This original competition to recreate a scene from a favorite movie attracted some truly amazing presentations. A limit of 200,000 triangles with 4096 x 4096 pixels for each texture pass, and presenting the scene in real-time, brought forward some tremendous initiatives.

    A bigger-than-big thankyou to our competition sponsors and all of the great people that work for them.
    Epic Games

    Steven Chagnon (shadows) ,
    Ilya Nedyal (in3d) ,
    Alina Gal (Alina)
    Prizes (worth up to US$6,894):

  • 1 Luxology modo icense (per team member).

  • Premium year commercial memberships to any two 3D.SK website
  • 2 Digital-Tutor titles (per team member)

  • 2 Eat3D titles (per team member)

  • Up to three Comic-Con 'Gears of War 2' posters, signed by the art teams

  • 1 Crazybump Professional License (per team member).

  • 1 x 100MB CGTextures membership.

  • After collecting all the references, we started making a quick volume blockout to give us a general idea for the scale and the layout. Even though the layout was tweaked along the way, this gave us a very good indication for where we wanted to go with the overall scene. Then a more refined blockout was made, which was later cleaned up, UV mapped and textured.

    Choosing our scene wasn't too difficult. We had only two movies in mind, 'Blade Runner' and 'The Fifth Element'. We chose a scene from 'Blade Runner' that wasn't too complex, but still had a lot of interesting elements and atmosphere.

    From the start of the project we knew going over the texture budget could quickly become an issue, especially with all the neons we wanted to add.

    One way to circumvent that problem and save us a lot of that oh so precious texture space, was to make a really small textures 64x64.

    Which would contain various colors and depending how we uv mapped the neons we could still do gradients or stripes making those neons even more interesting.

    In order to keep our scene under the 200k tris limit we had to create a few LODs for the props. One or two LOD were made for each props saving thousands of triangles in the end.

    Our initial idea was to use Unreal Engine 3 for our scene. Time was not on our side with our limited experience with lighting large scenes. Having to spend time to bake lights and create lightmaps sure wasn't helping us.

    Cry Engine 2 was the obvious next choice and after some testing, it ended being the perfect solution for us with its WYSIWYG editor.

    We spent around two to three days lighting and tweaking our particles and the general mood for the final scene, being able to see everything in real time was of great help.

    Like anything else, time constraints and budgets means you don't get to do everything you want. At the beginning we had planned on having a second car, most likely Dekkard's and the Blue Dragon bar. You can see them in the earlier blockout but they quickly disappear to be replaced by other elements.

    Serozh Sarkisyan (00Zero) ,
    Kelvin Tan (Turpedo) ,
    Jay Hwang (jaytown)
    Prizes (worth up to US$3,585):

  • 1 Modo License.

  • 1 Year commercial membership to any two 3D.SK websites.
  • 1 Digital Tutor title per team member.

  • 1 Eat3D title per team member

  • Up to two Comic-Con 'Gears of War 2' posters, signed by the art teams

  • 1 1 Crazybump Professional License (per team member).

  • 1 x 100MB CGTextures membership.

  • To tackle the challenge of bringing to life a movie scene in 3D was an interesting one. We wanted to choose a scene that hadn?t been done in 3D before.

    'Hook' was an appealing movie because it didn?t have much CG, and all the scenes were real life sets and props, also 'Hook' is also just a great movie! Our team loved the way the sets were constructed and how much personality each of the scenes in 'Hook' had.

    The challenge was recreating this scene under the tri count. We split the scene accordingly to our strengths, while trying to give each artist a fair amount to showcase their skills. We also tried to make most of the scene reusable and tilable.

    As we started the project, we were overwhelmed with the layout because it seemed so cluttered and confusing. We had only two or three stills from the movie to work out the layout from.

    We sketched a little overview map of how we thought the set was constructed and we built our blockout from that map. The final blockout was compacted and claustrophobic to make the scene look cluttered and fuller and avoid large empty spaces.

    Asset creation was straightforward. We made low and high poly assets. We did our normal map and ambient occlusion baking with xNormal which is a great free program written by Santiago Orgaz. We used a mix of highpoly subdivision modeling with a bit of ZBrushing to get organic details.

    We relied heavily on photos for our textures, of course with a lot of tweaking and touchup and a fair deal of hand painting. Our models were then imported into Unreal Editor 3 and we constructed the entire scene from a handful of models.
    We used a single directional light for the sun with a lot of smaller point lights to mimic bounce light. We also used custom dust particles to add some atmosphere.

    We feel like we did a great job in the time we spent. Obviously, we feel that we could have done better or worked harder on certain aspects, as does every artist, and hopefully we can take that enthusiasm with us to our next project. We all want to thank Game-Artist.net, CGSociety.org, the great sponsors and all the other contestants and members who helped us on our way.

    Chris Brown (Coridium)
    Prizes (worth up to US $633):

  • 1 year commercial membership to any single 3D.SK websites

  • Up to three personal Crazybump licenses

  • 1 Digital Tutor title per team member

  • 1 Eat3D title per team member

  • 1 x 100MB CGTextures membership

    When I first saw this competition advertised on Game-Artist.net, I felt what a great opportunity to combine two of my great passions; Movies and Games.

    The initial hurdle was selecting just one scene from a selection of so many great movies. I went through many film ideas but settled for the Augmentation room from X-Men 2.

    It is not as iconic as Aliens or Blade runner but I found the design of Alkali Lake/Stryker?s base inspiring, admiring how production designer Guy H. Dyas had managed to fuse heavy industrial materials like concrete and steel with pockets of technology and light.

    It was a definite challenge working alone on this project, the comments and criticisms on the forum really drove me on, and helped me strive to develop and improve my final scene.
    I would like to thank the GA community for all of the feedback I received and also my fiance for putting up with me working on this every night after work and over the weekends.
  • I decided early on that I was going to limit my texture budget to 2048x2048 rather than 4096x4096 and polygons to 50,000 rather than 200,000.

    To help maximise asset resolution I mirrored, tiled, flipped and rotated as many parts of the assets as I could. This caused a few headaches with normal maps and required a bit of pre-planning, but hopefully it paid off and did not lower the visual quality too obviously.

    To improve the large tiled surfaces like the walls and floor, I created overlays of dirt, drips, rust, cracks, broken tiles, pools of water, I mapped these on top of the tile-able textures to help hide repeats and provide points of visual interest to the environment.

    This competition required the final art submission to be displayed in real-time. I had only briefly dabbled with the Unreal Engine in the past so this was a great opportunity to explore more of its capabilities. I particularly enjoyed the flexibility of the material editor and how simple it was to get artwork from Max to Unreal, lit and displayed in Engine.

    I had great fun making this scene and I am incredibly pleased and honored to have been placed third! Thank you!

    Patrick Mochel (patsy) ,
    Ronny Muhle (PlatinumGold) ,
    Ron Frolich (Insulaner)
    Prizes (worth up to US $194):

  • 1 Eat3D title per team member

    For this challenge it was very clear to choose 'I Am Legend'. It has outstanding visual style and we had it on Blu-Ray to capture some Hi-Res reference shots and videos. Patrick's massive photo library from his several New York trips came in handy as well.
  • After the white box level was done, we decided for some camera angles, that we have to stick to until the end. Once these were chosen it became very clear, that we had to fill an awfully large, empty scene with something interesting.

    Patrick started to get some white box level done, to get the right scale down, while Ronnie and I started to work on the vegetation and the Shelby, which would become our eye catchers, together with the Flatiron.

    Every once in a while we sat together to add new assets and discuss the best position to place them, while Patrick was adding every asset and it's triangle count to a list, so we had an overview of the resources we used.

    To get the most out of our scene we spend quite some time on the post-effects that came with the CryEngine2, like depth of field and colour correction, to get as close as possible to the visual style that made 'I Am Legend' so unique.

    Helder Pinto (HP)
    Lee Amarakoon (Gizm0san)
    Wojtek Starak (Buddy)
    Prizes (worth up to US $194):

  • 1 Eat3D title per team member

    James Cameron's 'Aliens' movie marked a generation. It still serves as inspiration for movies and video-games in the present day, with its great environments!
  • For this competition, we decided to recreate the exterior scene of LV-426, Hadley's Hope Colony, filled with gritty objects that all blended together in a moody exterior environment.

    These were perfect characteristics to put CryEngine2 technology to interesting and different uses than we're used to see before.

    For this competition, we decided to recreate the exterior scene of LV-426, Hadley's Hope Colony, filled with gritty objects that all blended together in a moody exterior environment.

    These were perfect characteristics to put CryEngine2 technology to interesting and different uses than we're used to see before.
    The time frame was very tight. All our team members had full-time work. Helder gathered references and laid down very basic scene layout in the first few days.

    He used a lot of references from Aliens Papercraft website created by Honza Ruk for getting the scale and look of the buildings, vehicles and overall layout of the colony.
    Most of the assets had to suffer off time/quality trade-off but not to the point where it would lower the scene aesthetics to any un-acceptable degree.

    Around the middle point, Wojtek joined in and worked most notably on compositions, lighting, effects and generally the scene setup for final images.

    If you'd followed 'Weyland Corp's" progress thread you could notice how the scene evolved during the last few days when the team had to push themselfs and dedicate to work on the scene. The total work time for each of the team members would most likely total less than 50-60 hours however.

    There was no sense in spending countless hours on perfect textures or highpoly models for each and every object in the scene, the focus was on making a beliveable resemblance of the Hadley's Hope colony and capture its mood.

    The team is hoping that they managed to succeed to a point where anyone who sees the images can tell what they show.
    Related links:

    Game-Artist.net, where you can find BIG images!!
    SFAM on Game-Artist.net
    SFAM Questionnaire

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