THE BEST Art & Design

The Art of Star Wars: The Mandalorian (Season One)

The Art of Star Wars: The Mandalorian (Season One)

One of the many things we love about The Mandalorian is how they show concept art in the closing credits. This 256-page hardcover book lets you give some of these images a more permanent home. The book is packed with art and sketches, along with interviews with the cast, crew, and creative team behind the Disney+ series.

Animator Creating Animation

Animator Creating Animation

As we saw in his Batman & Superman clip, Animator DeeKay’s style is light and cheerful. In this clip, he takes us inside the process of creating one of his fun animations, as his digital avatar portrays the character doing the animation, and who creates a new friend in the process.

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Missed Calls: A Eulogy for the Movie Phone Booth

Missed Calls: A Eulogy for the Movie Phone Booth

Before cell phones, phone booths were the best way to get in touch when out and about. Enclosed for privacy, the confined glass spaces served as a useful prop for scenes of secrecy, suspense, revelation, and wonder in movies and TV. Little White Lies pays homage to the once-ubiquitous street fixture in this great video essay.

MakerMade M2 Cutting Machine

MakerMade M2 Cutting Machine

The M2 is a CNC machine that can automatically cut shapes in materials up to 4′ x 8′. Instead of taking up table space, it mounts on the wall and uses a precision chain drive to move a router on X/Y axes, while it can adjust the router Z-axis for depth. Sold in kit form, and the DeWalt 611 router shown is sold separately.

Bexar Goods Leather NES Console

Bexar Goods Leather NES Console

Luxury leather accessory maker Bexar Goods Co. created this one-of-a-kind NES console that’s been wrapped and handstitched in premium buck brown harness leather. Not only does it look incredible, but they’re also giving it away to one lucky person who enters online or makes any purchase by 11.25.2020.

Forging a Real War Hammer

Forging a Real War Hammer

While the war hammers you see in video games are enormous, the real ones were actually about the size of an ordinary axe, with a deadly point on the back end. This made them way more agile and deadly than the fantasy version. That Works walks us through the process of building a historically-accurate replica.

DIY Desktop Billboard

DIY Desktop Billboard

This tiny billboard lets you live out your graffiti fantasies right on your desktop. The kit is made from recycled chipboard and can be assembled in just a few minutes. Buy a bunch and create a whole bookshelf full of your own original street art. Grab ’em while you can. Sadly, its maker Boundless Brooklyn is closing up shop.

Jet Engine Camper

Jet Engine Camper

Builder Steve Jones got his hands on the jet engine nacelle from an old Royal Air Force VC10 airplane, and has since transformed the circular housing into a truly unique camper. It can sleep four in its cozy living space, which can transform into a dining room. Check out the full build history on the project’s Facebook page.

Ddiin Exlicon Drawing Tool

Ddiin Exlicon Drawing Tool

This unusual but versatile drawing tool from Hong Kong has a name that sounds like a character from The Mandalorian. It uses a set of modular bars that connect to a center wheel, allowing you to draw all kinds of shapes with ease, including circles, ellipses, pentagons, hexagons, golden ratio spirals, and more.

BeYou Transforming Chair

BeYou Transforming Chair

While we prefer to stand at our desks, sometimes we need to sit down. This unique chair adapts to you unlike any we’ve seen. It offers more than 10 main seating positions, and includes an adjustable backrest that doubles as an elevated seat and work surface, along with armrests that can expand the chair’s width.

Rocket & Klein Luxury Toy Cars

Rocket & Klein Luxury Toy Cars

Rocket & Klein’s limited-edition desktop toys are inspired by classic sports cars of the 1940s through the 1980s. They come in five streamlined shapes and are made using automotive-grade materials and coated with three layers of non-toxic, UV-resistant paint. Each car measures appx. 12″ long and rides on rubber tires.

Inside Pixar

Inside Pixar

With animated classics like Toy Story, Up, Wall-E, and Finding Nemo to their credit, every animation company on the planet aspires to be as good as Pixar. This new documentary series takes us inside Disney’s famed CG-animation studio to meet the creative minds behind the movies. Premieres on Disney+ 11.13.2020.

Psychedelic Soap Bubbles

Psychedelic Soap Bubbles

Photography expert Jens Heidler of Another Perspective shows off a neat effect you can create using various mixtures of liquid soap and sugar to create bubbles across the top of a drinking glass. The macro footage reveals all kinds of groovy patterns and gradients of color in the bubble slicks.

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Unreal Virtual Production 2020 Sizzle Reel

Unreal Virtual Production 2020 Sizzle Reel

Epic Games and Unreal Engine helped to develop the amazing virtual environments used to bring The Mandalorian to life. As this highlight reel shows, theirt technique of combining projected, camera-tracked CG environments with live actors and props has far-reaching potential for all kinds of video production.

Heroshelf Wall Organizer

Heroshelf Wall Organizer

Look! Up on your wall! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s an organizer shelf! Artori Design’s playful superhero shelf doubles as a piece of wall art. In addition to providing space on top for small items like watches, phones, and wallets, Supes’ extended arm and cape provide spots to hang keys or other stuff. Measures 16.5″w x 4.5″h.

Nobody Is Normal

Nobody Is Normal

One of the worst parts of childhood is feeling like you don’t fit in. In director Catherine Prowse’s animated short promo for UK children’s charity Childline, they remind us that there is no such thing as “normal” and if we all let our freak flags fly and accepted our differences, the world would be a better place.

Making a Custom Catan Set

Making a Custom Catan Set

The standard version of Catan comes with a thick paper playing surface and tiles. Kevlar DIY shows off a much more impressive Catan set that he built using black walnut wood, resin, and a variety of objects to create the game’s iconic hexagonal playing pieces.

Geometric Shadowcaster Lamps

Geometric Shadowcaster Lamps

The guys at ThunderDomes are in the business of building geodesic domes. But they also make some nifty LED lamps, which use 3D printing and cast resin structures to throw dramatic shadows onto walls, ceilings, and floors. They come in a variety of designs, with our favorite being the golden ratio spiral pattern.

Hydraulic Press vs. Steel Bridges

Hydraulic Press vs. Steel Bridges

Bridges can vary wildly in terms of strength depending on their structural design. The guys from the Hydraulic Press Channel welded together several miniature bridges from steel, then measured the force applied to each one to see which style is the strongest.

Mokapzu Park

Mokapzu Park

Art&Graft envisions a future in which most of the world’s animal and plant species have gone extinct, and science attempts to recreate these lost creatures through a combination of genetic engineering and motion capture. It’s like Jurassic Park, only much, much sillier.

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Building a Floating Cave Table

Building a Floating Cave Table

Inspired by a table design he saw from Slovenian Woodworker, builder John Malecki decided he wanted to build an even cooler looking version that uses a combination of laminated wood boards and crystal-clear acrylic to make it look like its top is floating in the air.

Concrete Alphabet

Concrete Alphabet

Taipei-based 22designstudio created these brutalist concrete characters based on a font by designer Haniboi. The 3D letters measure about 2″ h x 1.2″ l x 1.2″ w, and are sold individually so you can make whatever word you want with them. Because of import costs, the price drops substantially if you buy in quantity.

The Drone that Cannot Fly

The Drone that Cannot Fly

Making drones out of lightweight materials is a must if you want them to fly. But Motores Patelo went the opposite direction, and created a flightless drone out of metal. Sadly, he couldn’t record the whole build due to the lockdown, but the finished piece is still amazing… and could easily take off a finger.

Robot Hummingbird Films Butterflies

Robot Hummingbird Films Butterflies

Nature photographers John Downer Productions flew a realistic, robotic hummingbird deep into a forest packed with hundreds of millions of monarch butterflies. The drone captured amazing footage of the swarm as they awoke from their long winter’s nap in Mexico. From the BBC Series Spy in the Wild.

Intricate Ink Animal Coloring Books

Intricate Ink Animal Coloring Books

Looking for a real challenge? Look no further than illustrator Tim Jeffs‘ coloring books, each of which includes highly-detailed greyscale animal images, with lots of tight spaces for you to embellish. Each book has 25 images, printed on high quality paper and a lay-flat binding. Jeffs also offers coloring lessons in his Etsy shop.

Making a Plywood Bowling Ball

Making a Plywood Bowling Ball

Normally, bowling balls are made from a mix of chemicals. But The Q shows us how it’s possible to make one by cutting out 60 identical plywood triangles, gluing them into a sphere, filling it with foam and a weight, then sanding the structure smoothly. We’d like to play with that low-poly bowling ball before he sanded it.

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