Will CG 3d works withstand with time?


Greetings dear fellows, and have a good day!
Many art pieces became embodiments of pivotal artistic, historic, or iconic figures. They became collectable, highly sought after artifacts.
Whereas 3d works, dated by 15-20 years old, mostly look obsolete somehow. The exceptions are cartoonish styles, which stand for longer.
Do you think most 3d works will become obsolete in the upcoming decades due to certain factors?


The art pieces you think of as iconic or pivotal, etc, are all masterpieces.
There are millions of traditional art pieces that were created at the same time and were completely forgotten by time.

The reason is that GOOD art withstands time. BAD art is forgotten.

Same thing with CG. Crappy low quality CG renders are quite forgotten.
But there are some CG artists whose old works are still remembered. Look at pascal blanche or Neil Blevins for example. Both those artists old works are technically simple, but can be looked at even 10-20years later as being very very good.


I was thinking about this the other day. Like why there are no Van Gogh of 3d artist. Only 3d artist acknowledge each other but none are known by a casual person on the street. Partly is that cgi is a digital artform where there are no original pieces . It’s a computer generated image that doesn’t actually exist in reality. You can’t collect an original because there are none. and films are a collective piece.


Consider context.

van Gogh and da Vinci lived in a pre-internet world.

The old masters only had to please their patrons. Their competition pool was far smaller. Their legend was built as much by word of mouth as it was by quality. Today, it’s all global. It’s about the likes and follows. It’s about appealing to prospective employers, clients, fans, and so on. There are countless CG artists at that level (and beyond) today. The struggle isn’t to create content of that caliber. It’s to get it seen and recognized. You’re one of an untold number of amazing artists on ArtStation and new, amazing work appears almost hourly. The artistic struggle is real.

The old masterpieces hold value because there is only one of each. Prints may exist, but there will only ever be one original of the Mona Lisa. Digital changes the game. Digital art is hard to treasure in that same way simply because it’s not rare. Nobody will ever put together and Ocean’s 11 style group to steal the only known copy of a Deviant Art image. Nobody is ever going to walk into your home and say, “Oooh! I so admire your copy of Wall-E. I must buy it from you.” :stuck_out_tongue: We hold these old works in such high regard, in part, because of their scarcity.

Today’s digital art, to the average person, also feels more disposable. Quick how many pieces of digital art are online? You don’t know. Nobody does. We’ve become numb to it because it’s nigh infinite - practically. It’s hard to care about that amazing Bowsette or Baby Yoda image you saw last week when there are 3,000+ others competing for attention all in the same month. It’s sometimes hard to recognize good works simply because we now look through them instead of at them.

There’s also the perception that CG is somehow less valid and that computers do all of the work. We all know, however, that this is total bull. We know that it can sometimes take dozens or hundreds of hours to craft something. Normies don’t get this though. Again, in part, this boils down to content overload. There’s so much of it that it must therefore be so easy to make.

Of course, there is a valid point to be made that today’s 3D tools aren’t yet ergonomic enough to allow artists to create what they fully envision. Duplicating that human touch still requires more work. Imbuing 3D works with subtlety takes more time and effort. What it might take you an hour to do in 3D might only require a few brush strokes in 2D. It’s the poor artist who blames their tools, but it’s still hard to ignore the fact that today’s tools could be more intuitive and natural. From modeling all the way to rendering, there’s still room for technological improvement. More needs to be done to bridge the gap between artist and computer. That’s not to say that it’s impossible to create works that surpass those of the old masters. TOTALLY possible. The tools still fight you though, more than necessary.

Also, the comparisons will never be fair. Saying, “Yeah. It’s great. It’s no Starry Night though.” is about the same as holding something to the same standard as the invention of sliced bread. The legend is sometimes greater and more powerful than the reality. Frankly, it’s also why so many so called “connoisseurs” don’t know squat and can easily be fooled by kindergarten drawings. Tell the right tale, build the right legend and image, and… You get the point.

That’s not to take away from somebody like Monet. It’s just to say that, in reality, they were just people. They’re doing the same thing you did. To put them on a pedestal and raise them to godhood is silly. You never want to meet your heroes because they’re just flesh and blood. You can be and beat them and THAT is what’s scary.

There are modern masters. Yes. The title of “master” is just so much more ephemeral and fleeting in the digital age. They love you today. You’re forgotten tomorrow. On to the next big thing. On to the next fan favorite.

One last thing. With CG, the tech is still evolving. I’m not necessarily talking about the tools. I’m talking about the underlying stuff that contributes to the results. The math-y stuff of SIGGRAPH papers. Look at CG from 2000 and compare it that of today. It was amazing by 2000 standards. Today, it looks like anybody with a copy of Daz could’ve made it. Today’s work will date about as well in 2040. If you paint in oil, it’s your technique that’s in constant evolution. Your tools and paints are about as good as they’re going to get. CG’s foundational tech is still in its infancy. We’ve come a long way from simple vector art and raycasting, but the programmers still have miles to go before they sleep.


You tell me:

10 years Old

7 years Old

3 years old

I don’t believe any of these will be uninteresting in 10 years or look “outdated”, but what you’re asking is a more complicated question.

The reason CG artists have not become known individually by their work is because few have actually stepped out on their own with thought provoking individual works and challenged the status quo of “Art Collection Value.” A challenge would be forcing a shift towards appreciated value oriented around the Digital Artist and his/her concepts because they are more interesting/as interesting as traditional art concepts versus an “Art Collection Value” concept that’s solely built around the medium and how reproducible, or not reproducible the work is.

This also a good time to bring up the fact that most CG workers aren’t artists at all, they are technicians and this field can/could represent a good way for non-artists to participate in making impressive art without having to deal with the pressure/burden of having to conceptualize every part of the work successfully. This industry would not exist without technicians that are/were dedicated to making art with their preferred tools.

The concept of work “aging out” is a different idea and subjective, but I know what you mean. “Aging Out” in a many cases can be eliminated through a remastering process that really would be determined by the actual works, but that only happens if the project itself is actually interesting enough to begin with. Realistic rendering is getting to a point or maybe has arrived at a point where minimal remastering will be necessary even 15 years from now because reality looks like reality.

A more productive question might be: How do we get more CG workers that are also artists to produce more important work to improve the standing of CG work/workers/artists in the “Art World” and “Cinema World?”


Uninteresting? No. Outdated? A bit. Azureus’ age is definitely showing. You just have to know what to look for. From my end, I see obviously lower texture and mesh detail. I see a big, lifeless city. I also see various compromises hidden by way of editing. It was jaw dropping 10 years ago, but would have to be drastically more detailed and ambience rich to feel as inspirational.

It’s not like they don’t have an outlet though. ArtStation is full of thousands of personal pieces. It’s up to the individual artist to decide what they want to make. There are many very personal, intimate works on there. They just seem to get less attention or buried. Individual CG artists are mature and creatively evolved. The CG art community, as a whole, seems to be decidedly less so. These portfolio sites seem to be dominated by less insightful work that indulges fanboy culture, tired tropes, and (to an extent) a level of misogyny.

I have to wonder if the problem is us, the largely male art community, or whether this is just a “period” that CG is in. Traditional art has its own creative eras. Maybe we’re just stuck smack dab in the middle of one and don’t yet realize it. You can also argue that, given the medium and its relative infancy, we’re still a bit drunk with creative power. It’s almost like watching your kid get sent off to college for the first time. There’s that initial period of overload from having too much freedom. Then, eventually, they learn to self-regulate. We may still be in that earlier phase. 30-ish years is a drop in the bucket. CG is still so new and novel.

I’m not so sure that I buy that. Yes. In a large studio environment with large pipelines and intense deadlines, being able to serve a single discrete purpose to the nth degree of skill is prized. In the grand machine, you’re all just cogs serving the larger design. Highly technical and not very personalized. I agree.

However, few people get into this field and say, “Mom & Dad. I love doing retopology. It is the single defining element of my existence. I want to do it until the day I die.” :smiley: Nah. Nobody says that. At least not anybody sane. As with any other field, most people get into CG because there’s a passion to create or bring something to life. It might be design. It might be rigging. It might be modeling. Whatever it is, however technical, the driving force behind somebody going into CG is still art related.

That’s like saying that, in the comic book world, the artistic merits of an inker or colorist are valued less than those of the penciler or writer. Still artsy. Just in a different way. I’ve got a nephew who’s getting pretty serious about art and he loves the inking and coloring side of it as much or maybe even more than the design. It’s not just about technical proficiency. Anybody who’s seen the same pages done by different inkers/colorists knows what I mean.

Like me, you’ve been here for ages. You know that’s not really true. I think that we say this every few years. We convince ourselves that “x” is so unbelievably realistic and that we’ve finally crossed the uncanny valley. “This is as good as it gets.” We say that and, frankly, it’s kinda bullshit. We may have gotten to a point where the technical advances aren’t coming in fast and furious like they were 20 years ago, but there’s still plenty of room for technical and creative advancement. The changes are just coming in a bit slower and those that do come in are a fair bit more subtle.

Today’s art may hold up a little better in 10 years… or not. It’s hard to tell. What I do know is that as the complexity of the art form increases, the work involved in pushing the limits is going to be greater. The days of 300 poly models with 256x256 textures is long gone. The amount of effort has increased accordingly. That’s why it’s important to also see an evolution in tools. I think, 10 years from now, we’ll be able to look back at 2020 CG and say, “Wow! How did they ever live without this feature or that function? It would’ve been nice to create a piece back then with the level of detail found in today’s art. Still looks good, but you can tell that it was made way back in 2020.” It’s going to happen. It’s just the way things work out.

I think, going forward, things will level off and art won’t age as drastically once we get to a point where the tools have reached their evolutionary peak, hardware demands are no longer a concern, and the (potential) creative gap between CG and traditional disappears. We’re not there yet. We probably won’t be there for decades, imo. When/If it happens… That’ll be the day when it all just comes down to creative talent. That’ll be the day where we can no longer blame the tools or the limitations of the medium. When all we’re left with is skill, we’ll be able to judge CG artists more on what they accomplish than how they did it or where their bottleneck was. Honestly? That day may never fully come since we’ll be always left with the ultimate limiter: time.

It all depends. A lot of today’s highest profile CG has commercial value. That which is highly profitable isn’t always highly artsy. That same claim can be made of even non-CG movies. Art house stuff has little commercial value, but is rich with creative value. These movies don’t and won’t make money, but they enrich. Appealing to the masses comes with a trade off. It’s like comparing the Coen Bros to the Wachowskis. Two separate worlds with two decidedly different sets of priorities and values. Getting that mix of technician and artist is going to take getting more projects that are as artsy as they are lucrative. That’s hard. That may boil down more to script and direction.


Something similar happens in videogames, with RTX game remastering. Indeed 3d medium is very capable in that regard, provided the scenes were created with a good pipeline in mind.
I agree we might still be in CG infancy (as usual, each generation feels it’s on the verge of something amazing. And it’s true, as the verge is always ahead). Though the technical barriers are indeed become more and more demanding, and brute force power doesn’t catch up. So AI denoising is not a brute-force approach, that’s why it worked and revoutionized gaming, albeit some folks might naysay it.
As was well-said, CG ages rapidly because tehcnically we are not there yet. And let’s be honest, 3d is so alluring because it’s unusual. It catches the eye due to its almost physical appeal. And because it’s evolving. be it just realistic and all sey, would it be as eye-tatching? And definitely, as we move forward, the less and less magin happens due to diminishing returns.


When I was an adult, 3d-movies were so immersively striking. Back then they seemed something on top of graphics. Largely due to technical limitations, as few could render animations on their home machines.
I recall those E3 2005 videos, which seemed unbelievable and reealistic

Now in looks like a run-of-the-mill game.
Today no-one can surprise with 3d-animation. It can be considered good, but the novelty of Final Fantasy 3d movie has long gone.
That’s the issue: the goals of 3d-graphics are quite different from other media. It serves its own purpose by its essence, and here lies its limitation. We still live in the golden era, when we can be surprised by realism, but it won’t last forever.
Surely, we can imagine 16-k VR, and what we see today might seem laughable in 50 years.


I still think in part it’s subjective, because we could all go on for hours about what we might have done differently that would have “improved” the project and maybe made it more “futureproof”, but ultimately I’ve come to the point where all that stuff is just superficial and in the grand scheme of things the final polishing is just not that important if the underlying concept isn’t compelling enough to stand on it’s own.

When Azeureus Rising was released it was not intended to be a completely finished entertainment product, even in the beginning, so some of the components that look “dated” to you now weren’t “Top of Production” standards back then. Azeureus Rising was created as a calling card to potentially raise money to actually build something feature finished and to sell animation and rigging product and/or courses.

The creators could easily resurrect that IP today, go back in those scenes swap textures, geometry etc. and build an indie game or game pitch around that and/or a counter-culture fashion brand (if Maya opened scene files from versions made then…another story for another time.)

Ummmm…agree to disagree. Artstation’s secondary function is to assist artists selling art to other artists and artists really buy a minimal amount of art from other artists, which is better then no purchases, but it’s still not that great by itself in the grand scheme of things.

Artstation uses artists to promote Artstation as it’s primary function. The tutorial market helps artists somewhat, but again artist to artist/business to business revenue and profits exclusively from other artists are going to be relatively low and not impactful towards a goal of gaining art collectors that ultimately promote the artist. Doing the work of marketing an individual’s self/art or communicating to potential patrons/art appreciators/collectors with an actual direction is something that every other artist in every other medium does and that path essentially drives healthier low, medium and upper levels of sales pricing of art that places the value on the artist, which helps the value of the work and the “brand” of the artist appreciate over time.

This painting was sold for $140 MILLION DOLLARS

This set of Resin Sculptures sells for approximately $700+ dollars

This sculpture in Bronze sells for approximately $3,000 dollars

I’m not making a judgment in any way and I’m not saying CG artists should pursue this kind of pricing exclusively. However, to say there’s no middle ground between this and the pittance that a lot of CG art is sold for today is preposterous to me. The main difference between what a lot of CG artists are doing today and these artists is that these artists, for atleast part of their career, bet on themselves, built their artistry around their brand of art and took the time to connect to influential people that helped them cultivate an audience and collectors of their work specifically.

My Definition of Art:
The Physical representation of the emotional.

Textbook Definition of Art:
The conscious use of the imagination in the production of objects intended to be contemplated or appreciated as beautiful, as in the arrangement of forms, sounds, or words.

It’s not an issue of who’s a “Real Artist” when it comes to collaborated works since the goal is to divide and conquer the workload, but to think there’s not a hierarchy of public recognition, for comics in particular, is delusional. Regardless of what people wanted when they originally started compared to what they’re actually doing, if it’s different, to the production of the comic they are critical cogs to the process and if that fulfills them then it fulfills them and if it doesn’t then they should pursue what does fulfill them either simultaneously or in place of inking.

Of course an inker’s work will receive less merit then a penciler, it’s the way it has always been and for good reason. An inker is not designing a signature for a particular story, he or she is design someone else made and that’s fine as an occupation but it doesn’t define that inker’s artistry. As often as I’ve heard it said that a bad inker can ruin a great penciler’s career I’ve never seen a penciler switch from inker to inker and have his/her actual style of artwork change.

Consider someone like Alex Garner for instance, a guy that inked pages for J. Scott Campbell for YEARS and was only known as an inker. In the last five years or so He’s been doing comic covers and posters, but the fact is that no one would have had any idea what his art looked like and he never would have gotten the level of public recognition for his art and design he has now until he actually started creating art as opposed to supporting art creation exclusively:

Alex Garner Inks:

Alex Garner Art:

Ok, while this is generally true, this time it’s different…really. Atleast for inanimate objects and hardsurface objects. I honestly believe that in some cases even with facial animation the combination of common FACS techniques and deepfake technology will cross the uncanny valley. The other thing is if all we wanted to do is mimic reality it would make more sense to do everything practically and if some people are just wanting to mimic reality it’s not really art, just another form of visual documentation.

This is also one of the reasons I think CG artists need to break away from exclusively working in disposable content mediums like film and games. There’s stability and internal recognition, but no one knows what you do outside the industry.

If you have it in your mind to not necessarily be grinding as a rigger, environment artist, character artist etc. at like 63 years of age you’re not going to have 50 pieces of art in storage that can be auctioned off for between $10k-$20k because CG artists never fought for CG as art even as much as early art photographers like Alfred Stieglitz did to have photography recognized in the art world. Photography as art had all the same knocks against it as CG has now and frankly a lot of CG construction techniques are closer to traditional art techniques in many ways then photography.


It doesn’t matter if 3d was used. What matters is:
-uniqueness of the piece (rarity). 3d here has flimsy chance, as it’s looked upon as a mass-production method. But 3d-printing is what can make it unique. Anyway, if a sculptor does one sculpture, it costs more, as it’s “hand-made” (can we come up with the term -wash, like brainwash, greenwash? Artwash maybe?)
-its hype (the artist must be known and tied to some cultural or historical events), Today artists are promoted the same way pop-stars are
-the context of the exhibition space. It’s not something unusual you do, but rather that it’s put into an unusual space, so people pinpoint their attention to it.

I think such exhibition artist would greatly benefit from using 3d as a pre-production tool.
Exhibition artists struggle coming up with new awe-inspiring ways to captivate the viewer, hence they utilize unusual materials and methods. Basically what they do is just creative design, and, sometimes, the message through provoking, shock et cetera.


Yeah, I don’t know about constantly reinforcing the mindset of only using 3D as a “Pre-viz” tool for other “more important mediums” since it serves to continue the process of devaluing CGI as a valid artist’s medium in it’s own right.

A lot of traditional medium artists use photographs to pre-visualize or pre-set composition, but there are still Art and Fashion photographers that make photographic art, 3D basically has to get to that point where it’s not a background tool and that change happening is mostly about the mindset of the practitioners/CG artists.


With that being said I don’t still see anyone in cgi withstanding the test of time as an icon in the art world. Even a Frank Frezzetta who did commercial art was still more highly regarded by traditionalist than that of modern 3d commercial artist. The inability to make collectables hinders popularity, as sadly money determines the value of art (in the casual publics eyes). However I can envision a cgi artist self producing a film and auctioning off his hardrive stick to a collector . WU Tang Clan auctioned off a album for millions years ago , however music has the ability to be timeless because the quality has not really changed , music from 50 years ago can be hi def by todays standard, just different genres… One exception would be is if cgi artist began to utilize more conceptual ways to render their 3d scenes by using oil painting style renders and watercolor compositors would help it stand the test of time as suppose to relying on realism., The most memorable art pieces aren’t about realism but the abstract techniques utilized by the artist to make a piece more ecstatically pleasing. This is where most cgi movies become dated, they rely on trying to recreate realism and thus rely on a lot of computing power and high resolution texture maps to show progress, but as the years go by they will always fall short, as newer better tools and hyper realism evolve.


CG-works are mainly located on the net. And I can barely find any pieces and artists I liked 15 years ago. The servers are obsolete, which stored the images. Those artists don’t strive for popularity anymore. The articles I wrote about CG 10 years ago are also gone.
The tools we used 15 years ago are archaic bu today’s standards. Any learning videos for them make no sense today.