View Full Version : Photorealism

CC Rider
04-15-2009, 01:33 PM
How many of you rely on the ability to produce photorealistic images for your work?
LW is only a small part of what I do to produce training videos, so luckily I don't have to be able to fool anyone into thinking its real life, mostly just to illustrate a point here and there.
Its a good thing since I'm not anywhere near being able to produce that level of work yet.
So, on a scale of 1-10.
1= photorealism is not a concern at all, to
10=photorealism is all that matters.
For me...about a 6 or 7.
LW projects need to produce shots where the elements are easily recognizable, but I don't have to make you believe its a photograph

04-15-2009, 01:41 PM
i would say that right now i am probably around a 7-8. most of my work that needs to be more photoreal is arch-viz stuff and done in maya though. i try and keep my personal lightwave stuff more cartoony and light-hearted to relieve stress haha

CC Rider
04-15-2009, 01:54 PM
do you find it easier or more productive to achieve the needed level of photorealism with Maya or do you have to use it because of some other reason? (Company policy...maybe client requests...)

04-15-2009, 02:37 PM
the studio that i started at about 7 months ago uses maya, and being the new guy i just kinda went with it. we work in a team of 3-4 people per project and it just made it easier to learn maya so everyone was using the same thing. i wanted to learn another 3d package as well, so it helped in the long run.

i really cannot guage which is easier to produce results with because most of my lightwave work is character modeling and texturing and i really never got into lighting as much. whereas in maya, i have watched just about every digital tutors, gnomon, etc. training dvd related to lighting and rendering with mental ray, so at the current moment, lighting in maya is much easier for me (until photons start getting stuck in corners and i want to rip my hair out haha but thats a totally separate issue).

i can say that i have seen a lot of work in the finished section here that definitely rivals what is done in mental ray and vray, so i know lightwave is capable. just check out pretty much anything posted by Iain or otacon.

04-15-2009, 03:02 PM
intresting topic , sitting on the fence here a little , but for some reason i just cant do photorealistic , dosnt matter what i do ,how i light it ,even if i take into max or LW, i done alot of cartoon stuff when i was kid and maybe it just sticks with me , my lifedrawing is pretty damn good , but for somereason i just cant transfer this to CGI.

I noticed this when i was in UNI most of use LW but theres one dude who uses Maya and it just seems to give better photorealism .????


04-15-2009, 03:39 PM
I would give an 8 I think. Maybe even a 8.5 Sometimes I don't try to do photorealistic stuff, but I find out that I always try to make things look as real as possible. Even when it is just a cartoon character. I think it's just cool if you have made something and you think: "wow it starts to look like something real and not just a computer image!" ( I do like cartoon renders, but I like realistic renders just more )

04-15-2009, 03:41 PM
8.5 here.

I do a lot of Pixar'ish stuff but loads of video fixes and mods with Lightwave at the helm...
that stuff's gotta blend in unnoticed.

04-15-2009, 06:52 PM
I ended up with a few objects that kind of approached photo realistic, but not by design. If by work you mean paid work well then most of the stuff I do is in the realm of making better icons and illustrations and stuff. For my own work it's mostly characters and props for comics.

04-15-2009, 07:09 PM
It's rather very important to me.
I never quite achieve it, but still it's important. ;)

I see the arch-viz and other work of people like Exception and Iain, and it just blows my mind sometimes, and I think to myself, no, they're not using some special Lightwave, they have the same one I do... so why can they do it but I can't?

Materials... lighting... even the camera settings. You can have a totally perfect, real looking model, but if the light or the camera is "off", it'll never look like a photo, not even a bad photo. It's a pretty elusive thing, really. I don't feel so bad though because I sometimes see CG that is *supposed* to be photoreal, and done by pros even, but is still noticeably CG.
I didn't used to notice the subtleties as much as I do now though, so I guess that's a step in the right direction.

04-15-2009, 07:24 PM

04-15-2009, 07:26 PM
Hmm...prolly around 8....although I usually end up stylizing something that initially started out as a photoreal project. If I'm compositing, then I have to push it as close as I can.

This has also led me to model rather high geometry because I want to capture all the little highlights and the way light bounces off stuff...havent breached 4 million on a single object (at rendertime), but getting there..hehe.

04-16-2009, 07:19 AM
8-9 here. Although I can produce photo real results I strive for more illustrative and stylized look.

04-16-2009, 07:24 AM
Mine is minus 8.

04-16-2009, 07:29 AM
The ability to bend ALL the rules of physics that make thing realisitc is one of THE msot important things to me. So whilst I do want very real looking surfaces sometimes...on the basis of flexibility, I'd mark myself down as a 5.

04-16-2009, 07:34 AM
About... 2 or 3 the most!

But its because Im into non-photorealism by purpose!

If Photorealism represents a positive number, and celshading a negative one than Id say.

Character -4
Environemnt and non characters - 2 or most 3

04-16-2009, 08:16 AM
depends on the job! :)
10 to about 1.

04-16-2009, 09:11 AM
Most of my work goes for product still or exhibit work. For the product work it's usually more of a hyper-realism or something you'd see in a photo-studio shoot - which is not usually very realistic - so I'd say a 7.5. And for the exhibit work it's usually more about the design and overall feel - and we don't usually have all the time to make it photoreal - and being photoreal can actually hurt sometimes. So I'd say a 6 for that stuff.

So - 7.5 or 6.

For fun personal stuff I sometimes like to strive for a 10 though. :)

And when you say photoreal I think along the lines of a Maxwell render, etc.

04-16-2009, 09:13 AM
5-10. I would like to go 10 every time but most budgets and time constrains allow for something between 6 and 8.

Cheers, Florian

04-16-2009, 11:53 AM
I find that I almost never need photoreal work (except for matching plates which happens to be much easier than 100% CG IMHO) and get asked for a lot of NPR solutions that have me doing some odd things here and there.

Like a current project where they want me to make things in 3D look like vector gradient renderings...but with adjustable lighting etc and just using lights and simple shaders...and a lot of passes...(though there are countless ways to do it really)

The most I often get asked for is "real-esk" since they seem to want to show that it's an "illustration" and not just a photo. That doesn't mean they want an ugly phong render and things to look like plastic...just that "100% real" is neither in the budget or what's often needed.

My little niche is more the exception then the norm though...

Edit- OK so normally like a 4 but often more like a -5 !

04-16-2009, 12:35 PM
7 or so for most of my career, which was making products look beautiful. Beautiful products don't have spots of wear, kinks, smudges or scratches. Consequently, my UV skills are a joke. They also don't have poorly-fitted pieces, bad welds or other characteristics, which would help sell the shots. (My boss was more interested in selling the products.)

I'm pretty good with lightning and rendering, though.

04-16-2009, 12:54 PM
its my ambition to produce a render that is likely to be mistaken for a photograph, so 10.
I have to admit I have looong way to go. :D

04-17-2009, 08:06 AM
9.6 :)

I think 3D works fine when it's believable and does not looks like sinthetic computer image.

Anyway, realism is not always looks like a photo, for me.

CC Rider
04-17-2009, 08:40 AM
certainly a valid opinion. Interesting to see the variation in the responses though. Its all application dependant...
Just because it doesn't look like it can exist in the real world doesn't mean its not good 3D. As long as the image brings about the intended response and the client pays the bill, it's good 3D.
Seems there are plenty of applications where the images need to exceed the capabilities of traditional photography. Heck, even photographers cheat to that end...


04-17-2009, 09:10 AM
Most of the time 10, though sometimes itīs an stylized 10, meaning something thatīs absolutely photorealist but has also a personal (someone elseīs) artistic approach.

...not that we always achieve it, but we have to go for it.

04-17-2009, 01:04 PM
8-9. Photorealism is always the goal, I just rarely feel like I get there.

CC Rider
04-17-2009, 02:03 PM
8-9. Photorealism is always the goal, I just rarely feel like I get there.

No doubt!
Most projects never get finished...rather they get abandoned.

04-17-2009, 02:08 PM
No doubt!
Most projects never get finished...rather they get abandoned.

haha this reminds me of all my personal character models. the plan was always to model, texture and rig, but all i have now is a bunch of grey models.

04-17-2009, 03:50 PM
photorealism? lol...i TRY everytime, but the result is usually what i call "artistic intrepretation"

04-17-2009, 04:00 PM
All the time, it just depends how much customers are prepared to pay. Photo realism is exponentially more work but the pay isn’t.

04-17-2009, 04:49 PM
and to be honest, many clients specially in Archviz are not looking for photorealism but for an image than shows the idea or purpose of the building...they often prefer images that none of us would put for show in the forums where out of shame, not to mention portfolio usage.

our preferance for photorealism has little to do with customers needs, it has more to do with our wish to do what we think is the best.
we measure talent by photorealism or wireframe buildups...Architects measure talent by totally different standards, their standards..architectural stuff.

04-17-2009, 05:28 PM
and from what i have found out it seems that about 90% of the arch viz work isnt for architects, but rather the developers, who are usually trying to sell a lifestyle and not a building. so, it's all about the atmosphere and having the people in the frames looking happy haha

CC Rider
04-17-2009, 07:15 PM
So if your work doesn't get "rejected" for not looking real enough then you wouldn't rate it a 10 on this scale. Maybe a 7 or 8 since you need it to look real enough but with enough room for a little artistic license...and where the need for speed out-weighs the need for realism. Doesn't mean the quality of the work is 7 or 8 just the need for photorealism...

04-17-2009, 10:35 PM
10 and -10 :thumbsup:

Mr Rid
04-18-2009, 04:34 AM
'This one goes up to 11.'

04-19-2009, 02:59 PM
Well it just seems no mater how good you get you'll never get it "real" enough for your own tastes because you'll always want more. Many clients and most people on the street would be hard pressed to find the faults (realism wise) of most images approaching "real".

I look at it as a typographer or editor might the written word- glaring errors and little issues that bug them probably get over looked by most of us. My wife who is a word geek and has some training as an editor finds so many errors in published books, print and on the web it's startling. Often I've read the same article/book/paper though and maybe only caught a few!

Show her a 3D image that's "real" and just like I might "read" the page for only the relevant info and gloss over the mistakes, she'll do the same for the image. I think a lot of people who don't do "CG" are that way- your brain is becoming "specialized".

04-20-2009, 03:24 AM
10 but I only manage about 6!