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17 Amazing Renders That You'll Swear Are Photographs

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Illustration for article titled 17 Amazing Renders That Youll Swear Are Photographs

It can be difficult to know what's real and what's fake when it comes to digital art these days. But don't torture yourself worrying about it now: Here are 17 of the most photorealistic 3D renderings on the web. Each one is completely synthetic; every single detail generated by madly talented 3D artists. Enjoy.

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Ouverture I

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By Atelier Feuerroth


These ARE the droids I’m looking for

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By Joel Erkkinen


Henrik Bus Art House

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By Jeffrey Faranial


Then Flying The Youth

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By Shang-peng Leng


Living room and dining room

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By Marwan M. Saliba


Spider Crane

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By Tim Diaz


The Chair

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By Eduardo Souza


Twisted Sensation

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By Yasin Hasanian


IFA

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By Marcel Haladej


New York Apartment

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Dennis Kaya Iversholt


EGR-8 Mobile Welding Machine

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By Daniil Alikov


Every Last of Us

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By Michael Knowland


Natural Replacement

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By Stefan Schneider


Da Nao Tian Gong

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By Wei Long Zhong


Moroccan Majlis

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By Muhammad Taher


Lost Lake

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By Marek Denko


After Carnival

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By Olga Anufrieva


This article first appeared CGTrader. It is reproduced here with kind permission.

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DISCUSSION

I find it hard to believe that any of these are photographs. On a technical level....

1. Skin shading is either "off", too flawless, or lacking in proper translucency.
2. Anatomically, there are specific, identifable problems.
3. Lens flare can be a dead giveaway, or at least a tie-breaker.
4. Some materials should show obvious wear & tear, but they don't.
5. Hair is also a problem. In the more natural "do", it's got all of the hallmarks of CG hair. In the twisted one, you can see that it's been constructed in sections.
6. Some materials have specularity & reflectivity that's cranked too high, giving it that plastic or ultra-polished look.
7. If you've ever seen stuff rendered with VRay, you can tell that some of these images have. There's a classic "VRay look" to certain renders.
8. Some of the cloth folds fine, but not necessarily for the specific material being mimicked.
9. A number of these images are clearly constructed in composited layers. If you look carefully, you can even tell how to break them down.
10. The use of HDRI domes and matte backgrounds is too apparent.
11. Some things that should be 3D are even cheated using 2D.
12. There's some staging issues that seem too deliberate, more so than even what you'd see in a typical photo shoot.

ETC and so on.

I work in CG. I've been doing it in one form of another for 25 years. Even if I hadn't already seen these images in magazines like 3DWorld or on sites like CG Talk, they'd still come off as obvious fakes. I'd like to chalk it up to me having a "trained eye", but I think that it has more to do with me having a "human eye" instead. The closer we get to realism, the more our eyes seem to detect these small things.

No offense to the great artist who've done this stuff though. Bang up work. Photorealistic? Close, but not really.