What books would you bring with you to a desert island or if you were stationed in a remote part of the world with no access to google or flickr? We’ve compiled the ultimate resource book list for your creative sabbatical and judging from the run-ins we’ve had with artists around the industry you might find some commonality here. Some of these books are instructional and some are more for reference purposes but in all cases we feel like the knowledge and perspective within will outlast most software and informational changes on the market.
|1. Lighting and Rendering with Jeremy Birn
This book is perhaps the best written book on the subject of lighting a cg scene. All of the terminology used within the book is se well presented that it makes learning about what some consider to be a difficult subject matter easy to follow and breeze to read. Definitely a book you should own if you are considering working in 3D.
|2. The Illusion of Life by Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas
Considered to be the bible of animation by many who work in the animation industry today……more than that you can use it as a flipbook for the characters on the pages if you want to entertain the kids!
|3. ZBrush Digital Sculpting Human Anatomy
Sounds a little presumptuous to put this on the list? Too software specific? Not really…This book functions more as a guide about the forms/shapes muscles and bone create in the human body and how to interpret that information as an artist, making it more valuable than the 2D anatomy book. Now all you need is that anatomy tools figure to go along with it.
|4. Digital Painting Techniques
Too be honest we were a little skeptical about this book in the beginning. There are a lot of free tutorials and magazines out there that aim to give you advice about painting using photoshop/painter. What this book does right is they assemble a little bit of every subject into one book. Whether looking for advice on painting characters or environments, it covers the spread. We should mention that this book is only really recommendable for beginners to intermediate digital artists. Still worth the buy for the pretty pictures though.
|5. The Skillful Huntsman
A lot of students make the mistake of not putting enough ideas in front of their instructors; this book from Design Studio Press should break you of that habit. The artists whose student work is featured really show what you are up against in this industry. It also helps that it covers everything from silhouettes and thumbnails to finished concept with instructors notes and student reflections.
|6. Rainforest by Thomas Marent
If we had a dollar for everytime we’ve seen this book in an artists bookshelf…..Really its one of the most inspirational books you can pick up because no beats mother natures color palette. Oddly enough this can be a difficult one to find lately. Though well worth the money when you can find it.
|7. Animal: The Definitive Visual Guide to the World’s Wildlife
This is the monster manual of the wild, more creatures and explanations are crammed in here than you’d expect, which is why it also ranks up there for artist reference.
|8. Art Forms in Nature
Just when you think you’ve seen it all this book will make you re-examine your concept work and its just a collection of nature illustrations.
|9. Illustrated Dictionary of Historic Architecture – edited by Cyril M. Harris
Presenting an excellent reference guide to architectural structures and acoutrements. It is exactly what the title says it is. As an artist ts nice to keep this around as inspiration for background elements in your art – and to avoid uncomfortable silences when the art director tells you he want more flying buttresses…
|10. Your inspirational artist
Doesn’t matter if you are into the human characters, monsters, or environments, someone out there has done it better than you. It’s good to keep your favorite artists book at hand for inspiration when you think you’ve done all you can do.
Whats your favorite book? Let us know by leaving comment.