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Debate among friends: THIS IS MY ART!? Maybe, possibly? Maybe not?
Posted: 07 September 2012 05:50 PM   [ Ignore ]
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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”.

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Posted: 07 September 2012 05:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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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!

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Posted: 07 September 2012 06:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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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.

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Posted: 07 September 2012 06:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Interesting way of putting it, jmper smile
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!

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Posted: 07 September 2012 06:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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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.

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Posted: 07 September 2012 06:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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SereneNight - 07 September 2012 06:06 PM

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. smile

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Posted: 07 September 2012 06:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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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.

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Posted: 07 September 2012 06:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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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.

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Posted: 07 September 2012 06:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Penname - 07 September 2012 06:12 PM

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.

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Posted: 07 September 2012 06:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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tjohn - 07 September 2012 06:21 PM

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.

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Posted: 07 September 2012 06:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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I like the movie analogy too.  Of course we CGI artists have “people” to take care of the costuming and set design. . .

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Posted: 07 September 2012 07:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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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?

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Posted: 07 September 2012 07:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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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.

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Posted: 07 September 2012 07:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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“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! smile )

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.

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Posted: 07 September 2012 08:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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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? raspberry

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Posted: 07 September 2012 08:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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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.

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