Photo real or real photo?

Is the image below a photorealistic rendering or a photo?

  • Rendering
  • Photo

0 voters

I produced this image below and I’m interested to know if people think its a photorealistic rendering or a real photo?

My money is on rendering.

Rendering I would guess.


The small size + compression makes it hard to tell either way. Unless you deliberately resized and overcompressed a photo my vote is rendering.

I retract my initial vote.

Its a real photo.

like someone mentioned, the resolution and size make it a little harder. i’m leaning towards real because of the irregularity of the shadow.

The answer lies in the question. Without even looking at it I would presume a rendering. Who else would take a photo and ask that question?

And yes, it’s damned good. What rendering engine did you use? Maxwell?

PHotOGraPH + REfLEctiON in PhOToShOP

how many votes are you going to wait for until you let us in on the secret?

i cheated and looked at more images of the same thing on his coroflot. I’d say a photo. But I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a rendering, I think that’s the point…?

It is very hard to tell. The environment you’ve chosen is neutral and doesn’t give anything away.

I would hazard a guess at this being a photo. Certainly the slight vignetting in the corners make it appear so…

photo, if the file info on the jpeg are to be believed.

Excellent detective work samweis!

Doh I forgot about the pesky EXIF data! good detective work. shadow was also a bit of a give away as is the little bit of chromatic aberration on the edges.

Yeah so its a photo…but it looks just like a rendering with HDRI lighting…doesn’t it? I posted it up as I had shown a similar image in a couple of meetings and the interviewer had took the assumption it was a rendering and asked to see some photos of the product. I was like “it is a photo!”

I also think its a bit comical I have to make my photo look like a photo and not a rendering to prove I actually made the thing!

Ya, this is a good segway into a question I had once I started thinking about this. There’s been a bunch of talk lately about the whole, “will rapid prototyping change design”. This discussion is an interesting example of how CG is changing photography. I no longer feel that I need to worry about going to a hard model as a consultancy, b/c with tools like Hypershot, I can get images that feel very much like the one you’re showing here.

Why do I need to dump a few grand on a model plus a few grand on studio time in order to get website and other promo imagery? I can pay $1000 on Hypershot and get it all done in a couple hours.

Obviously, I could pay a $5K for a small photo studio and do it myself, but I still need to dump the costs for the model each go.

This definitely changes the product photo studio industry.

yeah its certainly more cost effective to do renderings if you don’t have to make a hard model, and it will give you more fine tuning capacity.

However if you have the final model you are going to get great results with a photo…and a photographer…with some fancy kit straight off, with no need to render, play around with textures/lighting. I used to be very visualization savvy but have moved away from it and just get photos done instead as I find it easier todo with better results.

I would say this is dependent on who you work for and what is needed…I never needed to produce high end visualizations before the products were released…so I never did.

As a small consultancy, spending $5K (or more?) for a model and studio time is a tough pill to swallow for each project. I know you can pile up a bunch of models and get them all taken in one block of studio time (if you’re contracting out the photos).

So, from a cost issue, CG is really changing the landscape of visualization of models.

here’s how I knew it was a photo…

another few photo views of the model at the bottom of the photo

Yeah the darkening around the edges was photo-like, but at the same time most people who take photos will photoshop that out so it could have gone either way.

It’s easy to make things blur the line, especially when viewing it at a small scale.

That was a Maxwell rendering that was the first one I ever did, and even doing it over a year ago it’s hard to tell that it’s not a photo.

I agree that appearance models probably aren’t worth it if your client will never hold the thing in 3D. Though I’m always excited when we get appearance models in, it’s a dying art.