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Digital Sci-Fi Art: A Step-by-step Guide to Creating Stunning, Futuristic Images Paperback – 13 Sep 2004

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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: ILEX (13 Sept. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1904705324
  • ISBN-13: 978-1904705321
  • Product Dimensions: 20.2 x 1.4 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,048,446 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Visions of future worlds have always exercised a powerful fascination. From the pulp artists of the '30s, through the airbrush artists of the '70s and '80s, to today's CGI animators, science-fiction has always provided the artist with a blank canvas on which their imagination could run wild. Today, as more artists enter the digital arena, these alien vistas, towering cityscapes, vast spacecraft and strange lifeforms are becoming breathtakingly realistic. With the right tools, you can bring your wildest dreams to virtual life. At the heart of Digital Sci-Fi Art is a detailed survey of the key techniques involved in creating these visionary masterpieces, with step-by-step workthroughs showing in detail how science fiction art takes digital form. These examples sit alongside a showcase of some of the best contemporary sci-fi illustration being produced anywhere in the world. With users of both 2D and 3D graphics applications catered for, Digital Sci-Fi Art is an inspirational as well as practical volume for digital artists at every level.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By ravells on 30 Oct. 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Being reasonably new to SF digital art I found this book an excellent primer on techiques to improve my work. The book covers the use of 2d art applications (e.g. photoshop or PSP) and 3d applications (Bryce etc.). The tutorials comprise a finished product and a step by step guide by the artist as to how he got there. Burns deals with general principles rather than specific applicaitons (although these are mentioned) so the techniques descibed have a universal application. My only small gripe is that the screenshots of the works in progress are too small, so it is hard to make out all of the information on the screen (e.g. layers). Nevertheless this is a great book to get if you are just starting out, but will not tell advanced users anything new.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By James Burnwood VINE VOICE on 25 Feb. 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you're inspired to get into sci-fi art, 3D, matte paintings whatever, this book is a great starting point. It tells you about all the various softwares available, what they do and what can be achieved. It covers things you might need to consider. It's not strictly a technical manual, but it gets the points to consider across. Many many wonderful renderings and pictures to get you motivated as well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Liam Nicholson on 5 Dec. 2010
Format: Paperback
I by no means intend to insult the artists used in this book, but the standard of a lot of work included as examples is incredibly amateur looking in comparison to most other digital art tutorial books on the market. Not only that, but the book says it covers 2D and 3D art, when in fact about 10 pages cover 2D work, meaning its pointless for any 2D artists out there wishing to learn any techniques.

Also the rest, covering 3D is poorly presented, in such that it doesn't really teach you anything about modelling. As a reference for beginners it's pointless, it wont teach you anything in nearly enough detail. It'd be a lot better to get books focusing on 3D modelling, regardless of whether they cover sci-fi designs. And for anyone who's progressed beyond a beginner level, you'll find it far too basic to teach you anything productive.

The one thing it really covers is composition, setting up a scene.

I'd advise against this book, as I was very disappointed being an avid sci-fi fan and games design graduate.

It's a huge shame, as I was hoping this would be a perfect book for me (and sci-fi designers and artists alike)
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By Kimberley Welburn on 19 Aug. 2014
Format: Paperback
Really good book that goes into detail about different programs you can use to create artwork and has step by step tutorials too
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 15 reviews
45 of 54 people found the following review helpful
Considerably disappointed 8 Sept. 2005
By Svanhvit Ada Bjornsdottir - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Considering how disappointed I was with the book, I should only give it 2 stars, but since I should have researched the book in general, I raised it by one star.

My interest in digital art is mostly concerned with photoshop and 3D modelling packages that offer extensive manipulation of vertexes and polys.

This book deals with the subject of art in a world where you use prefabs in the making of each and every image. Dodge and Burn are used instead of real, painterly values.

This isn't a book on creating art with applications where you must think of every outcome and every pixel, but with applications that give you ready made imagery you can spruce up. Nothing wrong with it in itself, and I understand that some people use that to meet deadlines(or reference), which is acceptable in the capitalistic world we live in, but for people who want to learn the true creation from the first dab of color, it is severely wanting.

In short, this book is for those who want to see how you make imagery with the tools of technology that acts as shortcuts. If you want to make art using bryce and poser, there are worse books you could spend money on. If you want to learn to paint digitally, this book isn't for you in any way. For that I'd rather recommend Don Seegmiller's book.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Good book on CG art. 13 Oct. 2005
By N. Stone - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I recently took courses in 3DMax, Photoshop, Illustrator, and After Effects. Ok, so now what? This is where Mike's books come in. His books are not step by step technical instructions on how to create computer graphics art but more about stimulating the artistic side of your brain and imagination as to the kinds of art that can be created using computer graphics tools. This book is not about CG technology, it's about CG art. If your background is purely technical I would recommend this book in conjunction with a couple of art courses. Great computer art is not created by CG technicians but by CG artist. Mike gives you guidelines as to what you can do as a skilled CG artist. He does not show you in detail how to create the art shown in the book. I guess he assumes that if you know the CG tool well enough then you should be able to figure out the details. Again this is a book about computer art, it is not about technology.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Buy it used, and you'll get your money's worth. 1 Sept. 2005
By Eric S. Peters - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
$25 may be just a little steep for what I view as a moderately useful book (Amazon sells it for less I understand). Students and other experienced computer animators will here me on this one: it's very Poser/Bryce-oriented. There is not one thing wrong with that in and of itself, but prefab packages only offer that, prefabs. It's like going to a craft store and purchasing a statue and paint. You go home, paint it nice and pretty and show it off. Sure it looks nice but did you make it? Not really. This book shines with it's ideas for post work, but the tutorials are very brief, so really it only offers ideas. Buy it for that, decent ideas for futuristic designs.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
integrate various imaging packages 13 April 2005
By W Boudville - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Even if you don't want to read the book, the images are well worth the look. Stirs the imagination of anyone who loves science fiction.

But the book also has a "serious" aspect. You can get useful tips on how to start making such art. The book describes the main software packages used by professional artists. Photoshop is the dominant package. But what is neat in the book is how artists often use several packages. Typically, they might be making a three dimensional construct, and then rendering a two dimensional image. Photoshop does not have 3d modelling. So you have to use other packages like Maya. But then, when rendering, Photoshop can be applied to touch up the 2d image. Since often, the 3d packages can indeed to very sophisticated operations like ray tracing, that make photorealistic images.

Paradoxically, an artist might then want Photoshop, in order to enhance that image into something unearthly.

Most computer graphics books that deal with commercial packages are usually dedicated to only one package. With scarcely a mention of any alternatives. This book can be used for operational integration. And also for its evaluations of the strengths and weaknesses of the packages.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A collection of beautiful images 6 Jan. 2007
By D. Dionysios - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
It is no more than this. It has some fair techniques on how to achieve several effects, but someone cannot expect to learn how to make digital sci-fi art.

Also, it seems a little outdated now, even though the copyright says 2004.

My opinion is do not waste money on some collection of outdated artwork and look for something else.
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