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Pinch Yourself: 20 Pictures You Will Not Believe Are Not Photos

September 20th, 2013

Pinch Yourself: 20 Pictures You Will Not Believe Are Not Photos

There are a lot of things in the world that are hard to believe. Face the truth – eyes lie to us. Or, more specifically, our mind does not let us understand simple visual information which is used in optical illusion tricks.

Optical illusion is visually perceived images that differ from objective reality. I bet, you remember all those visual puzzles of “a rabbit and a duck” as the same object and so on. Well, that is just a simple example of the capability of visual artists who play with our vision and our mind. Furthermore, there are artists who specialize in the art form of illusion. Magicians produce something from nothing, literary. Probably, the first magicians were witches, who created all that “hocus pocus” stuff, which led them to be burnt on the fire.

Later, the art of magic evolved and illusionists, who “had the power” to make things disappear or, vice versa, appear in from of the eyes of the audience, became very popular. For example, David Copperfield or David Blane are one of the most popular illusionists in the world, who attract the attention of the huge audience. David Copperfield had once made a jet disappear. Next time his audience could not believe their eyes – The Statue of Liberty simply vanished!

Nowadays, there is another kind of artists, who play with our mind. They create pictures which are a great enigma of visual perception. Dare to tell – whether it is real or not. You know these artists very well. There is a high probability that they would be burnt alive if it would still be the Medieval Ages. However, it is the 21st century right now, so the magic is a lot more tangible – it lies behind the keyboard and the screen. And those magicians are 3D artists.

So, once again, CGTrader wants to introduce you to some of the most photorealistic 3D renderings.

Ouverture I

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Atelier Feuerroth

This 3D rendering of a bedroom in a loft-type apartment is made by Michael Feuerroth from Karlsruhe, Germany. He made five parts of "Ouverture". It took 4-5 weeks to make the whole project for him.

Here is what he says about this masterpiece: "The Story behind this work is simple. The theme is contrast. In german, attic is called "Dachboden" - two words brought together. Dach and Boden mean ceiling and floor. This was an interesting word - very contrasting. Then one thing leads to another: cheap - expensive, dark - bright, new - old. Combined with a bit of atmosphere. Et voila. This is only a couple of the ten shots made from this attic. Enjoy."

These ARE the droids I'm looking for

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Joel Erkkinen

If you are a fan of "Star Wars" and "The Simpsons" (I am), this might make you smile. The Emperor as a teacher uses his "The Force" to educate his warrior and makes him write lines on the blackboard as a punishment.

Joel Erkkinen from Greater Minneapolis-St. Paul Area, USA created this for entertainment: "I thought it was a funny concept so I went with it.

Everything was made in Maya and rendered with Mental Ray. No Photoshop was used. Some adjusting in After Effects".

Clint Eastwood

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Luo Qisheng

This brilliant portrait of Hollywood legend Clint Eastwood comes from Shanghai, China. Luo Qisheng is extremely talented digital sculptor and texture artist. Just look at those shades and lighting. It is needless to say that Luo Qisheng is amazingly dedicated to his work and is a true perfectionist.

Some words from the author: "I used Zbrush and Maya to model, Photoshop for texture and Mental Ray for the lighting and rendering work."

Henrik Bus Art House

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Jeffrey Faranial

Have you ever wondered, how does a house of a fashion designer look like? This is an Art House owned by Henrik Bus. It was done in 3D Studio Max 2013, V-Ray and Adobe Photoshop. Black and white colors dominate in this rendering.

And here's why: "When I sew the front cover of the Livingetc Magazine, July 2013 issue, I was struck by the image. It really got to me… From the minimalist style to the black-and-white color palette which is always appealing for my liking", - said Jeffrey Faranial.

You can find more information about making this and few other visualizations of this Art House here.

Then Flying The Youth

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Shang-peng Leng

Another nice 3D rendering from Shanghai, China. Stunning details. Even for 3D artists it is hard to tell that it is not a photograph. Modeling such detailed hair is a very hard challenge. Well done. The author said that he wanted to share beautiful moment with everyone. And he succeeded.

"This is one of my latest personal works. The intention is to capture the touching expression of the young girl in soft breeze", - said he. It was rendered with Vray.

Maya and V-Ray hairshader were used for her hair and feathers.

Living room and dining room

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Marwan M. Saliba

This 3D artist is an awarded specialist of architectural visualization. And it is not hard to tell, why he got all the awards he got. Ultra realistic shadows and look-like natural lighting make his works unique.

Software used to create this rendering: 3ds Max, V-Ray, Photoshop, Mudbox.

Spider Crane

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Tim Diaz

This Spider Crane is just some kind of practice of modeling objects on hard surface. It must be really helpful for Tim Diaz, because now he is working on Halo for the Xbox One.

Find out, how it was made (step by step) here!

The Chair

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Eduardo Souza

The Brazilian artist came up with the idea of modeling and rendering a simple chair, when he wanted to develop his skills in working with lighting and textures.

Eduardo Souza declares that he is always motivated to maintain his skills and knowledge sharp: "Build quality has always been my imagination and it is with this that work every day to be able to achieve my goals. I always try to stay current with what is newest on the market, because it is being renewed day by day." Software used: 3Ds Max, Photoshop, V-Ray.

Twisted Sensation

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Yasin Hasanian

Okay, now. This one is just breathtaking. We were speechless, when we saw this masterpiece. Yasin Hasanian admitted that it was really challenging to create the hair that perfect. But he succeeded.

"The inspiration comes from the works of an amazing hairstylist, Linh Nguyen, - said Yasin. - I used Shave and Haircut for the hair, ZBrush was used for sculpting and doing an initial layout plus a few Fibermesh stuff. Except the character's hair which is 80% made with Mental Ray, everything else is rendered in Arnold."


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Marcel Haladej

Slovakian artist gives us a look at the historic reality of Eastern Europe. In this picture he depicted a rebuilt process of the city.

"After quite a long time I finished my personal project called IFA. Idea is inspired by "rebuiling" a part of the city, where all old houses and gardens were replaced by new commie blocks. This is how a small village became the largest borough", - Marcel Haladej said.

Made in 3ds Max. Crane was textured in Mari, rendered by great V-Ray and postproduction was done with Photoshop.

Simón Bolívar

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Visual Forensic

Simón Bolívar was Venezuelan military and political leader in the first half of the 19th century. He played a key role in Latin America's successful struggle for independence from the Spanish Empire.

As he lived in the 18-19th century, no wonder, that no photographs of him were made, as photography was not invented yet. So, how did the specialists of Visual Forensic came up with such a detailed picture of Venezuelan legendary leader?

A permission to work with Ctscan database of the historical figure was given to them by Venezuelan official forensic team. The resulting pictures were presented in Caracas, Venezuela by the president Hugo Chavez himself.

New York Apartment

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Dennis Kaya Iversholt

A lot of people all around the world dream to visit New York City. Some of them even dream to live there in a typical apartment of the Big Apple which they have seen in some movie.

Dennis Kaya Iversholt has shared his and his friend's vision of that apartment with others. "I did this project together with my friend Ove Simonsen, who modeled the apartment and most of the props in Autocad, - Iversholt said. - He has always had a thing with New York apartments, with their blend of old and new and when he watched the movie "Autumn in New York" he was immediately fascinated by the apartment of the main characters and started modeling it in AutoCAD."

Software used: AutoCAD, 3Ds Max for modeling, V-Ray for rendering and Photoshop for postproduction.

EGR-8 Mobile Welding Machine

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Daniil Alikov

Do not ask us what this is. It is something from the future that looks really good and scary realistic. This is what we know for sure. Ask the author about this creature.

"Walking welding machine operated by human. Made in post-apocalyptic world of near future. Design inspired by nature", - here is the answer by Daniil. Software: Maya, Mudbox, Photoshop, V-Ray, ZBrush. P.S. It had already inspired someone.

Every Last of Us

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Michael Knowland

An action-adventure survival horror video game "The Last of Us" was released this summer. It was developed by Naughty Dog. Michael Knowland was one of those who created characters for this game.

Natural Replacement

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Stefan Schneider

What if everybody suddenly dies and the Earth is left with the population of totally zero people? Well, it is not hard to imagine that everything would become a jungle.

However, imagine the cities left with no city-dwellers. All those industrial and urban buildings left to crumble. Creepy aftermath of the apocalypse. This is how Stefan Schneider imagines environment of an abandoned city. Looks like a photograph from the future. So, better stay (or become) environmentally friendly.

Da Nao Tian Gong

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Wei Long Zhong

Still here? Great! Because we have hidden this epic masterpiece in the end of our list. Amazing, spectacular, striking, unbelievable... name the adjective yourself. WOW. Wei Long Zhong made this remarkable rendering to portray a daily routine of an artist in opera.

"It shows a normal performing artist of Beijing opera who is painting face before his performance in the backstage. The last step is tracing over the golden eyes", - said the author.

Software used: 3ds Max, ZBrush, Mudbox, Photoshop.

Moroccan Majlis

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Muhammad Taher

And the last (but not least!) 3D rendering. This marvelous 3D rendering of Moroccan Majlis is just a part of architect and CG artist Muhammad Taher's project.

Software used: 3ds Max, V-Ray, Photoshop and Lightroom.

Lost Lake

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Marek Denko

This rendering has inspired another 3D artist who’s work is in this list. So, this one could be called a work of a master, who is like a teacher for a then-student. That is a good example of how CG artists inspire each other in a way of evolution. Actually, this rendering is just a part of what has been left after the unlucky accident.

"“I had this little accident with HDD and this render is the only thing left I found on my FTP from this lost project. So I called it Lost Lake. There won’t be any wireframes or any shade views this time”, - said Marek.

After Carnival

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Olga Anufrieva

Carnival might be over, but the impression of it is still here. Olga Anufrieva made this remarkable portrait of the artist to reduce the nostalgia which she feels for Venice: “"Work dedicated to Venice. Venice - a wonderful place. I like it. Carnival is over. And it is sad...”"

Software used: 3ds Max, Photoshop

Irkutsk Guard

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John Yu

Amazing colors brought to you by John Yu. He just wanted to show you the Irkutsk guard. That is it. Simple as that.

Modeled in 3ds Max, rendered with VR2 and postwork made in Photoshop.

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A Good Look at The Real World by Marek Denko

March 18th, 2013

A Good Look at The Real World by Marek Denko

Marek Denko is a 3D designer who attracted the whole computer graphics community with his artwork. The artist had no training in the field of 3D design. But he was always learning from his own mistakes and successes.

Marek Denko's first job in the industry was as a low polymodeling freelancer for a company in Bratislava. Today he is a world-known 3D designer. The designer's artwork is highly distinctive with a peculiar touch of his. It definitely bewitches with the level of realism and intense atmosphere. Marek Denko shares with us the secrets of his profession, inspirations, and reveals how to find a way in the labyrinth of computer graphics world.

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Women As Inspiration for 3D Art

March 8th, 2013

Women As Inspiration for 3D Art

Being a woman is a terribly difficult task, since it consists principally in dealing with men.” Joseph Conrad

Firstly, I would like to point out that this blog post is balanced for women. Okay, okay. This is suitable for men also. It is impossible to forget such a nice event as International Woman's Day. This holiday announces the very beginning of spring and calls each man on Earth to remember a woman. Once in a year at least.

Yes, we know that 3D designers' society is mostly comprised of men. But let's face it - most of them have wives or girlfriends or at least female friends. I am sure most of them tried to design a model of a woman or still dream about it. There are dozens of 3D women models. Some of them are created as cartoon, game or movie characters, others remind photographs or paintings, other ones can come from the dreams or be just a visual expression of inspiration a 3D designer caught on the street in the morning. Women are the Muses inspiring 3D feminine models to appear. There is no question about this.

Dear ladies, we cannot send a pot of roses to each of you. Considering this occasion, we have prepared a list of the most fascinating 3D portraits of women. These are the ones no men on the planet could ever have. So you do not have to be jealous at all if your second-half pays more attention to an image than he should.

My Love in Bed

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Woman in a bed. It would be a casual scene, but it's not. Somehow it pulses with secret. I bet no man could be as mysterious as women are. Well-known 3D artist Marek Denko once saw this kind of image on TV. But it almost blurred away. A few years ago he was sitting in a parking place and waiting for his girlfriend to come. He says it was a hot summer day and the designer could do nothing else, but to think about his new picture. Suddenly, this one appeared in his mind as clear as the skies that day. Later the owner of rye-coloured hair became his wife. Sweet.


Most of photographers are crazy about taking pictures of women. Faces, expressions, subtle lines of body. The more naked they are, the better. 3D artist Sebastien Haure was inspired by that and decided to reproduce a special mood of studio's photography in his artwork of computer graphics. A designer challenged himself to combine an emotion and realism in one piece. It seems he was successful. A woman in a picture still looks like descended from a cover of a magazine, not overstepping boundaries of her artificial detachment. She is so close, but so far at the same time. Designers who are interested in reproduction of the studio photography, can find a making-of here.

American Beauty

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This work is definitely eye-catching. Everyone who has seen the movie "American Beauty" should remember a scene of a woman laying down among a billion blossoms of red roses. It is nauseous sweetness. The one when you just had too much of chocolate cake. Slovakian 3D artist Henrich Kimerling created an ironic "American Beauty" shot. This work possesses no offense against the American nation. And not against women, indeed. 3D Total website uploaded this artwork and a few days after removed it, noting that it was done "because of the American nation". The author restrains from further comments, allowing everyone to use the tool of freedom of speech. Some people treat this work just as interesting part of computer graphics art. Others believe that it carries an idea concerning people, culture, beauty, point of life or anything else you want to force yourself to think about.

Miss Vixi

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Andrius Balciunas is a designer who heart-to-heart admits that he loves to create characters of women. But he does not limit his art with it. Andrius Balciunas is an extremely good in digital hair modeling and styling and clothing simulation. So it is not that hard for him to have a woman of his dreams in a screen of a computer at least. It took 3 weeks of intense modeling and here it is: a woman with deep and inscrutable eyes. I was hoping to detect the smallest hair at least, but I did not manage. Just eyes. They capture. All of his designed women are distinguished by idiosyncrasy. They are shy, tempting, compulsive, piquant, intimidating and beautiful at the same time. Andrius Balciunas says that he is creating inspired by the things he need the most in his life. Do you think, there is any need to quess about it? Here you can find a tutorial also.

Oooh La La!

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What are the first associations which come to your head, when you try to imagine French woman? A beret? A glass of wine? Pieces of good cheese? Elegant scarf on the neck? An endless cigarette between fingers? Exactly. 3D artist Andrew Hickinbottom designed this render to highlight cliches which we have about France and French women. We can see a cozy corner in a cafe in Paris. A woman having her morning or afternoon wine, flavouring it with a cigarette. French idyl. Andrew Hickinbottom is mostly a character artist and women are more common among his artwork than men. Unfortunately, dudes. A designer has a particular style which reminds me of the movie "The Incredibles".


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This 3D model of Bernadette is extremely well-known. Almost indistinguishable from a photograph. 3D designer Stephen Molyneaux who was working with such movies as "Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows", "The Prometheus" and "Prince of Persia" had to roll up his shirt-sleeves in order to model such a photorealistic image. He was working on and off to get this image finished and published as soon as possible. Surprisingly, a woman in a picture is real. She was 23 years old when the artist was inspired to create this render. Bernadette Vong is working on 3D animation in Great Britain. I bet she has no better picture of her than this one.

Hold Hakka Woman

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This a 3D portrait of a woman who belongs to the special group of Hakka people. They have had a significant influence on the course of Chinese and world history. The traditional Hakka woman is taught from the childhood to be a superwomen: a good housewife, a diligent farm worker, a superb cook and a talented seamstress. This 3D model is created by Salvatore Ferrancane. He managed to compose amazingly realistic portrait revealing a story of a woman in the wrinkles of her face and in the depth of her eyes. It is definitely touching. Hakka Woman in a picture looks almost like that super one. But I doubt if smoking is a feature of a superwoman. I smoke too.

Girl on a Chair

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Alexander Tomchuk is a 3D artist who loves old, but good black&white photography. A designer decided to knit his skills together and to create an image which would have a feeling of b&w photography. He was not original selecting a naked woman for a model. But he managed to expose the perfect forms of women's body. It so beautiful to see such a natural 3D model of a woman where she appears in a way she is. Moreover, a composition of a picture leaves you speechless and leaves a huge space for an imagination. Despite an amazing mole on woman's back, Alexander Tomchuk made her hair look extremely realistic. I even can smell them. Can you?

Just Friends

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This 3D image definitely makes smile. No matter whether you are a woman or a man. I am sure it reminds of some awkward moments in life. When you have zillions of thoughts running through your head but are doing nothing. Strangely enough, that 3D artist Marcos de Moraes Sampaio designed this model because he was inspired by another artist. Not because he is quite curious about women's love. After publishing his artwork, he noticed that an original name of it was "Dare to be lesbian". Then he got confused.

A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

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Kris Kelly is a 3D designer who represents a different understanding of beauty. Tattoos and piercings usually contravene a concept of what is truly beautiful. The author had an attempt to demonstrate his grasp understanding of human form. As he had not planned before, in the end it was a real character of a female. She took a pin-up pose, has her body decorated with various tattoos and piercings, looks dangerously beautiful, but attracts at the same time. A designer wanted everything to feel as natural and as believable as it is possible. If you have such a wish, the author shares a making of here.

Fat Summer

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If you are a man, there is no point lying that you are going to catch some sun or to meditate at the seaside. Most of the times it is only about women - suntanned, strong and sexy bodies in bikini. That day 3D artist Igor Catto was on a beach as always, minding his own business and each three minutes having a look around. Out of a sudden he saw an overweight lady in a funny swimming suit, packing her beach stuff. The whole situation and her pleasant smile got stuck in his head, until he created this 3D model. The author says that his idea was to prove once again that physical beauty and perfect body is nothing, comparing with inside world of a human. This may be a real reason for you to be happy. Igor Catto published a making of, warning that it contains nudity. So be aware.


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Women are available in sci-fi also. If they are not, imagine what would poor sci-fi fanatics do? I doubt if they can live between robots and unreal creatures only. Ethroa is a 3D model by Daniele Scerra. It is finally born. Ethroa embodies an evil part of Nimhoa, which is the favourite character of the author in the world of humans and robots. Etroa has an extremely sweet face, but devil's heart. This image is a reflection of a little schizophrenia. As well as the duality of an each woman. Doesn't it seem so?

Close-up Portrait

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I had to check it several time to ensure myself that it is not a photograph. Special congrats to David Moratilla, who claims that he had just been trying to create a realistic portrait of a woman. Firstly, instead of one portrait he designed the whole set of them. Secondly, all of them are breathtakingly photorealistic. The artist was so careful and thorough to the tiniest details of a human face. Some of them would pass unnoticed through other artists' eyes. But he caught it. He caught an astonishing reflection in woman's eyes. She seems to be interested. And it is not such an easy deal, isn't it? Moreover, the artist left some undesirable hair on her face. That strenghtens a level of realism in this picture, indeed.


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Hey, gradma, relax. I will finish the food you have cooked for me. Hey, do not look at me like that, okay? If you are lucky enough, you definitely experienced what does it mean to spend your summer at grandma's. Sunday. She bakes your favourite pancakes. But the fact is that she cannot stop doing that for a half of a day. You believe, you can just die, because you have already had 8 small and 5 big pancakes. But the 3D artist Arda Koyuncu had a bit different idea, while creating this image. He was always pretty sure that all the fairy tales have a dark side. So he decided to create all the characters from a story "Little Red Riding Hood". Here gradma becomes the evil mastermind of the fairytale. Arda Koyuncu had to use steampunk elements while creating a character in order to enhance the creepy look with the steam powered machines, and dark, and dull colours. Yes, she does look creepy. I am just wondering, how many years has she been smoking already? If you are crazy about having an evil chracter of your fairy tale, check a tutorial shared by the author out.

The Blue Project

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The author of this 3D design Dan Roarty. This artist is a perfectionist who designed a 3D portrait of his wife when he wanted to try his skills in a field of photorealism. He called it „The Blue Project“ because „Blue“ is a nickname for his wife. You want it or not, it is lovely. Before starting this project he was told that making a 3D model of your second-half is a bold move. While doing it, he realised that this is exactly like that. But both him and his wife were happy with the final model. Moreover, the whole society of computer graphics was astonished. It is proven with all the awards this 3D model has received. Ha, this is why I keep telling that love enhances you to create miracles. Those, who want to learn modeling such a realistic portraits, can analyze a making-of.

Fight In The Dark

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Obviously, it is not a sport and a situation for a woman. But I see this 3D design as a proof that in their lifetimes women most of the time appear in the situations which can seem to difficult to handle for such fragile creatures. 3D artist Guang Yang did not treat this scene to be unappropriate for a woman. He wanted to create an artwork which could express a wide scale of feelings such as pressure, tenacity, a nature of unyielding human. He wanted to design a feminine character which impersonates a decision to never give up. All of us know that that short break between the round means that a fighter should soon stand up and fight again. It reminds me a life a bit.The author has provided a full making of here.

Portrait of A Girl

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This artwork is the most intimate from the whole collection for me. It is not because I get ashamed every time I see a naked body. I guess it is more about the age of the girl. But it is necessary to admit that this portrait is highly photorealistic and keeps a feeling of something so pure inside. Nevertheless a girl looks so young and so innocent that even not that bright thoughts come to my head. There are some rumors in the virtual world that I was not the only one to feel like that. They say that Rod Seffen the author of this touching model was accused of spying on teen for up to five years. Oops. We all should be more careful with our searches for inspiration.


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Nyra is the newest 3D model in this collection. It's author Paul Tosca probably sees a woman more like a character from a computer game than a housewife or the mother of his children. I am kidding. Nyra is a warrior. She looks like Jeanne D'arc in digital reality being real and surreal at the same time. Anyways the artist must be extremely creative and possess enormous resources of fantasy to design something like this. He calls this character a test, so I almost cannot imagine how the final result should look like.

Pink Amazon

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There are some artists who are very skilful in experimenting. This 3D model is done by a designer Rebeca Puebla. She is the only one female artist on this list. Moreover, her 3D model is of the most controversial ones on a list, I guess. It combines two sides of a character. First one is with a mask and everything left underneath. And second one - without it. It also gives some references to Japanese culture which starting with anime and finishing with music is barely understanble for us. Despite the fact that a mask of a pony seems a bit drastic, almost everyone among 3D designers decided that a woman in such extraordinary clothes looks incredibly sexy. "Ballistic Publishing" house had the same opinion and included it to the famous book "Expose 9".


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This is exclusively surreal and artistic cover of "Ayco" album. Moreover, it is quite difficult even to decribe it. All I see is a vanishing portrait of a woman. Everything what is left somehow becomes a sound of music. The wife of 3D designer Chris Nicholls is a musician. So a man was inspired to challenge himself by designing a cover for het newest album "Chrysalis" just because of that music. According to him, that music is so visual that he barely could resist images flowing to his mind. I would call it some kind of synaesthesis, when an artist hears colours and paints voices. Sounds like magic. And it is, indeed. Here is an interview with this designer on CGTrader blog.

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February 27th, 2013

Grab An Inspiration: 30 Most Photorealistic 3D Renderings

Some people like to highlight that all the glorious art has already been created. Those who say so perhaps forget to count in the endless possibilities of 3D design. Today movies can be filmed in a quarry of stone and 3D designers will add the turquoise sea, verdant pinewood and a surreal house on the shore.

The audience could suspect a house being improved using 3D design technique. But it is much easier to bribe with a landscape selling a matte-painting as the real one. Moreover, 3D designers are passionate to confuse questioning: “What do you think: is this a photograph or the art of 3D?”

This phenomenon is called photorealism. It is like a magic wand that brings a fantasy into the life while is used by a skilled artist. Obtaining render which is indistinguishable from a photograph became the Holy Grail of 3D design since 1960s. The target in this work is to reach perfection. In this particular case it means to imitate the reality to the smallest dots. It requires high level of attention even to the rarest details.

So we want to share our thorough list of the highly professional 3D artwork of photorealism. Hopefully, it will give you new ideas and inspire for the masterpieces.

A Vespid

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Kuan Fu Sun

Kuan Fu Sun says that it took 30 days to finish a render of a vespid, using 3dsmax, Zbrush and Photoshop for post production. It is richly detailed from the tiniest parts of an insect such as body hair or the net of eyes to the floating bits of dandelion in the background. Daylight illumination and strong depth-of-field makes you feel the macro scale of a scene. Also precise textures of wings adds the final touch to realism in this image.

Here is a making-of of the render.

The Chesterfield Project

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Benjamin Brosdau

Interior is something what surrounds us everyday. This classical interior 3D scene has all the elements and tiny details needed to fool a human eye. Accurate textures with extremely balanced shading and lighting of this rendering left us in awe. Benjamin Brosdau has completely achieved the same feeling of excessive, stylish richness that can be associated with 19th century classic interior design. What once appeared to him as a modeling task to get a famous chesterfield couch done, ended up becoming something much more complicated.

Bits Of Bread

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Bertrand Benoit

All around the web this render by Bertrand Benoit is accredited as the most realistic one depicting our daily bread. Moreover, it indeed makes you hungry as hell. The author tells that he found a niche of rendering baked products almost accidentally. After a while he made a decision to build a small library of baked, carb-heavy assets. So he shared some of the results with a community of 3D designers and left them speechless. Bertrand Benoit is extremely accurate with the textures and as a result it is possible to feel the warmth of a loaf of bread.

A detailed and illustrative narrative is provided by the author.

The Classroom

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Meny Hilsenrad, "Studio Aiko"

This is a possible future project of a design studio “Aiko”. Their original plan was to create a classroom environment from different camera angles that overlooked the entire classroom. Of course, later it turned out to be a highly challenging project: they went into much more complex work. One classroom has four different stories covered in separate lighting versions: daylight, night, sunny day and camera flash. Each contains precise details and high level of realism which does not blur even in the light of camera flash. Many of 3D designers use this idea as an inspiration for the generation of ideas. The team of “Studio Aiko” says that this project was done with a lot of love and dedication like no other.

Project's making of is provided on vimeo.

Everything Beautiful Is Far Away

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Grab An Inspiration: 30 Most Photorealistic 3D Renderings 14

Marek Denko

Marek Denko is the 3D designer who fell into CG world when he was 15. Since then the artist stands for realism, details and perfection. This render reminds photographs made with Soviet film cameras: deep and somehow nostalgic. The author says that it took too long to finally finish this work: there were periods when he even could not look at it. A concept of this render is about being far away from everything you love. Marek Denko thinks that the airport is an exact place to feel that loneliness while walking unpersonalized between ‘Duty Free” shops and fake Irish pubs. Nevertheless, it was published in the 6th volume of “Digital Arts Maters” book series.


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Marek Denko

This was supposed to be a commercial product. But... Ready-to-use 3D model of soil was left for the Marek Denko. So he kept the scene and professionally used it for the personal project. He mentions that he was not sure what will be the hero of the shot. An idea to use a toy came to the designer's mind when he started finding toys he brought for his son from L.A. All of them were scattered around the house and garden: almost destroyed. Marek Denko found one of them. It was the 1953 Cadillac Eldorado. That's how the author found a hero. But this is only a story behind. A process was much more difficult, asking at least few hours a day and 7 hours of rendering.There is available retrospective of Marek Denko's artwork on vimeo.

Old Lamp

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Andrey Zhelem

There is a saying that the very first attempt usually fails. Then this render is an exception of a rule. “Old Lamp” is the first still-life image Andrey Zhelem has ever made. Firstly, he had an idea to create something old, but also sweet at the same time. And suddenly he got a picture in his head of a simple, but stunning still life render. He needed 7 days to reach his own limits of perfection and to finish it. Then it took only 1 hour of rendering to see these touching results.

The author also shares a tutorial for 'Old Lamp'.

You're Goddamn Right!

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Riccardo Minervino

Riccardo Minervino works in the game industry, but never refuses experimenting. 3D designer has created a set of extremely photorealistic portraits. This one introduces you to Walter White aka “Heisenberg” from TV series “Breaking Bad”. At first, this 3D model was sculpted in Zbrush in just two days and later it was rendered in Octane. To render a portrait is a highly demanding task. It not only requires a precise work with outlook, but a designer must make the character alive providing him particular but concrete features.

You can also find making-ofs of his artwork.

It Was You

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Toni Bratincevic

Tricycle. This render like a time machine brings everyone to the childhood. It was an intention of the author. He says that it is a reflection from his early memories. It has appeared as a picture of ‘Polaroid’ in designer’s mind: a coming render had to be as realistic as possible. Colour effects, abandoned things, old house, some light coming in, litter and windows without glass: all of them create mysterious atmosphere, awaken feelings and emit reminiscences. This work is dedicated to the author’s wife. Moreover, it was awarded with CG Choice Award and CGhub Gold Award.

Street 13-26

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Grzegorz Wisniewski

A street view is a very common for most of us. The designer started creating this render only as a texture test, but he says he could not stop working on it. So the author decided to turn it into a complete scene. The hours he should have been sleeping gave the result. This object reminds some areas of a hometown to the author. He sees it as an old building waiting to be pulled down, but it still has people living inside. Personal project “Street 13-26” was given an award for excellence on, 4 stars on CGTalk and published in number 7th of “Render Out” magazine.

Camera Vintage

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Hernan Gonzalez

Most of the 3D designers work for the companies. But when they have some free time, they sit in front of the computer again and then – work for the personal projects. It took three days to finish this Vintage Camera render. The name of camera almost announces: “Brilliant” – this artwork looks so too. The designer was able to convey its age and to create a breath-taking reflection of a window in front. Moreover, he is experienced with the textures, so it helped him to expose all the smallest bumps and dust which makes this render to look as a real photograph.

Lost Highway Wind

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Gustavo Grappo

3D design works of this artist can be easily characterized. They are highly realistic and the author uses similar tones of colours and renders objects driven by inspiration. Some of them come from other artwork: paintings, movies, books. Others are associations of the everyday life. This render is a frame of Gustavo Groppo’s upcoming short movie "Lost Higway". There is also a video with a moving model. I guess simplicity is exactly what attracts in this creation: I am given a feeling of Wild West and almost can see a windmill turning.

The very first shot of the author's movie "Lost Highway" on vimeo.

Once upon a time

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Gustavo Groppo

West of America is a dream for almost all American males. The inspiration for this render came straight from a Hollywood movie "No Country For An Old Men". But the designer had to wait a bit to fulfill this vision and express his inner energy. A trip through Arizona's desert was a final for that. Despite the fact that a plot of a movie takes place in Texas, Gustavo Groppo set a scene in Arizona. To tell the truth, a render really has a strong flavor of the Wild Wild West as the other artwork of Gustavo Groppo.

Ice Environment

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Gerardo Gerard

Gerardo Gerard is a 3D artist, who specializes in matte-painting. He usually chooses powerful, but demanding landscapes. There are rainforests, abandoned and destroyed cities and ruined underwater civilizations, conspiratorial and extremely cold environments. Most of us have never seen such a view, but somehow a freezing cold can be easily felt. The author created an entire palace of ice with graceful but strict lines. A position of sun is highly important for this render and the soft colour of lighting makes a model less stark, but more realistic.

Here is a making of for this render provided.

Green Iguana

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Xiaodong Li

Wild life photography astonishes almost everyone. Wide and unusual angles give an opportunity to observe that secret world from a closer perspective. But Xiaodong Li captured one moment of iguana's life, using 3D design technology. Lush colour, detailed squamae, delightful wrinkles of the skin and alive eyes: provide almost the perfect quality of a render. Moreover, it looks not only photorealistic, but a reptile seems to be given some human features also.

If anyone is interested, the author provided a making-of.

One Small Step

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Tomas Kral

I truly believe that every work should find its time. Tomas Kral says that he hardly had any time or wish to start working on this 3D model for a long period. He was asked to create a modern astronaut suit with high leveled details by other designer. So that asset was just lying down in his hard disk, while one day he decided to play a little bit. Out of this he got a result of "Space Waltz": astronaut being eaten by a jelly octopus. Later he updated a render to the "One Small Step". It took three weeks for Tomas Kral to finish it. After that he dedicated this model to the legacy of a recently deceased Neil Armstrong.

Tomas Kral has provided a making of for the interested ones.

Winston Churchill

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Tomas Kral

It seems that Tomas Kral likes to involve famous characters into his 3D design scenes. Time for Sir Winston Churchill has come. The designer created a caricature, displaying him as a bust just standing in one place and observing the world around. The character definitely minds his own business, while he is cruelly attacked by the pigeons. Maybe a bust of W.Churchill is not very common in the streets of London, but pigeons on the sculptures is something all of us have seen. Of course, this is not what makes this render photorealistic. Tomas Kral managed to convey a texture of a particular material, every single crack is clearly visible and a pigeon is so relaxed. As always.

Tomas Kral has provided a making of on his personal website.


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Denis Tolkishevsky

Denis is an extremely talented 3D designer. According to him, everything he knows about design and art came from the books and internet lessons. He has no artistic education and sometimes feels a lack of it. There should be an eye of expert to notice that lack, I guess. Nevertheless, the designer is interested in everyday scenes such as one in the "Prototype". While creating that 3D model Denis was experimenting with various textures that help every artwork to look realistic. This one was given few awards by American and Russian portals for 3D designers. He was acknowledged for the excellence and concept and published in a book "Arqute".

Apricus Acini

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Denis Tolkishevsky

Denis Tolkishevsky seems to be genius in simplicity. The designer managed to create an absolutely realistic render which possesses only one detail betraying an image to be 3D design. Yes, it is a spider's web in a corner of a picture. When it comes to an object: textures are perfectly detected, berries are purely translucent and leaves are almost touchable. "Apricus Acini" render has received four awards on Russian websites for 3D designers.

Stages Of Light

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Jesus Selvera

The designer Jesus Selvera got an idea for this render while experimenting with a lighting. He tried to capture different light from a single still. The texturing was made by the author from scratch. Most of it was hand painted to create diffusion, reflection and displacement map correctly. Surprisingly, all the models in this render have reflections even including the walls and mud. It took 3 months for the author to finish it. Moreover, each of a render required 4-5 days render time. Jesus Selvera says that there are 12 million polygons in this artwork. I even cannot comprehend that number.

Here you can find the full his project attached.

A Glass

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This artwork is peculiarly simple, but fascinating. Despite the fact that you can distinguish it from a real photograph, it is greatly realistic. When you look at it, you see a million-times used glass inherited from your grandmother. It was an experimental rendering of glass using NOX renderer, but it became more than an experiment. All the tiny and accurate cracks and splits are the reason why this render appeared on this list. The author has attached scheme of used material and wireframe.

Inter-dimensional Predator

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Greg Petchkovsky

An idea to generate this strange creature came after Greg Petchkovsky and his friend decided to challenge each other making an "inter-dimensional predator". The goal of this was only fun and practice. Neither of them has really finished it, but were highly inspired by the technique the other has used. This render is greatly inspired by a painting by Dave King and Japanese sculptor Takayuki Takeya. The author reveals that each eye of render is made from two spheres: a small one with the colour, surrounded by a slightly larger one that is refractive and has fresnel reflections. In addition to this, the smaller sphere is flat in the iris area, while the larger one bulges out a bit to form the lense. Unsurprisingly, the picture has received a "CGChoice Award" and master award for 'portrait-render' from EXPOSE'4.

Greg Petchkovsky shares a wire of a render.

Ecosystem Simulation

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Arkadiusz Rekita

I noticed this render firstly because the topic is revealing. Ecology is a painful mainstream discussion topic nowadays. Moreover, this work is a whole project following the idea of Fibonacci sequence. It means that Arkadiusz Rekita started this project seeking to create procedural plants model which sent themselves information and formed in a such a way so that in a result they make one organism. It works as ecosystem in which every plant, every leaf and fruit has its own non-incidental place. A render creates an impression of photorealism firstly because of the spider web with tiny drops of water. While exploring a view, you realize the plants to be so punctilious that you even believe them to be real.

Here you can find the whole project of Arkadiusz Rekita on ecosystem simulation.

Phillips Exeter Academy Library

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Grab An Inspiration: 30 Most Photorealistic 3D Renderings 34

Grab An Inspiration: 30 Most Photorealistic 3D Renderings 35Grab An Inspiration: 30 Most Photorealistic 3D Renderings 36Alex Roman

A father of this building is Estonian architect Louis Kahn. He built and designed it a few decades ago. An artist is Alex Roman's favourite architect and the designer has always wanted to reproduce Louis Kahn's masterpiece. After a long period of studying, he finally did it. Alex Roman tried to avoid books in the shelves of 3D designed Phillips Exeter Academy's Library in order to provide more raw geometrical space. As he says he playedaround a little bit with volumes, lighting and materials. All in all the author spent almost 2 weeks scratching. Most time he was drowned into mapping and textures work. Each shot took 1-2 hours of work, Alex Roman says. But we see results of it and the fact that he has created one of the masterpieces of 3D visualization. These are only few shots from the full 3D animation.

You can find it on vimeo.

Old Violin

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Francesc Camos

A bunch of renders on this list were made by the experiment. This is one is not an exception. It was a godforsaken room which inspired Francesc Camos to examine himself in texturizing. He tried it with different types of materials: wood, metal, paper, glass, plastic and even fabric. The author created the nostalgic atmosphere and definitely blew a breath back to that room. There is only one small detail that catches my eye: a glass of a lamp is quite too new and too transparent. Nevertheless, this render does have a spirit.


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Shd Denis

A young 3D designer Shd Denis said only one sentence while publishing this render. He treats it as a small 3D project with a soul inside. Indeed, there is one. This 3D model is quite extraordinary. There are millions of ways to choose how to create a render of a beloved women or muse. But the artist chose to construct her from the wires. It makes a render highly realistic, but at the same time surreal also.

I Am The King

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Grab An Inspiration: 30 Most Photorealistic 3D Renderings 40

Walid Layouni

Walid Layouni was inspired to create an extraordinarily luxurious bedroom, where I guess only the real king could sleep. Some people are not attracted to live in the museums, indeed. Like it or not, but this render possesses a high quality of realism. The author was very accurate trying to preserve the value of small details on the decorative panels. He says it was important to make a visual mass balance for the space. Walid Layouni thinks that it is mostly nitpicking. While his render look as a gorgeous fantasy, I found that the real framed pictures bring me back to the reality.

Author provides making of for those who want to render their fantasy rooms.


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Monika Olizarowicz, Tomasz Wyszo?mirski

The idea of flying fruits or vegetables is not that new: we find it on TV or food advertisments. But there is no need to say 'no' to yourself, when you realise that you are inspired to create a such render. The fact is that realistic food in the images definitely makes us hungry and that is why it is powerful. The authors of this render created the whole collection of flying food: red-faced tomatoes, redolent coffee beans, juicy blueberries and blackberries and healthy apples. Water drops on fruits and vegetables provide an impression of freshness and realism. There are some rough details left, but the crew without any doubt sold a render.

They share healthy apples rendering making of on vimeo.

White Bedroom

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Jurai Talcik, Veronika Demovicova

The authors say that origin for that scene came from an ambitious project to create complete classical appartment, renovated and filled with furniture in highly modern style. In that room they wanted to model everything what is possible. It was five days hard working and Veronika has created the most advanced 3D bed done to our knowledge. Individual stills needed rendering on average for 9 hours at 3000px. All in all, they were working on this project for more than one month and half. Render reveals that they thought about everything: appropriate lighting, every single detail of the interior, correct adjustment of colours and rational reflections. Maybe this room is too clean, but I know how easy it is to mess it up.

The designers share a full 3D animation, containing a tutorial.

Two At The Carnival

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Olga Anufrieva

Masquerades always spread some magic around. There is no doubt that an event can become an inspiration for the artists. Olga Anufrieva grabbed an inspiration and looked through the pictures of masquerades on the internet. She found her story of two people and created a render based on it. These people met each other in a celebration wearing masks. A woman is convinced that a guy is a love of her life, but a guy is not sure that she is his second-half. Olga says that the main goal of a render was not only to convey it as a photograph of two people in a masquerade, but also to transmit their mind to the audience. As a woman, she started rendering a lady first. What a coincidence!

For the interested ones Olga tells how she made a render. Please note that making of is in Russian.

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August 29th, 2012

Interview with Alex Huguet

We continue to interview best digital artists and this time we are glad to introduce an expert of 3D modeling, who could be a perfect example, how fantastic high-class 3D models should look like.

Alex Huguet is a professional Spanish digital artist currently living and continuing his career in United Kingdom, London. Mostly he is known for creating characters from sci-fi, fantasy and horror genres. However, you can also admire Alex for his incredible realistic characters. He has a great and varied portfolio as well as a unique experience in freelance work, commercials and movie making.

Interview with Alex Huguet 1

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