As a huge fan of 3D character artwork - particularly of beautiful women - I recently decided to order a huge 576 page monstrosity squarely targeted at my favorite genre: Digital Beauties: 2D & 3D Computer Generated Digital Models, Virtual Idols and Characters, published by Taschen.com and available via mail order from Amazon.com.
I was quite surprised at the heft of the book having ordered it online sight unseen. As one might expect, there's quite a number of great images and artists inside, but I found that the quality isn't as consistent as it could have been. A lot of the featured work was obviously created using generic Poser models and looks rather bland. The Japanese artists are really the stand outs in this book with nearly all of my favorite 3D modelers represented, however there are notable contributions from around the world as well (such as Alceu M. Baptistao's work; worth the price alone IMHO - simply wonderful stuff). The artist's bios are also interesting, providing background on the artist, insight into the artwork as well as a summary of tools used. Websites, e-mail and other contact information is also provided for most of the artists.
Overall I'm quite happy with the book for the price; it will make a nice reference for 3D modeling and texturing as well as a source for desktop background images.
Virtual Beauties 2020: The Ultimate 3D Graphic Collection is by far the best book of this genre I've seen yet. It's a large 9-7/8" x 11-3/4" book with 200 pages featuring the work of many of the most popular 3D artists in Japan. Published by Agosto.com and available via mail order from Akadot.com.
I'd actually picked this book up first and have to confess I was a bit spoiled by it ... I was really hoping that Taschen's Digital Beauties would be more of the same. It's obvious that the pieces featured in this book were carefully selected; there really isn't anything negative I can say about it. The included work spans Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within to many popular game, virtual idol and pinup characters.
One of the many standouts of this book over Digital Beauties is the inclusion of tutorials demonstrating the techniques used in creating many of the characters, making this more valuable as a reference work for 3D modeling.
I highly recommend this book if you're interested in sort of thing, and if you can only buy one "Beauties" book, this is the one to get.