Thursday, July 7th, 2011 Posted by CG Channel Administration

Review: Digital Art Masters: Volume 6

3DTotal’s latest book delivers another balanced collection of 2D and 3D tutorials, argues Fernando Caire – but beginners may not find this the best introduction to the series.

3DTotal’s Digital Art Masters series of training books never ceases to amaze me. Providing an incredible volume of diverse, challenging tutorials taught by true masters of their craft, these are perfect guides to improving your skills.

Running to 319 beautifully printed pages, Digital Art Masters: Volume 6 is the biggest yet – and the subject matter is as diverse as it is breathtaking. Fantasy, science fiction, portraits, creatures, characters, sets, epic post-apocalyptic environments: they’re all here.

One tutorial by Jesse van Dijk even sets out how to paint an entire war scene similar to the battle of Helm’s Deep from The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. The step-by-step lessons target the key points in the painting process and make an otherwise chaotic and fiery battle look like a walk in the park.

Broken up into 52 chapters, the organization of the book makes it easy to find the tutorial or artist you need. There is also a healthy divide between the 2D and 3D tutorials, neither overpowering the other.

But while reading each tutorial it quickly becomes apparent that the artists expect the reader to know the basics, skipping simpler steps in order to move on to more advanced techniques.

With most of the walkthroughs, this works well, but with some of the 3D modeling and texturing tutorials, it works against the novice. Not being the most skilled 3D artist, I couldn’t help feeling that I was missing something important in quite a few of these tutorials: some of the more complex and technical in the book.

One for the veterans?
If you are an experienced artist, this is definitely a must-have: the corners cut to focus on advanced techniques will be space well saved. If you are less experienced, some of the 3D tutorials may throw you for a loop.

But outside these sections, all of the lessons are easy enough to follow, and each gives masterly results. And at $49.99 (currently just $30 on for over 50 tutorials, even with a few misfires, Digital Art Masters: Volume 6 offers more than enough bang for your buck.

Preview or buy Digital Art Masters: Volume 6 from 3DTotal’s online shop (£32)

Buy Digital Art Masters: Volume 6 on (RRP: $49.99)