10 Reasons Why Your Render Sucks

Don’t get me wrong, I love 3d art,  I really do. But after spending 7 years scouring the internet for inspiration I’ve become a little bit cynical. Now when I look at 3d art, I only see it’s flaws.

Are my renders perfect? Absolutely not. My portfolio is riddled with flaws. In fact almost every single piece of my artwork violates at least one of these ‘rules’. This article is to share what I’ve learnt as an artist and as an onlooker.

Here’s my top ten pet peeves…

1. There’s no point It doesn’t tell a story, it’s not advertising anything and it’s certainly not pretty. What exactly is the viewer getting from this? Nothing makes me close the window faster than a piece of art with no clear objective.

2. You use pre-made content Stock models are great for studios who want to save time and money by purchasing a pre-made model. But it has absolutely no place in your portfolio. Personally I find no pride in showing someone a render that I haven’t created entirely by myself, but that’s just me. If you don’t know how to model it, why not learn?

3. You’re copying something far more successful I love Wall-E as much as the next guy, but that doesn’t mean I try to mimic what a professional studio has slaved over for years on end. Why? Because unless it’s an uncanny comparison (which it won’t be) viewers will only spot its flaws.

4. You didn’t plan it on paper first It’s easy to tell when an artist failed to put their idea on paper first: it’s a confusing mess. They started with an idea, skipped the planning stage and jumped straight to their 3d program. Most artists cannot model/texture/render in 3d at the same speed as their imagination. The best thing you can do is put it on paper as soon as the idea strikes you, that way you have a reference in 2 weeks time when you’re sitting at your computer and asking, “what was I making again?”.

5. It’s cliche If I see another cave troll or big breasted warrior I’m going to puke. Be original and create something that everyone hasn’t already seen a thousand times.

6. It’s a test render Hey cool, you just got your head around the new array modifier! Don’t post it on the net. Test renders are exactly that. Tests. They are a learning experience that should remain on your hard drive.

7. It’s poorly lit Let me say this once and for all: Dark is not moody. If you want to create a moody atmosphere there are plenty of ways of doing it, but making your scene dimly lit is not one of them. Pick up a copy of Jeremy Birn’s Digital Lighting and Rendering to learn how to light your scene like a pro.

8. You don’t realise it sucks No one likes receiving bad feedback on their artwork, especially after you’ve spent weeks creating it, but to tell the hundreds of posters that they “just don’t understand it” is like throwing salt on the wound. If you want to progress as an artist you need to be able to take critiques on-board and learn from your mistakes.

9. It’s boring architecture Archiviz is great skill to have under your belt. There’s a lot of work available and it pays quite well, but that doesn’t mean it has to be boring and emotionless. Read my post on 20 Architectural renders that break the mold or watch Alex Roman’s amazing short The Third and the Seventh and you’ll pick up dozens of ways to make still architecture interesting.

10. It’s overly post-processed There’s nothing wrong with fixing the colour levels or altering the contrast in Photoshop, but when you start adding filters and chromatic aberration to hide your own incompetencies there’s a problem.

Well that’s me finished, what are your pet peaves?

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About Andrew Price

User of Blender for 9+ years. I've written tutorials for 3d World Magazine and spoken at three Blender conferences. My goal is to help artists get employed in the industry by making training accessible and easy to understand. I'm an Aussie and I live in South Korea ;)
  • mk

    Word.

  • jw

    I bet you stand at the edge of football pitches laughing when small children fall over. If you take your attitude then parents should never go to their kids sports matches or praise them for trying hard. They should just be honest and tell them that really their rubbish at sport compared to world champions and they shouldn’t even bother trying. I used to like you Andrew Price but now I think you’re just the playground bully who’s ruining the community spirit. Noone is asking you to sit in the forums helping beginners learn. If you don’t like teaching people the basics then you don’t have to, but don’t try to stop people from learning.

  • http://www.virtualmatter.org KevinW

    I posted this on Blender Naton too, but I thought it might help some people.:

    My vfx checklist (mostly tech stuff)
    :

    Checklist

    Setup:
    -First was finding the right bits of reference. (flickr.com is your friend…) Sometimes it’s good just for sussing out what the finish line is, sometimes it’s awesome for generating textures. Not having good reference is like building a dog house without a blue print. It can be done, but with lots of piddling.
    -cheat the audience eye for all cost! takes lots of shortcuts.
    - If it looks right, it is right.

    Modeling:
    – Bevel all the corners to catch speculars on the edge.
    – Imperfections
    – Only model what you see
    – model to a pixel, not 1/8th of an inch

    Texturing:
    – UV unwrap everything
    – Provide high res textures for everything
    – Provide at a MINIMUM color, bump, and specular for every surface
    – dirt is pretty, dirt is detail, dirt is scale
    - Always use SSS for skin
    - Physically correct shaders

    HDR textures
    - 6 exposures, 2 stop intervals (Bracket of 12 stops)

    Lighting:
    - Correct light temperatures
    - Proper physical Light fall offs
    - Use area lights
    - Lighting is never uniform, always gradient
    - Always add fill, preferably with GI
    - Variation in color
    - No completely hard shadows
    - Translucent materials have lighter shadows
    - light sources viewed directly should look brighter than any highlights (unless clipped)
    - Sunlight always has a fill behind it on Earth

    Rendering:
    – Use high quality AA and texture filtering
    – use motion blur, match shutter angle
    – Render at LEAST 10bit log cineon, if not full HDR or EXR format
    – Render LOTS of passes for compositing
    - Using energy conserving shaders
    - Linear Workflow!!!
    - Render fog/mist as an occluding element, no screening or adding
    - Depth of field with bokeh hi-lights.
    - No GI noise

    Compositing:
    - composite fog/mist as an occluding element, no screening or adding
    - Match Depth of field with bokeh hi-lights.
    – Match film grain per channel
    - Match lens distortion
    - Match chromatic aberration
    - Match highlight blooms
    - Match vignetting
    - Match lens flares (always on top)
    – Match blacks and whites to plate
    – Light Wrap (or fresnel shader with proper texture)
    - Check blacks and whites by slamming

    Grading layers (suggestion):
    - 1. Brightness,
    - 2. Curves,
    - 3. Color Balance,
    - 4. Selective Color,
    - 5. Hue/Saturation

    Finishing
    - If it looks right, it is right.

  • BlueSock

    @Brian Wright

    The whole point of creating objects from scratch is to add originality from your piece from the very start. If you can just go to an online store and get the same mass produced models that everyone else is using, then the originality and depth of thought of the work comes into question from the beginning.

    When you create something yourself it’s inevitable that you’ll have put more effort into the end product than you would have had you just basically purchased and assembled your scene.

    The extrude tool is your brush and the add button is your paint, and anything that comes out of those two is part of the product. If I start seeing animated shorts, feature films, etc. with premade objects, then I’ve lost faith in 3D and the creativity it used to demand.

  • Name (required)

    “Well that’s me finished, what are your pet peaves?”…mine is when people spell peeves correctly once, then incorrectly, in the same post…(sorry, just kidding)…

    “4. You didn’t plan it on paper first”…I do & don’t agree with this…I, myself, am NOT an artist, I hated art in School…hand me a pencil & paper & I won’t make anything, but give me a computer & I know what I’m doing. Now, I have not made any spectacular renders, but I just recently started & I DID NOT plan any of my renders on paper, mostly cuz I’m computery & not papery…however, I can see how an artist, would need/want to make it on paper 1st. If you are an artist, then you may be less-computery, so while you are messing with the computer program (“How do I make it do that?”) you can look at/improve the paper version…so I really think this is based more on WHO is doing it, rather than it always being a “bad” thing…

  • Woodman5k

    This is easy. Just one simple rule.

    1. Don’t be stupid!

    There, done.

  • Sean Cascketta

    Useful article for someone who wants their work to be taken seriously. Thanks for being brutally honest. That’s what it takes for serious refinement, and you did it as I can see.

  • havensole

    I’m really surprised at how people have taken this all. I doubt that this article was designed as a personal attack on anyone, or even a group of people. It seems more directed as a guide to improving one’s own skills and showing some pitfalls many, if not all, of us go through. Take it more as guidelines that can be broken if the piece warrant it.

  • Connor

    Just a question, but who’s render did you use for the article picture? I hope they were fine with you using it or agreed with your criticisms. I know I would want permission asked beforehand…..great article overall though, that issue just caught my attention.

    • http://blenderguru.com Andrew Price

      @Connor
      It’s mine ;)
      Given the nature of the article I was pretty much limited to using my own work. There’s no way I’d get permission to deface someone elses art :P

  • http://www.ali-rahimi.net Ali

    Iam agree with your article. In general must of the people dont have any artistic skill and they hardly accept new ideas. And it lead comanys to focuse on cliche, because they dont want to risk . and the same idea is forced to cg world. Therefore we see lots of cool work in technical side, but we dont see too much new idea. And when i say new idea i mean really new idea from scratch. some of them are even completely empty of idea. I dont even can call them artist.

  • http://ingo.freio.de Quiss42

    You’re right.

    However, i know about an image that doesn’t meet a single of your “peeves” (but is actually not a that great one, and outdated, too). So, you should love it (http://www.freio.de/ingo/english/ray5.html). ;)

  • Pingback: 3D Tool Ticker – Januar 2010 «

  • http://www.slofshive.co.uk AlienSlof

    A few things I agree with, and a few I don’t.

    2: Pre-made content. Why make a whole new model when there are already good models out there that do the same thing, and in many cases better than one could do by oneself. It’s what you then do with that content that matters, not whether or not you modelled it yourself.

    5: Cliche – yes. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve had to wade through endless pictures of scantily-clad females and boobs just to find something I am actually interested in looking at. I come from several online communities, and every single one is horrendously female-obsessed. There is more out there than boobs.

    10: Overly processed. Again, there is both truth and untruth here. For example, I render a picture of a cat. Fur is generally only on the texture, so some postwork is needed to make it look furry. Most fur and hair requires some post work to make it look right, and less rendered. Hair should have movement in it.

    Another example is someone new to all this rendering stuff, such as myself. Not being blessed with a large income, I often have to make do with what resources I can find cheap, free or make myself. In some cases, this requires I render to a white background, then add a separate background and post-work it.

    That said, I did enjoy reading this – it made me smile, especially the cliche bit. That one especially hit home because I’m bored silly of boobs!

  • http://therealnoz@blogspot.com therealnoz

    There are absolutely no traces of advanced shading methods.

  • http://www.harkyman.com Roland

    Not so sure I agree with 2 or 10 so much. I guess if you’re talking “beauty stills” and your purpose is to show off, then you should probably avoid any pre-made elements. But where do you draw the line? Let’s say you made a great person model a year ago. Should you re-use it, changing it to suit the needs of your current scene? Or is that considered “cheating?” Just because a lot of people use pre-made content poorly doesn’t mean that it makes you render suck.

    Used well, premade content can free up your time to focus on other aspects of the render which are arguably more important than the models themselves.

    For #10, I guess it’s a matter of “what’s too much?” Some people work under the misconception that everything has to be done “in camera” to be “fair.” I say “Who cares?” The real problem is knowing when to quit.

    My pet peeves with bad/newbie renders? Over saturation in textures/materials and a lack of subtlety. “I learned how to normal map, so I’m going to crank it up!” Doesn’t matter that you’d never see that level of bumping on a physical object — they want to show it!

  • http://www.JesterArtsIllustrations.com Leo

    That was really darn funny, and very truthful.

  • havensole

    I agree pretty much with everything you’ve said. I have had no formal art training and so when I did decide to start playing with 3D modeling I went all over the place looking for inspiration. I don’t have a problem with 30 different versions of an Audi, as long as the artist modeled it themselves. Cars can be extremely intricate models with tons of detail. Replicating a real object is a thousand times harder than pulling something out of one’s arse. The big breasted warrior thing also gets to me. It just seems juvenile after the 4 or 5 hundredth one you go through.
    Using other premade models is, and will probably always be, a sticky subject. If one is creating work for their portfolio, shouldn’t it be something of a pride element to say that “I made that”? If doing something for more of a production, have at it. modeling a vase can be easy, but if someone has already done a vase collection that is free or one has bought the rights for, why not use theirs? You never know what could happen. You might get a call for an interview for a potential job and they might say “that is the best vase I have ever seen. We’re hiring you on the spot.” Just like in any work, if something is not created by the artist, it should be listed so that anyone looking at it can take that into account.
    Lighting is probably one of the most important things in CG. I have spent the last few years working on a feature length animation, and have only learned in the last year or so how important lighting is to the final product. I probably spend almost as much time working on the lighting and composition now as I did modeling, if not more. Thanks for the link to the book, I will probably pick it up this weekend.
    Like everyone else has said, putting some test files up in a WIP forum works as long as the artist is ready for the critique. I have often put my work up asking for it, and get only 1 or 2 replies. That makes it difficult to gauge where I am at. Is it so bad that no one has anything to say? Or is it just good enough that no one has anything to say. Bugs me.
    Most of this all comes down to learning experience. We all screw up and break the “rules” from time to time. The key is learning when breaking the rules is warranted and when it is distracting from the piece. Thankfully I haven’t come to the point where all I see are flaws, but I have become a lot more critical over what I like and aspire to create. I am glad you stuck your neck out there and despite all the flack you are, and will, get from it, it is one of those things that many think about but don’t say, or that some just haven’t thought of. Thanks for all the links too. Some good reading.
    -James

  • http://Website(optional) Brian Lockett

    I agree with you on all your points, some more than others. I appreciate the article, and I DO NOT think that one has to be a master (yet) themselves to give good advice. Many piano teachers and vocal coaches often train students that later excel them.
    I also wanted to point out that you DID NOT say that these were absolute laws or anything, but that these were some good things to consider, based on your observations and opinion. You even said that you had some of those issues you mentioned were probably in your own portfolio (don’t know why Sandking was that critical of you there). You’re learning, too.
    Like many other rules and guidelines, these are relative. A good artist can effectively break every one of these rules to produce something great. In fact, most do (as a few here have pointed out).
    But I think your article was beneficial. Many of those issues DO plague like 75% of 3D artists’ galleries I have seen, artists who weren’t trying to produce mediocre effects.
    Great replies in general, folks!

  • Bone

    I 100% agree, and many who don’t agree is the one that it applies too, like always. Be creative, be original, and have fun. It is much better to have everything you modeled in a scene, because it’s less impressive if you only modeled half of the scene. Pre-made content kills the originality of the users art, and is best only in production, not in your portfolio. Be Original.

    Great Article!

  • lucky

    Hi,
    I agree with you on many points, but I think these things can only be learnt with experience, as there is no ‘real’ rules in art, but only freedom.

  • http://design.on.nimp.org anon

    “viewers will only spot it’s flaws”
    “spot it’s flaws”
    “it’s”

    stopped reading right there

    • http://blenderguru.com Andrew Price

      Cheers anon. Fixed.

  • James

    I pretty much agree with all those points, especially the ones about using other peoples objects, it just annoys me when people do that for most of the things in their scene. I pretty much avoid all of those anyways, except for the lighting which isn’t my strong point

  • jim

    This article just sounds like: “Bwaaaahahaha, why can’t all people be like me and make things that I like, I’m so frustrated and immature, bwaaahahaha!”

  • alalo

    I agree with almost all of your points. Actually I agree with all of them. I just think that you missed something here:

    5. It’s cliche If I see another cave troll or big breasted warrior I’m going to puke. Be original and create something that everyone hasn’t already seen a thousand times.

    Cliché, as a disturbing thing, is much more complex than making things that have been made already, imo. One can make a cool and original cave troll and an awesome big chested warrior. Actually, I get disturbed when one says “no more sexy women, please” or similar. That is simply vague. I for one, am blamable, because I can not stand landscapes and reconstruction of cars, does not matter the quality, they just don’t excite me. But go on.. if it is your passion, make a metrically perfect copy of an Audi parked in a paradisaic landscape. Will be great for your portfolio.

    Oh! And thanks for the link to the 20 architectural renders. Those are very inspiring :)

  • http://www.watchmike.ca Mike

    Well, something I struggle with is contrasting shapes. As a result, my compositions feel bland.

    The cure? Storyboard it on newsprint, with a big marker/grease pencil. It doesn’t allow you to get caught up with details.

  • LemyD

    There are a lot of points I agree with you.
    But in three points I disagree.

    1. Making test renders, and to post them, is not a bad idea, but, post your test renders not in galleries, where finished work is. Post it in WIP galleries, and name it at a test render, and accept critics, to do your work better.

    2. Why not making pictures with cliches? Can you tell me, what a cliche is? Is the fantasy picture with a warrior woman a cliche? Or is the picture of a house a cliche? Or that picture with a car?
    When someone likes what he is doing, that’s not a cliche.

    3. Why not using pre-made content? Is it really only art, when I’m doing all myself? Then, some artists who are photographers are in real trouble. ;)
    No, I don’t have any problem with using pre – made contend. It’s still the artist choice, what he is doing with it. And that still a process of creativity.

    Greetings
    Lemy

  • http://blenderguru.com Andrew Price

    By the way, if anyone’s interested in some REALLY heavy discussion, there’s 14 pages of discussion over at CG Society :/

    http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=845135

  • http://blenderguru.com Andrew Price

    @Sandking
    I completely agree, my work is far from perfect. As you so rightly pointed out, most of my work violates at least one of these ‘rules’ that I’ve posted.

    But does that mean I can’t voice my opinion about why most 3d art sucks? Of course not.

    I see it time and time again in the ‘Finished Projects’ section. Someone gives critiques on another persons art and they get attacked by others who say “you can’t talk your own work isn’t any better”. Well so what? They’re giving an outsiders opinion on something the original artist probably didn’t see.

    That’s why whenever I post my artwork I write “Please give your honest critiques” which helps remove that barrier of fear and let people really give it to me. Because afterall, don’t we just want to be better artists?

  • Jesse Drags

    while im in compliance with most of the pointers in this article i totally agree with brian wright. and also with what ben said “theres a reason cliches exist” and i think its the final execution and the message your conveying that truly matters in the long run.

  • http://bensimonds.wordpress.com Ben

    Just as a follow up, there’s really nothing wrong with doing something cliche. There’s a reason cliches exist, and it’s because – by and large at least – people like them. Indiana Jones, Star Trek, Avatar, Paintings of Saints, Pinup girls, RPGs, any film with Bruce Willis in, plenty of music; all are cliches to some extent, but we often enjoy the familiar. It’s easy to forget that when trying to do something high-concept and original (which obviously is great too).

    The caveat of course is, that if you are going to do something that’s been done before, you had sure as hell better do a good job of it.

  • http://bensimonds.wordpress.com Ben

    Nice article, and some good points. Particularly number 4 as many people have said. It goes hand in hand with thinking about the composition before-hand, and is out of all of them the one I still struggle with the most.

  • http://grafofan.ru Sangigo

    Oops… I didn’t want to post it here. It is a link to a russian translation of this article. You can delete it.

  • http://grafofan.ru Sangigo
  • http://www.digitalbitedesign.com Sandking

    You talk about cliche, yet in your gallery I see Earth rendered out of textures you found somewhere… You talk about too much post processing and yet first archiviz I see is clearly overprocessed (not mentioning badly placed and badly looking lady in front). You got some nice images – ok. But my point to your list – don’t show work of your own if you’d criticize it while it would appear in someone else gallry.

    This article got good points (which were said thousand times before…. so much about cliche) but posted by someone who isn’t a pro in what he’s talking about is a little bit embarassing I think.

  • PBoy

    Whole article is smelly and diletant…and your style is disguisting

    mainly the cliché part….

    The most images do not made for artistic aims…The most 3D images made for job seeking aims….

    I think you aren’t a good 3D graphic artist…

  • http://digitaldraw.wordpress.com/ aws357

    While I agree with all the points of the article, the one about “It’s cliche” makes me want to add some more comment.

    If it’s cliche *****and badly done***** (underline bold italic), then it makes you want to puke.

    If you do something cliche and add nothing to the mix, put it among the “test renders” stuffs.

    There is nothing wrong in doing something cliche, as long as you manage to add your own personal work on top of that and go beyond the example you are following. No work of art is really original to begin with. We all copy or get inspiration from someone or something.

    You want examples I’ve got tons !

    - Michelangelo’s Pieta. A gazillion artists before him did “Dead Christ after crucifixion”. Yet it still stand out as a cornerstone or sculpture.

    - Leonardo da Vinci. A gazillion artists before him try to capture the essence of the “cute chick”. Yet with Mona Lisa he managed to do so and more by working on composition and his own version of volumetric rendering (sfumato :p).

    - Phidias. A gaz(ok… I stop…). But many greek artists did statues of the olympian gods or mythological heroes before him. Yet he manage to stand out with the quality of his work and the majesty he managed to instil in his creations.

    There are so many example of artist who did unoriginal work, yet shined in doing it right and marked the spirit of people from their time and later on.

    That’s another way to go out of the “I agree (duuuh)” herd. Ask yourself : “What can I do to spice this boring ordinary overdone thing”. That’s way harder than… let’s say…

    Anyone can decide to make something that has no sense (like a mutant duck from mars with a human face that shoot rocket out his @ss and puke beer) and claim it’s original.

    But if it’s original *****and badly done***** (underline bold italic), then it makes you want to puke anyway.

  • http://www.traylorpark.com +peter

    Study composition,
    study color theory,
    study concept.

    Build upon this basic artistic knowledge with the technical aspects of 3D.

    And avoid number 5 like its an h1n1 vaccine.

  • Pawel

    While I agree with a lot of the points, I also agree with Brian Wright and torksu. You don’t always have to model everything. If you’ve got a complex indoor scene and you need a few common objects which you COULD easily model but just don’t want to waste time, as you wouldn’t learn much from the process, then buying a model or using a free one to save time seems very reasonable. Haven’t done it yet, but probably will when I do some bigger projects. Though I’ve seen people buying e.g. a car model, then setting up some lighting and a simple background, adding some pre-made materials, tweaking it all a bit, and then placing it in their portfolio. And then it SUCKS. I suppose it’s a matter of proportions rather than a strict rule: “never use anything you haven’t made”. As for test renders, it also depends where you place it. There are lots of forums where people place their W.I.P. and they receive comments – and everyone profits. But it isn’t such a cool idea to place every stage of your work on your portfolio site.
    So it all depends on the purpose/context/type of project.
    I definitely share your repulsion with trolls and monsters, though :). I don’t even want to look at them, however good technically they might be. That’s my pet peeve :D

  • Blarb

    What about those render’s where someone clearly attempted a human model and is simply unable to make the face look good and therefore decides to distort it even more and post it as ‘alien’ or ‘zombie’ or covers it up entirely and makes a ‘ninja’.

  • http://sfepa.blogspot.com sfepa

    I’m already sick and tiered to say that on forums :)
    Agree with all points.

  • http://daworm.net Daworm

    torksu – Ask someone you don’t know about a test render your sister / mother thought was “good”.

    People who don’t know about CGI (esp family) will always say your work is “good”.

    So getting feedback from those who don’t know much/anything about how things are done isn’t going to help you.

  • torksu

    I do not fully agree with 6. Tests are indeed to learn new things and experiment with the software. Though the only way to know if it is good is by putting it on the net. I mean I often made things and then I asked my mother or sister or anybody else who isn’t into CG about their opinion and they all say it is good…

  • http://epicarea.com RH2

    Too bad your advice came too late.

    thanks for trying anyways :D

  • Brian Wright

    I don’t necessarily agree that you need to model everything in your art. Reinventing the wheel is not necessary. Clearly, creating something from scratch has a sense of satisfaction and may make the work somewhat more original, but it isn’t required. Note, however, that even if the work is entirely created from scratch, it won’t necessarily make the final work better. How good the final result is all dependent on the original idea combined with final execution.

    For those who feel that creation from scratch is necessary, you’ll end up getting so caught up in the modeling that you’ll forget the idea by the time you get to the end of the modelling process. Worse, not only do you need to model, you need to rig it (if you want to do any posing) and then you need to completely texture it. Note that texturing and rigging a 3D object properly is as involved as producing the final 2D scene utilizing the object.

    I liken this idea of ‘doing everything in 3D from scratch’ to an artist creating paints from raw pigments, brushes from hair, building frames and stretching canvas. Sure, you can do all of this work yourself (to even building your own pencils from graphite), but it’s far simpler to buy these items from an art supply store premade. Using an existing 3D model is no different than buying paint from an art supply store and is certainly not considered ‘cheating’. Is a painting any less original because the artist bought Liquitex paints instead of creating the paint from scratch?

    This whole notion of being required to do everything from scratch must stop. Reinventing the wheel is time consuming and wasteful in many cases. If you’re trying to produce a brand new idea, product or TV show or movie, then yes you may need to create your models from scratch. If you’re producing art or can use an existing base object as a starting point, there is no reason not to use it.

    The most problematic issue with most 3D art today is poor lighting. The secondary problems are poor camera work, poor shader quality, low res textures and bad posing of figures. Of course, the main idea behind the art is what makes art original. Doing something that’s already been done 1000 times before is what is unoriginal.

  • http://ibr-remote.deviantart.com JC

    Well said. Can’t agree more.

  • Eric

    Colors that are so saturated that there’s no room for shading. The object looks bright, but flat.

    Plasticky shaders (except on plastic materials)

    No composition and busy backgrounds (relates to #1)

    I’m more tolerant of using pre-made content if it’s not the focus of the image. For example if you model a building and populate it with a few pre-made people and plants for scale.

  • Bob

    Yep. The one I really hate is #4. Everything becomes a huge unorganized mess when trying to “put it together on the fly”. Though it is pretty tempting, however, when you think you’ve got a really good idea and want to get to work making it as fast as possible…

  • Oscar Baechler

    What about a big-breasted cave troll?

  • TheTinyToon

    Inability to stick to a plan.

    I’m teaching some students in animation with blender and I took great lengths to teach them the value of preproduction work. Still even after everyone is happy with the script, a month later some students still try to impose changes.

    Oh, and poor time planning / documentation. For each project, you should have a plan of what to do and a documentation of how it worked out, especially with the difference between the planned time and the real time it took. After a project is done, sit down and think about what went good and what went wrong. The first step in changing problems is to see and acknowledge them.

  • Jon

    I think cliche renders are the biggest problem. For the longest time everyone just made something abstract in glass, turned on GI and Final Gather and waited hours for the un-optimized render to finish. It seemed they though the longer the render the better it HAD to be.

    On a side note I suggest checking out Jon Jones’ article about how your portfolio repels jobs. Very similar in many points to this article

    http://www.thejonjones.com/2005/10/07/your-portfolio-repels-jobs/