Ballistic Publishing's EXPOSE 11 in Review

January 21, 2014 10:00 pm

Tags: 2D, 3D, Ballistic Publishing, CG, Expose, Illustration, Painting

If there's one thing that I've learned about Ballistic Publishing, it's their commitment to putting forth the finest quality publications that are a sheer joy to hold in your hands. And it's amazing how they manage to continue to do this year after year. While they publish other beautiful series books, like their d'artiste master class tutorial collections, and Exotique character art collections, their flagship publication, the annual EXPOSE series continues to excite with its diversity, covering many categories of artwork.


by Mario Sanchez Nevado


Another Record Year

For EXPOSE 11, Ballistic again received a record number of submissions from all over the globe. To be a little more exact, they had to look at just over 8000 submissions to put together EXPOSE 11, which beautifully showcases 405 artists from 65 countries. Imagine the process this had to be! But, Ballistic had an advisory board of 13 members, all renowned artists, to help in this task. The advisory board this time included the likes of Syd Mead (‘Blade Runner’, ‘Tron’, ‘Aliens’), Chris Perna (Epic Games Art Director), and Chris Sloan (award-winning Art Director from National Geographic), just to give you an idea of the incredible talent on hand that judged art in each category into Master and Excellence classes.

See the full advisory board and their bios here.


Fly From Here
by Roger Dean


The Grand Master

In each year's edition of EXPOSE, there is a Grand Master appointed by the judging panel. This is someone who shows consistent high standards and is greatly influential. I was more than pleased to see the award go to Roger Dean this year. Anyone who might recall classic album covers of the progressive rock group, Yes, will instantly know who Roger Dean is. There is an excellent selection of Roger's works included, as well as a nice look at his history.


The Weeping Woman
Maya, Mudbox, mental ray, Photoshop
by Carlos Ortega Elizalde



There are 23 specific categories in EXPOSE 11. Now, the categories usually go through some slight changes each year, which is mainly in response to the submitted works. Some previous categories may disappear while some new ones are added, and still some are brought back that appeared in earlier years. This year the 'Game Art' category makes a comeback, and the new categories 'Character' and 'Digital 'Plein Air' Painting' were added. The 'Portrait' category is usually further broken down, this time into 3 representations, being: 'Portrait (Illustrated),' 'Portrait (Rendered),' and 'Portrait (Painted).' The Portrait category always astounds in each edition of EXPOSE, and is perfect in the lead of the other categories.


by Sarel Theron
South Africa


The special new category, Digital 'Plein Air' Painting, is really fascinating. Basically, this is painting in the 'open air,' which means works that more accurately capture real light and shadow. I found this especially interesting, and there is a brief history of how Plein Air painting has origins with the early impressionists, and you are treated to exceptional works in this area.

The full list of categories in EXPOSE 11:

  • Portrait (Illustrated, Painted, & Rendered)
  • Fantasy
  • Fantasy Femmes
  • Architecture (Exterior & Interior)
  • Concept Art
  • Game Art
  • Environment
  • Comic/Manga
  • Matte Painting
  • Science Fiction
  • Abstract & Design
  • Surreal
  • Warriors & Conflict
  • Robotic/Cyborg
  • Steampunk
  • Whimsical
  • Storytelling
  • Transport
  • Character
  • Digital 'Plein Air' Painting


Game of Life
3ds Max, V-ray, ZBrush, Mudbox
by Hu Zheng


Art is subjective, of course, and the images I've chosen to accompany this article are a very, very small selection of my personal favorites showcased in EXPOSE 11. Hu Zheng's Game of Life, from the 'Storytelling' category is one of the works that keeps drawing me in, as well as Andrea Lazzarotti's Lobit, from the 'Robotic/Cyborg' category.


3ds Max, V-ray, After Effects, Photoshop
by Andrea Lazzarotti


My personal tastes usually lie first and foremost in the 'Abstract' and 'Surreal' categories, and the submissions in these areas are always thrilling. But, in EXPOSE 11, some of my favorite works belonged to the 'Steampunk,' 'Storytelling,' and 'Environment' categories.


Zygosis: Anatomical Architecture
Shade, ZBrush, Photoshop
by Kazuhiko Nakamura


As if this beautifully crafted book wasn't enough, the fine folks at Ballistic Publishing offer an exclusive video walkthrough of the creation of the Master award winning image in the 'Transport' category (see below).





With every Ballistic Publishing book that I have held personally, I am always amazed at their insistence on offering the highest quality print publications. Like all of their other titles, EXPOSE 11 is an absolutely gorgeous book that you will undoubtedly enjoy over and over again. This is a book to inspire anytime you need it and will not sit and collect dust on your bookshelf.


Limited Edition - $170.00 (USD)
Hard Cover - $79.00 (USD)
Soft Cover - $69.00 (USD)

Quick Links

For more information about EXPOSE 11, please visit Ballistic Publishing, and be sure to look at their excellent Book Previewer for an excellent preview of the content before purchase.

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 CG Industry News. With a keen interest in motion graphics, Nick's weekly Motion Corner column highlights the tools and techniques in this vast area, as well as spotlighting current motion designers and software developers.
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