Exotique
Editors Daniel Wade & Paul Hellard | Publisher Ballistic | Price $39 | Web www.ballisticpublishing.com

This aptly-titled and impressive collection, in paperback and special bound edition ($99), offers the high-quality presentation that we’ve come to expect from digital specialists at Ballistic. The book incorporates classic digital images of feminine beauty along with contemporary and more striking alternatives on the theme.

The emphasis is on beauty in CG characters, so it provides a range of femme fatales. The works are dripping with visual narrative along with some stunningly-executed techniques.

The artwork delves into several realms of fantasy art, with the main focus being the female form. Therefore mingled in with sophisticated and finer art leanings are a few exceedingly-endowed fantasy depictions, chicks with guns, swords and spells. Futuristic and robotic genres are also in the cast.

As well as a gallery of 113 international artists from 37 countries, eight leading figures discuss how they created specific characters shown in the book and provide interesting insights into how they think and work, in both 2D and 3D. These are Linda Bergkvist, Oliver Ponsonnet, Henning Ludvigsen, Liam Kemp, Jason Chan, Pascal Blanché, Jean-Yves Lelcercq and Fred Bastide.

The artistic potential of 21 software packages are demonstrated well. Obviously it includes the ubiquitous Photoshop and Painter but, usefully, it delves into art created with other applications, which will give you a good taster of what can be achieved if you’re thinking of investing in more software.

The editors have presented a treasure that celebrates some of the best marriages of fertile artistic minds and technology. Special offers are available on the website, if you’re fast.