In November 2011, Ballistic Publishing released Exotique 7. The Exotique series, initially launched in August of 2005 with the purpose of showcasing the finest in digital character art, continues to wow with this seventh edition.
With inspirational, character-based artwork covering the genres of fantasy, sci-fi, anime and photorealism, this beautiful collection finds its artists from all over the world and showcases a wide variety of styles. While Photoshop and Painter seem to be the dominating programs used in these works, there are other programs mentioned, including ZBrush, Maya, 3ds Max, modo, and others.
For Exotique 7, Ballistic once again offers a soft cover edition, as well as a limited, leather-bound special edition for the serious collector. In this review, I am looking at the soft cover edition, which, at the price of $59.00 (USD), is absolutely worth every penny.
With Exotique 7, Ballistic once again had a huge number of entries to sort through (almost 3000 entries from 717 artists this time around) and assembled here their top picks, amounting to 358 beautiful character designs within the book's 208 pages. Out of all the wonderful images contained in Exotique 7, my personal favorites are pictured here in this review. But, there is yet so much great artwork in this book that I keep going back to ponder over. Like other Ballistic titles, Exotique 7 is a book that you will certainly spend a lot of time with, guaranteed.
All the unique artists' styles are wonderfully showcased in Exotique 7, with some of the most compelling works getting two-page spreads, and a good number of full-page treatments. Ballistic did a fantastic job on the layout of this book, which really should come as no surprise if you've ever paged through any of their titles.
The incredible number of entries Ballistic sorted through to come up with what they did in Exotique 7 is astounding, but you can also view all submitted entries at the Ballistic site here, to see some of the incredible work that just nearly missed inclusion.
From the illustrative to the amazingly photorealistic pieces, each and every work in this collection shows incredible artistic talent, and surely something to aspire to. U Ri So of Korea, who submitted "Portrait" (pictured below), is just one of those photorealistic works that caught me off guard and had me in awe.
With every Ballistic title that I have personally held in my hands, I am constantly amazed at their insistence on offering the highest quality print publications. Like all of their other titles, Exotique 7 is an absolutely gorgeous book that you will undoubtedly enjoy over and over again, and I do mean that. This is a book to inspire anytime you need it and will not sit and collect dust on your bookshelf.
I must also mention that, as a special bonus to anyone who purchases either edition of Exotique 7, there is an included card that supplies you with a code allowing you to download 3 exclusive tutorial videos from the Ballistic website. These videos give you over 90 minutes of walkthroughs with Master Artists: Ashley Walters, Chris Ng, and Sarah Biddle. I've viewed these tutorials myself and they are excellent, over-the-shoulder looks at how these amazing artists work.
Special Edition - $115.00 (USD)
Soft Cover - $59.00 (USD)
For more information on Exotique 7, please visit Ballistic Publishing, and be sure to look at their great Book Previewer to get a good look at the content before purchase.
About Ballistic Publishing
Ballistic Publishing is the leading, award-winning, independent publisher of books for the digital arts industry. Dedicated to producing the highest quality publications celebrating the talents of digital artists worldwide, it is setting high standards in all areas of publishing from the quality of content, design and delivery to its responsiveness to the market. Ballistic Publishing shares a strong affiliation with the digital arts community through its sister organization The CGSociety (The Computer Graphics Society). Ballistic Publishing is based in the Adelaide Hills of South Australia, with offices in Melbourne (Victoria, Australia) and Tampa (Florida, USA).
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