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How to Render: the fundamentals of light, shadow and reflectivity Paperback – November 15, 2014
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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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For those of you who need to improve your drawing first, there is no real drawing in this book. Instead, check out Scott's How to Draw book, which is equally good.
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.)
I find this book is an excellent continuation on the first. The first sets up your fundamentals and this book builds on that solid foundation with skills that will serve you if you want to take a fundamentally high quality line drawing to the next level by accurately rendering it.
This book is printed on the same high quality thick paper that the first book was printed on. Also, I find the content to be as much if not more than the first book.
*Excellent explanation of rendering techniques
*Printed on very high quality paper
If you have not read the first book in this series I feel like it would be useful to anyone--even the experienced. I would get it and go through it before going through this book: How to Draw: drawing and sketching objects and environments from your imagination
Overall: 5/5 stars (>=.5 rounds up, <.5 rounds down) => 5 stars
If you have any further questions regarding the product in my review please leave a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as possible.
In other words, save the time, money, and shelf space, and just get this book. I have been learning so much that my mind is blown. Here's so of my favorite things about the book so far:
1. It has a lot of content for every situation you will find yourself in as an artist. If you draw from photo references, there's a lesson. If you use markers to render, there's a lesson. If you're drawing from life, there's a lesson. This is amazing because it never assumes you will use the same techniques with every medium or every reference. Rendering is different for every situation and I love that they take the time to show examples for each. which is why the book is so long.
2. I don't have to read straight through. I can use it as a reference guide and learn techniques as I need them. As artist we build tools and techniques one after the other. We don't learn everything there is in one sitting. This book is good for building.
3. Reflective or glossy surfaces. Need need need.
What isn't my favorite sometimes is how detailed it gets. There are some things that is hard for me to understand. Right now I'm looking at what looks like a math problem. However, I bought this book for that very reason. I want to know the details, so it will take some time.