Stylized vs Realism - illustration

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  07 July 2005
Heheh, like I said, I have no education for this. But I was thinking photorealistic was plain and simple realistic. I forgot that it is an artmovement. Or that it differs from photorealistic, if it's no artmovement that is. uhm... it?
an artmovement I mean?

To be honest I wouldn't even dare say my drawings are realistic. I guess I should say realist?

I think photorealist is better, and in that way you should see my comments perhaps. I think it bringsd more to memory than a caricature, unless it's for instance count olaf from the movie 'a series of unfortunate events'. If you get my drift. I have the same with horror movies which are a good example of stretching reality...sort of.
modelling practice #1
  07 July 2005
Warning, nudity

Someone already said that there's room enough for both styles. I just want to say it again.

CGtalk in general seems to lean in the direction of realism, but I think this has more to do with the 3D origins of this whole thing rather than what actually works. Not saying one does and the other one doesn't, but am saying that one is slighted for not very good reasons.

Let's take an example: Maus, the graphic novel. Would it be more powerful if it were e.g. painted in full colours and in a realistic style? I don't think so. The thing with having cats for nazis, pigs for kapos and mice for jews is that it doesn't actually distance you from the story, but brings it closer.

Photorealism would be like cheating: "Look, I took my digital camera and went back in time, took these photos of the thing when it was happening!" I'm not saying anyone would think this, but the level of detail doesn't help suspend disbelief: "How do you know the guy would look just like that? How can you tell us how a starving person would react? You weren't there, were you?"

By drawing a mouse, Spiegelman admits that no, he wasn't there when it happened, that this is a story he's heard. A mouse is a symbol for a character in a story, and accepting that there was someone at this place Spiegelman's heard these stories of is easier than accepting someone's superbly detailed, but ultimately, imaginary illustrations of life in a concentration camp. (And this would be my subjective view on the matter, not the gospel truth. But I like to think I have a point here.)

Another thing: Magritte already made the point best, but every time you create an image, purporting to show a realistic, three dimensional space, whether it has a real world model or not, you're making an interpretation. 2D isn't 3D. (Even 3D isn't 3D, as long as we're not viewing it with some stereoscopic or holographic apparatus.) A stylized image only takes the interpretation that much further. This discussion is kind of like arguing whether a potato or a yam is the better root vegetable; they're still both in the same family.

Thirdly: I've yet to see an image where the artist truly captures what his eyes see. Take a view of a street at night, lit by streetlights. How would you render the halos around the light sources? A haze, the same colour as the light, something like that?

Now think about what you actually see. There will be these kinds of rays or flares that never stop moving necause your eyes are never actually still. On top of that, if you really pay attention (and you might need to hae full vision in both eyes too, though I'm not sure) you'll see these tiny rainbow-like reflections. I guess it's the light reflecting from the fluids that're outside your eyeballs. They never stop moving either. And then there might be the floating things that're either something inside your eyeballs, or inside your head - though you only tend to see these when you stare at something bright, say, the sky, for some time.

How do you paint that stuff? The answer, I think, is: you don't. Don't know about you folks, but I'd go nuts if I tried.

No 2D image will ever be exactly the thing you see with your own eyes, so this sort of makes all 2D images interpretations of the reality, with more or less imagination in them, that is: more or less stylized.

Finally, check out some of Michelangelo's stuff on the sistine chapel: the half naked chappies floating on thin air have really interesting body proportions:

I bet someone'd find a thing or two to say about the weenie there. And is the head in proportion? Nope. Does it matter? Not a jot.
  07 July 2005
Lately I was playing SW:KOTOR and was so engrossed in it that didn't realized
that my girfriend had came from the kitchen and was silently watching the game over my
shoulder until she commented on one of the cutscenes: "I love CG girs, they all
have such a perfect look, such a smooth skin!" When I replied that many consider
this a defect she stared at me like I was lunatic. She just could not understand
why this beauty should be spoiled by all that ugly pores and hair, and
everything. Hey, all photorealism people, do you want to meet a girl who prefers game screenshot made on a shaderless card to your month-developed day-rendered superrealistic work?

Some people just want reality to be "corrected", at least in pictures. Why not? Ancient greeks tilted pillars to make them look more straight, and good stylization does just the same
--aka Trident on
  07 July 2005
I think you're getting a bit mixed up, month-long rendered detail doesn't equal realism. Just look at the works of Craig Mullins, you can see brush strokes all over the place, some really big ones even. You'll see snow with 1 long, fat brush stroke, or a sky with a simple smooth gradient, but my god... they're more convincing than anything I've seen produced in a 3d rendering, or even a photograph for that matter.

To be honest, I don't think this debate should exist if it's going to be about the outcome of the final product.

Every method is awesome, and I intend to experiment with them all.

But rather, I think this debate should be about learning material, whether to use realism or not. If you're some kinda gifted person, and never needing to observe, then go ahead, learn what you can teach yourself. I wasn't very good and started out quite lost, so I needed the aid of an anatomy book and such.

In disney's "Illusion of life", there's a quote that said something like "It's not about realism, but believability".
  07 July 2005
Think of any work of visual art as having two layers. The first, and most concrete, layer is the physical rendering of the subject, or the "image". The second, far more elusive layer is the essence of what is being represented, or the "subject".

The same subject can be depicted in many different ways, in many different images. However, regardless of the method used, the ultimate goal of the image is to convey the subject to the viewer.

The "style" is simply the method used to create the image that conveys the subject to the viewer. The illusion of reality comes from the artist's depiction of the subject, not neccesarily from the style used.

Errors in an image can distract the viewer, detracting from the subject. To prevent this, artists strive to understand and study the world around them. By doing so, they can create images that, regardless of their style, do not detract from, or distract the viewer from, the depicted subject.

As such, whether "stylized" or "realistic", the true "realism" of a work comes from the depiction of the subject by the artist, based on the foundation of observation.


"If its stylized, why does any of it need to look real? If the demon is obviously not real, why do the skulls need to be?"

It needs to look "real" because, whether actual or imaginary, the depiction of the subject matter must convince the viewer that they are looking at a scene that exists, whether it does or not. Regardless of the style used, the image should convey the subject to the viewer.

I hope that all makes sense... for some reason, it was tough to put it into words.

Last edited by Imagus : 07 July 2005 at 10:18 PM.
  07 July 2005
It doesn't really matter if your subject is real or based on real world geometry or not. The power of communication is much more complicated.

It is good to observe the real world and if your scene has a foot in reality it is easier for the viewer to relate. Observing or indeed studying reality is a handy tool because you can go about manipulating it and we call that style. It is not the only way to go by all means.

Looking at the sketch the artist posted and judging by the feeling of it it looks like reality is the base. The general feeling is a bit shakey so it is possible the drawing could be improved by representing focal points more strongly. This has less to do with anatomy than it does with the power that elements are represented.

A composition is a symphony of parts that has less to do with the correctness of individual items than it has to do with those elements supporting each other and contributing to the whole.

Whether something is stylised or real is of little consequence the real question is does it work in this particular instance? Being a master of anatomy or studying reality intensly wont assure a masterpiece. Its just not that simple as each illustration is so much more than this. Yes photorealism is the way to go, yes heavily stylised cartoons are the way to go, yes a mixture of all things you have ever experienced is the way to go,..... they are just tools.

Not one is better than the other and know there is more than one way to skin a cat. Study work that knocks your socks off and you may be surprised that its not only one style you prefer. What you are looking at is the representation of genius which is an essence of many factors. Try and break them down and experiment with them.
The terminal velocity of individual particles is directly related to pink rabbits on a bank holiday.
Characters, Games, Toys
  07 July 2005
Stylized and Realism are the same Every of these two can be Nice or Ugly

You have to be good in both of them. I can do a good object my style and some of you might don't like it I can also put a picture taken by a Cam, put it on a Forum and i'm sure One of you would be able to find error in it.

It is all an opinion all Critic are easy to do but making something good for everyone is Hard.

Some Style we have and think is very beautiful are so easy to do but the final Result Is great what? you want more?

the most important is the expression and the felling. If you want to do realism go for it you have more work to do. But if you can imagine something very new but simple you can have easily more good feed back because eveyone see Realism everyday.

Just do something you like to or go for the Keep it simple Stupid
  07 July 2005
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