Ballistic Publishing has a reputation as one of the best producers of digital art books around, with many titles in its extensive catalogue. The publications all feature large amounts of inspiration, bringing fresh talent and new ideas to artists around the world.
The only area they fall short on is training content. While many of the books do contain some training, the balance has always been in favour of the art, which isn’t a criticism - it’s just the way it is.
With this in mind, Ballistic created the Creative Essence series, which aims to put the focus much more on practical inspiration. I say practical inspiration, rather than tutorials, because the training is not in-depth. You won’t be shown any step-by-step or click-by-click processes here.
Personally, I think that is a good thing, as this volume looks to really define working practices, rather than spoon-feeding you procedures.
If you want to learn how some top artists work; what’s in their minds as they create their creatures and where they find inspiration, then this book is for you.
That isn’t to say there is no information from a 'how to' point of view though. There is much in this book that will enlighten you as to how to approach a new project; from which render passes are useful through to some fine illustrations showing the development of a model.
Eight artists deliver artwork and training and, although their styles vary, they all offer real insights into their working methods and what inspires them.
Rob Redman is technical editor of 3D World, as well as a 3D trainer and generalist with an extensive portfolio.