Book Review: Ballistic Publishing's Exotique 5

Ballistic Publishing's Exotique 5

In November 2009, Ballistic Publishing released Exotique 5. The Exotique series was initially launched in August of 2005 with the purpose of showcasing the finest in digital character art, and that is what continues here in this wonderful fifth edition.

With inspirational artwork covering the genres of fantasy, sci-fi, anime and photorealism, this beautiful collection finds its artists from 44 countries and showcases a wide variety of styles. While Photoshop is the dominating program, there are a great deal of other programs used, including Painter, ZBrush, CINEMA 4D, and 3ds Max.

With Exotique 5, 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 $52.00 (USD), is absolutely worth every penny.

Legend of the Five Rings: Hida Eijiko
Legend of the Five Rings: Hida Eijiko
Photoshop Client: Alderac Entertainment Group
Mario Wibisono, INDONESIA
‘Legend of the Five Rings’ © 2009 Alderac Entertainment Group

Out of all the wonderful images contained in Exotique 5, I would say my personal favorites are the Legend of the Five Rings pieces by Mario Wibisono of Indonesia that are pictured here. But, there is so much great artwork I kept going back to ponder over. Like other Ballistic titles, Exotique 5 is a book that you will undoubtedly spend a lot of time with over and over again.

Legend of the Five Rings: Jade Hand
Legend of the Five Rings: Jade Hand
Photoshop Client: Alderac Entertainment Group
Mario Wibisono, INDONESIA
‘Legend of the Five Rings’ © 2009 Alderac Entertainment Group

It was also especially cool to see Renderosity artist Calum Andrews [calum5] get full-page glory with his excellent Keja II piece, created with ZBrush and Photoshop. You can see more of his fantastic artwork in his Renderosity Gallery.

Keja II by Calum Andrews
Keja II
ZBrush, Photoshop
Calum Andrews, GREAT BRITAIN

With Exotique 5, Ballistic found themselves once again with the enormous challenge of judging which entries would make it into the book. Their immediate answer was to include even more imagery into Exotique 5 than they had with previous editions. You can, however, see for yourself some of the entries that just barely missed inclusion in Exotique 5, by going here.

I can certainly see why the chose what they did for the cover art of the soft cover edition (the leather-bound special edition features different, yet just as stunning, artwork on the cover). The image Sweet as Candy by Neville dSouza of India is absolutely beautiful, especially with the work on the eyes of this character.

Sweet as candy by Neville dSouza
Sweet as Candy
Photoshop
Neville dSouza, INDIA

An excellent bonus to come out of the Exotique 5 collection, is that Ballistic asked 3 of the featured artists to share how they created their entries. Below is an exclusive download link for free character creation tutorials in PDF format from 3 of the Exotique 5 artists, including cover artist, Neville dSouza. I found Neville's tutorial most appealing to me, with an excellent image progression on his work on the cover character's eyes.


Download Here

And once again, I must close by saying that Ballistic continues to awe with not only the gathering and display of the finest collection of digital artworks imagineable, but their continued high quality print publications. Like all of their other titles, Exotique 5 is an absolutely gorgeous book that you will surely enjoy over and over again.

Pricing:

Special Edition - $115.00 (USD)

Soft Cover - $52.00 (USD)

For more information on Exotique 5, please visit Ballistic Publishing, and be sure to look at their Book Previewer to get a good look at the content before purchase.

Ballistic Publishing is currently looking for entries for EXPOSÉ 8. Entry Deadline is Monday, February 22nd 2010 at Midnight (GMT), so be sure to check it out.


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).


All supporting images are copyright to their respective artists, and used with permission from Ballistic Publishing.
All content and images cannot be copied, printed, or reproduced in any manner without written permission.

Nick C. Sorbin is a digital artist, sculptor, writer, and Managing Editor for Renderosity's Front Page News.
Renderosity Homepage

 

January 18, 2010

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Member Opinions:
By: calum5 on 1/19/10
Hi Nick,I was really pleased Ballistic accepted one of my entries for the publication!I have the leather cover special edition and the regular books.I didnt realise they were so big!A4 pages.I cant belive some of the work inside.Really am proud to be involved with it and thanks to renderosity and you for noticing a renderosity member ,calum5.cal:)

By: Hawkins-GraFX on 1/20/10
Thanks for a great review Nick.

Calum, Your Keja image is off the hook amazing. Congrats!

I have several of the Ballistic books and they are super high quality and full of mind blowing art!

Clint

By: Kimberly.3D on 1/22/10
Wow Calum5 I am so excited for you! It's truely well deserved. This is a long time coming! You are one of the phenomental talents here!

By: StaceyG on 1/22/10
Calum, your image is awesome. Congrats to you!!
The Ballastic books always have top notch art and yours definitely fits right in


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