Daz Interview Series: Blitter, Artist Behind Viral Photograph Look-Alikes

closeup of a render by Blitter that looks like a photograph

We came across this 80.lv article almost immediately after it was published, and we were blown away by Blitter’s renders that look like real vintage photos. You know, the selfies you took back in the day with a camera and had no idea what it would look like until after you took it — those kinds of photos.

We reached out to Blitter the next day, and we’re so glad to have been able to speak with him and learn more about his inspiration, art, and processes, as well as how he uses Daz assets and Daz Studio to start each piece.

Your photoreal images are amazing! How did you get involved in art?

I have always had an appreciation for art and some (not tons) of natural art talent. My strength has always been in the flow of lines and composition. As such, when working on traditional art, I primarily do illustrations and decorative art (which is a complete departure from my realism goals when doing 3D works). I eventually discovered digital art and have dabbled in many different forms (e.g. painting/illustration using pen tablets). From an early age, the 3D graphics of the time amazed me. This was way back when Tron was impressive! Since then (40 years or more), I have been messing around with various 3D art tools/programs.

What inspires you and sparks your creativity?

Sounds cliché, but most of all, I am inspired by beauty, and foremost beauty of line and color and composition — be it an animal, car, or a beautiful human form. Like most artists, I have a vision in mind of something that I think will look pleasing, and I go from there. Having the tools available now (that were never available when I grew up) greatly facilitates the process and makes the process fun both artistically and from a technical/technology perspective.

a young woman posing, rendered by Blitter

Not cliche at all! We totally get it. When do you know that a piece is finished?

Great question. For my particular type of 3D work — which is “photograph-like” realism (as opposed to photorealism) — it is critically important to relentlessly iterate until every aspect of the render ‘fools the eye’ into thinking it is a photograph. Not to say I always achieve this, but that is the goal. To ensure I am not biased, I often will show the render to random people (in-person or online) without any pretext to see if they say, “is that a cartoon?” or “who’s that in the photo?”. If the answer is the former, then it is back to the drawing board to iterate more.  

We like that process! So how did you discover and/or start working with Daz?

Going back what must be 20 years, I was a long-time user of Poser. I recall Daz entering the market with 3D assets, then your own Daz Studio product. I quickly jumped ship to Daz Studio and have never looked back since I have been impressed with Daz’s ability to compete strongly and remain a leader in the now crowded 3D character toolset market. The Genesis 8.1 update with the Texturing.xyz textures was a wish-list item come true for me and allows me to take my particular style to the next level. 

How do you typically use Daz?

I primarily use Daz products as the baseline for all of my renders regardless of which rendering platform I ultimately use. Historically, I exclusively used Daz for scene composition, posing, and rendering, but I have taken advantage of your bridges to try my hand at using the assets in other tools. Recently, my flow has primarily been to use the outstanding Daz 8.1 character within the Blender environment. 

a render by Blitter that looks like a retro photo

We’re glad you’ve enjoyed our Bridges! Have you done other work with Daz?

I have exclusively used Daz for my attempts at realistic characters positioned in believable environments and poses.

What’s your favorite project you’ve completed working with Daz?

No single favorite comes to mind; there’s been many. In general, my latest work is usually my favorite as it incorporates all my lessons-learned to date and, therefore, is typically better than any of my previous attempts. 

That’s a very good point. What memorable responses have you had to your work?

My favorite responses are when people refuse to believe my renders are not actual photographs. Daz itself took down some of my renders about a year ago citing that they do not allow photographs to be in the gallery (granted after an email exchange, Daz allowed them back up). 

It just goes to show that even those of us that work in 3D every day can be fooled by a carefully-crafted render. Blitter, thank you for offering some of your time to answer our questions and share your amazing work! If you’d like to learn more about Blitter and his process, check out this article here. Blitter also has a YouTube channel featuring his work.

If you want to up your game in Daz Studio, check out these articles on styling realistic hair and creating the perfect lighting!

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