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Author Topic: [Artbook] TLoK Book Four: Balance - The Art of the Animated Series  (Read 7210 times)
HikaruIzumi
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« Reply #25 on: Aug 27, 2015 04:23 am »

I actually like new Wu better than the old designs. He acts considerably normal for his age but making him older (as the old designs all look) would make him look like mentally challenged sick pervert. Canon Wu is a kid in all possible ways and it fits. The old Wu would be mentally a kid in all ways but physically an adult and it would be awful.

For Asami I like the red dress and the outfit underneath more but the former looks too snobby and the latter too "horse riding" ready. So I think they chose the best one.
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« Reply #26 on: Aug 27, 2015 10:16 am »

I think that Wu is supposed to be around the krew's age, so the previous designs would have still worked. I still wish they gave Asami something more stylish, she looks way too matronly.
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Freedom153
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« Reply #27 on: Aug 27, 2015 10:55 am »

I guess my problem with Asami's S4 outfit is that it's so damn dark, especially when compared to the alternatives. Then again, so was her original outfit... Dark. Just like the series as a whole, I guess.

Not sure if I'm getting any of the artbooks. Would be nice "source" material for writing, but... the question is - if it's something that shows up in an artbook as lore and nowhere else, is anyone really going to care if the stuff inside is "taken into account"? And another question, the same one I ask with the comics when they're new - is getting physical pretty pictures earlier than if I waited really worth the increased price tag?

Especially with this. They have let people see so much of the interesting stuff already in releases I don't quite get what the point of buying it would be. Even before coming to this thread, I've already seen Kuvira's original, heavier armor design on my computer via the internet, along with older pictures from conferences etc (like mechasuit schematics).

I guess the only way I could see getting this is if I get stuck when I start drawing again and need bigger, higher-quality reference than just some shrunk down image on my computer screen.
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ahintoflime
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« Reply #28 on: Aug 27, 2015 08:55 pm »

I think that Wu is supposed to be around the krew's age, so the previous designs would have still worked. I still wish they gave Asami something more stylish, she looks way too matronly.

She could have been trying to keep would be suitors away, at least that would be my headcannon since she was already "taken" in her own mind with someone who could never return her affections. She'd just have to dream.

Not sure if I'm getting any of the artbooks. Would be nice "source" material for writing, but... the question is - if it's something that shows up in an artbook as lore and nowhere else, is anyone really going to care if the stuff inside is "taken into account"?

Little nods like that in works are readily eaten up by those who follow things. Imagine if you were writing a scene where Asami pulls out those concept outfits and lays them out for a bit and decides on what to wear for an event that the group/they are attending. What if in the margins Bryke had said they didn't go with "this" outfit because blah blah color theory blah blah background blah blah clashing. And Bolin remarks about how the place they are going to has "this" color everywhere and so "that" outfit wouldn't mesh and Asami looks at him and he says "What? I'm trying to be fashionable" as he grabs an apple Pabu was rolling around with on the ground and bites into it.

Or if Kuvira has her hair back in a ponytail and Bataar and her have a moment and Bataar says he missed seeing Kuvira with it during their stint as Napoleon and buddies. She responds that having her ponytail whipping around the battlefield could "cost" them thereby going back to that whole thing with the animators telling Bryke "you want us to animate THAT along with all these other things on THIS shrinking budget?"
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Freedom153
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« Reply #29 on: Aug 27, 2015 11:41 pm »

I've gotten ideas from the artbook - the free pictures of the artbook that I've seen floating around the internet, that is. If I've already gotten some fodder for free, and from what Nausicaa already posted, it looks like the meatier bits are already free-floating. Bold is something I'd possibly use, underlined is "Nope", asterisk next to something I've already found online.
I just posted this in the Social Media thread, but it fits here too. Amazon have put some new preview pages up. The complete preview shows some new stuff, and some stuff we've already seen. You have to log in to see all of it (and some of it seems to keep disappearing?), so I'll list the main contents for anybody who can't log in to Amazon:

  • The front and back covers (the back shows a Kuvira quote, the Bayan-grove tree, plus a picture of Asami in her main Book 4 outfit)
  • The title pages (with some sketches of spirits, Opal, Wing, Wei, and Wu
  • An introduction written by Mike, Bryan, and Joaquim Dos Santos
  • Kuvira concept art/ character model*
  • A storyboard of Kuvira's fight with the bandits
  • Prince Wu concept art*
  • Asami concept art/ character model (plus Mako and Tonraq)*
  • Background art for the village
  • A look at Kuvira's train*
  • Concept art for the air nomad suits
  • Republic City background art*
  • Korra's Earth Kingdom outfits + some EK character designs
  • Korra and Katara designs from Episode 2, plus Korra's boat
  • New designs for Jinora, Ikki, and MeeloMaybe
  • A bunch of Earth Kingdom background art
  • Designs for Varrick, Zhu Li, Huan, Wing, and WeiMaybe
  • Storyboards for the scene where Varrick saves Zhu Li's life on the train
  • Designs for Kuvira's army, including the female officers who seem to be absent from the final animation
  • Kuvira's tanks and flags
  • Mechasuit designs*
  • Flight suit designs for Asami, Hiroshi, Varrick, and Zhu Li, plus some BG art of the ruined factory
  • Republic City BG art from Episode 11
  • Wedding-style art of Zhu Li carrying Varrick (on the final page?)


That's a lot of asterisks. Most of what is bolded is something I've already found online, with the exception of random spirit sketches, Kuvira's tanks and flags, more designs for Kuvira's army I'm pretty sure I have kicking around on second thought or something that's close enough, and the air nomad suit concept art. That's four things for $25.

I know there's likely more than that in the artbook, but unless they have a Colossus schematic in that book, I don't think I'm buying it.
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See the bitter remnants, milling around the corpse of a dead god.
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It is what it is, and it will never be what it wasn’t.
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« Reply #30 on: Aug 28, 2015 05:05 pm »

She could have been trying to keep would be suitors away, at least that would be my headcannon since she was already "taken" in her own mind with someone who could never return her affections. She'd just have to dream.

Any rich young heiress would need to work a lot harder to keep suitors away, especially one who is as attractive as Asami is treated in-universe.
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Clowngoon
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« Reply #31 on: Aug 28, 2015 11:07 pm »

Still no Fire Nation designs?  Cry
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« Reply #32 on: Aug 30, 2015 03:17 pm »

Considering that the Fire Nation didn't appear in T:LOK except for Ming-Hua's prison and that volcanic region Korra walked by, I wouldn't get my hopes up. I am still upset about not seeing it as well as elderly Azula, the comics will NOT make up for it.
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Clowngoon
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« Reply #33 on: Aug 30, 2015 04:28 pm »

Considering that the Fire Nation didn't appear in T:LOK except for Ming-Hua's prison and that volcanic region Korra walked by, I wouldn't get my hopes up. I am still upset about not seeing it as well as elderly Azula, the comics will NOT make up for it.
Isn't it funny how Gene is putting more effort into the Fire Nation and the Gaang more than its own creators?  Undecided
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"Some friendships can transcend through lifetimes."

"Occasionally punching a guy with an electric glove does not make Asami a strong female character."
Loopy
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« Reply #34 on: Aug 30, 2015 07:48 pm »

Well, the Mike and the Bryan aren't writing fanfiction.
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luvavatar
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« Reply #35 on: Aug 30, 2015 09:15 pm »

Some of the fanfiction is pretty great and I felt that while canon, some aspects in the show came off a bit too much like fanfiction. I think Toph was far too one note in the present timeline than what we had seen of her in A:TLA and in flashbacks. Also I would've loved to have seen the current Fire Nation and some of the characters. The Fire Nation was far too downplayed in LOK for my liking and I'll say it again, no amount of comics will make up for it. Now if they ever did some animated short films down the line or a spin-off series set right around the time Korra ended instead of jumping to the next Avatar I could get down with that.
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HikaruIzumi
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« Reply #36 on: Aug 31, 2015 02:35 am »

Isn't it funny how Gene is putting more effort into the Fire Nation and the Gaang more than its own creators?  Undecided
No? That's his job to elaborate on something that already exists. I don't see how him doing something he was hired for is funny or strange.
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Loopy
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« Reply #37 on: Aug 31, 2015 06:29 pm »

I think paying other people to worry about characters I've moved on from sounds great. If I had the money- and the characters- I'd do that all the time. And then I'd post harsh anonymous reviews online.
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Nausicaa
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« Reply #38 on: Sep 03, 2015 10:09 am »

It looks like some people have already managed to get copies of the art book. Tumblr user iruka-2013 has been posting some information about it. You can see it all on their blog, but here's some tidbits:

  • There's no chapter for 'Remembrances'
  • (I know somebody said they were concerned about whether there'd be much shipping material in the book, so...) There's not a huge amount of shipping-related stuff. Korrasami gets a 2 page storyboard from the finale, plus a page and a half of the turtle-duck art (the full picture, plus a close-up of the pair), with a bit of commentary. Zhurrick gets four pages for the wedding. Beyond that, there's apparently not much.
  • Korra, Kuvira, Bolin, and Varrick probably get the most attention
  • Izumi's character design appears, alongside some small notes about how they wanted to do more with her, but there's no sign of the daughter they've mentioned before. (Which makes sense, considering that the Fire Nation stuff seems to have been dropped pretty early in the writing stage)
  • Most of the ancillary art is stuff that's been posted online in the past
  • The page showing the storyboards for the scene where Mako destroys the inside of the mech has this commentary from Joaquim Dos Santos: “Mako sacrifices himself in an attempt to overload the heart of the giant mech. Hopefully this selfless act helped smooth over some of the ill will directed his way by the Korra fandom in response to his relationship skills.”

    I find it interesting that they mentioned some of the fandom's more negative responses at this particular point.
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Freedom153
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« Reply #39 on: Sep 03, 2015 10:39 am »

That last part, on Mako - what. Perhaps I should buy this just for a laugh - that's some pretty... impressive logic there.

Given he says "hopefully" and that no one would openly admit to changing their story to please fans, at least no one with an iota of self-awareness, it does confirm they were partially making decisions based on fan input. I read "hopefully" as "we did this deliberately for the reason I said but won't say it outright." As World of Warcraft has shown, with all the things added or removed based on feedback over the years, incorporating concern about fan/player feedback can be both a good and a bad thing, a bad thing if the creators lose their own sense of direction and vision in a desire to please.

Looking at her posts, a couple interesting things:
Didn't realize that the Earth Empire tents were actually yurts until just now. Fits in with something I came up on my own...
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Pages 128-131 feature designs for the interior of Kuvira’s control room and the Colossus itself, but nothing new about Kuvira. Page 141 has storyboards for the scene where Kuvira fires the cannon at the airbenders in “Day of the Colossus.”
The one thing I wanted, three pages, and part of that just the cockpit. Blargh - oh well. I suppose if they tried to "explain" how the Colossus works too much, it would end up.... awkward.
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Michael Dante DiMartino: As Korra journeys across the world, her dark half is always there, looming and watching. In the desert, Korra thinks she finally has found Raava, but it’s just a mirage.
HAH! Called it - Dark Korra's more than just a hallucination - and might make a return some day. Your dark half never really goes away, after all. I love it when stuff I wrote ends up being close to what they saw/wanted in a way I didn't anticipate at time of writing.
« Last Edit: Sep 03, 2015 10:42 am by Freedom153 » Logged

See the bitter remnants, milling around the corpse of a dead god.
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« Reply #40 on: Sep 03, 2015 06:38 pm »

I think the point of Ghost Korra being the Dark Half is that Korra stopped giving it power when she healed. She integrated her shadow when she offered Kuvira forgiveness, recognizing the shadow within herself and refusing to fear it, thus denying it the ability to intimidate her. To have Ghost Korra show up again would be to rehash Korra's Book Balance character arc, probably for the sake of "realism."

So yeah, the Dark Horse comics will probably go there in the first book. Tongue
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Clowngoon
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« Reply #41 on: Sep 03, 2015 09:10 pm »

So....no Fire Nation stuff? Not that I'm surprised anymore.

Excuse me while I go sweat through my eyes.
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"Some friendships can transcend through lifetimes."

"Occasionally punching a guy with an electric glove does not make Asami a strong female character."
Freedom153
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« Reply #42 on: Sep 03, 2015 09:53 pm »

Draw some skyscrapers on a piece of paper. Put oriental-style roofs on them. Color the roofs red and light yellow as appropriate, coloring the skyscraper gunmetal grey and the windows yellow. Add some Fire symbols to the building, perhaps actual fire to the outermost "edges" of the yellow spine of the roof, where the spine juts outwards at the corners. Maybe some dragon-like gargoyles mid-0way down the building, or metal dragons running around beneath the roof.

There. You've got your Fire Nation.

I'd have to imagine the Fire Nation would have modernized as thoroughly as Republic City did, given it was the most advanced nation at the end of ATLA.

Anyone with the book or knows someone who has it well able to tell me what the Colossus pictures are like? Are they worth buying this by themselves? Or is it stuff like the cockpit that we got plenty of in the show?
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See the bitter remnants, milling around the corpse of a dead god.
Bled dry man, transfusion shy, blood critic
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It is what it is, and it will never be what it wasn’t.
Book 5:Humanity, aka: Freedom's First Writing
Nausicaa
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« Reply #43 on: Sep 04, 2015 04:58 am »

The book has the storyboards for Korra's first fight with Kuvira. Interestingly, they show Korra wearing her Earth Kingdom overshirt/ jacket thing, which she doesn't wear during the scene in the actual show. I wonder if they switched to just the tank top because it'd be easier on the animators (no loose cloth to animate), or for some other purpose.

That last part, on Mako - what. Perhaps I should buy this just for a laugh - that's some pretty... impressive logic there.

Given he says "hopefully" and that no one would openly admit to changing their story to please fans, at least no one with an iota of self-awareness, it does confirm they were partially making decisions based on fan input. I read "hopefully" as "we did this deliberately for the reason I said but won't say it outright." As World of Warcraft has shown, with all the things added or removed based on feedback over the years, incorporating concern about fan/player feedback can be both a good and a bad thing, a bad thing if the creators lose their own sense of direction and vision in a desire to please.

I do wonder if his comments indicate that they were thinking of the fan response when they wrote certain scenes, or if it was more of a general "I hope you guys stopped hating Mako by this point". While I don't think that they went out of their way to try to address online opinions on the show, I do think that they were at least aware of a lot of them (especially since quite a few crew members were on tumblr since pre-Book 1 and would be able to easily find posts about the show).

I think that some of the negative fan reactions to Mako were the main reason they had that love triangle/Makorra recap in 'Remembrances'. Some people didn't think he'd broken up with Asami by the end of Book 1 etc, so I guess they wanted to clarify that (while poking fun at it). Outside of that, I can't really see why they'd include that section at that particular point in the show.

EDIT: I have the art book now. It's pretty nice! I'd have liked more alternate designs for stuff, but what it has is pretty good. The ancillary art section was longer than I thought it'd be.

Because Iruka-2013 discussed how much each character got in the book, I did a rough count. This is roughly the order of who got the most stuff (character designs, storyboards, appearances in ancillary art etc), from highest downward:

1. Korra
2. Kuvira
3. Varrick
4. Asami (gets a slight boost from the double-posted turtleduck art and finale storyboard- otherwise, she'd be at about Zhu Li's level)
5. Zhu Li
6. Bolin & Meelo
7. Mako
8. Opal
9. Ikki, Wei/Wing, and Suyin

It's kind of surprising how much Zhu Li appears. Though, she did have a lot of costume changes.

Mako and Wu would probably be higher if 'Remembrances' had gotten a chapter- they both had new costumes + the chibis in that episode.
« Last Edit: Sep 12, 2015 05:12 pm by Nausicaa » Logged

Freedom153
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« Reply #44 on: Sep 13, 2015 11:20 am »

Can you describe what the Colossus section is, the quality of the blueprints if there are any? Do they confirm or deny, anything, my theory that the Colossus had a computer aboard for the auto-walk feature?
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See the bitter remnants, milling around the corpse of a dead god.
Bled dry man, transfusion shy, blood critic
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It is what it is, and it will never be what it wasn’t.
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Nausicaa
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« Reply #45 on: Sep 13, 2015 07:52 pm »

I've checked- there's no information about the inside of the cockpit. There's background art for it, and that's about it. The outside of the Colossus gets two pages (original sketches plus the finished design/ model). The text doesn't say anything about how it is operated, aside from references to the engine and mechanisms shown in some of the interior backgrounds.
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Freedom153
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« Reply #46 on: Sep 13, 2015 10:55 pm »

Blech. Oh well. Of course sometimes absence of information can be as good or better than the presence of it... "Plausible deniability", "headcanon" - call it what you want.
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See the bitter remnants, milling around the corpse of a dead god.
Bled dry man, transfusion shy, blood critic
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It is what it is, and it will never be what it wasn’t.
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Chinoiserie
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« Reply #47 on: Sep 14, 2015 01:35 pm »


    • The page showing the storyboards for the scene where Mako destroys the inside of the mech has this commentary from Joaquim Dos Santos: “Mako sacrifices himself in an attempt to overload the heart of the giant mech. Hopefully this selfless act helped smooth over some of the ill will directed his way by the Korra fandom in response to his relationship skills.”

      I find it interesting that they mentioned some of the fandom's more negative responses at this particular point.

    I feel the creators have been listening only the most vocal parts of the fandom which is why they probably thought that everyone hates Mako and everyone wants Korrasami.

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    Freedom153
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    « Reply #48 on: Sep 14, 2015 01:57 pm »


    The page showing the storyboards for the scene where Mako destroys the inside of the mech has this commentary from Joaquim Dos Santos: “Mako sacrifices himself in an attempt to overload the heart of the giant mech. Hopefully this selfless act helped smooth over some of the ill will directed his way by the Korra fandom in response to his relationship skills.”

    I find it interesting that they mentioned some of the fandom's more negative responses at this particular point.


    I feel the creators have been listening only the most vocal parts of the fandom which is why they probably thought that everyone hates Mako and everyone wants Korrasami.



    Oh, great. I've been World of Warcrafted again. That game's devs did the same crap there, listening to a relatively small group of people whining about how stuff was too easy (instead of "Mako sucks! Look at this deluge of Korrasami pics!", it was "Wrath is for casuals! Go back to Vanilla/The Burning Crusade!" in their case) and they needed to revert a bunch of changes they had made in one of their expansions. Next expansion made taking that vocal "hardcore" feedback into account, bam, the end-game's inaccessible again and surprise surprise, huge sub losses and the game suffered for it.

    I just hope Bryke doesn't do it again like WoW's dev team did by listening to a different set of vocal whiners for expansions after. If they do, I'll do what I did for WoW - "unsub" for good...
    « Last Edit: Sep 14, 2015 02:46 pm by Freedom153 » Logged

    See the bitter remnants, milling around the corpse of a dead god.
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    « Reply #49 on: Sep 14, 2015 05:28 pm »

    Creators need to decide what they're creating. Art (in which case it doesn't matter what the audience says) or a Product (in which case proper market research should be done, identifying the various consumer groups, finding out what they use the product for, and making changes to either expand the product's appeal or narrow down on the most profitable niches).

    But then, sometimes I think a lot of real Product is being marketed as Art, even though the creators know exactly what they're making.
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