Realism, Stylization & Legos

Star WarsWith our continued use of 3D modeling and photo-realistic renderings, we often talk about how “real” we want our hand-crafted images to seem. If the image seems too real, people think what is rendered is already built; or they may assume the concept is fully realized and doesn’t need further development. However, If the image doesn’t look real enough, or is too stylized, it’s hard to convey the impact of the concept. Finding the right balance between realism and stylization is crucial  in the early rendering process. It helps to set expectations and build on the fidelity of the concept.

My recent trip to Legoland in California, this type of balance referenced itself in miniature lego landscapes throughout the park. I found it interesting how the scenes integrated “real” features so that elements which couldn’t be captured by the plastic style were still visceral to the senses: the splash of running water, the sound of wind through the trees in the forest of Endor, or the reflection in the pond in front of the Jefferson Memorial.

Legoland helps illustrate an important balance needed in the rendering of a scene or environment.

The combined use of “real” features and Lego bricks is impressive, but the sheer number of total legos used is mind-boggling. The Star Wars landscapes alone use over 1.5 million Lego bricks!

[ For your Lego repertoire: If you have six 2×4 Lego bricks of the same color, they can be stacked 915,103,765 different ways ] Now imagine all the design possibilities for our computer renderings!

You can learn more about LegoLand at its website:







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