The A-Z of CG clichés: Part 1
For the good of all humanity, 3D World has taken it upon itself to compile a field guide to the greatest clichés of contemporary CGI
We’ve all been guilty of them, from the animation department of major studios and down – and heaven knows, we’ve featured most of them in the pages of 3D World.
But if we all pay more attention to them in future, perhaps, just perhaps, we can make the world of 3D art a better place.
There are quite possibly too many to list in one sitting, so here is part 1. If you want more, part 2 can be found here.
But for now, start your spotter’s guide to the greatest clichés of contemporary CG…
Amazon warriors with exposed breasts
A relatively restrained example of the genre, this - but still, put 'em away, love
The first cliché in our list is, not entirely coincidentally, the one that comes to mind first for many CG artists. “I dread seeing vapid-looking chicks with huge boobs, often totally exposed for no apparent reason,” says CGTalk manager Leigh van der Byl. “It makes no sense for warriors to have no armour on their chests.”
Rich Tilbury, resident artist at 3D Total, agrees: “It’s like wearing a bikini to go mountain climbing.”
See also: Gender stereotyping, The laws of; Unmentionables
So your course taught you how to animate a character lifting a heavy object. Take it off your reel, please.
The same goes for people’s faces overreacting to plot twists so that you can demonstrate you read the chapter on anticipation in The Illusion of Life.
Architectural visualisation clichés
God love you, we know that it’s tough to make soulless high-rise monstrosities look dynamic, but there must be some way other than showing the building assembling itself in timelapse.
Or, all the lights coming on one by one as night falls; and worst of all, gently tilting the camera one way, realising you don’t know what else to do, then slowly tilting back.
CG artists have an unnerving tendency to render interior scenes – frequently corridors or toilets – in which the walls are literally drenched in blood.
Misplaced homages to The Shining? A case for Freudian analysis? The world must be told – or, y’know, you could just stop it.
See also: Unmentionables
Ooh loooook it's a bullet going through the air all slow like! Awesome!
Whether it’s the tendency of indie animators to freeze fight scenes in order to pan the camera around the characters, or the depiction of the alleged atmospheric fluid dynamics of bullet trajectories in ultra-slow motion, that scene in The Matrix has the rare distinction of spawning not one but two whopping CG clichés.
See also: Visual effects clichés
Back in 2002, it was compulsory to promote new releases of your software with a stock render of a chessboard, usually demonstrating either the materials library or the depth of field settings, this is no longer 2002.
See also: Test tools, misuse of
The Killer Klown Klones are coming to get you - for blatant overuse of stock models
Have you ever, wittingly or unwittingly:
1. Placed all of the objects in your render along a single focal plane
2. Positioned the camera at ‘cockroach level’ in an interior shot or rendered it with a super-wide-angle lens
3. Simply thrown all of the stock models in your library into a scene to make it look busy.
Yes? Three Hail Maries, please.
Converging verticals in architectural renders, unnecessary use of
Photographers have to use shift lenses to avoid this.
CG artists have no excuse.
‘CSI: Miami look’, The
Slap a red-and-green gradient over your image, then saturate the colours. Result: instant pop-cultural panache?
Wrong. “It’s not a bad look… in CSI: Miami,” says CGarchitect.com founder Jeff Mottle, who identified this worrying phenomenon. “But it looks really bad when it’s not done in context.”
Click ‘Next’ for more clichés…
on Thursday, February 10th, 2011 at 2:51 pm under Features, Opinion.
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Tags: 3D cliches, A-Z, Animation, arch-viz, bad cg, bullet time, CG cliches, fan art, Games, Illustration, VFX