Recent Reading: Summer Wars Material Book

I took a break in between The Flowers of Evil to read the Summer Wars Material Book from  Udon Entertainment. It isn’t so much a reading book as it is an art book. My art book collection is quite a variety and when I saw a Summer Wars book, I had to add it to my collection. If you haven’t seen Summer Wars, first off where have you been? Seconly, if you haven’t seen it, go watch it now. Check out the trailer below for what you can expect.

After checking out the trailer, you are probably wondering what a material book is. The Summer Wars Material Book covers all kinds of art assets from the movie. As you know, animation is a very time consuming process that involves many artists from a variety of backgrounds and specialties.

With that many people working on the same project, there needs to be a definitive guide for all of the artists to reference so characters are wearing the same clothes, hairstyles and more in each of the shots for continuity.

The book includes all of the character designs from the main characters to the characters that are only involved in a few shots. We have character model sheets and brief descriptions of some of the characters and what they were inspired by.

My personal favorite chapter, involves the designs of the world of Oz. It includes designs of character avatars, typography and even element designs. The book also includes a chapter on the designs, floor plans and more of the house and surrounding area where the majority of the movie takes place.

There is an interview with director Mamoru Hosoda as well. The interview provides some good insight to the start of the film and the retreats they took when they were designing characters and the story. I am always very fascinated to hear how others work and if there is anything I can add into my workflow. It is worth checking out if you are into anime production or the artwork. Hosoda is being regarded as the next Miyazaki too after his latest film Wolf Children. Whether you agree with that assessment, there is no doubting Hosoda’s talent.

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