I’m not asking about the usual RAM/CPU speed/CUDA cores etc, or the poly count or any of that. This is a question inspired by watching Ian Hubert videos, where he gets away with- I guess you’d call it Peak Laziness. And it works, beautifully, and makes him super productive. This is more like the question that traditional artists often ask about detail and where to apply it, and I know it’s all very subjective.
I am not particularly interested in the kind of realism that Ian Hubert pursues, and I really have very little use for the hyper-realist style that one sees in a lot of DAZ (and other) renders. It’s interesting on one level to see how well we can now render pores and peach fuzz, but I don’t see a lot of use for it- there are pretty much no circumstances in the real world in which we see people this way, and I’m more interested in storytelling than technical extremes at this point.
I am interested in style, though, and in what other people think about style issues.
Here and elsewhere around the net I see a lot of artist learning the craft, and a handful doing very stylish work. I don’t love all of the latter, but I admire the way the artists are able to use a very precise medium to create non-realistic visuals in a purposeful way (It’s easy to do in an accidental way- I make very crappy renders right now because I don’t know what I’m doing).
So, in a story telling context (and, when you dig down, most visual representation is about telling a story in one form or another), how much is enough? How much do you care about the sheer visual beauty of an image vs the story it’s telling? How much does the visual character of a comic, an animation or a game impact your enjoyment of it?