Visions of WAR: The Art of Wayne Reynolds Hardcover

2.70/5 (based on 10 ratings)

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For much of the last decade, Wayne Reynolds has been the definitive artist of fantasy gaming. From cover paintings for major games like Warhammer, Dungeons & Dragons, and Pathfinder to concept illustrations for popular Reaper Miniatures gaming figures, Reynolds’s work has stoked the imaginations of a generation of gamers and fantasy enthusiasts. Now, for the first time ever, comes a huge 256-page collection of Wayne Reynolds’s most treasured works from a variety of publishers. Take a glimpse into fantastic worlds through the eyes of a grand master of the craft with Visions of WAR!

ISBN: 978-1-60125-425-2

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2.70/5 (based on 10 ratings)

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Low-Res Artbook: Missing the Point

1/5

I have several issues with it above and beyond the pixelization / low-resolution images that other reviewers have covered:

1. The overuse of white space. As has been mentioned, none of the pictures have commentary or anything of those lines. So if you only have one picture on the page, there's no need for it to be shrunk down to only taking up about a quarter of the page. Yet this book consistently does just this...not just with the sketches, but with the fully finished pieces as well. This probably links back to the resolution problem, as the smaller they print the images on the page, the less likely that people are to notice the pixelization / blurring.

2. That Paizo may not have been able to get full-resolution images for some of the works he did for other companies (notably WotC) is understandable, if disappointing. But some of the problem images are for his work on Paizo products. How is it that, for example, the core rulebook cover printed full size on the Core Rulebook looks so much better than it does printed at a much smaller size in this artbook?

3. All in all, I would consider these to be minor issues if this was an RPG book. For example, the 3.5 Campaign Setting book has some pixelization on the cover, and that never really bothered me. But this is an art book. The point is the art. If you can't do the art justice in an art book, then there's no point to it.


Missing the point of an art book

1/5

An art book is about the art. Showcasing the art is the primary purpose of such a book, and I have to say that this book does a terrible job of it. Much of the art is low quality (noticeable pixelation and improper colouring). The layout of the art is at best, boring.

I wish I was not giving this book a 1 star rating, but I feel I must do what I can to warn others to not waste their coin on this tome.


A true opus.

5/5

There are a few production problems with this book of art. The other reviewers have more than explored those. I can only say, for my part, that I absolutely love this book. What flaws it has are easily overtopped by the fact that it is a true opus of Mr. Reynolds work. To see his world-defining art compiled in one book is stunning. The real value of this book is seeing the artists work evolve(as it helped define the look of the settings we love) over time.


Great art, poor production

3/5

As a huge fan of Wayne Reynolds' artwork, I have been looking forward to this book since it was announced, but reading the reviews here I started to worry. I got my copy in the mail yesterday, and although I would still recommend this book, I also feel it could have been much better.

The selection of work is excellent- the only thing I really felt was missing was more of his interior work for D&D 3rd edition books, such as the Monster Manuals. Most of the art is reproduced clearly, including all of the landscape-format Eberron covers.

The problem is, as others have mentioned, the quality of many of the other images in the book. At least 25-30% of the pictures are visibly blurry, fuzzy, or pixelated. This is not a printing error- this is clearly a formatting error, so every book will have the same problem. Tragically, it affects some of the most iconic work in the book, including the Pathfinder and D&D 4th edition core rulebook covers, some of his standout Dungeon and Dragon magazine covers, and some of the Rise of the Runelords and all of the Curse of the Crimson Throne AP covers. With the landscape format AP covers already being printed so small, the fuzziness ruins the sharp and intricate detail Reynolds is known for.

I am still happy to have a collection of Wayne Reynolds' artwork, but I am very disappointed that some of my favorite paintings may as well not be in the book because the reproduction is so poor, and I remain baffled as to how Paizo could fail to get full-resolution copies of artwork from their own RPG.


Seriously Disappointed

2/5

I know it's been said in other reviews but I need to say it again the pixelation/bluriness of the images just kills the book. I picked up from my local comic store today and as I browsed though I saw one blurry picture and thought ok one misprint no big deal but asI kept seeing page after page of blurry images I was very upset. Paizo is usually very good about releasing quality products but this book is not one of them. I love Wayne Reynolds art and sincerely hope Paizo does something to rectify this mistake.


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Wow, I ordered this item December 22, 2011. I like the new cover though I will miss the old one.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

4 people marked this as a favorite.

It really will be out at Gen Con this year*! It has gone to the printer and everything!

*:
Unless, you know, there's a problem getting it printed, or shipped, or through US Customs... Or we run out of gas. Or... or we have a flat tire. We don't have enough money for cab fare. Our tux doesn't come back from the cleaners. An old friend comes in from out of town. Someone steals our car. There could be an earthquake. A terrible flood. Locusts!


So happy to hear this is releasing (relatively) soon!


Vic Wertz wrote:

It really will be out at Gen Con this year*! It has gone to the printer and everything!

** spoiler omitted **

well:
Someone is predicting an economical crash, let's pray it doesn't happen.
Silver Crusade

Oh yes.

Picking this up at GenCon for sure. WAR's booth at Gencon is going to get zerg rushed if he's there this year.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Is the cover of this inside the book as well (ie will those getting the limited edition still see this cover?)

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

YES


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Cheers, Erik.


Dragon78 wrote:
Wow, I ordered this item December 22, 2011. I like the new cover though I will miss the old one.

I suspect the image will be found inside.

Looking forward to it! I hope you will send this to retailers. My not-having-a-credit-card has so far prevented me from ordering anything directly.


How early is "early August"?
Subscriptions are set to go out on August 9th and I'm curious as to whether this book will be in your hands early enough to bundle it with that?

Webstore Gninja Minion

GentleGiant wrote:

How early is "early August"?

Subscriptions are set to go out on August 9th and I'm curious as to whether this book will be in your hands early enough to bundle it with that?

You can include this in your sidecart with your August subscriptions.

Dark Archive

Vic Wertz wrote:
Ravenmantle wrote:
A choice has been made by the people releasing the book (in this case either Paizo or Wayne Reynolds or both) and as with every other choice any publisher makes, this choice removes a part of the potential customer base.
To be clear, the "choice" not to release it in PDF form is neither ours nor Wayne's; the book contains several important images for which neither Wayne nor Paizo own the rights to distribute digitally. (I suppose you could say we made the choice by including those images... but not including them would diminish the book as an overview of Wayne's career.)

Which is perfectly understandable. With that said any chance maybe you guys could make a nice little collection of hi-rez copies of all the art work in the book you can and put it up as a PDF for people that bought the book?


Liz Courts wrote:
GentleGiant wrote:

How early is "early August"?

Subscriptions are set to go out on August 9th and I'm curious as to whether this book will be in your hands early enough to bundle it with that?
You can include this in your sidecart with your August subscriptions.

Thanks Liz!

Contributor

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Mikaze wrote:

Oh yes.

Picking this up at GenCon for sure. WAR's booth at Gencon is going to get zerg rushed if he's there this year.

Thanks for your interest in the artbook.

Yes, I have a table in the GenCon artshow this year. I won't have any copies for sale at the artshow but it will be available to purchase at the Paizo booth.
The first 16 books I sign will get something extra included :)

Look forward to seeing you in 2 weeks!

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Wayne Reynolds wrote:
Mikaze wrote:

Oh yes.

Picking this up at GenCon for sure. WAR's booth at Gencon is going to get zerg rushed if he's there this year.

Thanks for your interest in the artbook.

Yes, I have a table in the GenCon artshow this year. I won't have any copies for sale at the artshow but it will be available to purchase at the Paizo booth.
The first 16 books I sign will get something extra included :)

Look forward to seeing you in 2 weeks!

:D

starts doing stretches, maps route

orders running shoes

with go-faster stripes


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Give him a salute from me for setting the tone for the fantastic art of Pathfinder. :)

Silver Crusade

Can do!

Mikaze wrote:
Wayne Reynolds wrote:
Mikaze wrote:

Oh yes.

Picking this up at GenCon for sure. WAR's booth at Gencon is going to get zerg rushed if he's there this year.

Thanks for your interest in the artbook.

Yes, I have a table in the GenCon artshow this year. I won't have any copies for sale at the artshow but it will be available to purchase at the Paizo booth.
The first 16 books I sign will get something extra included :)

Look forward to seeing you in 2 weeks!

:D

starts doing stretches, maps route

orders running shoes

with go-faster stripes

eyes crowd at door

This may be more difficult than I thought.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Good luck. :D

Silver Crusade

double-checks the area and map

>:|

moves over to Door J instead of I

:)

Silver Crusade

Still in line, but...

This is an awesome book. Excellent selection of art from over the years. :)


I just got my copy this morning. It is a very beautiful book.

Thank you, Paizo for taking a chance and publishing this collection. I hope it is profitable for you.

Thank you, Wayne Reynolds. I appreciate how your art helps make our games come alive. Hopefully, we'll be seeing a Volume II in the future.

Scarab Sages

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Love it.

Liberty's Edge

I didn't read thru all of this, but does it have a bunch of cool art of female heroes wearing...you know...more than 4 square inches of clothes?

'Cause if so my wife would love it. She is a big fan of the fact that Paizo has a lot of sensibly clad female heroes.

Shadow Lodge

The Shining Fool wrote:
I didn't read thru all of this, but does it have a bunch of cool art of female heroes wearing...you know...more than 4 square inches of clothes?

I hear some of them are wearing up to FIVE square inches of "clothing".


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Wayne Reynolds is Pathfinder.

His art attracted me to the books in the first place and this is a done deal for me.

Silver Crusade

The Shining Fool wrote:

I didn't read thru all of this, but does it have a bunch of cool art of female heroes wearing...you know...more than 4 square inches of clothes?

'Cause if so my wife would love it. She is a big fan of the fact that Paizo has a lot of sensibly clad female heroes.

More than quite a bit. :)

Grand Lodge

Just ordered the limited edition version. Can't wait to get my hands on this. I have to say I've loved Wayne's art since the early days of 3.5.


The Shining Fool wrote:

I didn't read thru all of this, but does it have a bunch of cool art of female heroes wearing...you know...more than 4 square inches of clothes?

'Cause if so my wife would love it. She is a big fan of the fact that Paizo has a lot of sensibly clad female heroes.

After flipping through** my copy, there is a mix of Cheesecake clothing and sensible clothing. After all, Seoni features pretty prominently in the art, but you've also got the Iconic Gunslinger, the Ninja, Seelah the Paladin, and a slew of NPC's who are wearing normal clothing.

**:
When I say "flipping through," I truly mean flipping through. I have not taken the time yet to really look through this book yet. I mostly have riffled the pages looking for action scenes that caught my eye.


I was planning on getting this but the latest review has me getting cold feet - if the images are scanned poorly, pixelated etc, what is the point?

I'm definitely a WAR fan. I'm not a fan of squinting. Any other divergent opinions?


Pixelated? Weird.

There weren't any issues with the image quality in my copy.

*Thumbs through my copy again*

Okay, I am looking at the picture that review calls out as a poor quality picture (Lyssa on p. 243), and I can't even see the problems that Mr. Shiny is talking about.

Maybe he has a bad printing or something?

Anyways, the book's gorgeous.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Oceanshieldwolf wrote:

I was planning on getting this but the latest review has me getting cold feet - if the images are scanned poorly, pixelated etc, what is the point?

I'm definitely a WAR fan. I'm not a fan of squinting. Any other divergent opinions?

FWIW, I'm not really much of an art fan, but I havent regretted purchasing this. I got the collector's edition, but I dont think that matters with regard to the inside.

I had no issues at all with quality - to the point where I can't even see what the reviewer is referring to. He's obviously better educated in the field than I am, so I wonder if he's looking at things at some minute level. In my perfect world, the book would have been a trifle bigger, but I wasnt disappointed at the artwork included.

There were a number of 'rough drafts' opposite the finished piece - those sometimes looked rougher round the edges, but I think that was an intentional styling choice rather than poor quality images.


OK! Thanks for the input guys. I'm back to wishing for this book. :)


I don't see any pixilation so maybe the person got a bad copy or just needs to get there eyes checked.


I got my limited edition copy over the weekend. Great book! I didn't realize some of the areas outside of D&D and Pathfinder that Wayne has worked on. I do wish one of my favorite pieces of art where the cleric is tossing the Wand of Orcus into the Tarrasque's mouth was in there but so many great pieces are included it's hard to complain.

L


Any chance of people getting refunds for a poorly put together art book? At least a third of the images are pixelated as if the layout artist doesn't know how to use InDesign. It's really disappointing that this book had one job, show off art, and it does it poorly.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Best thing is to email customer service a few pictures of the error. They should be able to help (though might take them a couple of days to get to it at the moment, given they're a little under the pump).


I'm very curious if others have received books with pixelated images? I have a book coming shortly, which is a present to someone else, and will buy it for myself in a short while. So maybe some of them have misprints (the image not rendering completely before printing?) while others are fine.
It would be great to hear something official whether they are aware of misprints in some of the books.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens Subscriber

Definitely interested, but will wait until the alleged pixelation issue is clarified.


I haven't noticed any glaring issues. I only had a very brief flick through this morning before work though, as it showed up while I was getting ready to leave.

The only comment I'd make is that some of the images from the Magic: The Gathering section (specifically some of the Lorwyn Kinfolk cards) look a little out of focus, but without going through my collection of cards to dredge out all my old Lorwyn stuff, I couldn't compare them. It certainly doesn't detract from the beauty of the artwork.

I might have a proper look through it tonight and do a review myself, depends on how I'm going after work.


For the sake of full disclosure, I should mention that I've got the Limited Edition version of the book. I don't expect that layout etc would have changed, but just in case.


Hmm. There really does seem to be a variation in reviews and comments. Any chance of some comment from Paizo? I really like WAR's artwork and want to get this book - if it is quality. I'm not interested in the limited edition but I don't want a a bunch of sub-par renderings of awesome artwork in this volume...


Well, on a more thorough look through, there are some (certainly not all, and certainly not to the extent that some people seem to be saying) images that have some blurring. I had to look pretty closely to notice it, as I said before there were only a couple that at first glance even appeared apparent to me. I'm not seeing the pixilation that some people are talking about either.

Personally, I think the book is gorgeous overall, and I'd not have a problem recommending at least the normal edition. That said, I accept no responsibility for what your feelings on it might be :P we might have very different standards for all I know.

One thing that seemed a bit odd is that the limited edition may actually have one less image than the rest, in that there's a note that the rear cover comes from one of the Wrath of the Righteous books (it's downstairs at the moment and I can't be bothered going and checking which one), but I don't recall seeing that image in the book itself. That said, I could be wrong and it could be there. Not really a problem either way, just struck me as a little strange, given that the front cover is included in the interior content.


Thanks for the input Tinkergoth. I guess I'm concerned that there might be variation within a printing run. Either that or some people have better eyesight/ higher standards etc etc...


Oceanshieldwolf wrote:
Thanks for the input Tinkergoth. I guess I'm concerned that there might be variation within a printing run. Either that or some people have better eyesight/ higher standards etc etc...

It's certainly a possibility. For what it's worth, I'm the only person in my family who doesn't wear glasses, and when I got my license a couple of years ago I apparently scored better on the vision test than something like 97% of the people who take it :P

Obviously that doesn't take standards and expectations into account, but at least my vision is fine...


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I picked up a copy and i noticed the issues that people have been bring up. Is it a real issue? No. There is slight pixelation of some of the image but due to knowing that WAR works in traditional paints and NOT DIGITALLY. It looks like the image is due to the photographer, NOT the layout person. This often happens when and image is taken for use for web and had only a 72 to 150 DPI (Dots per inch) resolution and they image is increased to 300 DPI (The standard DPI for print work, while 72 in the minimum for video) in Photoshop.

Technically speaking, when photoshop increases the resolution of an image Photoshop will calculate the distance between each pixel and when the resolution is increased and create a pixel that should fit into that space. Since this is a estimation of the image it is not correct giving it that "pixelated" or blurry effect even though it is 300 DPI.


Ah, that makes sense. I'd been wondering what medium he works in, and in light of that it would certainly explain the occasional blurring.


If that's the case, as LMPjr007 mentions, I'm curious as to why a bigger resolution (300+ dpi) wasn't provided for the compilation. It could, of course, be because the original painting is no longer in Wayne's possession and the art hasn't been scanned/photographed in a higher resolution at any point in its history.

Maybe a list of the images people find pixelated could be compiled, just to provide a reference in case there are actual printing problems?


Thanks for the further information Louis. Your technical knowledge is welcome and graphic design chops are known to me! So your summation is likely enough to quell my fears.

I was actually really stoked to find out recently that Wayne uses only acrylics! Yay for the humble acrylic paint!!!


Oceanshieldwolf wrote:

Thanks for the further information Louis. Your technical knowledge is welcome and graphic design chops are known to me! So your summation is likely enough to quell my fears.

I was actually really stoked to find out recently that Wayne uses only acrylics! Yay for the humble acrylic paint!!!

It does dry awfully quick, which I imagine is super cool with the turnaround speeds the industry demands. :)


I will throw in here that some images are a touch blurry and in some cases a bit dark. This could be artifacts of the printing itself I may add. It did not lessen my enjoyment of the book, but it is noticeable enough to be worthy of comment.

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