Share One Planet

Thu 2nd Feb 2012, by Paul Hellard | Eventcoverage

CGSociety :: Event Coverage

2 February 2012, by Paul Hellard

Over the last year, the online art forum has staged the Share One Planet competition with the aim of collating artist’s inspired images on the theme of wildlife.

The organizers had stipulated that Share One Planet was an event that has used CG arts as a stage to promote the theme of wildlife protection. Coordinated from Beijing, the contest invited high-level CG artists around the world to participate in and spread the concept of wildlife conservation to the world. As an international CG art event, Share One Planet has been supported by top CG art institutions including CGSociety, Imaginefx, China Visual and mare others .

Over 230 entries were created by 173 artists from 38 countries, representing the top level of the community. The judges are Mark Snoswell from CGSociety, Arnie & Cathy Fenner from Spectrum, and many other artists like Terryl Whitlatch and James Gurney.

The entries are finally divided into seven categories which are Portrait, Herd, Mother’s Love, Prey and Predator, Harmony and Swan Lake.

This China-based competition was the first global contest to focus on wild animals, and the board of judges had a hard time selecting the winners. But as a effort to combine welfare with art, the first Share One Planet competition plays a positive role in this extensive field.

About the Share One Planet competition.

The Share One Planet competition was hosted by Wild Animals Project Fund, China Institute of Strategy and Management, IACGA and China Association for Global Development under the United Nations.


Under by the International Computer Graphic Promotion Organisation leewiART and the Beijing Imperial Court Cultural Development Company Ltd.

There were some brilliant pieces submitted, in keeping to the contest’s particularly tight theme. Each work represents an artist’s concern to the world and love for the animals where we all share this planet.

The trophy given out to the winners of each category is the head sculpture of a Tibetan Antelope (Pantholops hodgsoni) on a base that is composed of several animals. Its DNA shaped horns carries the earth planet. To protect the stability of species’ DNA is protecting the stability of biological diversity.

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Antonio Javier Caparo, Cuba - Category winner: Portrait
'Loris Planet'

“I wanted to create a communicative link between the animal and the viewer, to transmit an overall sense of fragility not just with the Slow Loris (Nycticebus coucang), but with our world as well,” says Antonio. “I came up with the idea of this little fellow clinging to our world as a shipwrecked person clings to a floating board.”

“I scanned the rough sketch and added some color in Photoshop. I always set the dimensions of my working file in Photoshop before I start adding the color to the sketch, this one here was 4972 X 5172 pixels. That helps me see the level of detail the final image will have. I also use the same file to create the final piece so all the structure of layers and blending modes I create during the color-sketching will remain the same. I simply work on top of them when I go to finals."

"The loris is a nocturnal creatures and a dark environment looked appropriate. The Loris fur was created by hand using a simple chalk brush in Photoshop. I created the sky in Vue and for the final step I created some blue hair light coming form the moon to enhance the volume."

Liam Peters, Australia - Category winner: Harmony

Liam Peters won the category of ‘Harmony’. He says he settled on the Harmony category because he felt like it would be the hardest challenge to portray but it also seemed to envelope the general concept of the competition as a whole. He spent a lot of time doing research and gathering heaps of references on many different animals. “I wanted to stay away from images of people cuddling animals with rainbows and happy faces,” explains Peters. “I decided to portray this equilibrium around the sharing of the primary resource in the world, water. This competition was a great opportunity for me to share my work among other professional artists around the world, while also serving a greater purpose by encouraging awareness and conservation.” By then Liam already had the image in his head of hands cupping water and with that he started searching for an animal that would fit into that idea. Ultimately he decided on the Black Faced Spoonbill. This particular bird not only had a type of grace and beauty to it, but it’s smaller size and physical attributes allowed Liam to piece the composition together without one subject blocking out another completely. “I wanted the piece to feel intimate and close up; I kept the perspective at the crane’s legs and extending their bodies beyond the shot it made them seem larger than life. I wanted to reflect these two species existing in harmony without threat to one another - so close in proximity and seeming comfortable in that moment.”


Jennifer Miller, USA - Category winner: Swan Lake
'Veneration to the Sun'

Jennifer Miller is an avid watcher of waterfowl. The species collected in the copious reference were Tundra Swans, the North American relative to the Whooper and are very close in bodytype and behaviors.

“I generally work on only two layers, when working in Corel Painter. I am a traditional painter much of the time, and I find that the simplicity of as few layers as possible really aids my process,” says Miller. “The base, or 'canvas' layer as Painter calls it, is where all of the painting happens. Then I will have one layer above it with the sketch. That's it! So I will literally work on my piece in the same way that one might work on an oil painting, building it up all on one layer. I flip my canvas often, to keep myself fresh, which is why some of the images are turned the 'wrong' way.”

When composing the piece, Jennifer paid attention to some basic compositional theories. In the Veneration to the Sun piece, she used mostly her main staple: Chunky Oil Pastel tools, with the digital acrylic brushes here and there. She even customised an acrylic brush for the grasses so that her strokes would be more believable.

"The plight of animals is a very close issue to my heart," says Jennifer. "The biggest threat that most species face right now is the alarmingly fast rate that they are losing habitat, and pollutants. In this particular case, wetlands and vital habitats during the swan's migration are being eaten up by industrial agriculture, water loss to feed agriculture and cities, and the overall expansion of our population. The balancing act between preserving our important wildlife and earth, and the needs of the human race, is a very complicated and delicate one. I think through awareness, we can start to swing more people into realizing that compromises need to be made, lest we sacrifice the wonder, beauty and benefit that our animals and earth give us."


Victor Hugo Aguilar Reyes, MEXICO - Category Winner: Digital Sculpture
'Welcome Home'

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Victor Hugo Aguilar Reyes is a biologist intern, in Puebla, México. His career is involved in the research and conservation of biodiversity, but his other passion is to paint and sculpt using traditional media. Quite recently he changed to using ZBrush.

“So when I started in the competition, I decided to dedicate my work to all these species of beautiful turtles. In the life cycle of this species the hatchlings will never know their mother so I tried to sculpt a meeting between mother and young turtles recently arrived in the ocean,” Victor explains. “I tried to represent the hope that the sea turtle hatchlings could survive and join the turtle population.”

“To create the sculpture I used ZBrush 4,” explains Victor. “I chose the ZSpheres tool to create the fins and head and a sphere primitive to create the shell, then I used Retopology to modify the geometry and sculpt the anatomy of the flippers and the head of the turtle.”

For the body, Victor painted masks creating the main scales in the head according to the anatomy of this species. He emphasised the main scales of the head, distinguishing this species from others. “Once I have drawn the scales with the masks I used the inflate and clay brush to create more scales in the neck, I used standard brush and some alphas created in Photoshop to create the details of the skin and wrinkles of neck, using inflate brush too,” he says.

“I used Transpose to make the pose of both adult and hatchlings, creating a pose that reflects an encounter between the young and the mother. The original composition was of a meeting, but I decided to place the hatchlings on the shell of the mother to link them with the rest of the sculpture.”

“The number of endangered species increases and we are the only ones who can save these animals from extinction. Every person and every child should receive environmental education and know that this planet is not only ours but belongs also to all other species, it is our responsibility to take care of them and respect their right to exist.”


Tiago de Silva, PORTUGAL - Category Winner: Mother's Love
'Blissful Place'

Tiago only decided to participate in the Share One Planet competition after considering his options carefully. Seeing so many talented artists being called into action, he decided to enter even though the competition was tough. The message he wanted to convey was to merely contribute to the topic, as opposed to winning anything at all.

"Once I decided to do something a lot of ideas began popping up in my head," Tiago said. "I had to narrow what I would do so, I chose two topics, Mother’s Love and a Portrait."

"I think the mother panda and the cub was something that came to my mind, it’s one of those things in nature that we are all fascinated with. Watching how such a huge creature, however clumsy, can nurture their cubs so well and how they survive in their harsh environment in the winter."

Cheng Rui, CHINA - Category Winner: Herd

"I was so very pleased to have the opportunity to participate in this 'symbiotic competition' of Share One Planet," said Rui Cheng.

"After the beginning, I'd intended to draw just an animal portrait. I picked some animals, it proved very difficult to choose one, so I decided to draw them together as a group image."

"This is a very meaningful game too. I spent a long time considering the meaning of the expression in the work. I hoped firstly to attract the attention of the audience, then I tried to show the need for the audience to answer the question in the mind of the subject. Such as to show the theme of: the current situation of many rare animals is not optimistic; they are at the edge of extinction; in a number of years, they will disappear from Earth? Or will they still be able to thrive? This will be human decision," he continues. "I tried many compositions, used a solemn colour, and selected the expression of the animals, to convey more of the feelings of sadness."

"The works draw very easily. I used the Easy Paint Tool, the SAI software to draw,this is great painting software, is very small and very practical. In order to complete the work in the period of the competition, I worked directly on one layer to complete all the drawing, using only a simple water color brush. Finally, I will import the image to Photoshop, the brightness and color adjustment."

"When I know if my group portrait group of the first, I was very excited, the contest judges to make the evaluation of my work, I am glad that my work properly convey the idea of I want to express, from the judges reviews, I could see that they are clear to interpret my work."

Samantha Hogg, GREAT BRITAIN - Category Winner: Prey and Predator
'The Moment'

Sam Hogg is a full time concept artist for Jagex Games Studio in Cambridge. "I wanted to tell a story, to leave it up to the viewer to decide how the image came about and how it ended. It struck me that no one had ever seen snow leopards truly hunting in the wild - you never really get to see that tense battle between predator and prey. There's this wonderful moment where the prey realizes it's being hunted and the battle can go either way. That's often lost in a lot of the photos or video footage you see these days."

"With this basic principle in mind, and the snow leopard and ibex as my animals of choice, I went about trying a number of thumbnails. I eventually settled on a long portrait composition, as it's something that's not often seen in photos or TV. This went against the general opinion of nearly everyone I showed the options to, but I decided to follow that instinct. I really wanted the snow leopard to be the star, which was key in my decision of how to light and place the animals (the ibex taking more of a backseat in the tonal range). Placing the leopard at the top of the image and in a pool of moonlight meant the viewer would see him first. I'd also placed the curves of the mountainous rocks and snow, not to mention the ibex's face, as a loop that would eventually carry you back to that deliberate cyan gaze in the big cat's eyes."

"With digital, it's way too easy to rely on suggestion of detail, with textures and custom brushes, but in this case, I approached it in much the same way I would with a traditional media like acrylic, with a base underpainting or key tones and hues, and then lots of laborious detailing of fur. Making sure I had enough subtle shifts in hue and tone was the key to making the animals pop. I ultimately settled on doing a more stylized background, something that wouldn't draw the viewer's eye away from the animals. Overall, I feel this competition really pushed me in terms of showing off what CG art is capable of. I can't say how stoked I was to have received first place in my category, as the competition was amazing! Share One Planet it definitely an experience I'll be taking part in again."






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