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Digital Painting Techniques: Volume 2
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 29 March 2011
I've been painting digitally for over ten years and I still find useful nuggets of information in all the 3D Total books. I own a couple of the 'Digital Art Masters' series and also the first volume in of Digital Painting Techniques'. 'Digital painting techniques: Volume 2" continues the trend, with a broad range of styles and techniques, and an impressive roster of artists, including Jason Seiler, Mark McDonnell and Matt Dixon.

Jason Seiler's two tutorials are fascinating and lead to beautiful paintings. It's great to see the step-by-step process of an artist I've long admired and the end results are stunning. Mark McDonnell's pages seem a bit at odds with the title, being all pencil drawings (that don't look like they were executed digtitally), but nonetheless the workshop is a brilliant look at dynamic figure drawing and useful for digital artists. Matt Dixon takes us through one of his paintings with a an easy reading style that gives in-depth peek into his process and techniques.

I've worked as a character concept artist for most of my career, so the chapters that cover character creation are always my first stop when I open any book on digital art, but this book offers a LOT more. There's some terrific vehicle design (I particularly enjoyed Dwayne Vance's drawing and process), some beautiful environment tutorials and a very useful look at using 3D renders as a basis for 2D artwork. This is a very useful technique that can save hours experimenting with perspective and for those who don't have access to expensive 3D software, the tutorials in this book focus on Google's Sketch Up, a free alternative that provides enough power for many 3D templates.

The tutorials are supplemented with a gallery including work by (Spectrum award winner) Daniel Dociu, Bobby Chiu (my favourite rendering in the book and I wish there'd been a workshop to accompany it), Loic Zimmerman and a real stunner from Jason Seiler.

I'd agree with another reviewer (Nickullus), that the book focuses heavily on the use of Adobe Photoshop. Photoshop is THE software to learn for any artist aspiring to a career in 'the Industry' but other alternatives such as Corel's Painter and Ambient's Artrage only get a couple of mentions each, whilst offering plenty to the digital artist that Photoshop can't quite handle. Artrage in particular is a package that's worth looking at for younger artists, who might not be able to afford a copy of Photoshop or Painter, because it's such good value as a doorway into digital art.

Recommended......
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 1 February 2011
If like me, you've ever found yourself sitting in front of your screen drooling over a piece of artwork, studying it meticulously in order to get a brief glimpse as to how it might have been created, then this book will be of interest to you.

If you're familiar with any of the books from 3D Total, you'll know that a wonderfully presented book with beautiful images is guaranteed but even better than this, you also get a detailed account of the creation process along with inside tips and suggestions on how these beautiful images were made, from the artists themselves.

The book covers a large range of styles and genres to interest every reader and provides clear step by step tutorials, as well as links to free resources such as textures and custom brushes.

The artists provide very honest accounts of their creation processes; sometimes highlighting specific areas they found tough or challenging. It's encouraging to know that even the best artists struggle from time to time :)

A great addition to my work side desk.
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on 7 September 2012
This is the second book in the 'digital painting techniques' series from 3Dtotal, and builds well upon the tutorials established by the first book Digital Painting Techniques: Practical Techniques of Digital Art Masters: Masters Collection: Volume 1. The tutorials are still detailed but easily explained with every step and brush setting clearly laid out. There also seems to be a greater focus upon tumbnailing and thinking up ideas, though this is still a book that is predominantly about the actual painting technique.

Chapter 1 is all about creating characters. Not only does this demonstrate techniques for getting a character down on paper and painting them, it also demonstrates who to evoke feeling through expressions and body language so that the character actually tells a story.

Chapter 2 is science fiction though to be fair it is mostly about the design and painting of spaceships. Aside from the actual design though, you do get tutorials into painting the platework, explosions to whole battle scenes.

Chapter 3 is fantasy, and is more architectural since these tutorials are about the creation of fantasy cities and streets. These of course give you instructions about portraying architecural details that are both near and far.

Chapter 4 is vehicles. Although only two turorials long, they are both highly detailed and cover everything from desining a vehicle from different concepts, drawing it in perspective, to rendering different materials, such as chrome, painted metal and rubber.

Chapter 5 is speed painting, a subject that was covered in the second chapter of the first book. These tutorials serve as different examples of speed painting techniques but seem to be more orientated around establishing a mood of a piece, or at least that is the impression that I have.

Chapter 6 is custom brushes. Again this subject was covered in the first book, but this time the tutorials are a touch more advanced and include the creation of brushes for such things as floral patterns, rock and metal textures, leaves and trees to even crowds.

Chapter 7 is all about painting on top of a scene base established by 3D software. This is no different from painting on top of a sketch, its just that the 3D software has already established things such as lighting and perspective for you. The 3D software used is Google sketchup, though today this is called Trimble sketchup (Google sold the sketchup program to Trimble). At the time of writing the basic version of this software is still free so there is no excuse to try variants of these tutorials for yourself.

Chapter 8. The final chapter is once again dedicated to complete walkthroughs of pieces that show the whole design and painting of a piece. Working knowlege of software such as Photoshop is required for these, but if you have been following the earlier tutorials then these projects will not be that difficult to understand. The final pages are also once again devoted to being a short gallery section of other artists work.

I would reccomend this book for anyone who is serious about getting better at digital art, especially if you already have the first book in the series. You should also consider the the next two books that are currently in the series, Digital Painting Techniques: Volume 3 and Digital Painting Techniques Volume 4.
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on 6 April 2012
After getting the first volume of the series, I've decided to buy the second volume and I can say it totally worth any single euro/penny/dollar. Like the previous volume, the book is a collection of Digital Painting Tutorials, organized in chapters with different themes; each tutorial is wrote by a different author. They are all professional digital artists and each one has his/her own style. This leads to a discontinuity of the tutorials style in the book, which is a strong feature of this series: since there's no a unique way of painting something, it is great to have different point of view. The working process of the tutorial is step-by-step with colorful images and final thoughts of the author. There are also bonus free content download like brushes!

Digital Painting Techniques 2 is great like Volume 1, if not better. You still need the basis of drawing and painting because it will not teach you how to old a pencil (or a brush) nor how to start using digital art software. It will explain you amazing techniques to achieve different effects in your painting, it introduces you to the vehicles and characters design and deepen many of their aspects under different lights. It expands your knowing of environments painting introducing the use of a 3D base to achieve complex structures and perspectives. And it deepen some of the themes of Volume 1 like Fantasy or Custom Brushes with new, stimulating tutorials and tips. If I could come back in time, I would buy it again.

I truly suggest you this book if you are a digital painter, of whatever level because it can be useful both for beginners, amateur or pro, for the different styles inside.
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on 17 February 2011
As a pro illustrator I'm always on the look out for good reference books about digital painting, and for the topics it covers this is one of the best I've seen in recent years. It doesn't matter if you aren't particularly into the overriding theme of fantasy and sci-fi art. The information and techniques described can be applied to almost any subject being digitally painted. Broken down into sections like 'characters', 'vehicles' and 'painting from a 3d base' it offers thorough, well illustrated walk-throughs from seasoned professional artists, all of whom explain themselves well. Within those it looks at a wide range of topics varying from the sketching and painting of all sorts of things, to incorporating use of 3D, creating personalised custom brushes and even dealing with approaches to caricature. It is lavishly illustrated, presenting a handsome volume on high quality paper. A lovely object in its own right.

The one very minor quibble I have is the strong bias towards most of the contributors using the ubiquitous Photoshop as tool of choice, although I must say it does reflect the state of play in the professional work place. Not that it affects the worth of the information within the pages one little bit. It's applicable to other painting software with minimal adjustment. If you are serious about digital painting I would highly recommend getting your hands on a copy of this. I plan to back-track and get hold of volume 1, which I missed before, and will definitely be looking out for future editions in this series.

It takes pride of place on my reference shelf at the moment. Fantastic buy.
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on 6 February 2011
As a professional Concept Artist I'm always looking for ways to push my art further and develop my skills sets. Digital Painting Techniques Volume 2 is an ideal resource for any artist looking to hone their digital skills.

The book covers a diverse range of subject matter in a plethora of visual styles giving a great overview of the kind of techniques you'd employ as a professional. Despite the sumptuous art adorning the pages the publishers have also been mindful that great art is only created through having solid foundations. Along the way there are sections discussing subjects such as composition and dynamic anatomy as well as practical knowledge such as how to create custom brushes. These are some of the considerations that can make the difference between a good piece of art and great piece of art.

One of the many strengths of this book is that it sources opinions and tutorials from a broad range of artists, each with their own unique style. This is one aspect of the book that I enjoyed immensely. As an artist I'm mindful that there is no one right approach to image creation. With so many artists on display you start to understand the different techniques involved in getting to a finished image. This book doesn't try to push you in one direction, but instead encourages you to digest what you've read and choose what works for you and to build on it.

Artists of all skill ranges and experience will find something in this book that they can take back to their art. Whether it's inspiration from the eye catching images or a new technique from the many tutorials. Everything is very accessible in a book that has a good balance between image and text. The artists have been very generous in discussing with the reader their approaches to image making and hold nothing back. It's a joy to see the many sketches that lead up to a finished image, all of which are well documented.

From jungle critters to climatic space opera; zombies to heroic fantasy warriors; this book covers them and much more. It's a beautiful book which strikes the right balance between wowing us with gorgeous art and teaching us something about it. A worthy addition to any bookshelf!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 6 January 2011
From 3D Total the leading online webspace & community for all lovers & creators of digital content comes Volume 2 of it's beautifully presented Digital Painting Techniques. Building on from the success of Volume 1, Volume 2 is bigger and better with all new tutorials and stunning artworks!

From the beginning of this book you are treated to some of the most mesmerising, elegant, intricate & down right beautiful artworks i've seen for some time. The first 4 sections of the book are split into characters, science fiction, fantasy and vehicles, these pages are crammed full of tips, tricks and tutorials aswell as stunning artworks. The remaining 4 sections are dedicated to full tutorials, split into speed painting, the use of custom brushes, painting from a 3D base mesh & finally complete projects.

But what you get here is so much more than just a set of pretty pictures on glossy pages.
You get techniques, expertise, suggestions and advice from the best artists in this field of digital imagery.

Throughout this book there's just about every style known to man created and then explained in great detail with step by step full colour images to accompany the easy to follow tutorials.

Whether you are new to digital painting or a seasoned pro looking for inspiration or new tip and tricks, this book has it.

Buy this book and you'll have a wealth of Digital Painting knowledge at your fingertips to keep forever, you won't be sorry.
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on 4 August 2011
Really worth having it.

They're amazing artists explaining how they're working, it really helped me changing my methods at work.
Moreover, it's a great source of inspiration (the gallery at the end of the book)
That book contains clear explainations (simple to understand, even for the noobies!(I am), and allows you to increase your knowledge in digital art.

It's a real pleasure to see that some great artists work hard to edit books like that one.
I've already bought the first and second volume and i'm planing to buy others as soon as i can.

THANK YOU !
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on 1 June 2013
I'm slowly getting into my digital art work, as I use to enjoy doing allot of art back in my school and college days. But the ideas and potential for what you can do in the digital art world now is just amazing. If you want inspiration or any possible ideas for good concept pieces, then you need to buy this book. It's a massive book and full of fantastic designs from various artists, and this includes examples as well as tutorials. Buy it, you'll love it.
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on 4 October 2011
Book is amazing. I saw a review about this book in their web site and i decide bought from here. Price is good and cheap for this volume. I'am happy and going to buy another volumes as soon as possible from here again ^^ Thank you Amazon ^^
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