Are 3D Artists Really Artists?

There are programs like Daz Studio and Poser that are used to create 3D art. Many of the artists use content that they purchase to create the art instead of creating everything from scratch. So this begs the question are they really artists?

I have been doing 3D artwork for some time and there are some projects that I do that I put more effort into than others. I will sometimes get lazy and create a scene using a lot of ready-made content I purchased online. There are other times where I will make a little more effort to modify the characters a bit more to make them more unique. But let’s say that I use all pre-made content and nothing more to create a scene. Would that still mean that I am an artist?

We could probably be here all day arguing about what constitutes true art. Let’s face it, some of the modern works of art out there look like little more than scribblings or finger paintings to some of us and when we look at theme we say “What the heck is that supposed to be?” other people might look at the same picture and be amazed by their “brilliance.” so, to some degree, art is in the eye of the beholder. Some people think that a completely drawn out work of art that leaves little to the imagination and is easily interpreted is sort of like spoon feeding art to people. They believe that various works of art should have some meaning that the beholder should try to interpret after giving it some thought.

So then we have what might be two different schools of thought regarding art. There is what most would consider obvious art in that the artist created something that is quite aesthetically pleasing or something that is more left to interpretation or meant to be thought provoking. I would suppose that there are people who would be inclined to like one type over the other and some who my like both.

I believe that art of any type usually involves a creative process. Not everyone is creative by nature. That doesn’t mean that a creative person is more intelligent than someone who isn’t creative by nature but just has certain abilities others may not. They say that there are two different types of intelligence. One type is creative intelligence and the other is analytical intelligence. Everyone has varying degrees of both. So what we could admire in what is referred to as a work of art is the creativity put into the work as well as the basic artistic talent.

Another creative art form, as some might consider it, is photography. Some people have a natural gift for it and an eye for a good shot. Some wouldn’t know what a good shot would be if someone showed it to them. There are different things that make for a good photo. Angle, lighting, distance, balance and other things. A photo taken of an object from one angle may not look as good as one taken from a different angle. A good photographer can usually find the right angle from which to shoot the object.

I look at 3D artwork as sort of a photo shoot. Even if all of the components are pre-made, the artist has to construct the scene, do the lighting, pose the characters and find the right angle for the camera. This is much of what a photographer does. In some ways it is easier than what a photographer does because the 3D artist doesn’t have to rent the space to do the photo shoot or pay a model to pose or deal with the expense of the professional lighting setup, cameras, lenses and etc. sure there may be software and the add-ons for the software but, overall, it’s probably much cheaper to get started in 3D art than professional photography. Besides, professional photographers also use computers and software. Ever hear of Photoshop?

So to sum it up, I believe that 3D art is an art form. Some may think it’s cheating because of the reliance of technology but if you really think about it, technology has always had an effect on the arts. There weren’t always electric guitars. The cavemen who did those cave paintings didn’t have the fancy oil paints or acrylic paints or fancy paint brushes artists have now. Photographers didn’t always have Photoshop. Screen writers didn’t always have the screenwriting software either. So what I look for in art is the creative process that was used to create it. Did it involve some creativity? Is the final result something that is truly unique? That’s what I look for in any art form whether it be 3D artwork, painting, writing, photography or music. So, in my humble opinion, 3D artwork is a real art form and 3D artists are really artists.

Bob Craypoe is a web developer, 3D artist, cartoonist, writer, musician and entrepreneur. His websites and his work can be accessed from his personal website and his main website

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