Real Artifacts


Rendering is hard, partly because the real world doesn't look as good as we think it does. I therefore find real phenomena that resemble computer graphics artifacts amusing. Here are some real photographs that look like rendered images, sometimes because the photographer was trying to make it look synthetic, and sometimes because life can imitate artifacts.

Padraic Hennessey sends these peeled potatoes, which look like they have been ray marched with too few iterations.
The reflections in the lake look like undersampled stochastic reflections. From Aras Pranckevičius' blog.
Tomás saraceno's net installations look like Photoshop disasters when photographed.
This kind of boosted-saturation color bleeding usually only happens in CG.
Here's that path tracer reflection test that you rendered (Thanks, Eric).
A snowy scene looks a lot like an ambient occlusion-only rendering (Thanks, Mauricio).
Eric Haines needs better shadow-map biasing, since he's getting single-texel light leaks. Or maybe there are tiny holes in his window blinds.
The camera is exactly at the height of a former flood line, making the picture look like there was a bit error leading to incorrect decoding of the lower scan lines. From The Line by Palindromo Meszaros. (Thanks, Eric)
The water is so clear that it looks like the shadow-map bias was cranked up too high (Thanks, Tomasz "Dab" Dąbrowski)
Camel thorn trees against an orange dune at sunrise look like a painting (Thanks, Aaron Size)
Aliased shadows look like bad shadow map filtering; taken in the stands of a baseball stadium. (Thanks, Padraic Hennessy)
Pretty much everything about this image and associated video looks like a modeling or rendering artifact. (Thanks, Tomasz Dabrowski)
Basalt pillars appear as hexagonal voxels.
Real-world interpenetration (Thanks, Adam)
Strobing lights create the apperance of temporal undersampling artifacts on the blurred snow.
Federico Diaz's sculpture at MoCA. This image is a visualization; the real sculpture is also made of voxels but has a different shape. (Thanks, Adam)
Justin Harder's voxel motorbike (Thanks, Adam)
Horizontally scrambled sculpture: forgot your end of row padding again? (Thanks, Eric)
Giant 30-story sinkhole in Guatemala is so perfectly cylindrical that it looks artificial
Real animated 3D sculpture that looks like a rendered wireframe teapot. (Thanks, Spike)
The tree in the midground looks like the Stanford Bunny, a common rendering test object. (Thanks, Adam Sawicki)
Looks like radiosity---a fact that was not lost on Cindy Goral. Click through to the comparable image from her seminal thesis.
Voxel/oct-tree car--check out the shadow (thanks Eric Haines)
Floating man optical illusion / bad shadow map bias (thanks Eric Haines and Pete Shirley)
NPR female model (thanks Eric Haines)
Synthetic-looking real house (thanks David Luebke)
Hard stenciled shadows in the desert (thanks Eric Haines)
Hard stenciled shadows in the desert again (thanks Eric)
"Undersampled" shadows in Pete Shirley's living room due to his window blinds.
"L-System Plant" by Adam Sawicki
"Percentage Closer Filtering" by Adam Sawicki
Eric Testroete's "Low Poly Head"
"Voronoi Diagram Model" by Adam Sawicki (although my colleague Frank Morgan would tell you that bubbles are not voronoi!)
Benedict Radcliffe's wireframe car.
Sara Watson's "invisible car" (from DailyMail).
"Undersampled" shadows in the Seattle Public Library's Faye G. Allen Children's Center (picture from the library webpage)
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