The CGHUB Warriors Challenge was a 3D modeling and scultping challenge. With 400+ participants, about 65+ final entries, the contest ran for 3 months from October 15 2010 - January 15 2011, with a 15 day extension. Participants were asked to use a trial version of Autodesk Mudbox 3D scultping and painting software. Other programs could be used for the final render and base mesh creation. The judges have picked their winners and have given some critiques for the top 3 finalists. A special thank you for our judges who took time out of their busy schedules to review the work presented here.
Little Warrior by Kenichi Nishida (1st place)
Dave Cardwell: Fun concept here. Its executed very well as a sculpt. With the color design pushed a bit more and the lighting/rendering this would be perfect.
Steve Preeg: Sculpting: A Little Warrior is amazing. The concept is fun and well conceived. The execution is fantastic. Details such as how his right toes are just perfectly positioned to give him the leverage he needs to be in his firing pose is awesome. The geometric layout looks like it would be great to work with. The intensity in his face contrasted with the slightly comical face of the crab is wonderful. My only issue with this character is that the face seems to have a lot of fantastic "wear" that I don't see as much on the body, I feel like the face is 30 years older than the rest of him. Besides that, simply awesome.
Painting: Again, this is amazing. I am stunned at how perfectly the wrinkles and tones in the soles of the feet are just right. The breakup in the war paint is perfect. The sunspots and tonal variation in the skin is flawless. The mount as well has tons of amazing detail. If I had to pick anything as something to improve, it would again be to age the body through painting just a bit, but otherwise it is something that deserves to be manufactured and sitting on peoples’ desks.
Final Image: I love this thing. I love the setting, sitting in the sand giving a great sense of scale and setting. The depth of field almost gives it a little "macro" feeling as well. The sculpt, the paint, the pose, and the concept all work so well together, it deserves nothing but the highest marks.
Andrew Camenisch: Love the original concept and the subtle, understated detail. Nice expression and action pose; almost off balance, but anchored by left big toe. Given the low body fat of the character I would expect to see more evidence of the underlying bone at the joints; the finger knuckles, the elbows, and knees feel soft. A few sharper angles and forms at these joints would strengthen the structure.
Gino Acevedo: This is a great concept and is sculpted pretty well. For me it falls short a bit in the color scheme, it feels a bit too monochromatic. I would have suggested that they added some more brighter colors into the hermit crab, deep blues, purples and deep reds. Same with the shell on his head, even though it is a different type of crab or snail shell, it would have been nice to see a different color pattern on it to keep it away from the crab's shell color. Overall very nice job! This little guy may be little but I would not want to mess with him!
Tibor Madjar: Outstanding work. It captures the moment believably, making me connect with your character and the story.
Jordu Schell: This one felt the most believable to me. The character is very charming and I can tell a lot of care and attention to detail went into this. It is whimsical and dynamic. It establishes a culture and a story. The paint is understated and fits the character perfectly.
Ryan Church: I love this concept, I really want to know the story behind this character- masterfully and subtly sculpted, painted and posed with a totally convincing sense of life.
Turtle Barbarian by Jesse Sandifer (2nd Place)Click here to view Jesse's WIP thread.
Dave Cardwell: Great concept/design, detail, posing, rendering and lighting to the piece. One of, if not the most powerful character images I have seen in a while. This should be on a movie poster.
Steve Preeg: Sculpting: This sculpt is great. There is fantastic detail in nearly every part of this model. The pose is dynamic and gives a sense of the character. I love the design of the weapon; it's crude, scary and makes you wonder how many ways it could be wielded. The shell armor is fantastic too. If anything, I would like to see more separation between the skin and scales, especially near the feet and hands. The toes and nails on the toes feel like they are slightly out of place with the rest of the sculpt, and some better indication of how the knees could articulate in regards to the scales/skin interaction would be nice, but overall the piece is fantastic.
Painting: The detail on the weapon and the scale armor is great. Also, the cloth and accessories are also top notch. The skin is where I started to have small issues with this model. I couldn't tell if the red and black stripes were part of the skin or something like war paint. They seem to have the same material properties as the skin itself, which I also find a little bit too specular and possibly consistent in the specular highlights. Final Image: A very nice piece overall that really gives a sense of character and mood. The wisps of smoke are a nice addition, giving it a bit of a foreboding fell. Well done.
Andrew Camenisch: Excellent detailing – there isn’t a corner or crevice that wasn’t given consideration and attention. Effective use of cool and warm tones to separate fleshy parts from shell-y bits.
Some concerns regarding the functionality of the design and detailing. The girth-to-length ratio of the arms, the wide rigid breastplate, the short fingers, rigid shell, … raise questions about range of motion and function, which may weaken the intimidation factor of the character – I mean, the guy is obviously strong and well equipped, but how well can he move around and do things, and will he look cool doing it?
Gino Acevedo: I really liked the overall design and concept. I would have liked to have seen more silhouette edge detail especially on the arms and thighs, by making some of the scale plates stick out a little more to break up the smooth silhouette outline. The plating on his head seemed a little too simple and would have liked to have seen more shapes and forms there. The shell on the back from the "rear view" looks a bit too simple. Perhaps an idea would have been to make overlapping plates that would taper down past his butt. Overall great job! I would want him on my side in a battle for sure!
Tibor Madjar: Powerful posing along with great lighting and rendering.
Jordu Schell: The specific application of the turtle anatomy is very inventive. This is not a typical turtle-man. The use of the plating with the reptile skin gives interest and helps the eye move around the forms. The weapon is also very imaginative, though perhaps not very practical. The feet could be more interesting, and the rock looks a bit ‘sculpted’. The overall physique is a bit too stock. The pose is good, and the mist and lighting add some nice atmosphere.
Ryan Church: Excellent sculpt and paint of a cool design- great pose and life as well.
Arella by Brett Sinclair (3rd Place)Click here to view Brett's WIP thread.
Dave Cardwell: Great work here on the hands and toes and details of the face. The pose is beautiful and lighting is nice.
Steve Preeg: Sculpting: The detail and pose on this is amazing. The fabric looks completely real and conceptually floating between the two halos is great. There is wonderful detail in the skin with all the wrinkles and the blending into the "demonic" parts. My only wish is that she had her eyes open, I want to make contact with her eyes (and not just the creepy one on her right). There seems to be a little bit of strange makings in the neck, but perhaps that is part of the design. Overall, it's just fantastic.
Painting: The skin feels like skin, the fabric looks like fabric and the metals look like metal. Everything here is top notch.
Final Image: Again, this piece is great in all respects, including the final image.
Andrew Camenisch: Intriguing concept. Pose and anatomy feel natural and effortless. The fabric has a nice flow and movement to it that helps move the viewer around the piece. However, the shape and the folding of the fabric, in just a few places, feels invented and not consistent with the characteristics of the material. Fabric is so hard so sculpt!
Gino Acevedo: This is a really nice sculpt. The overall anatomy looks very good, especially the face and hands. The metamorphosed hand and foot look a little too busy and lumpy, is it a burn? I would have liked to have seen a bit more form into the design. The headpiece is really nice, but on the back of the head, down at the base of the neck, it feels like it wants to continue down and taper down the back just a little. Overall, excellent job! What a stunning beauty she is! Well except for the skin rash maybe, nothin' a little lotion couldn't cure!
Tibor Madjar: Beautifully sculpted work. You may want to rethink the contrast/color/design/glow of the rings because they pull the focus away from your masterpiece. I also suggest not to render both rings the exact same way.
Jordu Schell: There is quite an imagination on display here. The pose has a very nice, graceful movement. It is a little unclear what her story is. The face is a bit too static. The outfit seems a bit stock compared to the anatomy, which is good and surprisingly atypical. The asymmetry in the headdress doesn’t seem to follow any evident logic. The halo lighting is very beautiful.
Ryan Church: Subtle and thoughtfully portrayed, this is an evocative and mysterious image.
About the judges Andrew Camenisch, Tibor Madjar, Dave Cardwell
Andrew, Tibor and Dave met in New Zealand while working as visual effects artists on "The Lord of the Rings". Serving together as lead modelers through several productions at Weta Digital, they saw a need for sculpting software built with an intimate understanding of production and yet easy to learn and use. While working on "King Kong", Andrew, Tibor and Dave teamed up with super-coders Imre Major and Csaba Kohegyi to develop artist software, Mudbox. Now in its fourth major release, and proven in major film productions ranging from "King Kong" to "Avatar" and in AAA games like "Uncharted 2", Mudbox continues to build on a foundation forged in production and born out of Andrew, Tibor and Dave’s career experience in fine arts, film, games, automotive and character design.
Gino Acevedo - Weta Digital
Gino Acevedo, Senior Prosthetics Supervisor and Visual Creature Effects Art Director at Weta Workshop, began his special make-up effects career at a Halloween company, and has worked with Amalgamated Dynamics, KNB EFX, Rick Baker’s Cinovation Studios and Patrick Tatopolous Studios. He supervised make-up effects for the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy and oversaw the paint designs of all the films’ creatures, including Gollum; he also served as a liaison between Weta Workshop and Weta Digital for the trilogy and "King Kong". Acevedo worked at Weta Digital as visual creature art director for "Avatar". Additional film credits include "Point Break", "Alien 3", "Death Becomes Her", "Demolition Man", "Wolf", "Men in Black", "The Nutty Professor", "Species", "Independence Day" and "Godzilla."
Jordu Schell has been in the film and television industry since 1987. His talent as a designer and sculptor is world renowned, and his credits include: “Avatar”, “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian”, “300”, “Hellboy”, “Aliens vs. Predator – Requiem”, “Men in Black”, “The Mist”, “Batman Returns”, “Edward Scissorhands”, “Alien: Resurrection”, “The X-Files Movie”, “Predator II”, “Galaxy Quest”, “Evolution”, “Babylon 5-The Series” (on which he designed an emmy award-winning creature make-up and the first fully digital creature for a television series), and many more. Jordu has taught around the world, and at some of the most prestigious companies in the industry, including Dreamworks, Industrial Light and Magic, Tippett Studio, Blizzard Entertainment, Blur Studio, and Millennium Effects.
Educated at UCLA and Art Center College of Design, Ryan Church is an acclaimed artist for his work as Concept Design Supervisor at Skywalker Ranch for "Star Wars Episode 2: Attack of the Clones" (2002) and for "Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith" (2005). Ryan was also Senior Art Director at ILM during post-production of the Star Wars films and for "War of the Worlds" (2005). Ryan maintains strong ties to Lucasfilm and Lucasfilm, and his client list keeps growing – now including Paramount Studios, Universal Pictures, Mattel, Sony Pictures, Blue Sky Studios, Bay Films, Lightstorm Entertainment, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Dino de Laurentiis Company, Digital Domain, and Electronic Arts. Ryan has been lending his skills on many bid projects as well as high profile film projects such as "Star Trek" (2009), "Transformers 2" (2009), and James Cameron's "Avatar" (2009). Ryan has also been active training the next generation of artists by collaborating with the Gnomon School of Visual Effects on several instructional DVDs, as well as teaching Advanced Entertainment Design at Art Center in Pasadena, California. Ryan is currently working on Disney's "John Carter of Mars" (2012).
Steve Preeg, Animation Director - Digital Domain
Steve Preeg is an Academy Award®-winning Animation Director who is currently working on the upcoming film "TRON: Legacy" from Walt Disney Pictures. He recently received an Oscar® for achievement in visual effects on "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," and his previous credits include "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End," "Flags of Our Fathers" and "I, Robot," among other films. Prior to Digital Domain, Steve created digital characters for movies including "Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within," "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers," "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" and "King Kong." Steve is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and holds a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
CGHUB.com would like to thank everyone involved with the Warriors Challenge, including the amazing participants, sponsors, and judges. There were so many incredible entries, narrowing down to just three was very difficult. Congratulations to everyone who finished and for all those who took time to give critiques and encourgament to the entrants!