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Book Review: Sculpting From the Imagination: ZBrush

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Title: Sculpting From the Imagination: ZBrush
Editor: Marisa Lewis


Product details: Softback 320 pages
Paper quality: Full color premium paper pages
ISBN: 978-1-909414-33-4


Publisher: 3DTotal Publishing
www.3dtotal.com


Publisher's Introduction:
Get a glimpse inside the minds of the masters as Sculpting from the Imagination: ZBrush brings together the 3D sketches of 50 incredible digital artists in an inspiring display of talent and technique. In this unique follow-on from the popular Sketching from the Imagination series, you'll discover an array of subject matter and styles, from rough models molded in digital clay, to entire characters, creatures, machines, monsters, and more. For 3D artists of all abilities looking to try new approaches and searching for inspiration, this book is a first-class anthology of stunning images, invaluable tips, and artistic insights that will leave any creative mind wanting more.


Review
Pixologic's ZBrush is hands-down the foremost application for 3D digital sculpting. Ease-of-use, a low learning curve and a very deep toolset are only some of the reasons for it's widespread popularity among professionals and prosumers alike. ZBrush has become a standard tool in the game-creation industry because it is so well integrated into so many other applications like Maya, Cinema 4D and Houdini.

Sculpting From the Imagination: ZBrush is a recent book published by 3DTotal.com. And rather than a simple "how-to" tutorial, which can be useful, but time consuming, the book is a collection of 50 ZBrush artists work along with their insights on their personal workflow, toolkit and how ZBrush aides/insights into using this powerful sculpting application.

The variety of artists chosen for the book is one of its most appealing aspects. There are artists from all nationalities present: asian artists like Xin Gao and Jia Hao, Canadian artists like Taissia Abdoullina, British artists James W. Cain and Eastern European artists like Martin Nikoloff (to name only a few). All 50 of the artists represented in this book are highly skilled and able to communicate their ideas and techniques clearly and with insight/enthusiasm. They clearly love ZBrush.

The layout of the book is excellent. I'd say 40% of the book contains examples of the artists work at various stages of completion. These illustrations are of exceptional quality and help the reader in understanding the context of each artists hints and insights. One thing that is particularly good is the binding of the book. Designed to lay flat so you can use your computer to explore the various artists ideas on your own computer, the binding is strong enough to withstand a lot of stress so it won't crack and leave pages falling out. This is a sign of the quality that 3DTotal has put into the making of this excellent book.

All of the artists are so good, it's hard to choose any standouts. However, was taken with the chapters by artists Carsten Stuben, Alexendra (Lex) Reeves, Laura Peltomaki and Pablo Munoz Gomez for their outstanding artworks using ZBrush, but also for the clarity of their thoughts and writing on how to effectively use the program. All of the artists are good at sharing their insights on workflow, but these particular artists stand out for me.

There is an index at the back of the book of all 50 artists featured in Sculpting From The Imagination: ZBrush with personal info and links to their respective websites. I highly recommend checking these artists out as their websites often have additional info/tutorials that are not only quite useful, but inspiring as well. It's a delight to see so much beautiful and compelling art being created.

Final Thoughts
3DTotal has done an outstanding job with Sculpting From the Imagination: ZBrush. Not only is the book beautifully crafted with high-quality illustrations, but it's well bound and will last a long time even with heavy usage. The artists chosen for the book complement each other and provide a variety of points of view on how they use ZBrush. There is an honest enthusiasm and desire to share that enthusiasm that comes across very clearly in each artists presentation.

Any artist who uses ZBrush should buy this book and place it permanently on their essential books shelf. Although not a beginners book per se, even those just starting out with ZBrush will find this book useful, plus you'll grow into the book as your ZBrush skills increase.

Sculpting From the Imagination: ZBrush is a marvelous book that provides much needed insight and essential information directly from the artists who are using the software every day. Highly recommended.

Be sure to visit the 3DTotal Store for pricing information and coverage of more books and services provided by this innovative company. There's also a very nice preview of the book at the shop where you can flip through the pages to get a sense of the content and layout.


About 3DTotal
3DTotal was founded in 1999 as a simple 3D resource website. Over the last decade the site has evolved into one of the premier CG art websites in the world, offering a variety of training products, an inspirational gallery, a free texture library and hundreds of free tutorials on a variety of subjects. We now cater for 1.5 million visitors per month and strive to create a friendly and educational environment that not only helps budding and experienced CG artists alike, but also showcases some of the best computer generated artwork in the world

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Tags: 
3DTotal, digital artist, digital sculpting, ZBrush
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