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How to Render: the fundamentals of light, shadow and reflectivity Paperback – November 15, 2014
Collectible Photography Books
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About the Author
Scott Robertson has almost two decades of experience teaching how to design, draw, and render at the highest college level. He has authored or co-authored 11 books on design and concept art. In addition to books, he has co-produced over 40 educational DVDs with The Gnomon Workshop, of which nine feature his own lectures. For several years, Scott chaired the Entertainment Design department at Art Center College of Design. He frequently lectures around the world for various corporations, colleges, and through his own workshop brand, SRW. In addition to teaching, Scott has worked on a wide variety of projects ranging from vehicle and alien designs for the Hot Wheels animated series Battle Force Five, to theme park attractions such as the Men in Black ride in Orlando, Florida for Universal Studios. Some of his clients include the BMW subsidiary Design-works/USA, Bell Sports, Giro, Mattel Toys, Spin Master Toys, Patagonia, the feature film Minority Report, Nike, Rockstar Games, Sony Online Entertainment, Sony Computer Entertainment of America, Buena Vista Games, THQ, and Fiat to name just a few.
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How to Render builds on what was taught in the earlier book and now talks about lighting, shadows, reflections and materials. Again, it's a book for artists, architects and designers.
The difficulty level here is up one notch, more suitable for intermediate and advanced artists. Basically, you need to know how to draw before you can learn and apply the knowledge from this book. That's where the earlier book comes in.
The presentation style of the book is still similar. Book's slightly thicker at 272 pages and is available in paperback and hardcover. There are lots of diagrams, photos, artworks accompanied by concise and insightful writeup. The information is technical and in depth. Demonstration videos are provided on the companion website which you can access by scanning QR code in the book or typing the URL address.
The first half of the book covers light and shadow. This is where you learn the basics of lighting, and the rules of applying them. It starts off with the simple humble cube and progresses to complex overlapping geometric shapes, spheres and cylinders and then onto curved surfaces that you typically see in vehicles such as cars and planes.
If you know the Sketchup software, then you might know about the beautiful shadows that can be turned on with just one mouse click. Well, with this book, you get to learn how to draw all those shadows by hand manually, and learn the actual techniques to creating them accurately. It's not easy, but the book does a good job at demystifying the whole process with clear hey-follow-along instructions.
Still in the lighting section, there are some step-by-step demonstrations by guest artists Chris Ayers, Neville Page, John Park and Robh Ruppel on how to render specific objects like cars, characters and landscapes. Basically, it's to show how they apply the knowledge into actual drawings.
This is where I have to do a -_- because the tutorial Robh Ruppel wrote is the one I was expecting to be in his Graphic L.A. artbook but it wasn't!
The second half of the book goes into reflections, talking about the different lighting conditions and how they affect the different types surfaces and the look they create. This section is more explanation than hands-on -- this is not a book on software or digital painting. Numerous photos are provided to illustrate the concepts behind, to alert you to things you should take note of. Very insightful.
Here's the list of chapters included to give you an idea what to expect.
1. What is Rendering? + Tools and materials
2. Light Types and Casting Shadows
3. Rendering the Geo Forms
4. Complex Volumes
5. Rendering Specific Objects
6. Photo Reference
7. Reflective Surfaces
8. Reflections: Indoor Scenes
9. Reflections: Outdoor Scenes
10. Rendering Specific Materials
11. Rendering Examples
Scott Robertson has hit another home run with this wonderful technical book on light, shadows and reflections. It's an incredible resource for learners.
(See more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
This book, better than any other I've run across, is a scholarly work that gives you the knowledge necessary to "light" any form, starting with simple cubes which illustrate the basics, to complex shapes like cars and planes. Destined to be a classic in rendering, especially by those of us who create historical representational scenes from scratch, I suggest you buy it, and buy it now.
I highly recommend this book as it is just as outstanding as the author's other book, "How to Draw", which teaches you to draw objects and environments from your own imagination using perspective and the draw-through method. The first book also comes with instructional videos that can be accessed through the DSP app. For the price, this book is such a great value as it packs in a LOT of essential information.
Very easy to understand with wording and several picture examples/breakdowns of fundamentals to common materials.
This book has helped me become more aware of the world around me and hopefully this book will shed some light onto you as well. (No Pun Intended)
I not only would recommend but would read it to a friend.