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Book Review: Beginner's Guide to Digital Painting in Photoshop: Characters by 3DTotal

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Beginner's Guide to Digital Painting: Characters is a comprehensive guide for artists wishing to create convincing and detailed characters. It features established artists such as Charlie Bowater (concept artist at Atomhawk) and Derek Stenning (freelance concept artist and illustrator, with clients including Marvel Entertainment and Nintendo) who share their industry experiences by covering such aspects as posing characters, choosing the correct costumes, conveying emotions, and creating suitable moods.

Comprehensive step-by-step instructions - including a quick tips section that covers how to paint elements that are integral to character design - make this an invaluable resource for those looking to learn new skills, as well as those pursuing the next level.

-3dtotal.com book intro

Title: Beginner's Guide to Digital Painting in Photoshop: Characters by 3DTotal
Series: Beginner's Guide
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: 3dtotal Publishing (March 17, 2015)
Language: English
Price: $37.98
ISBN-13: 978-1909414143

3Dtotal has an excellent "Beginner's series" of digital painting in Photoshop books. Each title is clearly written with great illustrations and a special focus on the "step-by-step" process for a variety of digital painting projects.

I'll be reviewing the title Beginers Guide to Digital Painting in Photoshop: Characters. There are five chapters with 18 projects and a Quick Tips section, all of them focused on the basics of creating a variety of characters and their body parts using Adobe's Photoshop.

The book is designed for the reader to focus on a specific project that interests them and work their way through it until they have a final project. You don't have to read it in a linear fashion from beginning to end, although the early chapter on "Getting Started" covers some basic concepts on getting the canvas and brushes set up so you should probably read this chapter first.

The book is well designed and organized. Plus, the binding is of good quality so you can lay it flat without cracking the spine. I like the balance of illustration and text. Much thought has gone in to making sure the illustrations support the lessons, which makes it easy to follow a specific project from beginning to end.

Favorite projects include the "Storytelling and Moods" chapter and the "Desert Man" project. All of the chapters and projects are interesting, I just found these sections inspired me to do more research outside of the book. I suspect your favorites will be different, but that's one of things that make this such a great book to have on your shelf of art books.

This is the second edition of the book, which was originally published in 2015. Although there have been updates to Adobe Photoshop CC, they are not significant enough to cause any projects to be out of date. In fact, you can probably follow the projects in a version of Photoshop that is two or three years old. Beyond that, you may have issues.

3Dtotal has several other books in this beginners series. I'm tempted to pick up the one on science fiction and fantasy next. There is a complete list of beginners books at the 3Dtotal store along with listings for the cheaper eBook versions of several titles. Be sure to check out the video below for a view of the books content.

About 3dtotal.com
3dtotal was founded in 1999 as a simple 3D resource website. Since then, the site has evolved into one of the premier CG art websites in the world, offering inspirational and educational resources for digital artists of all levels. Now also a publisher of over 40 successful art books and other invaluable art products, we are proud to have expanded into the traditional art sector as well with popular sketching titles and tools, aiming to make art accessible to anyone who wants to give it a try.

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3Dtotal, Adobe Photoshop, Character Creation, Digital art
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