Ballistic Publishing Unveils Creative ESSENCE: The Face, First of a New Series of 3D Teaching Books

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Essence: The Face is the first book in the new Creative Essence series. Designed for artists with a mid-to-advanced understanding of 3D character creation, the book starts with the photo shoot of model Monika and draws on the methods of six professionals to create a digital model from beginning to end. Working as a team each artist develops a piece of the 3D character puzzle to show you how lifelike characters are created in a production environment. The Face encompasses reference photography, modeling, UV mapping, texturing and rendering to create a digital double that would be at home in a next-generation game or HD movie.

Released for pre-sale today, Creative ESSENCE: The Face is the first of a new series of 3D tutorial books for mid-to-advanced artists who want to bring their digital characters to life. Each ESSENCE book will focus on a single topic with six to ten of the world's best artists sharing their techniques and approaches to character creation. The first book in the ESSENCE series, ESSENCE: The Face, is all about creating photo-real human faces for games and film. It describes techniques, current best practices, and looks at new methods for improving production speed and quality. The core data set created by the authors is also offered as a companion DVD, allowing artists to immediately develop their skills based on the techniques outlined in the book.

The Artists
ESSENCE: The Face is the first book of its type to illustrate character creation techniques in a team environment. Like all game and film projects, a talented team of artists is required to bring a concept to completion at a high level of quality on a deadline. With ESSENCE: The Face, the process began in Prague with the 3D.SK team headed by Peter Levius photographing Monika as the model reference. The photos then moved to California where Hong Suck Suh (Character Lead of Sony's PlayStation 3 Cinematic Group) created the 3D model matching Monika's features. Paul Fedor (artist, director, and former texture guru for Sony in its PlayStation 3 Cinematic Group) crafted the Monika photos into complete face textures to match Hong's model. He also showed his enormous texturing skills by separately aging and scarring Monika. Steven Stahlberg (co-author of d'artiste Character Modeling) modeled and textured Monika's eyes while Dr Mark Snoswell (co-founder of Ballistic Media and President of the CGSociety) developed a DirectX shader to automate the process of texturing 3D head models. Finally, Matt Hartle (render guru with film credits on 'Van Helsing' and 'Scorched') combined all of the models and textures to render Monika in all her glory.

For the first time, Ballistic Publishing is offering the extensive collection of the digital assets used in Essence: The Face allowing artists to create their own amazing face models. Complementing the book the DVD includes a comprehensive set of models, textures, photographs, software and tools that will allow artists to immediately develop their skills based on the techniques outlined in the book. To take full advantage of this learning resource it is recommended that the book and accompanying DVD be purchased as a bundle.

Future ESSENCE titles will include: The Face: Rigging and Animation; The Body: Modeling and Texturing; Detailing Characters, Digital Sculpting and Advanced Texturing; The Body: Rigging and Animation; Creatures: Wings, Fins, Scales and Fur.

For additional information contact Andrew Plumer or visit An interactive, animated Book Previewer on the Ballistic website allows you to flick through the entire book can be found at Creative ESSENCE: The Face is now available for pre-sale in a slipcased edition (USD$55). A complementary set of models are on offer to the first 300 customers. CGSociety members are entitled to free standard worldwide shipping of any Ballistic Publishing book. Creative ESSENCE: The Face is due to ship in early May.

About Ballistic Publishing
Ballistic Publishing is the leading, award-winning, independent publisher of books for the digital arts industry. Dedicated to publications of the highest quality celebrating the talents of digital artists worldwide, Ballistic has set the benchmark as a quality boutique publisher. Ballistic Publishing is embedded within the digital arts community through its sister organization The CGSociety (The Computer Graphics Society). Ballistic Publishing is based in the Adelaide Hills of South Australia, with offices in Melbourne (Victoria, Australia) and Tampa (Florida, USA).

Andrew Plumer,
CEO, Ballistic Media Pty. Ltd
Phone: +61-8-3885966


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