MARI Contest winners

CGSociety :: Special Feature

16 December 2012

The Winners of The Foundry and CGSociety's Texture Challenge have been chosen and here are the results. Some amazing texture creations were entered and a heady array of patterns were adorned on the model. The Foundry, makers of the 3D digital paint tool, MARI, supplied participants with the model "Witch Doctor" by the wonderful Jakob Kousholt. As well as this, The Foundry offered a 60-day trial of the MARI software for the duration of the challenge, which was plenty of time for participants who'd maybe not used the software before, to get to grips with this incredibly powerful tool.

There was even a CGWorkshop staged to allow artists to get a headstart and introduction to the workflow best suited to the MARI texturing pipeline.

At the time of the competition closing, there had been a very healthy 266 MARI licences registered for the competition, 536 images uploaded and of them, 40 contestants pushed through to upload their final entries.

CGSociety and The Foundry would also like to thank NVIDIA as well for the involvement and sponsorship of the contest.


The competition was judged by Jack Greasley, MARI’s product manager, the multi-talented Scott Metzger, Image Engine’s Justin Holt and well known texture artist and CGTalk Chief moderator and host Leigh Van Der Byl. Here are the results!


The FIRST PRIZE goes to Jarad Vincent (Jarad) of Birmingham, Mi, USA for 'Nighttime Ritual'


Artist comments:  Thanks to everyone who helped by giving me critiques.

I’m ecstatic to hear that I won and to know that my many hours of hard work paid off with more than just a cool portfolio piece.

I feel honored and relieved to have been chosen for first place in a competition with so many great entries. I had been nervous and checking every day for the results to be posted. This competition was a lot tougher than I expected it would be to finish. Learning the basics to MARI was much easier than expected and after the first week of working with the 'Witch Doctor' model it became pretty clear how powerful of a tool MARI is. I tried to put a few hours in every night after work for the entire duration of the competition.

The character and background were put together using compositing passes in Photoshop. The smoke and sparks were added in post. Rendered in V-Ray, textured in MARI, and modeling changes and posing in done in ZBrush.

This was an awesome challenge and am very glad that I was able to participate and finish. This challenge finally got me to get MARI installed at work and now I don't think that I would ever want to texture without it.

Judges' comments
“This entry probably had my favourite presentation. The image is very striking and the character has a great feel. The skin detailing is good and I like the little touches of detail, like the grooves in his bodypaint made with his fingers. Details like that always impress me.” - Leigh van der Byl


As a prize for winning the MARI Texture Contest, Jarad Vincent wins a NVIDIA Quadro K5000 graphics card, a Full Version of The Foundry MARI oftware, A CGWorkshop of his choice, An EXOTIQUE 7 Special Edition, 12 Months CGSociety CONNECT Membership and a copy of EXPOSÉ 10.

Jarad Vincent (Jarad) 'MARI' Challenge page

The SECOND PRIZE goes to Gábor Hanzi (hanzigabor) from Budapest HUNGARY for his as yet unnamed image.

Artist comments:
'This is the final image, I hope you like it. I really enoyed using MARI and participating in this great competition, it seems to be the best and the most effective texture painting programme that I have ever met.

Judges' comments:
“There's a great amount of detail throughout his texture work. Great image to examine closely. I'm a whore for gloss maps so that really sealed the deal for me. Also the Mari logo was a nice touch. This witch doctor eats tree roots; yet knows how to style his ears for a 3D contest.” - Scott Metzger

“This is a strong entry. The painted shapes on his skin are really nice and I like the little details like the rivulets of sweat running down his body. The skin textures are well done, although while the shapes of the bodypaint are really nice, there are some areas here and there where the edges of the paint could be improved a little.” - Leigh van der Byl

“Beautiful tonal variation in the skin, captured the right colors and values. I love the bright, white paint. It really pops from the skin and adds an extra level of drama. Excellent execution on the eyes (always difficult to pull off) and most importantly, your specular maps are the best out of all of the contestants. Specular maps are by for the most underrated maps but are also the more important and powerful. Fantastic job!!!” - Justin Holt


For winning the Second Prize here for the MARI Texture Challenge, Hanzi Gabor wins a Full version of The Foundry's MARI software, a CGWorkshop of his choice, 12 Months CGSociety CONNECT membership and a copy of EXPOSÉ 10.

HanziGabor's MARI Challenge page


The THIRD PRIZE goes to Lee Baskerville (Leeman1979) from Hove, near Brighton in the UNITED KINGDOM for his 'Sangoma Man' image.

Artist comments:
'Here is the first of two final renders I made. I joined this competition a bit late so did not have time to pose the character but really enjoyed the whole project. It's not often I get the chance to texture a full character without art direction or a concept design and I liked being in control of the whole process from start to finish.

I love using MARI, it's like any good technology since you don't notice it's there. You are free to create your masterpiece without restriction. It was an exciting opportunity for me to texture such a high quality asset and have industry veterans look over my work. My ambition is to work in films as a texture artist so I hope such a piece may prove a valuable stepping stone.'

Judges' comments :
“Good realism and a nice attention to detail, especially with the skin. I like the earthy tones he's used - they all feel authentic, natural and believable, although I do think the white paint on his skin could do with a little more work to differentiate it from the surrounding skin.” - Leigh van der Byl

"I love the environment you've placed him in. Superb range of color and tone. I wish there was a little more dust or dirt on his feet for the contact areas but overall a very solid piece. A bit more work and finesse on the specular maps and this one would have been #1 to me.” - Justin Holt

For winning THIRD Prize in the MARI Texture Contest here on CGSociety, Lee Baskerville wins a Full Version of The Foundry's MARI Software, a CGWorkshop of his choice, 12 Months of a CGSociety CONNECT Membership and a copy of EXPOSE 10.

Lee Baskerville's 'MARI' Challenge page.



There were four well deserved HONORARY MENTIONS in the MARI Contest. Here are the links through to their contest pages. Congratulations to all the winners and as well, all those who participated in this unique challenge. So too to The Foundry for their involvement, enthusiasm and cooperation, and NVIDIA for their additional prize.


CHANDRO's MARI Challenge page - Honorary Mention.

NADAR0's MARI Challenge page - Honorary Mention.

GT-KENNY's MARI Challenge page - Honorary Mention.

SPECO's MARI Challenge page - Honorary Mention.