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View Full Version : Opinions about using ready-made models in 3D art



SimonB
10-17-2009, 01:56 AM
One thing I've been seeing quite a bit of when looking at various examples of 3D art is the use of ready-made models in some works- much of that done using DAZ 3D and the models available for it. Some people will state that LW was used for their work but it turns out they only used Layout to light and render the scene, having imported the ready made models.

I hate to come across as self righteous but I can't help but see that as cheating- not attacking the quality of the are itself, but it's disappointing to see a really cool work and admire the detail of the models and figures only to discover they were ready-made. I look at 3D art to gain some inspiration from seeing what others are *creating* with LW.

Am I wrong? I've been chided when criticizing using ready made models instead of creating one's own, on the grounds that it doesn't affect what I want to do, or that it's just me being envious of someone else's superior work, and I've even had someone tell me that the ready-made models are a good thing since you can learn about modeling by buying them and sort of "reverse engineering" them. That's already something I've already run into when trying to research tutorials, where instead of a well-written description about a certain aspect of modeling, a tutorial might be a series of screencaps of a model in various stages of work without any explanations of *how* it was made and it's up to you to analyze the images to figure it out.

Anyway, my question is whether or not it's being harsh or snarky when I object to "shortcuts" like DAZ 3D's models?

My other issue with the ready made models is that much of what I've seen on the DAZ 3D site seems to be "optimized" for anime, sci fi, or fantasy themed work, and while I myself am a sci fi geek, I *do* want to do more than that with LW :) Spacecraft and mechas are cool, but I also look forward to the challenge of creating more down-to-earth work :)

Here too- am I out of line or being too narrow-minded?

Chris S. (Fez)
10-17-2009, 03:07 AM
Assuming all sources are cited and legally acquired, I say use whatever it takes to get the job done within the given budget and time frame.

TeZzy
10-17-2009, 03:26 AM
your thoughts are completely fine. Nothing wrong with it. I personally do not like using pre made models if it doesn't need to but that's not really my choice. My opinion and mine only lol....but DAZ models annoy me and have that DAZ look all over it(if that makes sense and not trying to be offensive...just my opinion).

There is a form of self satisfaction when you do everything from scratch but if that means you can't complete a job then you got to let go of that pride. A good example would be a car commercial, there isn't really a point in building the model from scratch if there is one that you can buy since it would probably be cheaper to buy it. Unless of course the car is a design no one has seen.

Red_Oddity
10-17-2009, 03:27 AM
When we need a job done in a certain timeframe and budget, you can bet your *** we don't let someone work for over a week on modeling and shading, say, a car for over 400 euros a day when we can buy a ready made one for somewhere around 200 euros.

Just go check the Maya, Max, XSI, LW, Houdini reels and see how many times you see the same movies (and shots even) and commercials come by on each of those reels.

Another thing, say i wanted to study lighting (cinematography) and want to excel in that, you bet your *** i would buy my character and cars models as well, why learn a complete toolset and to model first when that isn't you ultimate goal when there are good alternatives available to get started with lighting immediately.

Just saying, not really answering your question directly, just some observations from my experience.

melmoth2
10-17-2009, 03:37 AM
I think you're right, but it depends what the end result is for. For people working to deadlines in the commercial world ready-made models are very useful, why spend huge amounts of time and money re-inventing the wheel? For people who want to produce original stuff that's not commercial then I think it's better to create work from scratch, unless you can find a model that has just the right look for the piece. A lot of DAZ/Poser art does strike me as being aimed at teenage boys, and I'd like to see more genuinely useful real-world objects on there instead of just fantasy game world material, swimsuit babes and mecha.

virtualcomposer
10-17-2009, 03:40 AM
I agree as well. Buy a ready made model and the job time is cut. In the end it boils down to time and money.

prometheus
10-17-2009, 08:45 AM
the only thing that annoys me is when the render isnīt provided with
a break down or proper discriptions or credits.

I consider it proper to mention how models are made or aquired or imported by other software.

Same goes with using setups or presets from other artists, like doing a nice
vue render with wonderful preset skies and not mentioning or giving credit to the author of it .

other than that, I think itīs ok to use stock models or others setup but
the image should be judge for itīs final render purpose.

Thereīs however another thing to value the artists skills or the artists
amount of great work if the artist is doing all the stuff from scratch,
that would of course impress anyone as well as getting recognition as a true artist.

Michael

SplineGod
10-17-2009, 01:11 PM
One thing I've been seeing quite a bit of when looking at various examples of 3D art is the use of ready-made models in some works- much of that done using DAZ 3D and the models available for it. Some people will state that LW was used for their work but it turns out they only used Layout to light and render the scene, having imported the ready made models.
I hate to come across as self righteous but I can't help but see that as cheating- not attacking the quality of the are itself, but it's disappointing to see a really cool work and admire the detail of the models and figures only to discover they were ready-made. I look at 3D art to gain some inspiration from seeing what others are *creating* with LW.

Am I wrong? I've been chided when criticizing using ready made models instead of creating one's own, on the grounds that it doesn't affect what I want to do, or that it's just me being envious of someone else's superior work, and I've even had someone tell me that the ready-made models are a good thing since you can learn about modeling by buying them and sort of "reverse engineering" them. That's already something I've already run into when trying to research tutorials, where instead of a well-written description about a certain aspect of modeling, a tutorial might be a series of screencaps of a model in various stages of work without any explanations of *how* it was made and it's up to you to analyze the images to figure it out.

Anyway, my question is whether or not it's being harsh or snarky when I object to "shortcuts" like DAZ 3D's models?

My other issue with the ready made models is that much of what I've seen on the DAZ 3D site seems to be "optimized" for anime, sci fi, or fantasy themed work, and while I myself am a sci fi geek, I *do* want to do more than that with LW :) Spacecraft and mechas are cool, but I also look forward to the challenge of creating more down-to-earth work :)

Here too- am I out of line or being too narrow-minded?

It depends on whether youre approaching this question as a fine artist or a commercial artist. As a commericial artist if you dont do everything you can to cheat to get the job done on time then you become the starving artist.
From a fine art standpoint... how does using premade assets in a scene that you may texture, stage and light differ from using a basket of fruit and a bottle of wine in a still life photograph? Do you have to grow the fruit yourself, weave the basket, blow the glass to form the bottle as well?
The daz and poser assets are what they are and can be altered. When ad where theyre best used is a case by case basis decision. The biggest issue I have with them generally is they tend to be very dense making them difficult to work with in some situations.

If youre looking for challenge then by all means do everything from scratch. When youre doing it to make money the challege becomes getting it done on time, within budget and looking like what the client wants.

hrgiger
10-18-2009, 08:34 AM
I used to feel that way when I first started, but as I've really come to understand just how much time is involved in any kind of major project, pretty much what gets the job done is acceptable and if I can find a shortcut that gives me the results I'm after, it's all fair game.

shrox
10-18-2009, 08:37 AM
Put out some free models of your own to make up for using other works.

My car models in the Battle of the 1970's Cars have been corrupted, I am going to use some models I found on DMI car models to replace them and finish it. I just don't feel like rebuilding them, and the DMI models are good enough, the meshes will be different, but if they look near enough to identical when rendered that will be fine.

robertoortiz
10-18-2009, 10:41 AM
It depends on whether youre approaching this question as a fine artist or a commercial artist. As a commericial artist if you dont do everything you can to cheat to get the job done on time then you become the starving artist.
.


Agreed...
Another thing I have found is that asset reusability can be your friend.

One thing we do at my job is that we constantly build up on our Library of assets.
That way if we can take assets from a virtual set we did, and use it on another project we will do it.
And we we have "down time" we use to build assets that might be useful for future projects. We do this at the discretion of the artist.

G-Man
10-19-2009, 09:19 PM
So when a photographer shoots an awesome photograph, should everything in that picture be hand made by him/her? Were they supposed to lay the fenceposts, pave the road etc? Would you say that it's not fair that all of the items in a great photograph were laid out for them to take?

When the kids are crying for food, you'll hit that "Add to Cart" button baby.

SplineGod
10-19-2009, 09:31 PM
Lazy photographers.... ;)

Silkrooster
10-19-2009, 10:07 PM
I own a fair amount of Daz models. But the longer I go working with lightwave, the more pride I get from knowing that I created that from scratch. So to me, it is not my place to judge how someone created their piece of art, as the final piece is still just their own. It would be extremely difficult to run across an exact duplicate from someone else. Thats kind of the point behind posing and using morph on ready made models. The only issue I would have is someone using models they did not legally have the right to use. But in reality unless you just happen to know the author and his work,odds are you wouldn't know the model was stolen.

ivanze
10-19-2009, 10:19 PM
There is a similar discussion going on in the m*d* forums and I think is funny what someone called noen posted:

"Real artists make their own 3D software using a programming language they invented and run them on PC's they built using silicon chips they designed and built by hand."

cresshead
10-20-2009, 04:11 AM
There is a similar discussion going on in the m*d* forums and I think is funny what someone called noen posted:

"Real artists make their own 3D software using a programming language they invented and run them on PC's they built using silicon chips they designed and built by hand."

i LOVE that quote...just show how ridiculas lengths you may need to go for 'someone' to credit YOU with the work!

i imagine REAL natural media artists..grow/fell their own wood to make pencils and brush handles from the wood, slaughter their pet beasts for the bristles and grind up the powder needed for paint, dyes and chalks, not to mention make their own paper a canvas and wooden frames!:D

re cg i still wish we had to work from a list of coordinates printed out on a dot matrix printer created from a large sheet of graph paper to work with to create a 3d model [tron]

Teruchan
10-20-2009, 07:07 AM
This discussion will always exist and probably only get worse as the quality of prebuilt models gets better and better. It hinges on the flawed concept that great 3D art is all about modeling. The thing is, I know some phenomenally great CG artists who couldn't model their way out of a wet paper bag. Yet they have a long list of screen credits in TV and big name features where they did practically everything in a shot, sometimes even their own compositing, with the models they were given.

I happen to be able to model, but some of the best shots in my reel are from TV shows or movies where the models were provided me. I even use Daz models and have quite a library. I think anyone who has seen the models I sell (http://www.studioartfx.com/UltiBundle/UltiBundle.html), or other models in my work can imagine I could have modeled that stuff myself, but why should I? It's already there. It's been done. Someone has taken that work out of the way and I can get on with other parts of the project I am working on.

I know some artists take pride in having "created everything from scratch", which means they modeled everything in their piece, though as mentioned they are only able to do so because of great tools given them. I, personally, only take pride in the finished piece. How I got there is not important to me. In fact, the easier and faster I can get there, the happier I am.

Silkrooster
10-20-2009, 08:52 PM
Well think about it. In a large studio where each does their specified job, while combined makes an awesome scene. But does that make anyone of them less important than the next?

hrgiger
10-20-2009, 09:58 PM
I, personally, only take pride in the finished piece. How I got there is not important to me. In fact, the easier and faster I can get there, the happier I am.

Exactly.

melmoth2
10-20-2009, 10:40 PM
So when a photographer shoots an awesome photograph, should everything in that picture be hand made by him/her? Were they supposed to lay the fenceposts, pave the road etc? Would you say that it's not fair that all of the items in a great photograph were laid out for them to take?

I think you've got a very valid point, though a photographer in the real world has a far wider and richer range of source material to work with than someone doing 3D. Take portrait photography - the human face & body is so hugely varied that the artistic possibilities of combining shape, light, colour etc. are practically infinite and become a real artistic challenge. To get the same precise level of effect as this photo http://www.peterlorrebook.com/img/file240.jpg in 3D I think you'd need to build the content - I don't think you could do it with pre-bought stuff (unless there's a pre-built Peter Lorre out there). To my mind DAZ/Poser figures have a horrible shop-window dummy feel to them that kills an image dead, no matter how carefully they're arranged or dressed. If I compare Poser fantasy images to something by Bruce Pennington, Frazetta or Vallejo I think there's a world of difference.
Objects are different, I don't see the need to build every fence or lamp-post unless you are going for a specific overall effect, like in a Tim Burton film.

Mr Rid
10-20-2009, 11:36 PM
...

I hate to come across as self righteous but I can't help but see that as cheating- ...I look at 3D art to gain some inspiration from seeing what others are *creating* with LW.

Although someone did create the premades. Just not the artist who used them in a composition



Am I wrong?

Yes. :)

Have you ever used a preset? A primitive? Dynamics? A tutorial scene? Let splines animate your items between keyframes? Ever take a photo? Make a collage? Use a 3D or other digital program to make 'art?'

I think every conceivable argument on this topic was covered here-
http://www.newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?t=72552&highlight=daz

Depends on your intentions.


My other issue with the ready made models is that much of what I've seen on the DAZ 3D site seems to be "optimized" for anime, sci fi, or fantasy themed work, and while I myself am a sci fi geek, I *do* want to do more than that with LW :) Spacecraft and mechas are cool, but I also look forward to the challenge of creating more down-to-earth work :)

There is a glut of crap that comes with the accessibility of Poser/Daz, like watching YouTube. But that glut does not define limitations of the tool, only the artist. You have to dig a little for the shiny nuggets. But many traditional, right-brain artists can jump into something like Poser/Daz and start expressing complex ideas right away, where they might never have the patience to figure out LW or Zbrush.

http://www.newtek.com/forums/showpost.php?p=728163&postcount=343
http://www.newtek.com/forums/showpost.php?p=729875&postcount=399
http://www.newtek.com/forums/showpost.php?p=727218&postcount=288
http://www.newtek.com/forums/showpost.php?p=729477&postcount=393
http://www.newtek.com/forums/showpost.php?p=726855&postcount=271
http://www.newtek.com/forums/showpost.php?p=726857&postcount=272
http://www.newtek.com/forums/showpost.php?p=727127&postcount=283

Personally, I dont care to model or rig and would much rather get down to making things happen. I like driving the cars fast around the track. I dont have the patience for building the engine from scratch. That's great if someone else wants to do it. And I'll give credit where it is due.

monovich
10-21-2009, 10:35 PM
I'll grab whatever model I can get my hands on to get the job done as long as its legit and a good model. It would take me three weeks to do a car, and a car model costs about $75 these days.
I always give credit if I do, though.

Mr Rid
10-22-2009, 02:45 AM
We recently needed a squirrel and a butterfly for a movie. I just grabbed them off Daz for about $25 each and modified them a little. Why the hell waste time making them from scratch?

A Daz model and texture before modifying (tails have transparency maps)-
78630

After Sas by Tim Albee-
78631

Mr Rid
10-24-2009, 03:42 PM
...The biggest issue I have with them generally is they tend to be very dense making them difficult to work with in some situations....

BTW, this should not be an issue. Daz now has subD, and is optimized for exporting game models with variable resolutions, and textures can be downrezed and combined into a single map. But before I always just qemlossed the models and used the low-res until final render.

78684

SplineGod
10-24-2009, 07:26 PM
I do that too sometimes but many times theres no subd version or lower rez version.
Ive also use 3d coat to retopologize some models.
I agree about using Qemloss, its really been usedful for creating standins.
Ive also used makehuman which generates lower poly meshes that work well with subds.

shrox
10-25-2009, 09:46 AM
I do that too sometimes but many times theres no subd version or lower rez version.
Ive also use 3d coat to retopologize some models.
I agree about using Qemloss, its really been usedful for creating standins.
Ive also used makehuman which generates lower poly meshes that work well with subds.

Yes. I use Qemloss, then I split the model with knife, chose the better half, delete the other half, then mirror the remainder.

tonyrizo2003
11-01-2009, 12:49 AM
stirring the pot some more...

A real artist? What is a real artist? Before anyone else condemns a person or looks down at someone that does not do everything 100% of the time. You might want to have a look at these links.

http://luannudell.wordpress.com/2009/10/05/ten-myths-about-artists11-real-artists-paint/

http://www.greenpacks.org/2009/05/19/aurora-robson-excels-in-transforming-trash-into-art/

There used to be a 3D model bank company called ViewPoint 3D (now Digimation), many large VFX houses back in the day used it to purchase assets to make elements for compositing into large A level movies. I seem to remember the San Francisco bridge and the statue of Liberty in some of those movies. So are the VFX artist at those studios cheating? Many of those artists also constantly look at real world reference for simulations of the type of FX they want to create, mixing elements of real world footage and 3D created elements.

I don't think your statement was meant to offend anyone, I think that your statement comes from your frustration at seeing everyone else's practice work. I wonder what your work looked like when you first started out.

I look at my earlier life drawings and renders and sometimes laugh, cry or just too ashamed to even say that I did it. But I did it, and I am still building my skills.

Let's talk about Daz, one of the coolest features in Poser 7 is that within 10 minutes I can make 3 different character faces and export them into Lightwave for rendering into my scenes. I mostly use Poser people as background characters but some of the models these days are so good that I wish they were Subd so that I can really use them more efficiently in Lightwave.

No matter what medium you use as an artist, content is king! whether it is a photograph, painting, movie, 3D animation, 2D animation you name it, it is true when they say that a picture is worth a thousand words.

Lets not be too critical of people who continue building their skills and trying to learn to become better.

Just my two cents.

tonyrizo2003
11-01-2009, 01:19 AM
ok, one more link.

http://thechive.com/2008/12/do-tires-go-to-heaven-when-they-die-23-photos/

I thought some of these were great!