Fine Art: Which One Of These Images Is A Photo, And Which Is A 3D Render?

Fine Art: Which One Of These Images Is A Photo, And Which Is A 3D Render?

The answer? Well, they’re both renders, actually. For real. Dan Roarty is a lead character artist at Tomb Raider developers Crystal Dynamics. Before that, he worked on the ill-fated Star Wars 1313, modelling and texturing the game’s main character.

As you can see below, his 3D modelling skills are off the charts. That old lady is so good it thinks the uncanny valley is a pothole you step over every day on the way to work.

You can see more of Dan’s work at his personal site and CGHub page.

Fine Art is a celebration of the work of video game artists, showcasing the best of both their professional and personal portfolios.


  • Which one of my hands has a peanut in it? WRONG, I AM IN FACT HOLDING ALMONDS, YOU STUPID APE.

    Incidentally they were both obviously renders, making this entire exercise doubly pointless. Nice work though.

  • Something about the blonde girl’s hair and eyes makes me think render, the old lady had me thrown though, I assumed from the title one would be a render and one would be a 3D model but… you know… whatever.

  • He’s almost there but the hair in all pics is obviously a big failing and with the old woman he has the reflectivity of the skin wrong so that it looks like a thick plastic surface instead of something that’s paper thin. It’s still valley- creepy robot people, but he is very close.

  • Almost there but a bit off. The old lady’s skin looks a bit like she’s been coated in plastic.

  • I was on the Gizmodo site and just from the small thumb nails I deduced that both were renders.
    but they are Dam Close.

  • It’s the focusing between the subjects and the background that’s a little too perfect that does it

    Also, is the red head meant to be a mix of Lindsay Lohan and Anna Grimsdottr from splinter cell?

  • Wrinkles on the old woman and the hair on the young woman.

    Pretty obvious, even on the small pic before opening the article.

    Still a step in the right direction, however.

  • On the old lady, the depth of field isn’t quite right- her clothes and facial wrinkles are all in perfect focus. Add a smidge of Gaussian blur to the cloth mesh in her jumper, neck, and even around the eyes I reckon.

  • It’s all in the eyes. The older woman looks far more realistic than the younger, but both of them have those dead eyes that have no life.

    On a side note, when games like Skyrim have faces that realistic, I’ll be way less likely to go on random killing sprees.

  • As far as we’ve come in rendering technology, lighting (or at least how clothing, skin and hair reacts to light) is still a dead giveaway, as is that artificial look that skin takes on (as though it were a high detail figurine). I picked the trick question, but if I wasn’t being asked to spot the render, I might’ve been caught out at a glance.

  • The old lady looks like something out a pixar movie and I would have picked that irregardless of the headline question – but the blonde would have had me fooled (I don’t expect to see the spark of intellegence emminating from the eyes of a blonde).

    I kid, I kid.

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