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When Imperfection Makes Perfection

October 15, 2018

When creating exterior CGI images the computer and software we use can only take us so far. It builds the walls, it lays the roof, it renders the brickwork. Everything is exactly as the supplied CAD file asks. And this is perfect…

Author | Paul Skuse

When creating exterior CGI images the computer and software we use can only take us so far. It builds the walls, it lays the roof, it renders the brickwork. Everything is exactly as the supplied CAD file asks. And this is perfect.

But it’s not perfect at all. Not to the naked eye.

In nature and in man-made construction, nothing is in a straight line. Everything is slightly imperfect. The walls are not built in an exact line, the roof tiles are not laid in a perfect pattern and this is how the real world really is when we view it.

So when we look at the computers’ finished model we know that our real work is about to start. Our artists now begin the painstaking and vitally important detailing to slightly roughen the lines, to move the tiles, to readjust the line of the overhang, to reposition the downpipes by just a few millimetres. Brick built walls are tweaked – only slightly, but enough. The pointing is roughened in photoshop, subtle, almost undetectable weathering is added to roof tiles and stonework, the clean ramrod straight wall is no longer ramrod and so now the wall is believable – it’s photorealistic.

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We make these imperfections and it is these that will fool the viewers’ eye into believing that this is a real image, not a CGI. Too much and it looks wrong, yet too little and it looks even worse, it’s a fine balance that takes years of experience to understand just how much imperfection is needed to make perfect!

So the next time we’re holding out on sending you that image because we’re “just not happy enough to show it to you yet” you’ll understand why, it’s all about the imperfections that we agonise.

Imperfection is the new perfection.

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