A little background first. Steambot Studios consists of six artists who have worked in the visual entertainment industry for more than a decade. Clients include EA, Ubisoft, Disney, Blue Sky, Hasbro etc. Pretty impressive client list for six artists, namely Sebastian Larroude (Rainart), Nicolas Ferrand (Viag), Thierry Doizeon (Barontieri), Joel Dos Reis Viegas (Feerik), David Levy (Vyle) and Patrick Desgreniers.
I was expecting Exodyssey to be a portfolio art book. To my surprise, it's not. It's actually a series of concept paintings created off a story concept. Which means that these are created specifically for the book, for the artists themselves.
Here's an excerpt from the overview:
Exodyssey is the name given to the long and war-filled period of time during which humans departed for exo-planets in order to survive their own destruction. -- excerpt end
The book follows the journey of main protagonist Harry, a descendant of colonists who have left Earth. We'll get to see what he sees and experience as he travels on alternate Earth, Moon, Mars, space stations and discover new planets.
The concept art is based more on the environment of these planets, the architecture, vehicles and landscape. There are also quite a few elaborate character designs and, towards the back, alien lifeforms (spoilers!!). I would guess that most of them are digital paintings since the captions don't indicate, although a few pieces look very close to traditional medium. Also included are a few intricate 3D models that are painted over. The details are astonishing.
There's not much story per se as the captions by each of the artists really talk more about the scenes and concepts rather than the story. As a whole, this book looks a lot like a movie visual development book, especially with the tons of background paintings.
Without reading the text, no one would have believed that this 176-page book, filled to the brim with art and concept, is created by only six artists. It's a tremendous piece of effort and great showcase of talent.
Oh, there are both hardcover and paperback versions for the book. Without doubt, I recommend getting the hardcover. Why not?
One final note is the 4 small blurbs that appear in the book. They promote training DVDs and should probably go to the back of the book so as not to break the flow.
(More pictures are available on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)