Look at this image:enter image description here

This is CG, Saya, a project meant to make as real CG as possible to the point of becoming indistinguishable from reality. I would say that it is pretty believable. But, it still doesn't seem real enough, something's missing. And I don't know what it is. And it drives me nuts.

I am not saying that CG has to do reality, I am personaly fond of stylization, but I really want to know why we can't get a 3d image just right yet.

Is it the light? The clothing? The lines above the lip, too defined?

Any insights would be appreciated.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ CG has already passed the uncanny valley, as can be shown by the rising ubiquity of completely digital doubles in Hollywood blockbusters of recent years. I would imagine giving critique of a particular artwork is somewhat out of the scope of this website, but for me it's mostly the lack of detail on the clothes and the skin shader. The hair is also a bit off but hard to say exactly how. $\endgroup$
    – Rotem
    May 28, 2017 at 18:10
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Sometimes people geet hooked on knowing that it is cg. They then say they can spot CG. However when you then give them a mixture of images which are real and which are CG they suddenly can not spot the difference. $\endgroup$
    – joojaa
    May 28, 2017 at 20:53
  • $\begingroup$ I would say for things to improve, the tie and shirt don't quite look right but it would take a lot of observation and the intent to find rendering issues to observe those things. In terms of the interaction of light, it has been nailed but what will need to happen next (for CG in general) will be an accurate simulation of smoke and other fluids to perfect CGI in most scenarios. This also brings up the question for me of where rendering goes next? Other than speeding up renders what can be done to improve? Is there a dead end soon approaching? $\endgroup$ May 28, 2017 at 21:03
  • $\begingroup$ See also this very similar question. I'm not closing this as a duplicate because I'm treating it as a review of the image for realism, rather than a general question about the state of the art. I've edited the title to reflect this. $\endgroup$ May 29, 2017 at 12:28
  • $\begingroup$ @trichoplax much appreciated $\endgroup$
    – Bagnette
    May 29, 2017 at 13:44

2 Answers 2

  • The hair seems to have sampling noise or aliasing in it. This might be poor jpeg compression but it does not look like it.
  • I've never seen hair part that way (could just be me).
  • The neck looks a little too regular (I'm no modeler though).
  • The skin's subsurface scattering falls a bit short. Perhaps it's not that but there is something slightly off about the skin.
  • The shirt has a slight plastic feel to it.

Most of this is entirely subjective of course. I think it's fairly good but falls short of the state of the art in many areas.


I suppose you'd like to hear the first impression, so to say. So here are most notable features that uncover the 'synthetic' nature of the image (for my eye).

  • Too smooth textures on the shirt. In real world every textile is imperfect, regardless how smooth it is and how good the lights are set up. There is always visible 'grain' and imperfection of textures, but i suppose it is next to impossible to model due to complexity of real shadow plays. So on this image the shirt has most noticable "plastic" look. Face is a bit too smooth textured, but this could be percieved as, say too much cosmetics. So in general the head looks quite real.
  • Shadows, contrast. Every detail of real objects has very different contrast zones of shadows. Here again on the shirt around the neck and especially near the stud: there is simply too little contrast diversity or too simple shadows, as if the objects are flat.
  • Focus of the camera. It is rarely seen on real fotos that all parts of the portrait have equally sharp focus

And something is wrong with her ear, no? but it is hard to say what is it exactly.


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