who briefly appears at the end. That made this an exciting and enjoyable read. I also appreciated The Master's Portrait in the back of the book. His character was Much like the last Art and Design book for The Hobbit, I thought this was fantastic and among the best art books you can buy. The design of the book, from the cover to each individual page is beautiful. It doesn't hurt that Desolation of Smaug has a lot of really interesting design choices from Mirkwood, the elves, Dale, and even Smaug who briefly appears at the end. That made this an exciting and enjoyable read. I also appreciated The Master's Portrait in the back of the book. His character was so well done and the fact that they reproduced it here is equally amusing and impressive. It is rare to find a book that I can't find any faults with and this one is highly recommended to Hobbit fans or anyone who wants to see fantasy design. ...more
5

Apr 25, 2019

Magnificent, and really inspirational. The art in this is so incredibly gorgeous. One of the pages about ancient Dale made me gasp when I saw it for the first time. Sketches in particular, coloured in or not, have this ability to trigger the imagination like nothing else. Gorgeous book as usual, and an essential read.
4

Feb 12, 2018

Lots of artwork with information about creative processes behind them and how some things ended up in the movie and some not. A touch of more information and pictures about Smaug would had been nice, but still this was an interesting book to read and to look. 4 stars.
4

Feb 20, 2019

Questi libri sono sempre bellissimi da sfogliare, le foto e i disegni sono curatissimi. Ho adorato tutta la parte sulla Contea, piena di colori e allegria, ma se potessi trasferirmi per sempre sceglierei senza dubbio Paradise, la location dove è stata costruita la casa di Beorn. Sembra veramente un luogo da favola. E mi stupisco ogni volta del lavoro che c'è dietro ogni singolo oggetto, anche se questo poi non compare in nessuna scena.
4

Apr 13, 2013

If you loved the first Chronicles that covered the art and design and characters and creatures of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey then you should know more or less what to expect in this volume. Covering the character concepts, costume and production design with some beautiful artwork by Alan Lee among others, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Chronicles: Art and Design delivers in depth sketches and paintings mixed in with some CGI renderings, production photos of select props and excellent If you loved the first Chronicles that covered the art and design and characters and creatures of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey then you should know more or less what to expect in this volume. Covering the character concepts, costume and production design with some beautiful artwork by Alan Lee among others, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Chronicles: Art and Design delivers in depth sketches and paintings mixed in with some CGI renderings, production photos of select props and excellent notes covering the development of the characters, creatures as well as their respective environments, including a few that seem they should have been in the first volume as well as one particular character that was shown briefly in early trailers, but has not yet appeared in the theatrical and extended cuts of the first film and the theatrical cut of the second. I hope we will see this person in the extended cut of part 2. My only disappointment is that Smaug, the star of the film gets about four pages tops in the book. A book devoted solely to Smaug is forthcoming in 2014 along with another Chronicle book entitled Cloaks and Daggers due at the time of my writing this review in July of 2014. I think it is wrong enough spreading these art books into two volumes for each film when one sufficed for each film in the LOTR trilogy art books, but to have to shell out another twenty or more dollars for an additional 96 pages that could have been included in this book or split between the two, feels like a cash grab and that is my main reason for deducting a star in my rating for this book. Thank you. ...more
5

Apr 13, 2013

This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This encapsulates all the precise detail and effort put into this second installment of The Hobbit. I loved reading the commentary of what inspired the various location props, costumes, and architecture. It showed some of the progression to and from the artists' first attempts to finalizing the right looks for each scene. I loved how Lake-Town advanced, especially. It also looks like a few character are even detailed more here (more orc knowledge). Some scenes that included Thrain will probably This encapsulates all the precise detail and effort put into this second installment of The Hobbit. I loved reading the commentary of what inspired the various location props, costumes, and architecture. It showed some of the progression to and from the artists' first attempts to finalizing the right looks for each scene. I loved how Lake-Town advanced, especially. It also looks like a few character are even detailed more here (more orc knowledge). Some scenes that included Thrain will probably pop up with extra film footage when it's releashed on DVD and Blu-ray. It looks like more serpentine art could have been included for Smaug, but I believe that will be covered in a bonus book next year. I'll definitely be looking into more of those dragon concepts. I'd like to see how it went from the beginning of del Toro's sketch notes to further concepts done with Howe and Lee (then under direction from Peter Jackson) to be fully fleshed out for the movies. Overall, with all these amazing concepts I can't wait to see how this trilogy winds down. ...more
3

Jul 13, 2016

As I'm reading these art books for The Hobbit movies, I'm realizing how tragic it is that they completely failed at making them good. There are things that are such good ideas and intentions that aren't borne out at all in the movies: such weird things they cite that the movies then fail at. For example, they talk about how Jackson wanted new designs for the orc and elves because he didn't want people to see the same things on the screen. Which doesn't really matter, an orc is an orc is an orc. As I'm reading these art books for The Hobbit movies, I'm realizing how tragic it is that they completely failed at making them good. There are things that are such good ideas and intentions that aren't borne out at all in the movies: such weird things they cite that the movies then fail at. For example, they talk about how Jackson wanted new designs for the orc and elves because he didn't want people to see the same things on the screen. Which doesn't really matter, an orc is an orc is an orc. Make it ugly, no one cares.

But then he goes and does the exact same story beat of Arwen saving Frodo with Tauriel saving Kili… complete with Athelas… complete with "kingsfoil? That's a weed!" Which doesn't even make SENSE. Because Frodo was stabbed with a Morgul blade, an ancient and magical blade, and was turning into a wraith as the men of old who were corrupted by the spiritual being Sauron. Kili was hit with an orc arrow.

The art is great, but these books make the films worse. ...more
5

Jan 31, 2014

Once again, a great behind the scenes look at the Hobbit movie. This time it's the Desolation of Smaug (part 1), as there is a Chronicles IV which covers more of the movie. Always interesting to get the perspective of the great craftsmen that put a movie like this together. Lots of cool art, pictures, and inside tidbits from the movie. Only thing I was frustrated by, was very little Smaug in this volume...guess they are saving that for volume IV. Time to order it I suppose.
5

Feb 27, 2016

Ok. I didn't read this one. I re-read the hobbit, but Shelfari doesn't seem to have a way to indicate that. Tried to find another edition, but it just kept lumping it in with my original entry. Whatever.

Anyway, re-read The Hobbit. A masterpiece.
The movie ... not so much. I mean really, what that universal theme park ride conclusion with the melting gold. Gawd. Jackson is a hack.
4

May 10, 2014

Gorgeous everything, from the costumes to the scene work, the cover to the portrait of Stephen Fry's the Master of Lake-Town (Okay, perhaps not. Smaug seemed much the more apt to apply a fold-out to... but the portrait was ready-made I suppose).
Chronicles III: Art & Design does a spectacular job capitalizing off The Hobbit but well, I loved it nevertheless. Very recommended!
5

Dec 30, 2013

IF YOU LOVE "THE HOBBIT" BOOKS AND MOVIES YOU WILL ENJOY THIS BOOK. WONDERFUL PAINTINGS AND DRAWINGS. DESCRIBES HOW THEY CAME UP WITH THE IDEAS OF HOW EVERYTHING LOOKS. TALKS ABOUT THE CHARACTERS AND THE ACTORS PLAYING THEM. READING THIS BOOK YOU GET LOST IN THE STORY AND ALL IT'S CHARACTERS. IT IS A BOOK TO BE REREAD MANY TIMES!
5

Dec 09, 2013

This book, while more superficial than the second in the series, is no less amazing. This book focuses on the art and design. Consequently, the book is light on text but heavy on artwork. The artwork alone is worth the price of the book. I can't wait until the fourth book comes out so I can read about the creation of all the new sets and characters of the second movie.
4

Apr 24, 2016

Following the pattern set by the art books for the first Hobbit film, this first volume covering Desolation of Smaug has a more broad scope. You get character design, set design, prop design, commentary from the artists and gorgeous artwork on every page. The subjects include Beorn and his home, Mirkwood and its spiders and elves, Lake Town and its denizens, and of course Smaug himself.
5

Dec 26, 2013

Still awesome and beautiful! I especially liked all the details on the worldbuilding for Mirkwood and Lake Town. Can't wait for the next volume!

September 2014 Update: Got it autographed! Thanks so much to Gus Hunter and Daniel Falconer for coming out to SL Comic Con with Weta this year!
5

Jul 03, 2014

I love Movie art books and the hobbit ones must be my favorite!! The art is beautiful and the paper is great quality. It is amazing to read how a movie of this size is made and designed. The amount of detail is amazing! SUCH A FUN BOOK!!!
5

Feb 19, 2014

By far the best design and concept-art collection I have ever read. Really in-depth and interesting without fluff or fan service. This is real art by real artists and it is fascinating. I want every book in this collection.
5

Dec 29, 2013

This is a great companion to the second Hobbit movie! The art is amazing, wish I could frame many of the pages
5

Feb 17, 2014

La película no me gustó casi nada, pero la verdad es que es un trabajazo y, las imágenes y dibujos recopilados en este tomo son geniales.

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