Book Review: Velocity

PrintE-mail Written by Martin Unsworth

Review: Velocity / Author: Stephan Martiniere / Publisher: Titan Books / Release Date: Out Now

Stephan Martiniere, while not a household name, is an illustrator of some repute, multi award winning (including a 2008 Hugo Award for best professional artist) and has worked on such high profile Hollywood fare as Star Wars (Episodes 2 and 3), Star Trek, Tron Legacy, The Astronaut's Wife, I, Robot, The Fifth Element, and erm, Flubber.

Velocity is the third collection of his work that highlights some video game and film concept art, alongside book covers and some early concept sketches.

Martiniere's alien landscapes have a wonderful dream like quality, something I do not always get when looking at digital art, as far too many come across too metallic and sterile. Here we have vistas and environments you could easily get lost in.

It is fascinating to take the time to look at some of the highly detailed work that goes into artwork that often are only seen by game developers or the production companies of film studios.

There are several examples of Martiniere's work on the card game Magic: The Gathering, and the attention to detail on pieces which will only be reproduced in a small format is amazing. A section on a film project that was only worked on for a few months, The Guardian throws up some stunning alien concepts that would have been wonderful to see realised.

While the book is a little slim (at only 64 pages) there is plenty to take in, and definitely lots to admire, although it is a little light on text (a few more descriptive paragraphs, or more insight into the creative process would not have gone amiss). If you are fan of concept art from the likes of Ralph McQuarrie, this is certainly worth a look.

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