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on 7 September 2012
Digital painting techniques vol 1 is without doubt one of the best tutorial books about digital paint currently on the market. Also, although the overview of the book is geared mostly towards fantasy, sci-fi and portraits, the techniques in this book can be applied to any genera of art.

The book is broken down into chapters of specific areas, and while you can flit between chapters and tutorials, I would recommend going from start to finish in sequence the first time you read this book. This is because even though the tutorials are well written and easily explained, the later chapters will require you to have a working knowledge of the techniques explained in earlier chapters.

Chapter 1 is all about custom brushes, specifically how to create them and how to use them. This is probably the most important chapter to learn since most of the later chapters rely upon the creation of custom brushes and adjustments of the standard brush settings. This is probably the easiest chapter of the book to learn though and I dare say most people will have a working understanding of these settings within a few hours at most if they were previously unfamiliar with them.

Chapter 2 covers speed painting, creating pieces that convey a sense of the overall picture without getting too caught up in fine detail. For those not in the know, speed painting is essential for concept work where ideas have to be worked out in order to figure out problems, solutions as well as having something to show to a prospective client before you begin work upon a highly detailed piece. The tutorial also covers areas such as thumbnailing, blocking in shapes and even using the aforementioned custom brushes to speed the job up.

Chapter 3 is Matte painting, the art of creating photorealistic scenes that can be used as a backdrop (many film makers rely upon high quality matte paintings to create visual backdrops for scenes, especially before the advent of 3D computer technology). Tutorials include features from sampling photos for reference, to correct scaling and perspective to make elements fit into a scene.

Chapter 4 is all about painting creatures. These tutorials feature how to design creatures, to complete paintings, to more specific areas such as painting fur and animal eyes.

Chapter 5 is about painting people, though most of the tutorials are about painting specific features such as eyes, lips, nose, hair and skin. There is also one complete tutorial which shows you how to create the portrait that appears upon the cover of this book.

Chapter 6 is how to create different environmental conditions. Most of these are based around the same piece of art, but repainted under different conditions such as rain, sandstorm, snowstorm, tornado and heatwave. There are also two further tutorials for a rainy street and waves upon the open ocean.

Chapter 7 is loosely labelled Sci-fi & Fantasy. At this point the tutorials are siginificantly less, but they each go into more detail than before and cover the subjects of painting armour, space art and and a sci-fi concept scene.

Chapter 8, the final one, has three complete projects that take you from the initial sketch all the way to the final result. These serve more to give you an idea of the painting process, but also have helpful hints and reminders.

The final section is covered by a short gallery of art to give you even more ideas as to what is possible with digital art. One area which is lacking from this book is art theory (colour, perspective, composition, etc) though areas of this are briefly touched upon. This should not be taken as a negative however since this is a book about actual physcial techniques, not theory. Also remember that some of the resources featured in this book such as custom brushes are also available for download from the 3Dtotal website.

Not only would I recommend buying this book, I would also recommend that you get the others of the series which are currently Digital Painting Techniques: Masters Collection Volume 2,Digital Painting Techniques: Volume 3 and Digital Painting Techniques Volume 4.
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on 20 May 2017
As a physical object, this thing is poorly made. I've bought 2, about a year apart. The first time I bought one it started to fall apart almost instantly. I never thought of it as a big deal as long as I kept the pages, and the other volumes in this series were fine, so whatever I dealt with it. However, recently I thought 'hey I'll buy it again because, why not, I might as well have a copy with no missing pages that won't fall apart just because I'm carfully opening it (Honestly I'm opening these pages extremely delicately and I can see the seams seperating, hence the reason I'm trying to be stupidly careful)
I can't really be bothered to send it back still for a refund, but other people might, so if you're reading this and you're thinking about getting the hard copy, please consider the following; I might be a lot more clumsy than I think - IT's just a coincidence and I got two rarely badly made copies - These are badly made, at least this volume and it will fall apart without more care than you'd normally need to direct to a book.

Now, as far as the content inside the book, it's amazing, instructions are perfectly clear, if you practice each point, in a way, it unlocks a slightly new part of your level of skill and you're suddenly able to do the thing it's instructing, after a few times, you'll be able to do it well, and by the time you've gotten through the book, following all the instructions and practicing regularly and constantly, you will improve greatly. And then you can move onto the next volumes....(You should also be aware that people learn things differently, for me this is perfect because it tells me what to do and I do it, other people might need something else, but I think even for those other people this book will become useful as a reference to self improvement.)
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on 10 September 2017
The four strs is for the contentsof the book

The four stars is for the contents of the book which is very good, the construction is awful! The pages fell out the first time the book was opened and not just one or two, every one that was turned! Very shoddy. I had to dismantle the book and put. the pages in a ring binder, VERY disappointed. Buy the Kindle version.
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on 6 August 2017
From the GODS. You learn every single time you open 1 of the pages.
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on 15 May 2017
Great information about digital painting techniques, a book I recommend for people who know their stuff about photoshop but want to learn more, though, the book I received had ALL of the pages falling out. Not Happy about that.
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on 29 August 2017
very good
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on 13 December 2009
Digital Painting Techniques is exactly what I'd hoped it would be, a book packed with practical and genuinely useful tips and tricks on how to paint in a natural media style within Photoshop.

It's densely illustrated in colour throughout with various artists demonstrating their preferred techniques. The layout and presentation is more like a magazine than reference book with shortish, easy to follow articles, showing not just how to create a brush [for example], but why you would want to do so and how it's used within the image. It's certainly not a rigid rule book and is more like someone informally passing on handy tips, rather than standing over your shoulder instructing you to do it the 'correct' way.

Although the book is generally laid out in a step-by-step format, it is not a how to use Photoshop (or how to paint) book. As such complete novices are likely to find this book goes over their heads. In fairness the assumption that the reader is already pretty familiar with Photoshop and drawing tablets is useful, as it means the book gets straight to the heart of the subject, rather than wasting half the book explaining menus and the like. Besides, if you're after a "How to use Photoshop" book there are plenty of books already available that will get you started, before moving onto this.

My only minor criticism would be that the some of the reference images are occasionally laid out in an counter intuitive sequence, other than that this is a excellent book on practical digital painting and is worth every penny.
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on 22 September 2011
I'll start by saying that this book is not for the beginner. If you're new to Photoshop and digital painting in general, go for something more basic - crawl before you can walk and all. Then, when you're good enough, buy this book.

But let's suppose you're more like me: You know your way around Photoshop. You have a decent understanding of colour and light. You're interested in a more realistic style of painting but can't quite get the hang of it, the pictures look too flat, or somehow they don't 'pop'.

This book guides you through the process of painting, covering such topics as:

Custom Brushes
Speed Painting
Matte Painting
Sci-fi and fantasy

...So something for everyone, basically. All of it is beautifully laid out with detailed explanations, plenty of full-colour pictures, and links to any resources you might need. Just looking at this thing makes me want to paint. As soon as I've got the hang of everything here I'll be buying volume 2 as well.
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on 23 October 2009
Everything about this book is really close to perfect. Huge size with great illustrations. Amazingly well described and illustrated tutorials. The selection of artists is AMAZING!

The tutorials are well structured, the steps are well explained and there are plenty of steps. Even the basic tutorials that I am very familiar with, offered a lot of new and useful information.

There is only one minor point to improve. Sometimes the illustrations that go with the tutorials are not well numbered and they require a bit of thiking to figure them out. Once you've done it twice, though, you'll find them easily.

Even if the book comes without a CD with the resources, they are available from the website and, to be honest, the book is SO good that you will hardly need them.... you'll be well ready to create your own resources from moment go.

In a nutshell... buy this book... you shall not regret it!
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on 21 June 2017
Gift from my eldest daughter for Fathers Day and a truly great book. She always seems to find a good book and this is no exception as I am starting out converting my artistic output to the digital age. Looking through it it is obviously aimed at the Photoshop user but most of the ideas can be used in Painter or Krita so no problems there.

So great intro to this new (well for me anyway) field.
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