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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GentleGiant wrote:
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.

Most likely the images are not in his possession and the person taking the image didn't know about about how photoshop added pixels to images it enlarges them. In my 20+ years of being a graphic designer I have run into A LOT of people who "use" photoshop but don't really understand that actual technical side of the program. It happens sometimes, but what happened here doesn't detract from his great work and this fantastic art book.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Here is a list of every page that is messed up:
20, 21, 23, 24, 25, 26 (for a comparison of how these images should look, see page 27), 31, 32, 43, 45, 47, 55, 58, 59, 60, (look at 61 those are good images), top image of 66, bottom image of 67, bottom of 68, 108, 109, 112 (one of the worst), 113, 114, 115, 119, 121, 124, 125, (look at the difference between 125 and the spread on 126-127), 128, 129, 139, 140, 149 (Lem's sketch), 154, 155, 156 (I own the AP these images are in and they look better, so I know a high res is available!), bottom 158, 159, 164, 166 (IT'S THE CORE BOOK IMAGE, IT GETS PRINTED AT A LARGER SIZE ALL THE TIME!!), 167, 168, 169, 171, 172, 181, 182, 197, spread on 232-233, 234, 235, 236, 237, 241 (oh god), 247, 251, and finally 256 even his own photo is pixelated...

I'm not pointing all these out to be an a-hole. It's because I REALLY like his art and it/he deserve so much more than this. His art is part of the reason I fell in love with Eberron.

After examining all the pages I'm in agreement with LMPjr007 this looks like a photoshop/scanning issue.


I gotta tell you, with all these apparent problems, middling reviews, and issues with presentation, I'm really having second thoughts about buying this. $30 + shipping is a big chunk of my entertainment budget so if it's not really worth the money I guess I'll skip it.


That... is a lot of images that are apparently messed up somehow. I have the book on the way, intended to be a gift, so I'm very, very curious as to how it looks.
If it really is that bad then neither Paizo nor Wayne can be happy with the result.
I would still love some kind of official weigh-in on this.
I know it has been pushed down the pipeline a couple of times, but Sarah and her crew usually do a splendid job on everything art and lay-out related.

Scarab Sages

I am sad to say that there are indeed issues with some pictures in this otherwise pretty book - nillics list above is pretty good, although with some of the pictures it is less of an issue then with others.

Overall, I like the book, but it could have been much better.


Lyingbastard wrote:
I gotta tell you, with all these apparent problems, middling reviews, and issues with presentation, I'm really having second thoughts about buying this. $30 + shipping is a big chunk of my entertainment budget so if it's not really worth the money I guess I'll skip it.

Yes, this is my concern - paying for shipping of sub-par replications of awesome artwork is not high on my list. I too wish for some official comment, or even from Wayne himself. I am a diehard fan, and as such I want the best...I really want this book, and the price is sweet, but adding shipping to Oz and the possibility of it being pixellated (including the pic from the cover of the Core Rulebook!?!) makes my finances skeptical...

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Rulebook Subscriber

just cross posting here from the LE printing of this, which has the same production/layout issues. Wondering if anyone has an official comment on this product?

Grand Lodge

I'm also holding out on buying the book until an official comment is made.


This was just an amazing collection of art!

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Folks,

Thanks for your feedback on the image quality in this book. In many cases, the images in question are very old, and came directly from Wayne. When choosing between not having a piece of art at all, or using the best quality of image available to us, we chose to err on the side of inclusion, particularly if the image quality was not distracting.

Some of the pages listed by nillic, for example, are either sketches in the first place or take a fair amount of study to even notice that there is a problem.

Others perhaps should not have been included, or we should have worked harder to find a higher-resolution image, but in our opinion these images are very much in the minority.

Each customer will have to take a look at the printed book and make the decision for themselves as to whether this precludes a purchase or not.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Quote:
Each customer will have to take a look at the printed book and make the decision for themselves as to whether this precludes a purchase or not.

That'd be great advice if a lot of people (a majority, I think) don't order it over your website.

Shadow Lodge

What pisses me off about this is the decision to make the limited edition. From Erik Mona's post, it seems clear to me that Paizo knew that quite a few of the images would be of a lesser quality. Yet they still advertised and sold what I can now only refer to as a cash-grab edition, at 50% higher of a price than the regular edition that people are expressing such disappointment over.

I was one of the stupid few who upgraded to the cash-grab edition. I feel really bad about it, because it was such a last minute decision...some of the books had already started to ship when I switched out.

Even the bad images are still pretty decent, but if I had it to do over again, I definitely would only get the standard edition...if that. After all, the point of the book is the art...if the best that some of reproduction of that art can live up to is "decent", then the book is rather a failure.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Toadkiller Dog wrote:
Quote:
Each customer will have to take a look at the printed book and make the decision for themselves as to whether this precludes a purchase or not.
That'd be great advice if a lot of people (a majority, I think) don't order it over your website.

::shrug:: I don't have a great solution for you, unfortunately. This is very much in the eye of the beholder. I suggest trying to check it out in a local store if you are nervous about purchasing sight unseen.


Quote:
This is very much in the eye of the beholder.

Is it, though? A lot of people are complaining and even you yourself said that there are images that aren't top quality.

Quote:
I suggest trying to check it out in a local store if you are nervous about purchasing sight unseen.

I pre-ordered it a year and a half ago, so it's not that important anymore, it's just annoying to wait that much for a product that seems to be disappointing for a lot of people.


Kthulhu wrote:

What pisses me off about this is the decision to make the limited edition. From Erik Mona's post, it seems clear to me that Paizo knew that quite a few of the images would be of a lesser quality. Yet they still advertised and sold what I can now only refer to as a cash-grab edition, at 50% higher of a price than the regular edition that people are expressing such disappointment over.

I was one of the stupid few who upgraded to the cash-grab edition. I feel really bad about it, because it was such a last minute decision...some of the books had already started to ship when I switched out.

Even the bad images are still pretty decent, but if I had it to do over again, I definitely would only get the standard edition...if that. After all, the point of the book is the art...if the best that some of reproduction of that art can live up to is "decent", then the book is rather a failure.

This is a really unfair characterization of Paizo as a company. As I have stated before, this sort of thing is very common in the publishing industry. I am sure they did not know until the artwork was in house at Paizo and they had several conversations on what to do. The marketing for the book was done at least 9 months before the images came in and this was the best decision to be made to make the best book possible.

Shadow Lodge

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I'm sorry, but one of the problem images is the Core Rulebook cover. There's absolutely no excuse whatsoever for that. This book was massively delayed, and the end product was still a pretty big disappointment. I can accept the justification for some of the pictures...but the fact that the Core Rulebook cover image is one of those affected just shows either a monumental lack of oversight, or a lack of giving a damn.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Toadkiller Dog wrote:
Quote:
This is very much in the eye of the beholder.
Is it, though? A lot of people are complaining and even you yourself said that there are images that aren't top quality.

I bought the collector's edition and am very happy with my purchase.

.
The sketches I consider to be a feature, not a bug and with respect to the other perceived flaws, I cant see the problem others are. I cheerfully admit may just be my ignorance of art, but the disappintment is not universal (I think there's a natural bias to reporting problems over reporting that a product is as expected).


I'll reiterate - I have a limited edition, and my book does not have any problems with its image quality.

There may have been printing issues with some of the copies? I just looked again at the pages Nillic cited, and mine are fine.


Gosh this really is a disappointment. I was planning on giving a few of these as gifts this year. I really would like paizo to offer something more than a deflecting statement and a shrug.

If previously printed art really is poorly represented then that deserves more of an explanation than "we should have worked harder"

I will probably still pick up a copy. I really hope there were just some one-off issues with QC.


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

I'm not an artist, just someone who might buy a book like this to look at. Working from the list of 'problem' images, I can usually see what the issue is, but it's mostly not stuff I'd have noticed without the list showing what to look for. I'm personally satisfied with my purchase. YMMV.


BigDTBone wrote:

Gosh this really is a disappointment. I was planning on giving a few of these as gifts this year. I really would like paizo to offer something more than a deflecting statement and a shrug.

If previously printed art really is poorly represented then that deserves more of an explanation than "we should have worked harder"

I will probably still pick up a copy. I really hope there were just some one-off issues with QC.

There sure is an awful lot of unjustified entitlement in this conversation--from demands that the book be a PDF to demands that Paizo "explain" why each and every whiny customer isn't 100% happy with their purchase.

It's the same as any other purchase. You buy it if you want it, and caveat emptor. Do your research. Paizo puts out a lot of products, and not every one is going to appeal to every customer the same.

For me, it was Faction Guide that made me open up my eyes. What I wanted as a great description of a bunch of organizations that I could use in a game. What I got was a fiddly new rule system that I didn't need, and in many cases less description than was already available in the campaign setting anyway. Did I loudly proclaim over the internet that Paizo cheated me and owed me an explanation? No, I realized that my expectations were not necessarily aligned with Paizo's design goals. From that point on, I made sure that I did some research and didn't just buy everything sight-unseen from Paizo anymore.

Rather, what annoys me is that Vision of WAR has been out for weeks and we're still waiting for our Amazon pre-orders to ship. I had a gift-card, give me a break. But I don't blame Paizo for that either. I'm OK with delayed gratification.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

My hardcover is of stunning quality. I've spent more time with it than any of my other August subs, including mythic adventures, and couldn't be happier with this presentation of WAR's work. I hope to get around to writing up a review in the very near future.

Thanks, Paizo!

Owner - House of Books and Games LLC

Okay, here's my two cents. All opinions are my own :)

I have both the limited and regular edition.

Before looking at the criticisms of the individual images, I leafed through my book myself to see if I noticed any "horrifying pixelation."

Dunno if I should be ashamed or not, but I did not. I did notice that some images seemed less clear than others, but that was about it and I attributed it to source or age.

Then I went through the list of actual pages with issues. Yep, given a page and having someone say "compare *this* with *that*" I can definitely see the issues, but I couldn't before they were pointed out.

However, I do think some of the complaints are 100% justified. When there's a bunch of sketches all of the same vintage (pages 26 and 27 come to mind here), or ones that Paizo themselves have rights to (the cover of the Core Rulebook comes to mind), I completely agree that having even the level of degradation that is evident is a flaw that could and should have been entirely avoided.

Am I sorry I bought the book? Hell no, WAR is one of my favorite 4 artists in the world (WAR, Whelan, Mapplethorpe and Nagel), but it is a shame that whoever did the layout let such flaws slip through, and that person should definitely accept some of the responsibility.

The crux of the matter: if you are an artist or you work in the field, you will notice these things. The book is NOT horribly defective by any stretch of the imagination, but there are errors in it that could have been avoided, unfortunately.


Hobo wrote:
BigDTBone wrote:

Gosh this really is a disappointment. I was planning on giving a few of these as gifts this year. I really would like paizo to offer something more than a deflecting statement and a shrug.

If previously printed art really is poorly represented then that deserves more of an explanation than "we should have worked harder"

I will probably still pick up a copy. I really hope there were just some one-off issues with QC.

There sure is an awful lot of unjustified entitlement in this conversation--from demands that the book be a PDF to demands that Paizo "explain" why each and every whiny customer isn't 100% happy with their purchase.

It's the same as any other purchase. You buy it if you want it, and caveat emptor. Do your research. Paizo puts out a lot of products, and not every one is going to appeal to every customer the same.

For me, it was Faction Guide that made me open up my eyes. What I wanted as a great description of a bunch of organizations that I could use in a game. What I got was a fiddly new rule system that I didn't need, and in many cases less description than was already available in the campaign setting anyway. Did I loudly proclaim over the internet that Paizo cheated me and owed me an explanation? No, I realized that my expectations were not necessarily aligned with Paizo's design goals. From that point on, I made sure that I did some research and didn't just buy everything sight-unseen from Paizo anymore.

Rather, what annoys me is that Vision of WAR has been out for weeks and we're still waiting for our Amazon pre-orders to ship. I had a gift-card, give me a break. But I don't blame Paizo for that either. I'm OK with delayed gratification.

I'm assuming this comment is directed at me because I was quoted. Looking at my quote I don't see any demands.

What I was looking for was for someone on the Paizo staff to make a comment about what, if anything, they are doing to make this right. I don't particularly care what happened to cause the problem. What would be nice is to know is if this is an isolated incident of a handful of poor prints or if it is an isolated incident of a handful of consumers with expectations which were set too high.

That said, this is not an issue of crunch/fluff where someone got too much of some and not enough of another. This is an art book. If the art isn't represented well that is a legitimate concern and not people being entitled and whiny.

I would also suggest that doing one's research, as you suggest, would include asking questions of the manufacturer on the product page of the item in question on the manufacturer's website.


Don't assume that. I specifically spoke to the thread overall.

Paizo Employee Customer Service Dire Care Bear Manager

1 person marked this as a favorite.
BigDTBone wrote:


What I was looking for was for someone on the Paizo staff to make a comment about what, if anything, they are doing to make this right. I don't particularly care what happened to cause the problem. What would be nice is to know is if this is an isolated incident of a handful of poor prints or if it is an isolated incident of a handful of consumers with expectations which were set too high.

That said, this is not an issue of crunch/fluff where someone got too much of some and not enough of another. This is an art book. If the art isn't represented well that is a legitimate concern and not people being entitled and whiny.

I would also suggest that doing one's research, as you suggest, would include asking questions of the manufacturer on the product page of the item in question on the manufacturer's website.

I'm sorry you aren't happy with your book!

If you think it might be caused by a misprint during the manufacturing process, please email customer service an example of the issue. If you are refering to slight pixelation on some of the images, it sounds like that issue has already been addressed up thread by Erik Mona.

If you'd like to return a copy purchased from Paizo, just send you book along with a note including the order number and reason for return to the address listed on our contact us page. We are happy to refund the purchase price. Please make sure if you choose to return your item that it is packed in a similar fashion to how it was received to ensure it arrives back to us in good condition. If you purchased your copy through another means, you'll want to contact that seller for a return. If they are unwilling or unable, please contact customer service via email at customer.service@paizo.com.

thanks
sara marie


I just thumbed through the non-special edition at the local bookstore tonight, and it looked legit - I didn't see any glitches.


I think I'll get the book regardless...


Thanks Sara,

I will be keeping my copy. I just need to make sure I buy any gift copies someplace where I can see them first. Hopefully this is an isolated issue.

Thanks Again!

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hi can anyone who got this tell me if art for the dungeon magazine Iconics Paizo did in this at all? (Specificly the character sketches)


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Kevin Mack wrote:
Hi can anyone who got this tell me if art for the dungeon magazine Iconics Paizo did in this at all? (Specificly the character sketches)

I don't know what you're referring to, but in the Dungeonds and Dragons section there are four character sketches titled iconic monk, iconic Druid, iconic barbarian and iconic wizard.

They each list Dungeon as source, 2006 as the year and paizo/wotc as publisher.

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