Matte Painting 2 is the seventh book in Ballistic Publishing's d'artiste series, and a splendid edition it is indeed! I can't stress enough just how incredible this book really is. Ballistic Publishing has a great history of gathering the finest in digital artwork, and the most masterful of artists in their publications, and they do not fall short of that here.
Like previous books in the d'artiste series, the book is divided by select Master Artists. In this case, we have: Yusei Uesugi, Max Dennison, and Chris Thunig. Each of these artists have an incredible history in providing matte painting in film, and talk in-depth about their work through the opening interviews, as well as in their look at other artists' work. That's what I really love about this series: to see almost first-hand what goes into the work, and what problems face the digital matte painter.
In the first section, Yusei Uesugi tells of his experiences working at ILM on films such as Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Die Hard 2, and the Star Wars films. He presents an outstanding tutorial on Multi-Layer Projection Mapping, with a shot of the planet Coruscant from Star Wars Episode III - Revenge of the Sith, and you see just how the work came together for that shot. He further offers his advice on what it takes to get seen in the industry. This is followed by his look at the work of others in his invited artist gallery.
The next section presents Max Dennison, who worked on such films as The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, X-Men III, and television's Lost series. He talks about what he has learned 'on the job' and the fundamentals that need to be learned first by anyone wanting to succeed in this industry. He presents 3 great tutorials, going well into detail on the process of painting and mixing 2D and 3D elements.
The decline of Babel myth
Frederic St-Arnaud, CANADA
Last, and certainly not least, we have Chris Thunig, who worked on such films as Troy, Corpse Bride, and The Da Vinci Code, and is currently working for Blizzard Entertainment. He presents two matte painting tutorials featuring his own personal project, which is quite fascinating in concept alone, and a must see.
Benjamin Ross, GERMANY
The images presented here in this review, though greatly representative, are just a very small taste of what you'll find gracing the pages of this book. Each image is truly captivating, down to the smallest of details. And it's the smallest details that will surely have you studying the work of these artists over and over again.
Raine Kuusi, FINLAND
I would recommend this book to anyone, whether a digital artist, or simply those who love the art of vast landscapes/cityscapes, or a look into this area of work in film today. This is a book that can easily draw you in for hours at a time. Aside from the beautiful imagery, it is very interesting to read about how these artists got their start, what they have learned and accomplished, and what it takes to grow and succeed in the industry.
3ds Max, Photoshop
Jaime Jasso, USA
Matte Painting 2 is a feast for the eyes, food for the digital artist's soul, and certainly a book that will not collect dust on anyone's bookshelf. The very words and work of the Master Artists presented, as well as the work in the invited artist sections, is truly fascinating. The tutorials included also make it a fantastic reference.
Also, as I've said in the past of Ballistic Publishing, they continuously provide books of the finest quality print, and continue to highlight the best of the best in digital art today. If you should decide to purchase a copy, you might find yourself seeking the rest of the collection as well.
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).
Nick C. Sorbin is a digital artist, sculptor, writer, and Managing Editor for Renderosity's Front Page News.
February 16, 2009
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