Rendering - definition



  • Before getting into painting, the only time I heard the word rendering was when finishing a DVD presentation -- after adding titles, fades, etc. the computer would render it so it could be watched on a DVD player. I'm curious as to how you are all using the term in illustration. By render, do you mean:

    1. A process which means to put the final touches on a piece to finish it? Every artist "renders" their painting regardless of their style because it just refers to the finishing steps. Some people's style might have more detailing than others but everyone renders as the final step in the artistic process -- sketch, value studies, paint, render final details and polish.

    2. Or do you use it as a term denoting the style of painting itself? A highly rendered piece is more detailed with lots of nuanced shadowing and light (more towards the realism spectrum) while a less rendered piece is simpler with flatter or blockier colors, less detail. Each artist would decide how much rendering to do based on a stylistic choice, for example, "James Gurney does highly rendered work," while a comic strip artist might do less rendered work.

    I want to get my lingo right so I can at least sound like I know what I'm talking about 🙂



  • In my mind (which may or may not reflect reality...), rendering refers to the process of handling the sense of form and volume within an illustration: with highlights, form shadows, cast shadows and surface textures. As such, it applies specifically to a certain type of illustration that aims towards an illusion of tri-dimensionality and “realism” in its depictions (though it can be highly stylized in the use of shapes and colors - see for example 3D animation and all concept art flowing into it).



  • @demotlj Ive been wondering this too. It seems like it refers to the second thing you said, because I feel like I've heard people say that the more simple the style, the less rendered the piece. SVS is literally the only art education I've had since highschool, so I have no idea what half the terms are.



  • To me both 1 and 2 are correct. 🙂