Have I cheated

I’m putting this in tests, because it was, but it feels like a huge cheat. Took me 20 minutes to build, and around 19 minutes to render.

Now, it feels like cheating because it’s entirely addon generated (apart from the cube for volume). Scatter 5, Botaniq, HumanGen, and procedural atmosphere.

It used to take me a week to render a cube.


Using a computer to calculate lighting and shading is cheating. Using ink dispensed automatically out of a ballpoint pen is cheating.

If your goal is composition and scene development, there is no cheating here. If you are claiming to model the whole scene, then yeah, that’s a lie.

Composing a scene is an art itself, and you are an artist if you do that.


Well, you could do it without addons, but then you’d be dead before you finished.


See any definiton:

Cheating generally describes various actions designed to subvert rules in order to obtain unfair advantages.

So the only cheating in art is to sell images of someone else as you own work…
If someone pays fo the same model only with different random textures… the this is just stupid… but not at the maker side…


You put that scene together. You directed the software to do what you wanted. You set up the lights, camera, clicked all the right buttons to allow the scene to take shape. Without you doing all those things, the scene would never have been created.
If someone else did all that and you claimed it for your own, then it’s cheating.

For me at first look it still looks thrown together and i would rate it bad,
does not matter it the props are fine.

It needs a good light setup as minimum.
Cheating needs still skill :smiley:

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I agree - though the point was simply to produce something that looked “OK” in the minimum amount of time, and especially one that (as @Modron has suggested) would take an inordinate amount of time to build from scratch starting with the default cube.

It just felt wrong that it could be done with next to no work involved. :confused:

While working on art projects I am reminded of the 90/10 rule of project management: the first 90% of a project takes 10% of the time.

The remaining 10% takes – you guessed it. [*] And therein lies the actual art. Most people can throw together an “ok” image, it takes little skill. We’re seeing a lot of that with the current AI hype, and since the vast majority of people stop there, most of it isn’t very artful. That’s not cheating and neither is yours unless there’s deceit involved (Okidoki got that spot-on), but it’s just not really worth looking at. It’s the opposite of “wrong” that it takes so little effort; it means you have a lot more time to actually create art from it. You don’t really want to be grinding your own pigments, do you.

[*] Unless you’re in software development like me, then the rule is: The first 90% of the code accounts for the first 90% of the development time. The remaining 10% of the code accounts for the other 90% of the development time.

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You succeeded in creating an OK image quickly. Your image makes me think of a crime scene illustration used in trials. Art not needed just visualize the scene. Quick visualizing is good for storyboards, animatics, composition layout and colors, and many other things. We’ve all seen great art here on BA where the artist made none of the resources. It is creativity, imagination, expression that make art. Not making the paint.

I think I’ll make a movie. A live action movie with real actors at real locations. I don’t want to cheat so I will will make every resource for the movie. I’ll make the actors … wait … hmmm … alright … y’all send your pretty daughters to my place for actor manufacturing duty.

That’s a super interesting question, and I kinda find it related to new “is AI going to replace artists ?
burning questions”…

To answer your question, I think that we first need to define what a CG artist do ? And of course a CG artist can be different things. Say you are a modeler, as a modeling exercise/job what you did have nearly no value.

Say you are a previz artist , then I guess you did exactly what is needed. Then someone will probably judge how accurate the previz is, or how interesting is the composition.

So maybe the first question is asking “who you are” as a 3D artist, and then you’ll see if what you did correspond to doing what’s right, cheating , or stealing…

We can talk also about cheating, which in general is a technique in itself in CG. If that scene is what the client wanted , maybe there is no point to spend weeks to model each plants. Maybe it’s much better to charge less, and use extra time on something more unique to the job.
In general taking shortcuts is mandatory if you want a complex result.

We can talk also about professionalism. While it’s very ok to cheat like that ( less charge for the client, less work for you ) you should be able to adapt the scene in very different ways.
The clothes of the character seems a bit off compared to the vegetation, they lack a touch of realism, or maybe something is needed to integrate them better.
A professional should be able to handle that and adapt the model , or say that as a client I ask for a plant unavailable on the web, then it’s expected that you can model something that integrate correctly in the scene. Therefore even if it’s easy to use these addons, you need to know a bit more to be considered as a 3D artist.

A question even more interesting might be , why you do that piece ?
If it’s a pro work then that’s probably the way to go. If it’s to have fun then it’s seems very ok too.
If it’s to learn and improve, then ask yourself how much that was useful ?
And finally, that can be to get some recognition on social media, forums, but I won’t comment on that :smiley:

Anyway, you should do things for yourself first. Cheating the viewer is what this job is about for a great part.
But cheating is very limited in terms of skills, at some point you’ll always need to relies on a craft your developing through the years. 20 years ago, you probably have to put a few years of training together to make that scene by yourself. Now there is a lot of ways to produce such scene without model anything. It’s setting a new norm. If that’s something everyone can do then what is your value added compared to everyone else ?

Sorry for the long answer, I find that subject very interesting !

have fun !

As long as you did the work, even if it was a tutorial, it’s not cheating. It’s like doing a paint by numbers; is that cheating? NO. Onward and upward.

Does it guarantee your image will tell a story? Will it be interesting just because a woman is standing in the bushes? Well, my friend, that is your job, to assure that it will be the way you want and not just a random acceptable result of fancy add-ons work.

I also use models I did not create in my scenes, but sometimes I stay for a long time just to place the perfect branch that casts the perfect shadow on a window.

That’s what the add-ons will never do for you. Planning what you want to say, taking decisions, and directing your work in the path that reflects your artistic intentions.

And if you have no idea what you want to communicate, the add-on will not fill that gap.


It is not cheating, ask yourself do movie studios use add-ons when creating CGI and when using various 3D software programs? yes they do use assets such as mega scans and others but as long as they have the license to use it in a film and make money from it.

Artistically yes your first render is bad, its just a bunch of assets thrown together with bad lighting and composition. Looks like a random screenshot from a video game. I think the best bet is to always go for an artistic result based on artwork you’ve gathered as reference material, then decide what would be a cool looking scene with interesting lighting.