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    ith 20 CG Challenges behind us, we can proudly boast about their spectacular success. The CGChallenges are the world's largest and most successful series of digital art competitions. Over the past 5 challenges we have given much more narrative and technical guidance.

    Each time we give more, the entrants have improved their work yet again. However, we are always looking to enhance the challenges and wanted to make the 20th challenge something special. So we introduced animation and film categories. We also invited in two of the world's leading Science Fiction writers and based the challenge on one of their blockbuster novels - EON, by Greg Bear. This made it the hardest and the highest profile challenge ever.

    So why did we choose this special occasion to break a winning formula in such a spectacular way? Because we knew our members would be up to the challenge and the time was right to move into animation and film. In the past we have only had illustration categories. We have seen some truly amazing talent and illustrations worthy of "master art" status. But with this challenge, it was time to see if there were any nascent Scorsese, Lucas and Spielbergs lurking out there. To our great delight there are. But before I announce the winners we should talk a little about the challenge, the topic and the judges.

    Through a combination of online activities and publishing (Ballistic Publishing division), the CGSociety has become de-facto face of the global digital arts industry. Now it's possible for us to approach absolutely anyone in our field knowing they will want to participate. However, we want to do more. We want to reach outside our own community, into related creative communities, such as writers. With this in mind, we invited two of the world's leading Science Fiction writers in this challenge - and they were delighted to participate.

    Greg Bear and David Brin are two of the world's leading Science Fiction writers with a great many Hugo and Nebula awards between them. If you're a science fiction fan then you'll already be familiar with their names. They have both been hugely successful. but this also created a problem as most of their books are optioned for films. It was too difficult to use optioned works on short notice. However, Greg's blockbuster novel EON was available as a theme.

    Originally published in 1985, EON stands as one of the great science fiction novels of our time and remains one of Greg Bear's best selling titles. It is truly vast in scope. Entrants were allowed to create their work based on any part of EON. Greg kindly gave us permission to publish a significant number of excerpts from the book to aid people not familiar with EON.

    "EON may be the best constructed hard SF epic yet."
    - The Washington Post

    "The only word for it really is blockbuster. It is big and breathtaking; the story and the concepts are ambitious to the point of mind boggling."- Isaac Asimov's SF Magazine

    Each challenge we reach out to a few high profile external judges. We also call upon past challenge winners. This challenge we were privileged to have two of the worlds leading science fiction writers join us. However, this doesn’t diminish the contributions from all our other judges and I would like to extend a personal note of thanks to them all:
    Brian Pohl (vizfizz)
    Brian J. Pohl is co-owner and pre-visualisation supervisor of Persistence of Vision Digital Entertainment (P.O.V.). He has served as the previsualization lead/supervisor on I,Robot and Stealth at Digital Domain.
    Dehong He (G. Brush)
    Dehong He comes from China, and started creating comic books eight years ago.
    Kris Costa (antropus)
    Resident artist at CafeFX, working as 3D character artist/generalist, Kris has been a passionate CG artist for over 14 years.
    Damian Bajowski (mime_evermotion)
    Damian is from Poland, and has been creating CG for six years. His recent focus is on 2D work, though he is also familiar with 3D graphics.
    Greg Bear
    The author of more than thirty books of science fiction and fantasy, including: ‘Blood Music’, ‘The Forge of God’, ’Darwin’s Radio’ and ‘Quantico’. Awarded two 'Hugos' and five 'Nebulas' for his fiction writing, one of only two authors to win a 'Nebula' in every category, Bear has been called the "Best working writer of hard science fiction" by The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Science Fiction.
    David Brin
    Scientist, public speaker and author; several of David’s novels have been New York Times Bestsellers, winning multiple Hugo, Nebula and other awards. His 1989 ecological thriller, Earth, foreshadowed global warming, cyberwarfare and near-future trends such as the World Wide Web. A 1998 movie, directed by Kevin Costner, was loosely based on The Postman. His fifteen novels have been translated into more than twenty languages.
    Explore the following three pages and discover
    all the work submitted by the amazingly talented winners and runners up. »
      Next page
  • Yes. Wow! We stressed quite strongly that entrants should focus on story. We made it acceptable to use sketches, live action and/or 3D. We also encouraged entrants to enter storyboards. Some did, and they did a truly excellent job. Everyone put in more time and energy than we anticipated. However, several teams took us by surprise and created cinematic film quality trailers with a blend of live action, 3D and special effects that was simply stunning. With amateur actors, no sound stages, no professional scriptwriters or directors the winners created work on par with many "professional" works. Everyone we show the winning Film Trailers to is blown away. The common reaction is "Wow, that's so totally awesome. now I really want to see the film!"
    1st Prize - Film Trailer
    Emiliano Colantoni (ThE-ShiFT)
    Gianfranco Sgura (upvector)
    Marco Stellabotte (SdiRRu)
    David Bonelli (davidbonelli)

    Greg Bear:“Gorgeous! I'm sold from the opening scene. Beautiful design and pacing, magnificent camera motion, good use of live actors - excellent condensation of effect and idea for a trailer.”

    Brian J. Pohl:“Without question, this entry embraces all of the necessary requirements of a good trailer. Here we see high production values, a strong soundtrack, integrated sound effects, quality voiceovers, dynamic visual title graphics, and most importantly strong cinematic language and timing that draws the viewer into the movie its attempting to represent. The level of quality seen within this entry is easily on par with the production values of a high-end television sci-fi series and even approaches, if not obtains, cinematic levels.”

    • 4x Softimage|XSI-Foundation
    • 4x NVIDIA QuadroFX 1400 boards
    • 4x Ballistic Publishing book bundle
    • 4x Stash bundle

    » Watch Trailer

    2nd Prize - Film Trailer

    Mihail Popov (Bethoven)
    Ludmil Lazarov (shearerludmil)

    Greg Bear:“Wonderful visual and color sense, good use of live action, excellent pacing - very impressive technical design”

    • 2x Pixologic ZBrush 2.5
    • 4x Ballistic Publishing book bundle
    • 4x Stash Bundle

    » Watch Trailer

    3rd Prize - Film Trailer

    Alpo Oksaharju (AOK)
    Mikko Sinisalo (Sinis)
    Jari Mäkynen (jasser)
    Max Lilja (maxlilja)

    Greg Bear:“Wonderful! Excellent choice of scenes, magnificent visual and character notes, very affecting.”

    • 4x E-Frontier Anime Studio 5
    • 4x E-Frontier Manga Studio

    » Watch Trailer
    Previous page Next page
  • 1st Prize - 3D Scene
    James Kaufeldt (JamesMK)

    Greg Bear:“Great concept and music. Beautiful execution.”

    • Boxx Technologies 3DBoxx 3200
    • Softimage|XSI 5 Advanced
    • NVIDIA QuadroFX 4500
    • Luxology modo 203

    » Watch Scene

    2nd Prize - 3D Scene
    Valery Plaksin (pichunter)

    Greg Bear:“Fine rendering and architecture, impressive design."

    Dehong He:“Fantastic work, composition, lighting, colour, mood, ships designs, all of them are perfect.”

    • Autodesk Maya 8 Complete
    • Pixologic ZBrush 2.5
    • The Gnomon Workshop Digital Bundle

    » Watch Scene

    3rd Prize - 3D Scene
    alvin tea (alvin-cgi)

    Greg Bear: “Excellent, imaginative visual and color sense.”

    • Autodesk 3ds max 9
    • e-on Software Vue 6 Infinite
    • e-on Software Vue 6 Stream

    » Watch Scene

    4th Prize - 3D Scene
    Mike Moir (mmoir)

    Greg Bear:“Wonderful rendering of possible architectural elements in the Stone. Good sense of Way dynamics.”

    • Maxon Cinema 4D R10 XL Bundle

    » Watch Scene

    5th Prize - 3D Scene
    Angel Nieves (SNoWs)

    David Brin: “Very EON, evocative and faithful to the book.”

    Greg Bear:“Fine architectural note. Nice sense of scale.”

    • RealViz ImageModeler 4

    » Watch Scene
    Previous page Next page
  • 1st Prize - Illustration
    Torsten Wolber (artvandeley)

    Greg Bear:“Gorgeous and memorable. A totally professional-plus piece of artwork. I'd love to see this as a book illustration.”

    Brian J. Pohl:“I agree that this is a "classic" book cover design. It's well crafted and has a robust range of color.”

    • Boxx Technologies 3DBoxx 3200
    • Corel Painter IX.5
    • NVIDIA QuadroFX 4500
    • NVIDIA Gelato

    » View hi-res image

    2nd Prize - Illustration
    Marek Okon (OmeN2501)

    Greg Bear:“An excellent piece of illustrative art. I'd be proud to have this on a book jacket - or a poster.”

    Brian J. Pohl:“This image tells an interesting story. I like the depth in the picture though I would have probably reoriented the tunnel object in the background to have the opening face screen left. Having it on the right makes the image seem off balance to the right. I like the woman's gaze into camera.”

    • Maxon Cinema 4D R10 XL Bundle
    • Corel Painter IX.5
    • Luxology modo 203
    • The Gnomon Workshop Analog Bundle

    » View hi-res image
    3rd Prize - Illustration

    Mark Goldsworthy (MarkyG)

    Greg Bear:“Swooping, terrific architectural notes
    and composition. Love the color and eye-drawing depth.”

    Brian J. Pohl:“This image is different than most in that it does show the size of the cylinder, but not in its diameter, but rather its length and depth. Here we can see the limits of the cylinder and it creates a sense of enclosure which is probably more like it ‘should’ look.”

    • Corel Painter IX.5
    • e-on Software Vue 6 Infinite
    • RealViz Stitcher 5
    • Luxology modo 203

    » View hi-res image

    4th Prize - Illustration
    Remko Troost
    • Corel Painter IX.5
    • RealViz Stitcher 5

    » View hi-res image

    5th Prize - Illustration
    Bjorn Norberg
    • Corel Painter IX.5

    » View hi-res image

    Film is in to stay. Story board, live action, 3D. the results show that our community can create the best in any format. We are going to have to refine how we structure the challenges and find ways to better support the cinematic talent out there. With such a diverse range of potential categories, we have our work cut out.

    We need to find a mix of flexibility to let people show off their individual ideas and at the same time offer focus and support for the more difficult cinematic team categories. I suspect (they have been contacting us already) we will also have the world's leading writers, directors and producers beating down our doors to participate in future.

    Related links:
    View All EON CGChallenge Entries
    CGChallenge XIX - The Journey Begins
    CGChallenge XVIII - Spectacular
    CGChallenge XVII - Master & Servant
    CGChallenge XVI - Grand Space Opera
    CGChallenge XV - Machineflesh

    Discuss this article & challenge on CGTalk

    I extend my heartfelt thanks to you all. To the judges, the sponsors, our staff, the contestants, and all our community. I have personally invested a lot of effort and time in the past five challenges, writing more narrative and technical help each time. Most of all I have encouraged everyone to tell better and more vivid stories. It is with great pride that I acknowledge the thousands of participants who have excelled themselves.

    Entrants have risen to, and conquered the challenges, in a truly spectacular way. Now we have come of age. We have writers, directors, producers, musicians etc, - a whole galaxy of talented people now looking at the CGSociety as the world's leading pool of creative talent. To everyone involved, I salute you and invite you to join us as we surge forward to greater things.

    Mark Snoswell
    President of the CGSociety - The Society of Digital Artists.

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