3d renders - illustrations?

OK, it's my first blog and not sure about protocol so any images are my own...

It seems strange to me that images created with 3d rendering tools are classed as illustrations when, really, we are talking about setting up an image in a very similar way to a photographer in studio, setting up lighting, choosing a lens and taking a picture. The only difference is that the camera, lights and subject are virtual (and "exposure" can take hours :)). Unless we make the models (as above), and, speaking as someone who can't draw a straight line, there is much less illustration involved than, for example, the really impressive work some people can do with photos in photoshop which really are illustrations.

The example below is a model, a "camera", plain white background and 2 lights.

It be interested in having a section within message boards (either in photography or illustrations) for discussion on tools and tricks in modeling and rendering as I'm only at this for a few months and have loads to learn.

Photo credits: , Mike Heywood.

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March 02, 2010


I would love to see a separate 3D section. It's amazing how many people see a 3D render, and wonder how to recreate it in Photoshop.

March 02, 2010


yeah im also fairly new to it, it is about positioning and lighting but in an environment that is absolutely controlled by the designer or director, I find it difficult to get the right mood of a scene.

February 23, 2010


Yup, I do agree and that's what I tried to mean by differentiating it from photoshop which is a rather digital illustration tool

February 22, 2010


Widam, Nectar,

You guys are waaay more advanced!! Guess the point is that renders are closer to photography than illustration but still pretty different and probably deserve their own niche.

February 22, 2010


I fully agree with you Heywoody. In fact this point was striking even my mind, but I kept silent thinking it would be stupid if it is only me thinking this way.

@ Wildmac

"I guess I think of 3d and photoshop stuff as illustrations cos you're drawing with pixels more than light"

Unlike Photoshop, 3D has nothing to do with working on pixels. Neither it is any kind of "drawing", nor it uses photoshop as an application. 3D studio max, Maya and various other tools whith are in no way same or similar with photoshop, are used to generate a 3D graphics. You can even animate an object and create movies like Shrek, Final Fantasy, Resident Evil 4, Beowulf, Ice age etc. These movies were not made in photoshop, but in a 3D applications like the ones mentioned above. It rather uses a built in camera and lights of various types on different models and materials. Change the angle of the camera, focus on the object, adjust light intensity, ambiance and everything to get your best photo-realistic output. And in all these procedures, you are not even touching a single pixel which you usually do in Photoshop. However, similar image output could be received in photoshop even and that would be entirely an illustration since you would be working on pixels this time. You can say 3D is more like sculpting or building than drawing. If you like to know more, I think the following link would be helpful to you:

How 3D graphics work

Its not a fight between 3D and photography. The point is whether 3D is getting its correct definition or not. If 3d gets its right definition and recognition, that doesn't mean it is going to hurt photographers and their jobs. That's what heywoody tried to focus on and nothing else.

February 18, 2010


Yes you are right, 3d rendering is becoming more and more complex each time, for me sometimes it takes more time to get the right lights that model and design the 3D scene.

Also you need a faster computer and resources to render at high resolution to be (aceptable) in dreamstime or any microstock website.

I would like also to have a 3D section in Dreamstime

February 18, 2010



February 18, 2010


Thanks folks. The point is that if you know about cameras, composition and lighting, you can do this very easily. I'm in my 50s and the images in the post were created within a couple of weeks of starting to mess with the software. There are free evaluation copies of verious packages available (not usable for commercial work) and even totally free software.

February 18, 2010


great 3D!

February 18, 2010


i've never had a shot at 3d rendering either and would be interesting to learn all about it - good luck with your illustrations, they're great :)

February 17, 2010


I'd love to have a go at 3d rendering but haven't got a clue how to even start. I tried a few illustrations? using photoshop just Christmas things and that was very interesting (lots of eeks and what did I do and where did it go) The computer is no longer my mortal enemy but we're still not best buddies :)) I guess I think of 3d and photoshop stuff as illustrations cos you're drawing with pixels more than light, dunno just a stray thought anyway. Anyway, thanks for sharing, Cheers Carol :) Oh and you can help yourself to any picture you like on DT to illustrate your blogs :)) No one minds cos it's extra advertising for their image.

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