This book is incredible! I followed Doug's methods, and now I am turning out work that is leagues better than before.
Firstly, the book teaches you to draw sci-fi machinery. Maybe you thought you had to go to engineering school to work out the drive-train for a walking tank or a rocket-powered aircraft? Well, the book teaches you to invent and draw all the mechanisms and pseudo-engineering that make sci-fi machines look realistic. And Doug makes it fun. It takes practice, but he gives you simple guidlines to work it out. For example, you would use an actual photo of a tractor engine and drive-train construction to develop the design for the leg mechanisms of a walking robot, etc.
Secondly, this book does not cover 3-D digital imagery/auto-CAD/computer-generated-imagery. It does cover digital painting, but only as a method to color render designs; usually first rendered on paper in black-and-white. The book focuses on developing designs on paper, first.
The author often draws the designs on paper with full tone rendering, and then he scans them into the computer, and renders effects, color, texture, background, error correction, and much much more.
There isn't a great depth of technique discussion on digital painting, but the book does much to specifically detail many fundamentals of digital painting, with screen-shots to teach many tools and tips and tricks of digital painting. Still, it is the focus on paper-drawing that is exactly what I was looking for.
The methods are easy and versitile; yielding quite varied styles.
The author varies the sequence and combinations of mediums and techniques depending on the subject to be rendered. The mediums covered are blueline pencil, varied strengths of cool-grey markers (20%, 40%, 60%), a simple airbrush technique for background haze effects (optional), and finally digital painting 101. I was able to follow the majority of the digitial painting methods without using a computer drawing tablet! But, I have now purchased one, so my quality should improve all the more.
The paper-based methods covered in the book have been staples in concept-drawing for decades, apparently. After viewing the book, I now recognize the techniques in concept-design drawings going back to the 80's.
The book covers many wheeled machines, space-ships, an ornithopter, 2 jet-fighters, and more, but the author is obsessed with walking machines/tanks/robots of all sorts. Personally, I think walking machines are a silly concept (1 leg down, and it ceases), but I have no complaints about this book!
The author discusses the impracticality of walking-machines, and windows on a spaceship, and a steam-powered tank, but his focus is on aesthetic design, iconic design, and sellable designs. He's got to sell his designs to get them on the big-screen, afterall. You will appreciate and learn and enhance your own design ability!
Lastly, the book has a really strong plastic-coated dust-jacket that seems to hold up against abuse of all sorts, and the pages are printed in super high quality resolution of strong paper.