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Stylized yet realistic…

Realism in arts is when you try to represent a subject truthfully without adding artificial artistic conventions. Realism is a style or movement that offers detailed and accurate representation of the visual appearance of scenes and objects. It avoids stylized techniques and focuses more on the ‘naturalism’.

I want to create a realistic image that is slightly stylized. The first thing I ask myself when looking at an image is ‘Why does it look real to me?’ I then begin to notice the things that make something look realistic to me. I think about which direction and how much light hits the subject in the image, the direction in which the shadows cast, what material is used or what material something is mimicking. For example we can recreate water in a 3D software in the form of a river, a stream or a form of liquid in a container. But to recreate the effect of water as an object is what stands out to me.

1. Water that has been splashed – in its natural form.

2. A river flowing with a natural current.

3. How it behaves when poured.

4. Water recreated in a game called Resident Evil and it mimics the distortion of objects submerged under water; the artificial water also distorts the image of the shark travelling towards the character. Light is very important when it comes to water because water distorts light. This is how we recognise water due to its behaviour. It is penetrable, translucent and reflects its surroundings in a distorted manner.

5. Photorealistic water created in 3D – needs to look more ‘wet’. It looks slightly plastic-like to me because I think the lighting has not been distributed well and there too much disturbance in the water making it look unrealistic – looks almost like grey sand. Maybe the person used the wrong shader or maybe they have not used the correct attributes. Water needs to look almost like glass that is wavy enough to create subtle distortions (my opinion). 

6. Water in the most unusual form – this is what I mean when I say I want to experiment and create stylized things that appear realistic. These images below have used photographic shots of real water and edited them to appear unusual.

Water lit candle, match, lighter

Water Lighter


Water Match

biohazard water flames zippo lighters lighter HD Wallpaper

Its the detail of water and how it behaves that makes it appear real to me. But what is unusual at the same time is how in the images above water has replaced where fire should be. I think this is what catches my eye and I want to create something eye catching that the audience wants to look at again and again because they would wonder how such an effect was achieved. Again below is another example of taking advantage of how water behaves and using it to represent an explosion that is meant to release fire and gas.

Water Match - IMG_0042.jpg

The type of realism I want to achieve is by creating a realistic figurine in 3D that looks stylized but appears real through the concentration of texturing and rendering in mental ray. The lighting and shading will also be important factors as these are the aspects that help objects appear real.


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