Back in February I found the work of Rasmus Berggreen, a great concept artist who has worked on games like Hitman: Absolution. In September of 2014 Rasmus and his company MOOD launched a Kickstarter campaign for a book called Fall of Gods. The book is almost a cross between a graphic novel and an illustrated children’s book. It is filled with pages and pages of epic digital paintings by Rasmus which tell a grand story based off of Norse mythological tales of old.
What drew me to this book Fall of Gods was not only the epic story but also the concept art style of illustration. Rasmus combines drawing, painting, and photographs in photoshop to create entirely new images with a high level of detail and realism. This sort of technique, called “Digital Matte Painting” or just “Matte Painting” before the digital age, is often used in the film industry to replace skies and extend landscapes. If you’re a fan of Peter Jackson’s movie The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings Trilogy you’ve probably seen a lot of Matte Painting on screen without realizing it.
While there is no shortage of concept art on the web there is a smaller amount of concept art that is also combined with photographs and yet an even smaller amount of books that are illustrated in this fashion. I would even venture to say that Fall of Gods is one of a few, if not one of a kind, in terms of the book’s overall illustration style, layout, and storyline. It’s nice to see that concept art feel pushed to the forefront of a viewing medium like this book when so often the concept art itself does not make it through to the final presentation in a video game or feature film.
I’m very glad that Rasmus has a chance to shine in the spotlight a little bit with this book and also reveal a bit more of what a concept artist can really do. I think that professional titles get muddied during the credits of a game or movie and it’s sometimes hard to tell what one department really does that sets them apart from one another. This book really defines the concept artist department for me and makes things a little less murky. I feel like I could better describe what a concept artist does now that I’ve read this book which may be a good selling point for you if you’re thinking about picking up a copy.
And if that’s not enough, Eon Sounds, a “Music scoring, production and licensing company for TV, Films, Trailers and Games” contacted me on Twitter the other day and said that they had made an OST for Fall of Gods. This book has its own original soundtrack. That’s awesome!
To add even more awesomeness, 20th Century Fox is picking up Fall of Gods for a movie.
I think that is just the coolest thing that someone could:
- Come up with an idea for a book
- Write and Illustrate that book
- Gain support for their book on Kickstarter and get their book published
- Get an original soundtrack made for their book
- Have a major TV/Film production company want to make their book into a movie.
I’m so psyched for the movie and also the sequel to this book if and when there is one. I’ll keep you posted if I hear anything else.