Elemental Art, Part 2
Issue: Volume: 27 Issue: 11 (November 2004)

Elemental Art, Part 2

Born in the Ruthless Days (Creature in Repose) This image, by Wen Bo Cao of China, uses a stylized realistic approach to creating the tiger and its environment, both of which were created mainly in 3ds max. An especially compelling feature of the piece is the natural look of the animal's fur.

Digital artists strived for years to have their work recognized as "real" art. And yet, 3D software and rendering hardware made it difficult for all but the most technically savvy artists to realize their true potential using the medium. "In the past year, however, we have crossed a boundary where software and hardware are no longer huge hurdles for artists to overcome. This is nowhere more evident than in the realistic lighting and rendering solutions now available," says Mark Snoswell, art director and co-editor of Elemental, a coffee-table book featuring a wide range of CG fine art.

With a growing palette of sophisticated, user-friendly tools now at their disposal, an ever-increasing number of CG artists are creating works of art as diverse and visually stimulating as those crafted by traditional artists. Elemental embraces this notion by showcasing a broad range of styles that run the gamut from cartoon-like to photoreal. Though all are visually and technically impressive, some of the more intriguing pieces are those that project a stylized realism—a glimpse of reality that is altered by the artist's own viewpoint.

In last month's Portfolio, we showcased a selection of stylized-realistic Architecture and Environment images from Elemental. This month, we chose a sampling of works within this genre that fall under the Beauty, Still Life, Character in Repose, and Creature in Repose headings.

Elemental, a joint venture between Ballistic Publishing and Discreet, is available at www.ballisticpublishing.com or www.discreet.com. —Karen Moltenbrey

Mamegal (Beauty) Koji Yamagami of Beans Magic in Japan achieves near-photorealism through the use of 3ds max, Character Studio, Brazil, Shag:hair, and BonesPro to create this compelling model, including the reflection in the eyes and the slight but natural skin imperfections.

My father (Character in Repose) Using 3ds max, Photoshop, and Mental Ray, Marco Lazzarini of Italy created this soulful stylized character.

Fruits (Still Life) Kornel Ravadits of Hungary was challenged by the compilation of the shaders for this image, since each piece of fruit had a different shader property, forcing him to experiment with reflections.

Eun (Beauty) An actual person was the inspiration for this portrait by Woo-Young Park of the Republic of Korea. He paid particular attention to achieving natural reflections in the eyes.