CGSociety :: Special Feature
11 March 2013, by Paul Hellard
This year Ballistic Media is into the second decade of business, and Ballistic Publishing is preparing to produce the eleventh EXPOSÉ Digital Art Annual. As with all Ballistic Publishing showcase books, artists whose work passes through the judging process and is published in EXPOSÉ 11 will receive a complimentary copy of the book and will enjoy worldwide exposure in the premier collection of digitally-created artwork to ever be published. Many artists have told us of their careers beginning after appearing in EXPOSÉ. Our books accompany hopeful artists into job interviews. Many managers from major studios have even told us they have bought the books and used them as recruiting guides.
We are interested in digitally-created fine art, whether it be 2D or 3D, for commercial use, or personal satisfaction.
So, be doubly prepared with this timely bunch of advice from many Master and Excellence Award winners from previous EXPOSÉ books. There is also some advice from the Ballistic team, about to get busy preparing for layout, editing, producing and printing the showcase book. There are also some practical and technical requirements and copyright formalities that need to be followed for successful submission of the art. Read on...
The EXPOSÉ 11 Awards will celebrate the highest artistic achievement in a diverse range of categories and styles. Master and Excellence Award recipients will have demonstrated an outstanding fusion of artistic and technical excellence. The Advisory Board and judges of the work, are digital artists of some stature, selected for their experience in judging images within their targeted categories within the book.
The Categories available are as follows: Portrait (Painted), Portrait (Rendered), Game Art, Architecture (Exterior), Architecture (Interior), Fantasy, Concept Art, Matte Painting, Environment, Warriors & Conflict, Science Fiction, Robotic/Cyborg, Comic/Manga, Product Design & Still Life, Abstract & Design, Surreal, Storytelling, Whimsical and Transport.
When you have finally completed what you consider to be your best work, the image needs to be rendered out as an RGB TIF file. Each image you submit must be included into a zip file. Only one image per zip file. No other files should be included in the zip file. Multiple entries must be uploaded in multiple, different zip files.
You need to use FTP software to submit your entries as the entire submission process is automated and trackable. We automatically email all entrants to confirm we received your entry., however, once your image has uploaded, you must login and confirm it. This enables you to check that the upload was successful. To avoid a bandwidth bottleneck at the end of the entry period we strongly suggest people enter as early as possible. The deadline is 11:59PM GMT on March 28th 2013.
1. Feel free to 'hand edit' your images as much as you like. 3D renders should be viewed as if they were raw photographs -- they should be hand edited, color corrected, sharpened, and edited to improve their quality as much as you can.
2. Monitor gamma and color settings vary considerably. We will be reviewing all images on a standard system that is representative of most computer systems and is also optimised for print reproduction. We will be reviewing and preparing all images on a monitor with sRGB color response and a gamma of 2.2.
We have provided a monitor calibration image (color calibrate gamma 2_2.jpg
) to help you set up your monitor. You MUST display this image at 100% in a program that does NOT alter the gamma (not Photoshop). We have provided the image as a 100% quality JPG image so that you can view it in any web browser.
You should adjust your monitor controls so that the difference between the solid and dithered areas are minimal. Ideally you should be able to make all the solid squares match the surrounds -- however this is not possible on most monitors in which case you should adjust your monitor so that most of the mid range is matched. You should sit back from the monitor and squint to blur your vision to best judge the match.
You should do all adjustments on your monitor if you can. If you have a choice you should not adjust your graphics card gamma or any other software controls unless you have an ATI Radeon, NVIDIA FX or other card with FLOATING POINT display buffer. The reason for this is that there is just not enough resolution in 8 bits (24-bit RGB graphics buffer) to permit adjustment of gamma response without seriously degrading the shadow detail.
3. Do not convert your image to CMYK and do not over-sharpen it. We will be applying CMYK conversions and other filters that are optimal for the print process we have chosen. It is probable that we will be employing the most recent direct to plate and stochastic screen processes for printing. You should concentrate on providing images that look excellent on screen and let us perform the optimal preparation for print.
Your image dimensions should be print resolution (as large as you can possibly render). Don't send in a low-resolution placeholder. The guideline is 2,657px wide and/or 3,636 high, 300dpi (portrait), or 3,636px wide and/or 2,657px high, at 300dpi (landscape). Your image aspect ratio and layout will dictate the final resolution. These are given as guidelines. To be safe, render your images larger than this. Also, don't just upsample your images to achieve this higher resolution. If you cannot reach the desired full-page resolution, just send in what you have.
There is no problem in entering professional work that is really all yours. You must have written clearance from your 'client' to enter work if you are not the copyright holder of the work. We need to know the details, so when submitting, please include Clients, Copyright, other artist names, companies and inspirations in the description field. If your images are immortalized in glorious print, we want all the tiny details to be correct. This will help us all in the long term.
I will notify everyone who has been accepted into the EXPOSÉ 11 book, and then after the book production has settled, I will then let every artist who submitted whether they have been successful or not. Bear in mind, literally thousands of pieces of art are submitted, and only 300 or so piece can fit in the book, so the major reason people don't make it is that there was simply no room. Don't give up submitting for the future books.
Are you ready?
So, if you are ready to refine your best work, we are ready to have you upload. Many have already submitted work. The Deadline is 11:59PM GMT on March 28, 2013. Be in the running for a place in the next big publication from Ballistic Publishing, EXPOSÉ 11.