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peaches
06-19-2005, 03:55 AM
would you consider burning and dodging cheating when painting? it obviously doesnt always give the same effect as when you paint it yourself, so why do it? do you use those tools at all?
what about filters? isnt it kind of cheap when people just paint something 'mediocre', then apply a filter over it to cover that up?
do some of the cg software's tools discourage authentic 100% original painting? or am i just insane, and its all just a question of moderation in how we use them?

i understand if the filter is used moderately [sorry for the, um, vast span of my vocabulary] and is just a way of helping certain aspects of the piece, but i dont think the entire piece should depend on the software's capabilities.
i only use burn/dodge for slight adjustments, set to a very low opacity. i'm still learning how to paint, and still dont know very much about how to colour [mostly because of lack of practice], but i've learnt that burn and dodge should not be solely relied upon when painting.

let me know what all you crazy experts think.

Warnabrotha58
06-19-2005, 05:00 AM
I was thinking the exact same thing... Is it T.R.U.E Artwork... hummmmmm

Peddy
06-19-2005, 05:09 AM
one can argue that its what the final product looks like, and to a certain extent, it is. But i find if i 'cheat', it comes back to me and i dont feel creative or original when i finish a piece (happens infrequently anyway).

Remember they are only tools. filters rarely look good, so dont use them. burn and dodge often dont look as good as using the right colours, so dont use them. but sometimes burn and dodge do exactly what you are looking for. so i dont see the problem in using it. just know you can do the same thing with colour. hell, in theory, you can do the same (similar) thing with oils.

maybe all digital art is cheating? i dont think so. its got its own style, and even though its style is technically devoid of a physical element, tools like burn and dodge have its place.
its a twist on words, but ive seen artists use flames from a candle to burn their traditional pieces for a desired effect.

in my last uni project i used a lot of dodge and burn. i took a metric-assload of shortcuts, but thats because i was incredibly short of time and was looking for a certain level of visual quality. i was using reference and appropriating. it worked, i got the look i was after, and i wasnt limited creatively by the approach to the art, but it made me feel terribly unoriginal and uncreative.

some 3d artists have 'stock' models that they create - hands, torso's, heads etc which have very good topology which they can just resculpture (to a certain extent) for a new project.

In one way, it depends what kind of art you are making - art for the sake of learning and honing skills, or concept art - creating an idea or telling a story. for the latter, the use of 'cheating' as we have established is less relevant. its how you approach representation of forms, colour, ideas, characters, places, all that jazz, that is more important.

Peddy
06-19-2005, 05:18 AM
double post

chrisbeaver
06-19-2005, 05:31 AM
Artwork is what you make of it -- Duchamp hammered that point into the world when he "produced" the Fountain. What you may consider cheating, other people may consider art; the synthesis of an artwork is one of the few occassions in which the ends justify the means. You're endeavoring to phase dodging and burning out of your usage, but there are other people (http://www.sijun.com/dhabih/mainscreen.html) whose styles are <i>based</i> on those two tools. Some people might never in their lives mask off an area they're airbrushing while other people might never touch an airbrush without masking out a network of tape layers.

Is it cheating? To you, maybe. To others, it's a means to an end that's every bit as acceptable as any other.

I do know this for sure -- The guys who wrote Photoshop didn't code certain features saying to themselves "Only a no-talent hack would ever touch this." Their belief was that tools were meant to be used, and it's how an artist treats this selection that defines his results.

ThomasLC
06-19-2005, 05:54 AM
the only "tool" I try to avoid when painting is undo…

I like errors, I like when a painting have its "history" visible…

but I wouldn't say any CG tool (2D or 3D) is cheating, after all, art is cheating (or, is it really a pipe?)…

thomas

CypherXero
06-19-2005, 06:40 AM
You know, burning and dodging have been around longer than Photoshop, and is a common practice with 35mm photography in the dark room. I know because I took a Intro to 35mm Photography (Black & White) a year ago at my local college.

DoubleSupercool
06-19-2005, 07:30 AM
I don't think people should use scanners to scan their sketches for painting over on the computer. I feel that they should draw directly on the screen. With a mouse, no tablet. In fact, using a computer at all is cheating. We should all draw on bark with charcoal sticks burned in our campfires ;)

The computer offers tools. Tools, by their very nature, are meant to be used in some way. How you apply them and how much you use them is up to you however I am pretty sure there is no standard that says "Well, now THAT is real art! You can tell because he painted it all himself".

You could liken it to electronic, or even electified/amplified music. Is dance music/sample based music not "real music" because a computer helps you out? Sure, you could get the computer to do it all for you, but a good musician will use the technology to do things that are impossible to achieve traditionally or pushes the music in a new direction.

The computer is a tool to use. A good artist will know when to use the tools at their disposal and when to back off.

Not saying that I am a good artist - - more lens flare and sparkles!!

Stahlberg
06-19-2005, 07:40 AM
The only thing that matters is the result. Is it:
1. Unique? (which if you copy or filter a photograph, it probably won't be)
2. Good? (impossible to define, everyone has their own definition, but I'm sure you get what I mean)
If both of those are true, then it doesn't matter how you reached the result. (Unless you broke some law, duh.)

CaptainJackSparrow
06-19-2005, 08:06 AM
Yep, the only thing that matters is the final outcome.

No such thing as cheating, as long as you don't do something illegal.

Use every trick in the book, if it works, it works, that's what the greats do.

If the final result is interesting then that's all I care about. Of course this place is a bit of an exception cos it's full of artists, and, to be honest there are lots of really anal nitpickers on these forums. Thing is, they usually so busy looking for errors they miss the big picture. They are usually the people saying real photos look fake cos the lightning is off. Go figure.


So yeah, the most important thing is the vision and the idea behind the work. Think BIG, show us something we haven't seen before! Don't worry about whether or not some ppl may or may not think you cheated, if you do that you're already failed probably.

kraal
06-19-2005, 08:26 AM
this arguement pops up all the time.... it happened with airbrushing (you dont paint the gradients so therefore you are cheating.)

well the texture of the canvas effects for work so therefore traditional art on canvas is cheating ....
btw using a ruler or a compass is cheating ...

using an eraser... smudging with your fingerr....using a smudge stick or stump ... using a ruler, projector, compass or circle templet all cheating....

art is a form of creation just create and dont worry how or what rule their are about the process....

by the way i typed this message on my keyboard i do beleive that may be cheating too

Blue-demon
06-19-2005, 10:35 AM
To be honest i do class is it as cheating. Even if you don't there are still reasons for not using it like its unpredictability.

ashakarc
06-19-2005, 10:58 AM
The argument here stand between two things. The process and the product. Most people think what matters is the product. So, it depends on how you look at it. btw, I am pro-process !!

In the not so remote past, tracing a picture was considered "cheating" simply because it overrides the skill to depict and draw based on observation. Those who do this, they only are cheating themselves. The disadvantage one gets from tracing for example, their hands will never improve in catching the detail and be creative in drawing from imagination. The dodge and burn tools are cheap tricks, but I wouldn't say they are cheats, they are just cheap like rubbing the pencil graphite on paper to achieve tonal range. That is only my standard in appreciating creative work.

Maidith
06-19-2005, 11:32 AM
I think you cannot cheat in digital art. the tools used will always look like the tools used.
If you use burn and dodge, everyone will see it, because it gives the image a "plastic" look. But if you're skilled enough and use it very careful, you can create some nice effects by it.
Burn & dodge tools actually weren't created for painting, but for editing photographs. And I don't use them at all; I only use a brush.

Filters also are obvious. They don't make painting look professional and can't be "cheating", but rather "raping" the image. They were as well actually created for photos.

If you want to make a painting that looks altogether professional, let's say, like one of Christophe Vacher's paintings, no single painting media will provide you special tricks: neither watercolors, neither the computer... all you need are skills and experience and the desire to learn. :)

You're right. a piece - a good one - can't depend solely on the software's capabilities, because computers cannot paint. Only humans can.

Blue-demon
06-19-2005, 01:43 PM
Hmm surely digital cameras can paint in the same way a digital artist can so by technicality computers can paint. Even then they could change the colours or even add effects.

peaches
06-19-2005, 07:17 PM
Burn & dodge tools actually weren't created for painting, but for editing photographs. And I don't use them at all; I only use a brush.

Filters also are obvious. They don't make painting look professional and can't be "cheating", but rather "raping" the image. They were as well actually created for photos.

but even if its for photography, it still looks really cheap when you just apply a filter. well, to me it looks cheap anyway.

peaches
06-19-2005, 07:19 PM
the only "tool" I try to avoid when painting is undo…

I like errors, I like when a painting have its "history" visible…

but I wouldn't say any CG tool (2D or 3D) is cheating, after all, art is cheating (or, is it really a pipe?)…

thomas

wow, thats great if you dont undo at all. i find thats why cg is so awesome, because its easier, and cleaner. for some i guess its cheating, but for me, its a tool. a very useful one at times.

peaches
06-19-2005, 07:27 PM
I don't think people should use scanners to scan their sketches for painting over on the computer. I feel that they should draw directly on the screen. With a mouse, no tablet. In fact, using a computer at all is cheating. We should all draw on bark with charcoal sticks burned in our campfires ;)

like Peddy said, cg is a style, a form of art i guess. i dont see whats wrong with scanning a sketch, as long as you have the rights to it. and whats wrong with tablets? they're just another part of the cg world. just another tool i guess. i dont understand why you say using computers at all is cheating. its supposed to help the artist, make their work process easier.

kraal
06-19-2005, 07:27 PM
most of the people that say its cheating is because they would use it for cheating ... tracing is not cheating for me cause if i want to i could draw the image but due to speed i would trace to get right to the painting part

peaches
06-19-2005, 07:32 PM
thanks for all the replies. i guess its a very subjective question, and involves a lot of personal opinion. then again, what isnt.

and also, ive heard people say, 'its not cheating, its using your ressources.' d:

FabioMSilva
06-19-2005, 07:42 PM
ISnt Cg a copy of World's art? Isnt world's Art a copy of the real world? Isnt both their objectives to add something new to the world?


If dodge & burn tools are cheating, didnt Van Gogh cut his ear to put in his paiting? I never saw anyone saying

"oh u big son of a *****! U cheated! u cant use real blood in a paiting! it's not fair!"

Every Artist is a cheater! And every piece of art is a piece of cheating! The bigger artist one is, the bigger cheater he will be.:rolleyes: well...maybe i'm exaggerating a lil bit on this last phrase...

DoubleSupercool
06-20-2005, 03:53 AM
like Peddy said, cg is a style, a form of art i guess. i dont see whats wrong with scanning a sketch, as long as you have the rights to it. and whats wrong with tablets? they're just another part of the cg world. just another tool i guess. i dont understand why you say using computers at all is cheating. its supposed to help the artist, make their work process easier.

Errr, the winking smiley face at the end means I am being tongue in cheek . . . See the rest of my post for my opinion.

Stahlberg
06-20-2005, 04:29 AM
After years of never ending dispute this discussion starts to get on my nerves. This is not a subjective matter, it's perfectly objective and simple.
If you use any tool well enough, the result is all good.
And the inverse:
If you use any tool badly enough, the result will be bad.
I just can't understand why someone would argue with this, and try to place the blame on some particular tool. It's so ridiculous as to defy description. It's like saying my art isn't good art if I used Prismacolor Green pencil - but only if I use Caran d'Ache Red crayon.

And yes, I've used Dodge, Burn, filters, photographs for reference, and whatever other nono you can think of, and I'm proud of it. I'll do it again. I'd use Poser if I could see it helping me in any way. I'd cut off my ear if I thought it would help me create better art (well, have a surgeon remove it anyway).

lokki
06-20-2005, 04:44 AM
It's probably not my place to chime in, but I'm gonna ;)

I've seen lots of people mention that tools are there to be used, but a lot of these same people turn around and say filters are bad, or stock effects are cheap. I'd like to refine the thought a bit... if everything is a tool (and everything is fair game), then I propose that the art is in the use of the tool or technique.

For example, in another forum, we've posted many limited challenges. Things like only using filters, or worse, only using lens flare in Photoshop. The challenge starts out as an excercise in restriction, and blooms into fundamental creativity which is borne of that restriction. By taking away distractions like brushes and other basic tools, the artists are forced to learn control over something they usually waive off with derision.

The point of these challenges is twofold: understand the tool deeply; look around for new 'tools'.

So, I can't consider anything 'cheating' that is used with purpose and intent to create (as opposed to copying or otherwise deceive). I feel it's all in the intent, and this applies to styles of art as well as technique and choice of tools.

As for the argument that using dodge/burn or filters is obvious, all I can say is 'so what?' If you look at a work and you can tell because of your own experience that someone dodged a bit to enhance a highlight, but it looks good, who cares? Other viewers or artists with different backgrounds may not know. Going further, if you look at a classical painting, you know a particular shade and stroke were used, but that's not considered cheating. It's control over the medium and the tools... mastery in art.

**Steven beat me to the punch!***

ashakarc
06-20-2005, 07:59 AM
If you use any tool well enough, the result is all good.
And the inverse:
If you use any tool badly enough, the result will be bad.
Hey Stahlberg, I agree there is no point, however I am not sure of how you could generalize in the statement above. If the technique is great, does it mean necessarily the results will be great?

I understand that technique is quantifiable and measurable, but I can't see "Cause & Effect" relationship between technique and results all the time. Especially in art, there is a lot of room for spontaneous, unpredictable results from erroneous technical adventures that could work very well to the advantage of the work. Inversely, sometimes well calculated techniques could lead to horrible results.

Today's painting software is exremely limited in terms of allowing the artist to experiment beyond the menu commands. I would urge everyone who is solely trained on computers, to train seriously with traditional media to enrich the artistic skills, and be ready for next generation computing.

EricPoehlsen
06-20-2005, 08:28 AM
I do not believe someone comes up with something like this. There is only one type of cheating in arts and that is copying other peoples work.

An artist tries to recreate the image in his imagination and it is his right as an artist to use any tool he can get his hands on and which he as an artist finds suitable to get his artwork onto his "canvas" whichever medium that might be.

Honestly it will even be art when someone builds a thought scanner that allows an artist to simply reproduce the image he is thinking of.

The art in art is that the artist gets as close in the visualization of his thoughts to what he actually dreams and therefor no tool is cheat, and if someone makes a astonishing picture with bryce and poser he is not more a cheater then someone who paints with oil on canvas.

leeyiankun
06-20-2005, 12:28 PM
Well, IMO Copy&Pasting real pictures on to your art is kinda cheating.
But those ppl only hurt themselves in the long run. Their skills will suffer, and their peers will look down on them.

But CG already offers so much to the artist, that it could have been consider cheating in the first place, when compared to traditional media. Well, you cannot argue that you "undo" often and that's is sorta cheating in itself. :P

So maybe I'm too close-minded, and that there's no such thing as cheating in digital.
Although I'll still look at a guy's picture in a bad light, if I find some cut and paste in his work.

Alexandrite
06-20-2005, 01:06 PM
imho "cheating" is things like tracing, copy-&-pasting, grabbing colours from a reference photograph directly rather than finding them on the palette yourself, letting the computer decide to "auto colour", "auto levels" and "auto contrast", etc etc etc. Basically anything the computer does for you instead of you doing it yourself, imho, can in theory be considered cheating. And yes, in a way, the "undo" button is the greatest cheat of them all, which we have access to and traditional artists do not. :P But I have to say, I kinda blinked in confusion when I saw that dodge & burn are considered cheating?

maybe because I've taken B-&-W photography classes as well as drawing/illustration/digital-stuff classes, but even in photography, it's a perfectly valid and often necessary technique to use. It's a lot harder to do well in the darkroom, though, as opposed to just grabbing the tool in Photoshop and using it as a brush at low opacity. :P

to me, everything in Photoshop that can be used as a brush, very often does get used. even the eraser can be a painting/drawing tool, to create and not just take away.

filters, yep, cheating, cause you let the computer do it for you. undo button, wonderful perk/cheat that we CG people quietly hold onto with our lives. :P

Dodge and burn cheating? i'm, um, kinda failing to see how...

FabioMSilva
06-20-2005, 01:53 PM
I do not believe someone comes up with something like this. There is only one type of cheating in arts and that is copying other peoples work.
.

that's not cheating. thats stealing! Now that's a bad thing.

Cheating is good. Stealing is not.

lokki
06-20-2005, 04:29 PM
Well, IMO Copy&Pasting real pictures on to your art is kinda cheating.
But those ppl only hurt themselves in the long run. Their skills will suffer, and their peers will look down on them.

Careful here... what if the art is a photo manipulation or simple retouching? The core argument about cheating is where you draw the line. Is it in the technique, the intent, or the end product?

If someone cuts and pastes into their work, but the end result is startling, something you've not encountered before, why would you look down on them? If someone builds a sculpture from scrap metal (which is done time and again), that's essentially cutting and pasting.

Stahlberg
06-20-2005, 05:39 PM
If the technique is great, does it mean necessarily the results will be great?
Okay, let's check my phrasing: "If you use any tool well enough the result is all good."
Maybe it's the "all" that confuses; it's just a figure of speech, as in: "It's all good, man." I didn't mean to say great. Just good, okay, positive, not negative, not bad. If someone uses any tool well enough, the result will be positive, not negative. Whereas, those who try to define certain tools as evil would have us believe that the result is negative no matter how well the tool is used.

imho "cheating" is things like tracing, copy-&-pasting, grabbing colours from a reference photograph directly rather than finding them on the palette yourself, letting the computer decide to "auto colour", "auto levels" and "auto contrast", etc etc etc. Basically anything the computer does for you instead of you doing it yourself, imho, can in theory be considered cheating. And yes, in a way, the "undo" button is the greatest cheat of them all,
Oh dear... I've used EVERY SINGLE ONE of those tools you mentioned. Most of them habitually. So has every single professional illustrator in the world who works with realistic humans in the computer, plus many others - for instance in traditional graphics, with the tracing and the xerox machines etc... and they've been doing stuff like that since the dawn of that profession. Fine artists have traced projected photographs since they were invented; before that they used the Camera Obscura.

It's not what tools you use, it's how you use them.

ashakarc
06-20-2005, 05:58 PM
Okay, let's check my phrasing: "If you use any tool well enough the result is all good."
Maybe it's the "all" that confuses; it's just a figure of speech, as in: "It's all good, man." I didn't mean to say great. Just good, okay, positive, not negative, not bad. If someone uses any tool well enough, the result will be positive, not negative. Whereas, those who try to define certain tools as evil would have us believe that the result is negative no matter how well the tool is used. I knew this is what you meant, but the bold size 3 quoted font was the reason of my response. I totally understand your point and I think it is true. By the way, it might work differently when you are an educator working with beginners. All cheap tricks are supposed to be abondoned so they learn the foundation technique and build an understanding of how things work.

Cheap tricks are only for Masters. Seriously, because in their hands they are not cheap anymore, just part of the big arsenal to use, but in the beginner's hand it could be abused very easily.

peaches
06-20-2005, 06:59 PM
It's not what tools you use, it's how you use them.

i agree with that. i understand what you mean now about the whole it's all good thing. and i agree with that too. i suppose there is no cheating when working with cg because the tools are there for you, and are meant to be used. unless youre copy pasting blahblah, but taht goes without saying.
i heart undo.

peaches
06-20-2005, 07:05 PM
For example, in another forum, we've posted many limited challenges. Things like only using filters, or worse, only using lens flare in Photoshop. The challenge starts out as an excercise in restriction, and blooms into fundamental creativity which is borne of that restriction. By taking away distractions like brushes and other basic tools, the artists are forced to learn control over something they usually waive off with derision.

thats a cool idea. itd be interesting to see hte results.

digitaldamage
06-21-2005, 01:41 PM
I read/heared an anecdote the other day (which seems somewhat "funny" by todays standards. I'm sure the whole crew was pretty perplexed at that time, to say the least).

Tron didn't won the oscar for visual effects back in 1983 because the Academy thought it was cheating to use computers. Tron didn't even got a nomination. I wasn't aware that this was the reason behind it. Cheating? Oh well...

Jenela
06-21-2005, 03:21 PM
Our tools are changing, the way we make art is developing all the time. We mostly don't prepare our own canvas for to paint on with our home-made brushes and handmade paint made out of flagseed oil and stones like in old ages. Or is it cheating to buy that stuff in the store?? More artist discover the endless possibilities of computerart. It's not cheating to use electricity to help us to make art, we welcome electricity these days, I don't know anymore to live without it. Tools are just tools, not art. It's the artist that creates the art. First he has to learn to work well with his tools, digital or not. Nothing magic here, but hard work, just like the old masters did: hard work!

Old masters "cheated" all the time, they twisted reality to paint easier, they developed tools to measure their subject exactly, they painted over ideas from other artist, even Rembrandt did this (I saw this a few weeks ago in a Rembrandtmuseum in Amsterdam). You can call that quote/stylequote, like writers often do in their art.

I don't think dodging and burning are cheating, they are only tools, they can help to create a desired effect. Filters, masks, layers and so on are not cheating, but to make use of a new medium. It is hopefully not cheating to use glasses when I create art? without them I am lost.
Sorry for my poor English, I am from Holland.

mangual
06-21-2005, 05:12 PM
The issue should not be "cheating" but rather, "misrepresenting"

It truly gets on my nerves when a digital artist misrepresents how they made a piece of artwork.

Use all the tools you want, by all means, but please be honest when you show it to the world in explaining the process.

For example some one that says they used no photo reference or didn't do a paint over and then moments later someone finds a very similar photo as their "painting" on Google images...

Or someone that says something was done entirely in 3D with no postwork when it was not the case.

Or when someone says something was done without PS filters eventhough it was.

And so on... you guys know what' I'm talking about. Those people do a dis-service to all the honest, hardworking artists that show their work in places like CG Talk. It makes it harder for others to believe in the authenticity of truly exceptional works that deserve all our praise.

So just be true to yourself... be honest... be brave and unashamed. Be an artist AND BELIEVE IN WHAT YOU DO.

People can smell a phony a mile away so you might as well just do things the right way.

That is my advice...

Alexandrite
06-21-2005, 05:21 PM
Oh dear... I've used EVERY SINGLE ONE of those tools you mentioned. Most of them habitually. So has every single professional illustrator in the world who works with realistic humans in the computer, plus many others - for instance in traditional graphics, with the tracing and the xerox machines etc... and they've been doing stuff like that since the dawn of that profession. Fine artists have traced projected photographs since they were invented; before that they used the Camera Obscura.

It's not what tools you use, it's how you use them.

hehe... I know. I only said, they could be considered cheating. (I use them as well. :) )
and what would we do without the Undo button.

(sorry, I guess i should have phrased my original reply to this thread better. thats what happens when i post at 9 am before having morning caffeine then dashing off to work :eek: )

peaches
06-22-2005, 01:21 AM
The issue should not be "cheating" but rather, "misrepresenting"

i'm pretty sure misrepresenting is cheating though.

Stahlberg
06-22-2005, 03:32 AM
i'm pretty sure misrepresenting is cheating though.
hehe, I think we have a confusion of definitions.
Cheating can mean
1. Using a tool in such a way that some artists see it as taking a shortcut
2. Lying about taking that shortcut
I think what we've mostly been discussing up to this point, is the first one. As I've mentioned, I see nothing wrong with the first one, it can be done badly and it can be done well. If it's done badly, it hurts no one else more than the artist himself; more practise is the answer. But I agree, the second one is completely deplorable.

mangual
06-22-2005, 01:46 PM
hehe, I think we have a confusion of definitions.
Cheating can mean
1. Using a tool in such a way that some artists see it as taking a shortcut
2. Lying about taking that shortcut
I think what we've mostly been discussing up to this point, is the first one. As I've mentioned, I see nothing wrong with the first one, it can be done badly and it can be done well. If it's done badly, it hurts no one else more than the artist himself; more practise is the answer. But I agree, the second one is completely deplorable.

Yep, that's what I meant. I was definitely referring to the 2nd instance. Glad to see you agree!

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