Beginner's Guide to Digital Painting in Photoshop Paperback – January 31, 2012
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About the Author
A UK-based freelance character illustrator and portrait painter, Nykolai Aleksander has been working in the CG field for the past eight years, with publications in several Ballistic Publishing books and 3DTotal's Digital Art Masters series, as well as numerous magazines around the world.
Richard Tilbury has had a passion for drawing since being a couple of feet tall. After studying Fine Art, he was eventually led into the realm of computers several years ago. Rich's brushes have slowly been dissolving in white spirit since the late nineties and now his graphics tablet has become their successor. He still sketches regularly and now balances his time between 2D and 3D, although drawing will always be closest to his heart.
3DTotal was founded in 1999 as a simple 3D resource website. Over the last decade the site has evolved into one of the premier CG art websites in the world, offering a variety of training products, an inspirational gallery, a free texture library and hundreds of free tutorials on a variety of subjects.
In 2006, 3DTotal entered into partnership with Focal Press and launched the popular book series Digital Art Masters and Digital Painting Techniques. The premise for these books was to provide high quality content that would inspire and educate the next generation of digital artists. Featuring the work of top industry professionals, detailed tutorials and image breakdowns, these series have become firmly established as indispensible resources for any digital artist.
After five successful years working with Focal Press, 3DTotal Publishing was launched in early 2010. As well as self-publishing the next volumes in the pre-existing Digital Art Masters and Digital Painting Techniques series, 3DTotal Publishing has launched a number of new titles including: The Art of Atomhawk Design: Volume 1, Photoshop for 3D Artists: Volume 1 and Beginner’s Guide to Digital Painting in Photoshop.
- Item Weight : 1.7 pounds
- Paperback : 224 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780955153075
- ISBN-13 : 978-0955153075
- Product Dimensions : 11.5 x 0.25 x 8 inches
- Publisher : 3DTotal Publishing; Slp Edition (January 31, 2012)
- Language: : English
- ASIN : 0955153077
- Best Sellers Rank: #491,107 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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That said the content of the book looks good. Definitely not for total beginnners, despite the name--guides assume you're Photoshop conversant in most ways, and probably have already been doing some digital painting yourself. But for someone at that level it provides a ton of both general and specific advice, rooted in traditional drawing techniques as well as photoshop-specific tools. Looks great for taking your digital painting to the next level.
This is not just for users of Photoshop. I use Krita, an open source software that does pretty much everything that Photoshop does, but sometimes in different ways. Whenever the book explains how to achieve an effect in Photoshop, I know that I'm just going to have to look up how to do it in Krita...but the advice still applies.
The book starts off with the basics: presenting the Photoshop workspace, optimizing it for your own needs and in accordance to your computer's resources, introducing the main features such as working with colors, brushes, textures, blending modes, how to establish composition, perspective and basic tonal values, using photographs for texturing or as matte painting bases, working with masks, wand tool, filters and more. Great insight for beginners and medium-level users of PS.
It continues with art fundamentals, where you will find a more in-depth presentation of what makes a painting good or great. Lighting, value, color, composition, perspective and depth, portraying emotions in your character or landscape and even storytelling. You will learn about the Fibonacci number and his "golden ratio", different types of perspective and much more. A very insightful chapter with extended text supported by just the right amount of images, as with the rest of this book.
A "complete project" chapter follows then, basically presenting you with the creation of a finished piece of digital painting using all the info previously presented in the book. Take it as a revision of some sorts, combined with an in-depth, step-by-step tutorial. Great for evaluating your own learning speed and process.
The book goes on to hands down type of practice, showing you how to create speed paintings dealing with SF character and landscapes, paint your piece using only tonal values of grays and only afterwards apply the color glazes, how to create a finished piece using elements of photos and combining them with digital painting - a technique known as matte painting, widely used in feature films' concept design -, and finally how to tackle fantasy landscapes, in this case an eery skull-canyon-like view overlooking a river and waterfall. Starting with this chapter and continuing until further you will probably see how the pages at which you find certain chapters don't coincide anymore with the pages given in the Contents page. Or at least that's how it is in my own copy's case.
The "Project overviews" chapter deals once again with step-by-step processes of different artists' finished pieces. Again the emphasis is more on text, but you get a decent amount of images also. Personally I appreciate the written part more, since it allows one to use the given techniques in his or her own way, without the pressure to make the final piece as likely in style as the artist's work.
"Quick tips" is an extremely well-made chapter in my opinion, presenting you with short and concise "how to" approaches on different tricky elements, such as trees, sandstorms, smoke, underwater, skin, make something look wet, all those detail things which make a painting come alive.
And finally the "Breakdown gallery" is the major eye-candy part of this book for those who were looking forward to it, you basically get step-by-step kind of tutorials containing only 5 images each - including the finished artwork -, so it's up to you to pay attention and observe since you don't get any text accompanying them. However, after a book packed full of text and information, you should be able to analyse and decipher what and how each artist used in every step in order to achieve the final result.
And that's about it. All in all a great book which offers you all the necessary information without cluttering too many pictures, allowing you to use the given tips in your own way and creating your own image, not just style-copies. Definitely worth its money and then some.
Top reviews from other countries
First off, the style and structure. The book is a collection of articles which seem to be stitched together just so it can be published. I find no unity or hierarchy in the presentation of information. It feels so random and after reading the book I was left puzzled not knowing where I should start. That's not a good stance to be in after reading a book that is supposed to be for beginners.
Different authors in the book use different techniques and the message that the book is conveying seems to be that you should pick what suits you best. This can be misleading. For instance, a few of the bigger chapters of the book focus on a technique of heavy stamping photos into the painting. I would argue that this is a technique used by a seasoned concept artist who works against the clock. Although this may be a reality of the industry, it is not ever suggested that starting in a different way may be more beneficial to an aspiring artist. In my opinion it is not something that should be taught to a beginner without any comment.This is one of the many examples of presentation of information without a consideration of the advancement level of the reader.
The final part on different techniques for drawing different materials and objects looks promising but in fact, it is very shallow and not that useful, again all those shortcomings result from the fact that the book was composed of many different articles going into various levels of details.
All in all, I cannot recommend this book to anyone. For a beginner there are better sources to learn from, often free, and I would advise you to find a good video course on digital painting instead like I did.There are some useful tips in the book, however only to someone who is already familiar with Photoshop and understands the fundamentals of digital painting. For such a person, however, besides the eye-candy, there is not nearly enough to learn from the book to justify the price point.
What I like about the book is the quality of print and graphical design - it's gorgeous, definitely it's a pleasing book to look at but sadly not much more than that.
Since buying this book months ago I have been watching tutorials on youtube etc and found I have learnt more from doing this (in addition to simply practicing), hopefully I will be able to come back to the book and make more use of it now I have a bit more experience under my belt.
I wouldn't recommend this to an absolute beginner to be honest so 3 stars for the learning curve at the beginning of the book.
I haven't read another book where it provides so much information and in-depth analysis of how to prepare your drawing and what you have to consider what you are doing, You've got the standard perspective and composition but also lighting, colour combination, filters and a few final touches which will make your drawings really stand-out.
Further in to the book, it will introduce some advanced techniques but I felt that they weren't described anywhere near as well as the beginners part of the book.
There's a lot of content in this book and you will get your money's worth.
The quality of the print and paper is very high. The book provides easy to follow steps and some good examples. Now I have learned from this and use the software daily.
All in all, if you need to learn photoshop, this book will not be bettered.