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Monitor size

This is a question for artists who are also involved with texturing and 3D texture painting as well. I note most feature film workflows in terms of CGI 3D elements integrated in live action, the VFX studios use 4K or 2K texture maps depending on how close the 3d model is to the camera etc. The VFX texture artists therefore use the Foundry’s Mari for example to paint their textures onto the 3D models directly or use PhotoShop to paint the 2D texture, which will be applied to the 3D model.

I would imagine most of the texture artists in the VFX studios will use one (or multiple) 4K monitor at about a 31 inch screen size, which will facilitate viewing and working with true 4K resolution textures on a 4K screen. However, I strongly want to believe though that there are lots of VFX texture artists in many (even famous) VFX studios that use monitors that are 1920x1080 full HD resolution and at about 21 to 24 inches for example in screen size, and still they manage to do their professional texturing work on those machines for feature films.

This monitor example of 1920x1080 full HD resolution and at about 21 to 24 inches screen size need not only apply to texture artists, but I think there are many artists in great studios who use this same monitor spec to do modeling, animation, rigging and even dynamics.

My question here is regarding monitor resolution and screen size. To do industry standard feature film 3D texturing work (and perhaps other aspects of the VFX pipeline mentioned above), must an artist have a monitor that is at least full 4K resolution and 31 inches screen size or can the full 1080p 21-24 inch monitor work?

You don’t need a 4K resolution monitor to paint 4K textures, you can zoom out and even then when you paint it will be at the full quality it’s not like you can’t paint on the image if the screen is not 4K. I would imagine few people work on 4K monitors, they’re fairly recent and studios aren’t likely to upgrade hardware unless they really need to. You’ve got stuff like Cintiq drawing tablets that are 1080p and they aren’t going to upgrade those any time soon. Also a note as far as VFX production–few movies are actually 4K, since the rise of digital film cameras and digital editing, they often shoot at something like 2K since most people won’t notice. The Star Wars prequels (Episode 2 which was the first digitally shot feature film) were actually shot at 1080p. Effects shots are also often done at a lower resolution than the live action shots, since they can save money by rendering at a lower resolution.

Thank you for your helpful reply. Some good points you raise. So essentially, do you believe there are actually lots of 1080p full HD (21-24 inch) monitors being used for feature film VFX work in VFX studios around the globe today?

There’s probably more Full-HD / 1080P than there are 3D, Curved, borked 4k, true 4k / UHD / 8k.
For example this from 8 or 9 years ago shows anything from 8k to a theoretical 18k being used.
That’s as a format. But how many actual studio workers had screens like that. A few core elite?

Gut feeling says any studio in an upgrade cycle now is probably looking to 8k+ anyway forget 4k.
And hey 3D games aren’t even developed on 3D screens, much of that comes later with add-ons.
Software can downscale / preview while you work anyway, so not every worker needs own IMAX!

Everything from above + dont forget something important.Doing 3d art(photoshop,3d painting etc.)and most importantly, doing a game in lets say ue4>if your monitor is set at 4k you will see some performancse decrease(in framerate) simply because of the set resolution.If you play a game at 1080p with lets say a gtx980 and you get 60fps,when you set the game to run at 4k you will probably be at 40fps.Same goes with some of the heavy programs when you do content creation.Probably 20% loss.

I think with the current gpus that we have today the sweet spot shoud be at 2k with lets say gtx 980 to gtx 1080 for content creation and game development(that one depends on the complexity of the game).If im not mistaking, the steam charts show that many people still play at 1080p max simply because games are not geting optimized enough.

Really interesting information folks. Thank you for replying. Good insight!

Well the more practical reason I like higher resolutions is when your building something you can not have enough screen space as part of the creative process. Working with Unreal 4 for example there are times I’m also working in Photoshop, 3ds Max, MotionBuilder, asset browsers, directory explores, viewing tutorials on YouTube, watching Netflix, listening to music, checking my e-mail, keeping track on the going ons on Slack.

Most important is with screen space you can do things from a more comfortable position and multitask in a way that you can’t do if you don’t have the screen space.

very nice viewing about this tutorials on youtube buddy