I thought about trying to amke stylized characters because they seem more popular than the realistic looking models. But I don’t know why, why make stylized. What is it’s purpose. Why make stylized art?
It just depends on what sort of flavor you want. I mostly prefer semi-realism, because it’s very flexible and there are lots of resources available.
A. Art is about personal taste, some people just prefer non-realism (myself included), and
B. Realistic humans are very hard to make. Stylized humans present their own challenges, but are easier overall to make. A mediocre stylized human can still look pretty good, but a mediocre realistic human is a monstrosity. Stylized characters are lower risk and easier, so many artists gravitate towards them
Almost all art is stylized in some way; very little is realistic, and even that which passes at first glance as realistic often isn’t once you look closer, or find out how it was made (food photography, for example, is super fake).
For one, realism is HARD, and if you’re just a little off accidentally, people will notice, and not like it, even if they can’t put their finger on exactly what is wrong. In some areas people also have totally unrealistic expectations without recognizing it, and will protest actual realism as fake, so you have a very thin line to walk.
For another, the further you go back the more forbidding the technical limitations on certain types of realism; in CG we simply couldn’t make it. Out of that developed styles that are now nostalgic, and have become art in their own right.
More important IMO than any technical reasons, imagination covers worlds beyond what’s real and realistic, and we would be ever so much poorer as a culture if we only pursued realism in art.
For a beginning Blender user, creating severely stylized characters is easier. Mind, developing your own unique style is also hard, but creating a character in one particular style if you have lots of examples, is easier for a beginner. I can design a Minecraft-y elephant no problem, but sculpting an actual realistic elephant is a very different proposition (as is coming up with a unique, more complex stylized version). Texturing also becomes easier. This is a large part of my “why” right now – I did start out wanting to make largely realistic assets (for a specific game), but I bit off more than I could comfortably chew, and therefore switched to making highly stylized things first.
But honestly, even when I am more proficient with Blender, I will probably prefer to make stylized assets and scenes – I’m really developing an intellectual appreciation for the challenge of designing a cohesive style that expresses something that only exists in my imagination.
As to your own path – it depends on what your goals are, plus I feel one should always give some consideration to what one feels drawn towards. If realism is your shtick, experimenting with stylization can be an interesting experiment, and you might find you like it, but if not, well, then stick with realism. Why does popularity matter?
You probably watch movies ( all kind of movies, filmed ones) …
Ask yourself how they compare to real life, and why we need movies to be different from reality.
Somehow it’s a similar issue when representing something in 2D or 3D.
It’s generally an improved version of reality that is needed in order to be interesting.
Maybe by stylized you’re talking about cartoony style, well, a lot of CG artists work in entertainment and animation and it influences their work. Animation nowadays is also influenced a lot by old cartoons like disney, warner bros, tex avery , and also comics that also have a great deal of simplification and exaggeration in their style .
You might read a bit this topic :
It’s not 100% related to your question but basically it asks if the more realistic the better it is, and what’s the point of simplifying a design. A broad debate, but people have interesting points and arguments, you might pick a few ideas there !
One of the foundation techniques of art is breaking down your subject into primitive shapes to get the proportions correct.
This is true of drawing, painting, sculpting… At art college, an exercise we did was to draw a life study using only ten lines. It is a good exercise to capture the essence of the subject before getting bogged down in detail.
Making stylised 3D art is similar to this in my mind. How much can you break a real-world object down into simple primitives and still have it resemble the original, and still be pleasing to the eye?
Popularity matters because, if no body wants my models then I am wasting my time. I at least want to share under one of the CC license.
Style doesn’t really matter if work got appeal and quality.
Maybe start with style you want to do: at least this way you’d already have some sense of good taste in that area. If you don’t have an eye for something, you’d have harder time evaluating its issues.
I certainly can see more reasons for working on stylized type of art. At least for the characters and creatures.
I’m going to be honest with you, the only way you’re wasting your time is if you don’t enjoy what you’re doing. If you like making realistic characters, make realistic. If you like doing stylized, do stylized. Nothing will burn you out faster than trying to figure out what you can make to sell- and, sadly, nothing you make will be a drop in the ocean of things already available for sale. There will always be someone cheaper or better than you in this space- especially when you look at all the 3D asset markets there are nowadays. That might sound harsh, I don’t mean it to. What I mean is you should do what you love for the sake of loving it, and if you make money from your models, that’s a perk, not the reason for making them
Every classic Painting until Bugs Bunny and Donald Duck… it’s for expressing something that maybe isn’t doable in real live ( coyote falling into canyion
Then you are just following the flock…
Uniq styles doesn’t appear out of thin air… it’s hard work…
One example: the first episode of The Simpsons had an almost horrible styel… but the stories were good/funny enough to run until the end of time… … and the style evolved so that other try to redo (copy) it… (TV series theory: The Simpsons are evolved Minions… but it’s just an TV series theory )
There are two types of motivation, intrinsic motivation is about gaining mental worth in terms of accomplishing nice things. Extrinsic motivation is only about likes/subscribes and the big bucks.
The only people who win are those who do things they like, also other people like, and getting the benefits.
Say for example making a cute anime character and then making an awful grotesque character. The real difference is not the character as it appears, because there is audience for both genres of characters.
The real deal is what the creator wants to accomplish (intrinsic value) and then how people will react (extrinsic value).