Debate among friends: THIS IS MY ART!? Maybe, possibly? Maybe not?

revenger681revenger681 Posts: 153
edited September 2012 in The Commons

So after my friends have seen my deviant art gallery, and some photos on my fb profile that i've created with various software (Carrara 8 mostly, Bryce and maybe 1-2 DS renders) my friends have started a debate on there.

Here it goes:
My friends say it's descieving to call anything in daz "art" or "my art", not so much me personally, but anyone's work who does 3d stuff because: "Well, you didn't model that figure/prop/hair, you dropped it into your scene from a product you bought on DAZ or some other source". Their line of thinking is if you didn't make all the meshes from scratch, all the textures, bump maps, diffuse, etc. it's not "your" work, but the work of the author(s) behind the scene.

My argument is:
Being provided with a base figure, such as Victoria of any generation and being provided with the textures is more of a shortcut to producing art, to be used in your own original scenes, visializations for someone's own, personal books/writtings/blogs. Second: I always call my art "my new render", or something along those lines. When someone asks "awesome design on that dress!" or: "nice swat team armor on that dude!" I always say: "thanks! The dress was from Bobbie25 (Scoopback mini dress, one of my favorite clothing lines!), I edited some textures using GIMP to create some additional details onto it, and the swat outfit is based on Luthbel's veteran war uniform. I put the "fbi" logo and other stuff by editing the textures in GIMP", which incidentally sparked this debate.

The whole convo went something like this:
Me: "I made small edits to the original meshes in Carrara, and some texture changes in GIMP, but yeah I bought the stuff from DAZ and those author's are the ones who get credit for the clothes".

Friend's response:
"Well if you bought those, you can't call anything in that shot "your work, render or however you want to word it, it's all someone else's work, even the final scenes"

This kind of gives me a headache! So one time I took them to my house, and had them sit at the computer, I loaded up DAZ for them and told them to re-create some of the work found HERE ( I could have been more mean and loaded up Carrara instead, but I figured I'd go easy on them and give them something easier like daz studio lol).

So I sat back, loaded some movies up on the ps3 while watching them figure out how to load up a naked V3 figure and try to pose her. Hours went by and he soon realized that it takes a LOT of work and understanding about clothing, texturing, shaders and etc to get the results we see so commonly here. Though he couldn't come close to remaking much, much like us when we first started working with 3d models.

Still he stands by his original statement that if your scene isn't 100% your original character it's not really "your render". Even though I've stated over and over that I make no claims ever to have created the clothing, or models: but simply used them as shortcuts to create a scene that IS original in it's design. Any inquire of them and I always say where I got that dress, prop, texture.

Not only that but, as my friend found out over at my place: owning the models is one thing: bringing them to LIFE is a complete different tale, and that's where WE the DAZ USERS come into play: Our artistic views, our way of coloring things like in the thread linked to above.

I've often had similar thoughts when someone posts a DS render, then you find out "this was touched up in Photoshop", It made me feel like i was descieved because: "wait, first you said you did that awesome render in DS, now you're saying the shadows were created in photoshop with layers, the hair was lightened and touched up in photoshop, You enhanced the goosebumps on her skin through it, just how much of that work is "truly" DS's work?", it's something that has somewhat bothered me, so I can see my friends thinking in a sense.

It got me to thinking: The very skilled people who create movies such as Shrek, Finding Nemo, Final Fantasy and other animated movies probably DID create those characters from scratch, or maybe they did have a baseline figure to work with (Say with the donkey in Shrek) and built up from there. I'm sure those kinds of professionals DO create everything from scratch, but those projects are HUGE and they have staff's of people working on every aspect from textures, animations, char design, lip movement, speech implimention, and finally putting it into a movie format for the big screen.

So after all this debate, and even realizing how hard it is to create the incredible works we see here at daz, should we feel "belittled" because each and every little aspect of our base models were bought, not molded by our own hands? I still believe that: No, we shouldn't. I still stand by my original feeling that: Yes, that model is V4, I don't know the exact person at DAZ who built her, rigged, and created her, and yes that dress/prop/hair, whatever were created by someone else: but it's US THE ARTIST's job to bring them to life in our renders.

I thought I'd bring this here to hear other people's take on this debate, and what do you think of his side "None of it is any of your (us daz users) work" and my opinion: "We brought them to life, and make original creations with them".

Post edited by revenger681 on
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Comments

  • MattymanxMattymanx Posts: 3,482
    edited September 2012

    Carl Sagan once said:

    "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe."

    So yes, you are an artist!

    Post edited by Mattymanx on
  • jmperjmper Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    I look at it this way...
    I did not build the people or the surroundings when I use a camera to photograph them.

    Last I heard, photography is art.

  • revenger681revenger681 Posts: 153
    edited December 1969

    Interesting way of putting it, jmper :)
    I like that quote there Matty, lol.
    Indeed it is not the objects themselves, it's how they're used and how we bring them out in our work!

  • Serene NightSerene Night Posts: 5,573
    edited December 1969

    I consider it my art.

    Does a storyteller own the ideas that they use to write a story? No... They borrow ideas from a number of sources.

    I believe art is an expression of an idea, and a collection of different things.

    Nothing is every truly original, unless you make something totally random. Something is always copied from a source at one point or another.

  • revenger681revenger681 Posts: 153
    edited December 1969

    I consider it my art.

    Does a storyteller own the ideas that they use to write a story? No... They borrow ideas from a number of sources.

    I believe art is an expression of an idea, and a collection of different things.

    Nothing is every truly original, unless you make something totally random. Something is always copied from a source at one point or another.


    Completely agree here. :)

  • PennamePenname Posts: 224
    edited December 1969

    I get exactly the same thing from some of my friends. We're all photographers and I point out that they use a human model and I use a CGI model, but we get to the same place. The "what is art" debate is timeless. If I grab a glass vase (that I didn't make) and a cloth (that I didn't weave) and some flowers (that I didn't grow) and make a painting of it, it's my skill composing and lighting that ultimately makes the painting "art". If I photograph the same scene, it's still my composition and lighting. So if I grab some CGI models (that I didn't model) and create a scene, it's still the composition and lighting that makes it my artistic creation.

  • TjohnTjohn Posts: 7,484
    edited December 1969

    My analogy here would be that would be like telling a great movie director that because he/she did not write the screenplay, create the characters and actors that play them, create the costumes, build the sets, build the cameras and unexposed film, and the hundreds of other minutia that is done to bring the movie to the screen, the director cannot call his/her creation "my art".
    The criticism is absurd on the face of it. Of course digital art is "real art". We can all definitely say, "This is my art!"
    BTW are any of these friends of yours artists? Consider the source.

  • revenger681revenger681 Posts: 153
    edited December 1969

    Penname said:
    I get exactly the same thing from some of my friends. We're all photographers and I point out that they use a human model and I use a CGI model, but we get to the same place. The "what is art" debate is timeless. If I grab a glass vase (that I didn't make) and a cloth (that I didn't weave) and some flowers (that I didn't grow) and make a painting of it, it's my skill composing and lighting that ultimately makes the painting "art". If I photograph the same scene, it's still my composition and lighting. So if I grab some CGI models (that I didn't model) and create a scene, it's still the composition and lighting that makes it my artistic creation.

    This was EXACTLY my argument. Even after he sat down at my PC and tried to replicate Szark's work and realized there's much more to making scenes than posing a figure he still stands by his original statement, but has bended a little after realizing all the lighting and shader work it takes. Heck he didn't use any lights while he was over (Probably a common first-time daz user's mistake). I've got no photography background or art/drawing for that matter (I did take a sculpting class once in college, but only briefly), because of all this stuff I'm now doing in DAZ I've studied up a lot on Photography because all those real-world lighting techniques, camera positioning, working with the subjects are all very relevant to how CG programs interpret the work. Different engines read lights/textures differently, but the base principals are all the same, both in virtual worlds and in real-world photography.

  • revenger681revenger681 Posts: 153
    edited December 1969

    tjohn said:
    My analogy here would be that would be like telling a great movie director that because he/she did not write the screenplay, create the characters and actors that play them, create the costumes, build the sets, build the cameras and unexposed film, and the hundreds of other minutia that is done to bring the movie to the screen, the director cannot call his/her creation "my art".
    The criticism is absurd on the face of it. Of course digital art is "real art". We can all definitely say, "This is my art!"
    BTW are any of these friends of yours artists? Consider the source.

    Good point! I'll have to bring that to the real-life convo with the movie examples. And actually: 1 friend is a film student, he's not as hot headed on this debate. Others are just friends/people I know, and to my knowledge: no they are not artists at all.

  • PennamePenname Posts: 224
    edited December 1969

    I like the movie analogy too. Of course we CGI artists have "people" to take care of the costuming and set design. . .

  • MenehuneMagicMenehuneMagic Posts: 49
    edited December 1969

    Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, and Jeff Koons (to name a few) utilized everyday found objects ("readymades") in their works of art. They did not create these objects. And yet their works are considered art by the artistic establishment. They manipulated objects at their disposal (which they did not produce) to create their works. Is this any different from utilizing pre-made models/meshes to produce one's work?

  • RiggswolfeRiggswolfe Posts: 627
    edited December 1969

    Photography and movies are exactly the right place to start this debate. I personally would find some photo or movie that you know he will see as art then immediately launch into the analogy. Beware though that at some point he might be sticking to his guns purely out of stubbornness.

  • PtropePtrope Posts: 287
    edited December 1969

    "Art" is a personal expression - this is the same whatever medium is used, and within that medium, whatever tools are used. 3D models are tools, just as much as the software used to create the images.

    The biggest group who claim that DAZ or Poser renders are not "art," because of the artist's use of pre-existing objects, are those who are themselves 3D modelers. Many of them believe that 3D modeling itself is "art" - I strongly disagree; 3D modeling is craft, and amongst 3D modelers, there are several artists, people who not only can create a 3D model from scratch, but can also express themselves artistically with it. On the other hand, there are numerous 3D modelers who can create outstanding models, whether of objects or characters that already exist, or of things that exist only in their own minds, but could not create something artistic with them to save their lives. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that - I envy those people who are such accomplished craftsmen, because even though I both model some of my own objects and create art with both my own work and with pre-made items, I am in no way as skilled as most of these 3D modelers.

    But no matter how good their models are, those models aren't art until something artistic is done with them. And at that point, there is NO difference in the finished work between art that the artist modeled, and art that the artist used premade models for; if I create a work of art with my own models, it is no more a work of art than if another artist created the very same image using my model. Right? (Heck, I've seen works of art using my models that are far, far superior to anything I have been able to do with them! :) )

    This is, unfortunately, a very common argument in our communities, and one that is based largely on the fallacy that 3D modeling is "art," and by extension, that any 3D art that the artist did not literally create from scratch is not. The argument just doesn't hold water.

  • riftwitchriftwitch Posts: 1,045
    edited December 1969

    If you think it's art, it's art. It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks.

    When I first got started with DAZ back in Feb, I remember a thread started by a young lady who was offering a free figure she had created, so I clicked on the link and checked out the renders. One comment someone left on her site was that the renders weren't art, because she hadn't done any postwork. The images expressed what she had to say; that's art. Her detractor didn't seem to be impressed that she had taken the time and effort to create the figure in the renders.

    I would ignore your friends. Maybe they should stop eating; if they didn't grow/raise/slaughter it themselves, it must not be food, right? :P

  • bytescapesbytescapes Posts: 497
    edited September 2012

    This is a question that comes up regularly (I think there were at least three lengthy threads on the old forums dealing with this).

    My response is to say that it's all "art", even if all you do is load a figure into DAZ Studio and shine a light on it. The interesting questions then are (a) is it "good art", and (b) is it original?

    If I load up a model by an acknowledged 3D artist - say Stonemason, for example - and render it, the result may be art, and even good art, but the originality is very low. Insofar as it's "good art", the credit belongs to Stonemason.

    But if I take Stonemason's model, and use it to make an image that expresses a vision of my own, then I'm starting to move towards originality, towards making my own art. For example, this image uses some of Stonemason's products, but they're presented in what I hope is a novel way. I don't claim it's "good art", I don't claim it's 100% original ... but it's beginning to move in that direction. There's enough of my own creativity in that image that (while acknowledging Stonemason's very important contribution) I feel justified in claiming it as "my own", to some extent at least.

    To take a better example - or something further out along the continuum - consider Martin Murphy's Autumn Flirts with Winter. Those are Poser figures, but Martin has not only conceived the whole scene, he has also applied extensive post-work to the original rendering. I'd argue that that image is unquestionably 'art', and that it shows great technical skill and originality - even though it is based on other people's 3D models (the Poser figures) rendered in a program written by someone else (Bryce).

    Short form: there's no magic cutoff point at which something is or isn't 'art' - there's only a linked continuum of quality and originality, where quality is determined by the impact your work has on the viewer, and originality by the amount of your own unique vision and skill that you apply to the creation of the work. Your goal as an 'artist' is not only to maximize the quality, but also to increase the significance of your contribution to the finished work, to the point where it's more yours than anyone else's.

    Post edited by bytescapes on
  • TorbyTorby Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Well, of course it's art.

    Now whether or not it's "Fine art" like works of the great painters might be a question that only time can answer, but art it is.

    Of course, Torby's grade in art class was always "participates.":down:

  • jmperjmper Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    While I agree with all above posts, the point to compose something beyond a zeroed figure in blank space begins to take on more of you and less of what someone else has made. The further you push it, the more it becomes your art. Artists made the items you purchased but it is you that combines these elements to make it your own.

    Just like capturing an image on celluloid, digital, or mental...what you do with it is art. The composition of the picture (be it on canvas, paper, digital, or any other surface) and what you want to convey is ultimately art.

    It is you. It is what you did with it.

    It is art. It is your art.

  • revenger681revenger681 Posts: 153
    edited December 1969

    Ptrope said:
    "Art" is a personal expression - this is the same whatever medium is used, and within that medium, whatever tools are used. 3D models are tools, just as much as the software used to create the images.

    The biggest group who claim that DAZ or Poser renders are not "art," because of the artist's use of pre-existing objects, are those who are themselves 3D modelers. Many of them believe that 3D modeling itself is "art" - I strongly disagree; 3D modeling is craft, and amongst 3D modelers, there are several artists, people who not only can create a 3D model from scratch, but can also express themselves artistically with it. On the other hand, there are numerous 3D modelers who can create outstanding models, whether of objects or characters that already exist, or of things that exist only in their own minds, but could not create something artistic with them to save their lives. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that - I envy those people who are such accomplished craftsmen, because even though I both model some of my own objects and create art with both my own work and with pre-made items, I am in no way as skilled as most of these 3D modelers.

    But no matter how good their models are, those models aren't art until something artistic is done with them. And at that point, there is NO difference in the finished work between art that the artist modeled, and art that the artist used premade models for; if I create a work of art with my own models, it is no more a work of art than if another artist created the very same image using my model. Right? (Heck, I've seen works of art using my models that are far, far superior to anything I have been able to do with them! :) )

    This is, unfortunately, a very common argument in our communities, and one that is based largely on the fallacy that 3D modeling is "art," and by extension, that any 3D art that the artist did not literally create from scratch is not. The argument just doesn't hold water.

    I never thought about the modelers themselves and how they might see using models, but I can see their point: your comparison reminds me of a carpenter versus a decorator. Someone can design an entire room, and perhaps use them to make very live, vibrant spaces, but a decorator can use them in ways he/she may not have even been able to imagine, or use them in unintended fashions to create something that is truly original.

    I agree a lot with many of all you guy's points, there are many of them. I especially like the "good art/bad art"/original or not original examples as well. I am definitely going to direct critics to this thread and perhaps open their minds to your examples and shine some light on things they either just can't accept, or are purposely being overly-critical on aspects of 3d work.

  • TaozenTaozen Posts: 2,216
    edited December 1969


    Here it goes:
    My friends say it's descieving to call anything in daz "art" or "my art", not so much me personally, but anyone's work who does 3d stuff because: "Well, you didn't model that figure/prop/hair, you dropped it into your scene from a product you bought on DAZ or some other source". Their line of thinking is if you didn't make all the meshes from scratch, all the textures, bump maps, diffuse, etc. it's not "your" work, but the work of the author(s) behind the scene.

    Tell them it's "collective art". Some create the software, some the figures and objects etc., and finally some put it all together in a render. No one can really do all that alone, takes too long time.

  • kyoto kidkyoto kid Posts: 16,143
    edited September 2012

    ...to expand on angusm's comments:


    Two sets and one prop by the aforementioned model creator Stonemason: and how they all came together for me one evening (along with V4 and 3DU's Toon Girl Sadie)

    the Floater Bot promo is one I made up as Stefan's site is flash based so I cannot post a link to the actual page the prop is on

    http://www.daz3d.com/shop/tin-pan-alley

    http://www.daz3d.com/shop/streets-of-the-mediterranean

    I_wont_let_them_hurt_you.jpg
    1024 x 768 - 406K
    floater_bot_promo.jpg
    500 x 650 - 19K
    Post edited by kyoto kid on
  • DWGDWG Posts: 772
    edited December 1969

    jmper said:
    I look at it this way...
    I did not build the people or the surroundings when I use a camera to photograph them.

    Last I heard, photography is art.

    Precisely!

    Equally a lot of very prominent modern artwork, the Angel of the North being perhaps the best example, are designed by artists, but produced by artisans of various descriptions - shipyard workers in the case of the Angel of the North. And very few artists of the past half millennium, or more, have worked with the purity of creation that these people are claiming - did Da Vinci go out and personally pluck a badger for his brushes? Weave his canvases? Every artist uses tools, our tools are the models we use, our art is the composition, not the tool creation. Nor, even for people who create their models in tools like Blender or 3DS Max, or whatever, is the final render their 'own'. I actually know the basic maths for projection of a 3D object onto a 2D surface, it was part of my degree, but how many 3D artists know even that much about the render process, about how light and texture effects are actually processed within the programme and turned into a flat, 2D render? A classical artist knew how light and texture worked together, because he had to show that through his brushwork, but for any computer artist their work is actually created via the ministrations of the mathematicians and programmers who created the render engine, and yet we still call that art.

    When we use Studio or Poser, our role isn't directly equivalent to the traditional artist working with a brush or chalk or pencil, we are working much more in the role of a photographer, or a movie director or cinematographer. None of these can produce work on their own, they all use the work of many others, the products of many others, and yet what they do is acclaimed as art.

    Equally when I write and I use a genre trope, such as the homoeroticism of a vampire (to pick the scene I wrote last night), then I am using the work of every author who has ever touched on that trope, and the way that it has shaped audience reaction, but no one would say that the words are not my own.

    People who claim that Studio or Poser work is not art because I do not create every tool I use are failing to understand the process of creation and are comparing apples to orangutans.

  • Zev0Zev0 Posts: 3,639
    edited September 2012

    Crap. I just used rons brushes for postwork. Sigh.. Guess my image is not art anymore. I didn't make those wonderful splashes. The argument is stupid. Art is art, how it was created is not relevant. Its the final result that matters. This argument can go on forever...There will always be a difference of opinion. Its in the same realm as religion debates:)

    Post edited by Zev0 on
  • SockrateaseSockratease Posts: 796
    edited December 1969

    There's no such thing as art.

  • GarstorGarstor Posts: 1,411
    edited December 1969

    Does a storyteller own the ideas that they use to write a story? No... They borrow ideas from a number of sources.

    This is an interesting twist on the ideas posted thus far in this thread. Somewhere, sometime...there was an original idea that had never before seen the light of day...

  • chrixenachrixena Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    I love the posts in this thread! Since I use a toon shader for my comic, I often worry that people (especially those not familiar with 3D art) will think I'm "pretending" to draw/paint my images, even though (like the OP) I'm very upfront about the tools I use and give credit to the products I buy when I get compliments on them.

    I now feel more confident in ignoring the criticisms of the ignorant! :-D

  • GarstorGarstor Posts: 1,411
    edited December 1969

    I thoroughly enjoyed every analogy provided here regarding art. From movies and photography to food and religion! Wow...and all of them equally valid.

    ...and Sockratease; there's no such thing as cows either! :bug:

  • ManStanManStan Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Art is the end result. Not what it is made with.

  • SockrateaseSockratease Posts: 796
    edited September 2012

    Garstor said:
    ...and Sockratease; there's no such thing as cows either! :bug:

    Cows are easy to define, but art defies definition - and therefore does not exist.

    Art is the end result. Not what it is made with.

    I always thought of art as the process itself, not any finished by-product of that process.

    Art is a Verb, not a noun! It's a thing to do, not a thing unto itself.

    It's...

    MOOOOO!

    Post edited by Sockratease on
  • BarubaryBarubary Posts: 972
    edited December 1969

    There's really little to say to this after the whole photographer / directer analogy. Yeah, that's pretty much it. Although, and that's something we should be aware of, is that photographers tend to credit their models just like movies tend to open and / or end with a complete list of everyone involved, down to the catering guys. Just like in those fields, we, too, should be able to admit that we completely rely on other peoples' work and credit them accordingly where possible.

  • FirstBastionFirstBastion Posts: 2,408
    edited September 2012

    I am an artist and a craftsman. I can live with that. Life is good.

    Post edited by FirstBastion on
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