Book Review: ImagineFX Fantasy Creatures: The Ultimate Guide to Mastering Digital Painting Techniques

ImagineFX Fantasy Creatures: The Ultimate Guide to Mastering Digital Painting Techniques

Two years after publishing Fantasy Workshop: Mastering Digital Painting Techniques, Imaginefx (Amazon) has finally come up with a second book of tutorials. This time, it has fantasy creatures as drawing subjects.

Similar to the previous book, this book actually collects the tutorials that originally appeared in their monthly magazines. So if you're already a subscriber of the magazine, you're basically going to see the same tutorials, hence no point buying (again). This book is a better deal for non-subscribers.

There are 6 categories featured are namely
1. Faeries, Fables and Friendly Giants
2. Beasts in 3D
3. Vampires and Demons
4. Myths and Monsters
5. Alien Races
6. Creature Features - for other subjects that don't belong to the previous categories

The presentation is also similar. It's loaded with step-by-step demonstrations, some interviews and tips from top digital artists. The demonstrations are actually a look at the artists' workflow, from concept to the final touches with lots of screenshots. The artists teach a mixed variety of stuff from picking skin tones, to creating different texture effects like scales or rotten flesh, to creating atmospheric mood.

Note that the demonstrations aren't the type of tutorials where you are to follow along and click stuff on the screen. That said, this book isn't for beginners because it doesn't teach the basics of digital painting. It goes straight into application. You'll get more out of the book if you already have some elementary knowledge on digital painting, drawing and the software.

The software used is mostly Photoshop, and there are a few chapters featuring Zbrush. If you're not familiar with the software, there are quick tips such as keyboard shortcuts and other tricks.

The goal of the book, I feel, is really to give ideas, highlight possibilities and show you what the software is capable of. In that sense, it's an insightful book.

Here's the list of contents:
1. Faeries, Fables and Friendly Giants
- Painting a Faerie Scene: Bente Schlick
- Paint Placid Titan: Vinod Rams
- The Big, Bad Bunny Eater: Bobby Chiu
- Sexy Siren: Johnny Duddle
- Masterclass: The Nature of Faerie Art
2. Beasts in 3D
- ZBrush: Creating a Beast I: Scott Spencer
- ZBrush: Creating a Beast II: Scott Spencer
- Q&A: Lighting: Antonis Papantoniou
- Hunter of the Deep: Khalid al Muharraqi
- Feto Lives!: Alvaro Buendia
- Top Ten Ways to be a Better Artist
3. Vampires and Demons
- 21st Century Vampire: Melanie Delon
- A Boy and his Cerberus: Jonatan Iversen-Ejve
- Q&A: Rotten Flesh: Dave Kendall
- Demonic Creature Concepts: Davi Blight
- Masterclass: Vampire Tips
4. Myths and Monsters
- Creature Design: Raymond Swanland
- Release the Kraken: Bart Tiongson
- Q&A: Painting up a Serpent: Rachael Haupt
- Monster Creations: John Kearney
- Top Ten Art Sins
- Monster Mythologies: Jim Pavelec
- Q&A: Muscular Dinosaurs: Paul Gerrard
5. Alien Races
- Photo-realistic Sci-fi Portraits: Michael Kutsche
- Q&A: Intelligent Aliens: Francis Tsai
- Quick Martian Concepts: Andy Park
- Masterclass: 25 Ways to Design an Alien
6. Creature Features
- Create a One-hour Monster: Joe Vriens Jr
- Q&A: Merging Animal References: Patrick Reilly
- Watercolour to Digital: Justin Gerard
- Core Skills: Pen Tool
- Masterclass: Creature Anatomy Workshop
- Symmetrical Designing: Mike Corriero
- Top Ten Essential Art Skills

ImagineFX Fantasy Creatures: The Ultimate Guide to Mastering Digital Painting Techniques is available at Amazon (US | CA | UK | DE | FR | IT | JP) and Book Depository

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8 Comments

Hi parka, I am a bit

Hi parka, I am a bit confused, I have knowledge of Photoshop and How to paint in photoshop and I can draw good, but I don't know much bout the basic techniques of the masters of digital art, Is this book useful for me or I should buy Fantasy Workshop: Mastering Digital Painting Techniques?

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