#59: SHADOWS & LIGHT (Vue)
#58: ADVANCED DIRT MAPPING (Vue)
#57: SSS IN VUE 9, AND THE "SPECKLE" PROBLEM
#56: THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAIL OF ART
#55: FIXING POSER CLOTHING
#54: MAKING "FOREST WAR - GOBLIN SHAMAN"
#53: MAKING A STUDIO RENDER FOR VUE
(and other apps)
#49: NEBULA MKIII (Vue)
#48: RENDER SETTINGS FOR VUE (Vue)
#47: POSTWORK - MAKING A RENDER INTENSE (Any)
#46: MAKING RIVERS THAT FOLLOW TERRAIN HEIGHTS (Vue or Bryce)

RESOURCES TO HELP WITH DIGITAL ART

Resources, for tutorials, inspiration, understanding texture and lighting, as well as good art tools etc, are invaluable!
This is a collection of some of my faves, and I hope you will find them useful too :)
They are not presented in any particular order, though I hope to add newer items over time at the top of the list, for ease of your searching.
updated 18-01-2008


DIGITAL LIGHTING & RENDERING
By Jeremy Birn

  Probably the best book on how to light digital 3D renderings! WOW! A real must have, seriously :) WIsh I had this one years ago!.
It's not "Platform specific", but address the vital topics common to nearly all 3D render app's when lighting your scenes, which is vital to good looking art.


ANATOMY FOR FANTASY ARTISTS
by Glenn Fabry

  This one's real good book, a large paperback. About how to build musculature, the looks, bodies etc of different types of folk / characters.
  Really very useful for any character work. Even if you do 3d stuff, i'ts great because it can show you how muscles and bodies should look


FANTASY ART WORKSHOP
by John Howe

  He's one of the 2 fellas who did the major art work for LOTR films.
  His work is very "Painterly", really impressive masterpieces. Book explains lot of his work preocesses and sketches etc. Damn he's good!
  John makes a point about gathering resources ;) Hardback book.


 

HOW TO CHEAT IN PHOTOSHOP CS3
By Steve Caplin

  This is lot of great tips for Photoshop (and to fair extent similar apps, like PaintShopPro). Mostly about how to do effects like making montages, blending images etc, but very damn smart stuff and useful. Although I do 3d work, 2D stuff is needed a lot to either make textures for 3d models, or improve a final image. Paperback.

 


3D Game Textures: Create Professional Game Art Using Photoshop by Luke Ahearn

  This is about how to make textures for 3d objects, mostly for games, but same stuff applies to "art" work as well. making textures to make 3d objects look believable, is an art all itself, believe me!

  This book rocks, it's in colour (*), and is full of practical tutorials,demonstrations on how to build for sci-fi, fantasy, etc scenes. Lot of neat tips and tricks. paperback.

* OMFG, by comparison, I hate art tutorial books that are in black and white, as you cannot see what is going on in many images or tutorials !!


3DWORLD MAGAZINE

  A great monthly magazine on 3d art, it covers all topics but mostly middle to high end apps. It does do Poser, Bryce and such, but not as much as Lightwave, Maya, 3DMAX etc.

  Each issue has a CD or DVD which usually has 3d models, textures or other freebies, so it's damn nice way to build up resources.
  Lots of great tutorials and explanations on different packages each month, lots of genuinely useful tips folk ask about.
  I really like this mag!


IMAGINEFX MAGAZINE

  Fantasy/sci-fi digital art mag. This is nearly all 2D work, alas it had more 3D work too but seems purely 2D currently, sigh. It is still fantastic though and 2D artists will lap it up! Lot of famous artists and their work is shown and examined, like Josh Kirby (Discworld covers), Frank Frazetta etc.

Lots of great work showcased, tons of tutorials and projects in Photoshop, Painter etc. Interviews with artists, some reviews of apps, books etc but it's not stuffed with 'em (i.e. it's aimed at artists, not selling you stuff as much as some mags are)

Also, if your a subscriber, you get a neat feature: the magazine covers do not have print on them, so the gorgeous artwork isn't ruined ;)


LORD OF THE RINGS WEAPONS AND WARFARE
by Chris Smith

  This is a great resource book for fantasy and historical art! Lots of large pics of armour, weapons, creatures and so on. Also good in how they designed each type of armour for each race and people, which is good point about designing.

  Helps a ton when trying to make a fantasy sword texture, to see a pic of one, ya know ? :)
Large paperback.

 


OSPREY MILITARY HISTORY BOOKS

  This company produces lots of smallish-sized books on historical warfare. They are great resources for fantasy and historical art. I've got several of their books on Romans (legions, fortresses, Hadrian's wall, seige machines etc). I like books on seige weapons, fortresses etc and they have plenty of colour illustrations and archeaological images of them.

  It's important to understand how a seige engine worked, if you want to make one look real in a close shot. Or build a castle, if you know how they really are, it's easier to make believable recreations or fantasies. A great, but hard to get book on seige weapons is: "Ancient and Medieval Seige Weapons, by Konstantin Nossov"


THE COMPLETE DIGITAL ART CREATIVE HANDBOOK
by Future Publishing

  "The Complete Digital Art Creative Handbook" is a nice intro to the entire field of digital art for a newcomer, *if* you can find that magazine (it was a special).

  Dunno where to get that in USA, sorry, it was sold in WH Smith here in UK, for short time. Very good. Large paperback.


Digital Horror Art: Creating Chilling Horror and Macabre Images
By Martin McKenna

  This is great resource and tips for making eerie pics, also on general lighting image tricks.

  Personally, I get very bored seeing yet another "Naked female in a temple with a sword" that looks bland as heck! Known as "NVIATWAS", Naked-Vicky-In-A-Temple-With-A-Sword, to Poser artists, lol.
Often, the figure, setting and postwork of such "NVIATWAS" are superb, but, lack of good lighitng, or a "story" to it, wastes great effort :(

Good lighting and atmosphere totally changes an image.


Digital Fantasy Art: Creating Chilling Horror and Macabre Images
By Martin McKenna

By the same author as "Digital Horror" above, this is a good intro and help on digitally created fantasy art.


INTRODUCTION TO ZBRUSH 3
By Digital Tutors
(Video)

  Zbrush is an amazing, but very hard to get used to, 3D app: it sculpts and details more like working with clay and a brush, than normal cosntructing 3D objects, so you can create some fantastic things.
  While I used to be smart, I find it hard to pick things up nowadays (grrr!), so good tutorials are a must.
  I found this the best tutorial for picking up Zbrush for a newbie, as it is tricky to get your head around it.

Mudbox is a similar app but much easier to get to grips with, but doesn't have as many features.


E-on Software's Vue 6 Revealed
By Richard H. Schrand

  Vue is my fave 3d app by a mile! It's not uber professional, but for us mere mortals , it's soooooo much easier to get into, and can do amazing work (nearly all my work is done in Vue in past 3 years).

  This is a great book to learn from, but it has the one flaw I mentioned earlier: it's bloody well black and frikkin' white, gah!!!
Paperback.


photoshop creative

PHOTOSHOP CREATIVE
UK Magazine

  Good magazine on Photoshop, I just buy it now and then when they have an article or tutorial I like. They also sell large "Bookazines" which are collections of some of the best articles, highly recommend those, if you can get them (they sell out fast).

  The company also sells collections of the magazine in DVD format, which is really handy!

  Sorry for non-UK people, I don't know similar, USA-based magazines, but hey, they can ship to you, I guess? :p


ADVANCED PHOTOSHOP
UK Magazine

  Sister magazine to "Photoshop Creative". Again, I buy it now and then when they have tasty articles :)

 

 


WWW.RENDEROSITY.COM

  Very great resource, as it's one of the largest digital art sites on the net! Never overlook how damn useful, and fun, communities are. *lots* of freebies, tutorials etc.


WWW.SCIFI-MESHES.COM

  A site mostly about building 3D models and renders of sci-fi scenes. They have 3D models, lots of tutorials, forums etc. Great site.


cornucopia3d

WWW.CORNUCOPIA3D.COM

  Cornucopia3D is the official site for Vue (my fave 3D app). Forums, freebies etc.


WWW.DAZ3D.COM

  One of the largest sites for Poser content. A commercial site, it does have a large community with help, freebies etc.


A GOOD DIGITAL CAMERA!
In my case, a Technika SH-A366

  Ok, real camera buffs probably won't class that as a "good one", but for me, it's good ;) A light, handy, easy to use digital camera is a bloody useful thing, believe me! You want large megapixel size, 5 or more, so you can get large, detailed images which make working with them far more accurate. For example, taking a pic of a tree up close with this, yields huge images, which have tons of details, thus great for making textures from.

  Such cameras make taking of pictures to use as textures, reference or even video, easy. So are a definate "must".


A GOOD GRAPHICS TABLET
In my case, a Wacom Graphire MK4

  When doing digital art (of a 2D or sculpting type), a graphics tablet is vastly superior to a mouse for many things, as you get a more natural feel of using a stylus, pen or brush.

  Wacom, Genius and Trust produce different types. Wacom is generally regarded as the best quality but expensive.


I hope you find this of use! :)
Silverblade,© 2008

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All original art, writing on this site, copyright of Steven James, "Silverblade the Enchanter" ©2012