Editors Daniel Wade & Paul Hellard | Publisher Ballistic | Price $45 | Web

Some 2,600 entries were submitted when Ballistic invited artists to enter their finest pieces created in Corel’s Painter for this inaugural book. High profile judges were enlisted to sift through them (including John Derry, Ryan Church, Jeremy Sutton, Don Seegmiller, Philip Straub and Andrew Jones).

They shortlisted digital delights from 128 artists in 29 countries, to present an absolutely breathtaking showcase. The themes are extremely diverse, including Character in Repose, Character in Action, Portraits, Transport, Wildlife, Environment, Still Life, Abstract & Surreal, Humorous, Editorial Illustration, Fantasy and Concept Art. The collection is a genuine pleasure to browse through, and will leave you in awe, as well as offering inspiration.

Although only one in 12 of the entries made it into the book, you can check out a wider selection at Ballistic’s website. Unfortunately, no profiles are given about each artist, and no information is provided about each artist’s techniques. However an index of artists’ website is provided, which could be a useful resource. 

The editors suggest the collection challenges common misconceptions and elitist attitudes towards digital art, demonstrating how the medium expands the tools and forms of traditional art. In fact Corel’s natural media software package is not the only tool used here – some of the entries use Illustrator, Photoshop, ArtRage, PhotoPaint, Bryce, Poser and ZBrush. You won’t believe they were all computer generated. You will believe, however, that the future of digital fantasy art is in enviable hands.

As with the other titles in Ballistic’s growing collection of CG art books, this one is also available in a limited edition leather-bound version.