Abstract? What is it?

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Abstract? What is it?

Postby jamminwolf » Mon Jan 16, 2012 10:28 pm

Alright all you artists, here's a question that's been bugging me for a while. I'm not much of an "object" or "special effects" type of artist, and don't really play with special effects much (except for something such as making a bulb light up in Daz Studio, which it can't do in normal shader settings, to get a more natural/reality render), so I really never been exposed to the word, "abstract"... I'm a co-founder of a group called LuxRender at DevientArt http://luxrender.deviantart.com/ and am trying to organize the folders to the best of my ability, and a friend of mine and I are a bit confused on exactly what "Abstract" is (so I can approve or disapprove what submissions go in that folder... the actual founder is nowhere to be found, so I'm taking full responsibility for the group). Looking up the definition for "Abstract Art", I got this at dictionary.com... "Abstract art seeks to break away from traditional representation of physical objects. It explores the relationships of forms and colors, whereas more traditional art represents the world in recognizable images." So I'm assuming in renders, that it's basically playing with unrealistic colorings or whatever you call it to make an object look uhh... dynamic/strange/unreal, instead of realistic. So I was thinking of scrapping the "Abstract" folder and mixing all strange/non-realistic render in a folder called, "Surreal - Unique - Unusual", and he disagrees (he doesn't make any decisions, I'm just discussing this over with him), and pointed me to the gallery here, which is "Misc./Abstract". That doesn't tell much for me, so I decided to ask you guys what you think.

Can you guys clarify exactly what you would call "abstract" in the sense of 3D renders? Maybe upload a sample render or something?

Thanks a lot, guys!

...wolfie
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Re: Abstract? What is it?

Postby Lord Crc » Mon Jan 16, 2012 10:42 pm

Here's one I made in Lux some time ago. Personally I think it would fit well in an "Abstract" category.

As a programmer my scenes are simple, so they usually end up like this ;)
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Re: Abstract? What is it?

Postby A-man » Mon Jan 16, 2012 11:13 pm

I'm not much of a realistic modeller, so I like to create patterns in shapes, and many of renders would fall under abstract. Here's an example:
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Re: Abstract? What is it?

Postby jamminwolf » Mon Jan 16, 2012 11:45 pm

Thanks a lot, guys, so do you think my assumption was right about unrealistic play with color (and light effects) and unrealistic objects? BTW awesome renders, I really like those :)
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Re: Abstract? What is it?

Postby J the Ninja » Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:49 am

More accurately, it refers to a representation of something, rather than showing that thing itself. Thus, it's an abstraction of your subject matter, which is where the term comes from. "abstraction" is defined as "the quality of dealing with ideas rather than events" according to my dictionary app. To give a painfully cliche example, it could be the patterns of a fractal representing your emotions when your significant other left you.

So, strictly speaking, it doesn't refer to non-realistic images per-se, and "abstract" and "surreal" refer to fairly different things in art.

Did that make sense?
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Re: Abstract? What is it?

Postby SATtva » Tue Jan 17, 2012 2:25 am

Btw, we have a whole gallery section dedicated to abstract scenes.
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Re: Abstract? What is it?

Postby jamminwolf » Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:37 pm

J the Ninja wrote:More accurately, it refers to a representation of something, rather than showing that thing itself. Thus, it's an abstraction of your subject matter, which is where the term comes from. "abstraction" is defined as "the quality of dealing with ideas rather than events" according to my dictionary app. To give a painfully cliche example, it could be the patterns of a fractal representing your emotions when your significant other left you.

So, strictly speaking, it doesn't refer to non-realistic images per-se, and "abstract" and "surreal" refer to fairly different things in art.

Did that make sense?

Hmm, think I'm getting a clearer picture, but... **thinks** and I think I know what you mean by "a representation of something, rather then showing that thing itself"... honestly I've never read any emotion or ideas though an object (except real life object such as a knife [kill/death] or a picture of a heart [love], or a speeding car [fast]). Fractals... have no idea how to "read" them except just simply getting a bunch of repetitive shapes/colors in circular or other elements (though I've never been interested in them).

I do know that abstract and surreal are different things, I was just thinking of combining them in one folder, a folder with "unique" as part of the name to make it easier on me to sort out lol. I don't want to make misjudgments on what abstract is/isn't and confuse (or upset) people lol. Can ya blame me? :)

And thanks so much for trying to explain, I guess this whole thing is pretty new to me.

SATtva wrote:Btw, we have a whole gallery section dedicated to abstract scenes.
Thanks a lot, SATtva, but as quoted before, that gallery section has "misc" as part of the name, which really doesn't help me much. Also there's a normal image of a table with normal things on it, (click here) as well as a couple kissing at a doorway (click here), which I don't think is abstract. The rest of the images, I believe is abstract, but the "misc." name on the gallery is yielding me lol. Do you agree?

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Re: Abstract? What is it?

Postby SATtva » Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:45 pm

jamminwolf wrote:The rest of the images, I believe is abstract, but the "misc." name on the gallery is yielding me lol. Do you agree?

Yeah, right. Works which aren't obviously belong to any other existing category are falling into this one. :D
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Re: Abstract? What is it?

Postby Abel » Wed Jan 18, 2012 1:48 pm

jamminwolf wrote:do you think my assumption was right about unrealistic play with color (and light effects) and unrealistic objects?

In my book, the word abstract is reserved for images where one cannot or does not readily recognize a depicted object. Using unrealistic or odd lighting or proportions could result into something surrealistic and/or stylized, but unless the objects is completely unrecognisable it wouldn't be abstract.

Using this definition, it is possible to create abstract photographs, even though the objects that have been pictures do exist. Admittedly the question what constitutes a recognizable image is not clearly defined, and this is even ignoring the question on which category you would put a realistic rendering of an art gallery, focusing on an abstract sculpture that 51% of the viewers would identify as depicting a fantasy aircraft. :)
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Re: Abstract? What is it?

Postby jamminwolf » Wed Jan 18, 2012 2:58 pm

Abel wrote:
jamminwolf wrote:do you think my assumption was right about unrealistic play with color (and light effects) and unrealistic objects?

In my book, the word abstract is reserved for images where one cannot or does not readily recognize a depicted object. Using unrealistic or odd lighting or proportions could result into something surrealistic and/or stylized, but unless the objects is completely unrecognisable it wouldn't be abstract.

Using this definition, it is possible to create abstract photographs, even though the objects that have been pictures do exist. Admittedly the question what constitutes a recognizable image is not clearly defined, and this is even ignoring the question on which category you would put a realistic rendering of an art gallery, focusing on an abstract sculpture that 51% of the viewers would identify as depicting a fantasy aircraft. :)

Thanks a lot, Abel, I think that sums it up for me :) It's still questionable why the dictionary mentioned color, then again they may mean in color painting or drawings (3D can only render objects, not just color lol).
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