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Customer Review

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Will take you to the next level of digital painting, 7 Sept. 2012
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This review is from: Digital Painting Techniques: Practical Techniques of Digital Art Masters (Digital Art Masters Series) (Paperback)
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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