September 20, 2008

Art of Underworld Promo

Good news & bad news.   The bad news is that we've been side-tracked and had to put the development of the book down for the moment.   The good news is that we were asked to produce the pre-order incentive Art of Tomb Raider: Underworld promo booklet.

The 72-page booklet is 8.5 inches by 5 inches and comes with pre-orders of the upcoming release of Tomb Raider: Underworld and can be found at outlets like Barnes & Noble and Gamestop.   It features a sample of what will be included in the complete volume as well as a Foreword by Creative Director for Underworld, Eric Lindstrom and the "Evolution of Lara Croft" by Crystal Dynamics Art Director, Darrell Gallagher.   It also includes a discount for the Prima/Piggyback Walkthrough guide.  Definitely a deal!

Now, we can resume work on the complete collection!

September 1, 2008

Angel of Darkness Odds and Ends

Special thanks to Mark Garcia of for sending us some unique items for the book.    The rarities include some character and level editor screens as well as this wireframe transition of Kurtis Trent wielding his "weapon."   Don't be cheeky!   Hopefully someone can remind me what the weapon is, cuz I seem to have forgotten.

And this odd image of Lara playing footie.  Everyone knows the Brits invented the game, but I don't remember anything in Ms. Croft's bio about being a football hooligan.  Perhaps at boarding school?

August 15, 2008

Toby Gard Originals!!!

Darrel Gallagher of Crystal Dynamics provided us with the first two original Toby Gard concept images of Lara.   The pencil sketches were drawn on approximate 11 X 17 paper and kept rolled up in a cardboard tube?  Yikes! Shouldn't they be behind a protective glass case surrounded by armed guards and ferocious attack dogs named Rommel und Gunther?   Or perhaps displayed nicely on my wall?   
A small sample of one of the images (above) shows a much younger looking Lara donning earrings and an interesting arm band.  Perhaps an on-the-job injury and a temporary field dressing to protect the wound. 

Hopefully we can uncover this mystery.

July 28, 2008

The Lara Croft Style Guide

Here's a look at one of the artwork sources for the early games - The Lara Croft Style Guide.    As a branding guidebook, it contains digital files and printed examples, Pantone colors, logos for various items such as the Lara Croft signature, Eidos, the Tomb Raider franchise and each game title.   This particular guide was created for the games up to, and including, The Last Revelation.  

The binder comes with 8 cd's of hi-res imagery to use for various marketing purposes.  This guide is very rare and we are excited to include it in the Art of Tomb Raider book.   I would love to have one in my collection but unfortunately this is not mine to keep. 

One of the images in particular is not included as a digital file, nor is it included in the printable, companion .pdf.    The image shows Lara holding the guide itself.   

I wonder if she's looking at the page where she's holding the Style Guide, looking at the page holding the Style Guide and so forth and so forth? 

Virtual feedback.

July 7, 2008

1st Draft - 180 pages to Chronicles!

I received the first draft of the layout from Stan Stice today.  Stan is the designer and proprietor of Dreams and Visions Press.   If you've seen Battlestar Galactica, he is a dopplegänger for Colonel Tye.  The frackin' cylon has gone through the games up to Chronicles  (game #5 of the series) and the 1st draft is already at 180 pages.  With a massive amount of imagery from Angel of Darknesss, Legend, Anniversary and the forth coming Underworld, the book will climb to 600 pages or more!  Of course, that's not feasible.   A large portion of the design presents the imagery full page and doesn't need to be.  So we'll scale some of them down to accommodate all the artwork.  The good news is certainly that there's no lack of material to be included.   Don't worry, we wouldn't dream of leaving anything out!

Below are sample layout images.   Text has not yet been included.   I've got to get started on that as soon as possible. 

The images are from Tomb Raider - The Last Revelation and include a wire framed, pig-tailed Lara.  Creepy!    Not sure which is more unattractive, the floating eyeballs or the pigtails.

Please remember that this is all subject to change.

June 30, 2008

Japanese Edition - Official Art Book

God bless the internet!  I recently discovered a rare item which I've been able to procure from eBay.  Several years ago a limited edition Japanese  Tomb Raider - Official Art Book was released covering mostly the Angel of Darkness game.   Fortunately, the auction had a "Buy it Now" option so I didn't have to fight the poachers until the bitter end.   I was lucky enough to look through the book in London a few months ago compliments of Daniel and Chris from Planet Lara. I was careful not to spill my pint on it or worse, drool.   It is a lovely collection and I hope it makes the trip from Japan safely to my door. Fingers crossed!

James Kenny, concept artist from Angel of Darkness, went through about 100 of the images with me in Dublin (his present home) and clued me in on several new factoids.  At least, new to me.  A large majority of the AOD imagery in the art book was not even appropriate for the final game release.   According to Mr. Kenny, Core had developed a 3 part game storyline and most of the concept work in the Japanese art book was focused on Lara's adventures that took place after the storyline contained in the released game.  So our intention is to include this in the Dreams and Visions version and to clarify what those images are and the extended story.    

Exciting stuff! 

June 17, 2008

Dreams and Visions Press - Art of Tomb Raider

In the summer of 2007, Dreams and Visions Press released the impressive Art of Ralph McQuarrie compendium.   Many of you know Mr. McQuarrie's work through the original Star Wars Trilogy.   His work literally changed how contemporary cinema craftsmen approach the filmmaking process.   With a limited pressing (only 2000 copies world wide) the book was critically received by fans and artists alike. It contains simple pencil sketches to completed matte paintings and encompasses a large volume of Ralph McQuarrie's work.  A definite collector's item.   
After working with LucasFilm to complete the volume (does it get any more prestigious than that?)  Dreams and Visions Press set its sites on its sophomore release.     As a witness and mild participant throughout the process of the McQuarrie book creation (ask about Ralph's wife's shrimp sometime) and a massive fan of the Tomb Raider franchise) I sarcastically, but hopefully suggested to Stan Stice (owner of D&V) "The Art of Tomb Raider." Granted, I had selfish reasons for wanting Ms. Croft to be his next project.    His response was not what I expected.  Thank goodness.   While attending the Star Wars Euro Celebration in London, Stan arranged a meeting with Eidos.   Reluctant at first, and rightly so, I understand Eidos gets a ton of licensing queries, from the outrageous to the ridiculous: race horses, ladies pants, et al.   (Not really sure about the TP)  However, once the folks at Eidos got a hold of the Art of Ralph McQuarrie book, the meeting was on and by September of 2007, verbal commitments were in place.   

The Art of Tomb Raider would be Dreams and Visions Press' second effort.