View Full Version : will there be any more contests?
01-21-2005, 09:18 PM
Just wondering if there will ever be another polycount modeling contest, who sets these up and how often do they occur? I'm really interested in a contest which involves creating normal maps.
01-21-2005, 09:28 PM
well, Bobo's contests are yearly affairs, so you'll have to wait for that. Don't think anyone else has attempted to start one... problem being prizes and such (i think). I'm pretty sure anyone can drop the gauntlet.
01-21-2005, 10:17 PM
So it is 2005 and no one has started a yearly contest yet?
01-21-2005, 10:36 PM
well the last two yearly contests started around August to October. (Halloween monster contest and the elemental contest) so it's a little early /images/graemlins/wink.gif
Ages ago I wanted to throw out a likeness contest. It wasnt my intention for it to be normal mapped though. That's stuff's still so time consuming for most, I think you'd get less entries. Perhaps Im wrong. More like current console specs was my thinking. Initial response was pretty good. I even still have the rules written out somewhere I think. Alas, real life and work got in the way.
Id still like to get it together If theres enough interest, but not entirely sure when would be the best time.
Prizes aren't really a problem I dont think. Alot of us here can get games for free for instance. Time is usually the problem.
Here's what I had roughed out:
"The Actor likeness challenge!
Actor likenesses have become a bit of a staple work diet of mine and I have this feeling that games and Hollywood will be converging more in the future. So this will become a pretty handy skillset to prove and improve upon I think.
In my slight downtime in between projects I wanted to sit down and make a game resolution famous face with no chance of the cyberscan word being anywhere near it. Then I decided what fun it would be to turn it into a contest.
The prize is 2 EA published games for any platform of your choice.
Build the head of a famous living or dead actor or actress ( Lassie doesn't count. Human please ) in the 3D package of your choice in no more than 1500 triangles. ( The model can be presented as quad's but its tri count is what's important ).
Texture map that head with one 512x512.tga for the head, one 128x128.tga for the eye and other extra maps are possible such as alpha for hair, but those alone should not amount to anything bigger than 2 more 128x128 targa's.
Provide at least 3 renders or screengrabs from different angles of your creation. Much better would be the addition of a 360 rotating .mov or avi but I realise thats a bit more work for some so not absolutely necessary. Absolutely no 2D post work apart from naming your piece ( your name not the actor! )
DO NOT STATE WHO YOUR MODEL IS MEANT TO BE PRIOR TO THE DEADLINE!
To keep identity of actor unknown, we should probably prohibit anybody other than the artist to post in their own WIP thread. That way we dont get folks going "It's Marilyn Munroe isn't it?!".
Two entries by different artists of the same actor is fine. That would be fun to see.
Two entries by the same artist of different actors is also fine. But no more than two.
I'd thought about charicatures but decided against it. I think that's really a whole other contest so the style here should be realism.
You can make one morph target for an expression or build expression into the face. Up to you.
All entries submitted by sunday February 29th which provides about a month and a half which should provide plenty of time for most folks.
Each entrant gets to vote on who's work looks most like the actor they are supposed to be. ( this should be obvious. If you cant figure out who a submitted piece is supposed to be then clearly you dont vote for that piece )
The winner is the artist who gets the most votes for 'best likeness'. I shall be entering but purely for fun and will not be eligible for prizes. The winner sends me his address and games list and I'll mail the prize globally.
WIP threads are important here.
Good luck! Any questions you can post here."
Hey, Daz, you should set that up /images/graemlins/smile.gif Sounds like a fun contest. But if you do, I'd say remove this:
"Each entrant gets to vote on who's work looks most like the actor they are supposed to be. ( this should be obvious. If you cant figure out who a submitted piece is supposed to be then clearly you dont vote for that piece )"
Not everyone knows all famous people...If I where to do a famous old actor/tress, I might get the likeness spot on, but people might just not know the person...so I'd think something like 'include photo reference of subject only in final submission' would make more sense...
01-22-2005, 05:28 AM
also would the likeness be the actors/actresses themselves or would we be allowed to enter the actors/actress as they appear in whichever movie? as some people would look quite different depending on the movie (John Travolta in Pulp Fiction verses Battlefield Earth. Gary Oldman in Silence of the Lambs verses 5th Element. Mike Meyers in Wayne's World vs Austin Powers vs Halloween /images/graemlins/wink.gif )
01-22-2005, 08:42 AM
I think you should put forward your idea Daz. There's been a lot of interest in both 'release the heads' and the set you did on the Bond theme. Heads are good practice, and the likeness bit adds fun. Go for it!
01-22-2005, 09:04 AM
Sounds like a good idea Daz. Now get it started! /images/graemlins/smile.gif
01-22-2005, 09:32 AM
I would definately be up for this contest daz. And i agree with what MacD said because it would probally be more fun to do someone more obscure.
01-22-2005, 11:48 AM
The contest sounds fun but I would really like to push for something next gen, we are not that far away from ps3 so I think getting the wheel moving towards higher res artwork is in order, spec map normal map and colour map, if you choose, but don't make it a constraint, I have seen some normal mapped models that are way lower quality than old school hand painted style. Also if you feel the time constraint is too short just give some more time, in general most contests seem to be a month which isn't that much time as most people are working or going to school. If we are going to go with a next gen contest I don't mind submitting a prize of 2 EA games as well, this would include all the company's they own as we can get their games at a good price. Also I think Asherr's idea is great, create a celebrity in costume or not, this gives you a huge range of characters and you could do Indiana Jones looking mid 20's instead of Harrison Ford looking pretty aged as he is now.
01-22-2005, 07:55 PM
Look at what happened with the last challenge though, Malcom. There were only a handfull of people that finished. Just because PS3 and Xbox2 CAN do normal/spec maps on everything, doesn't mean ever game WILL have them. Forcing contestants to create normal and spec maps will only reduce the number of people participating.
I'd personally like to see a non-character challenge.
01-22-2005, 10:36 PM
well, i must say, i wouldn't have tried normal maps for a long time if it hadn't been a requirement for the contest. same with a lot of the other contestants. So i can definately see where it comes as great motivation. having said that, i don't think it should be required, though.
non-character sounds cool, especially with the industry focus on environmental artists ( thread (http://boards.polycount.net/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=18785&an=0&page=0&gonew= 1#UNREAD) )
01-23-2005, 04:02 AM
I dont think normal/spec should be allowed at all let alone forced if you do that you will get uneven results. I say we keep it simple so everybody(you know, even hobbyists that dont do this stuff for a living and have no real need to learn new tech) can particicpate. As Vass said, just because you can do something dosent mean you should. I know theres plenty of artists that can actually get better results just from painting pre-lit defuse maps on these boards.
01-23-2005, 12:11 PM
It looks like you guys did not read my post so I will quote myself which is exactly what everyone is pointing out. "I think getting the wheel moving towards higher res artwork is in order, spec map normal map and colour map, if you choose, but don't make it a constraint, I have seen some normal mapped models that are way lower quality than old school hand painted style. Also if you feel the time constraint is too short just give some more time" I looked at the elemental contest and I don't really see a lack of participants using normal maps there, also the 10k challenge seemed to have a good turn out? And that starcraft thing on cgchat has the most people I have seen yet. Vassago, I disagree, every single studio in the world will try to normal map their character junk when the new consoles come out weather it looks better or not, it is the natural progression for everyone to have a back of the box feature saying normal mapped characters and throwing technology at their games to try and stay ahead. Also as an environment artist I could get way better results using normal maps to render the lighting on surfaces and then baking the result down to the light map, this isn't new technology at all we were experimenting with using bump maps and baking the result down to the final light map on ssx3.
01-23-2005, 02:29 PM
malcolm: They did read your post, they just dissagree with you /images/graemlins/smile.gif
01-23-2005, 03:14 PM
Right, i simply disagree with you contest should be fun and something we can pull the maximuim amount of people to, having normal/spec optional gives an unfair advantage to those who know how to do that sort of thing. Dont get me wrong i know a bit about doing normal maps and all that but its more fun to simply whip out a low poly model then slave over a high-res mesh taking 5-10 times longer. I also disagree with your prediction that every studio will try to normal map everything when PLENTY of studios with just go straight to to pure mid/high poly characters and envirnments and skip the bump maps entirely, if not using curves/nurbs/etc in place of most polygonal stuff all together.
01-23-2005, 06:42 PM
Very well, then we agree to disagree as I find it more fun to spend more time making the high res model. I'm not really saying everyone will try to normal map everything like doom3, but I do think people will normal map all characters for a while, there is simply no reason not too, I'm yet to work on a game where the character lighting is derived from the environment so it would be the natural progression to add normal maps to characters for better lighting while leaving the environments to be baked using higher res lightmaps. Coincidentally we have been building our terrain completely out of nurbs since ssx first started 5 years ago.
01-24-2005, 04:51 AM
Sounds like a fun competition! I'd be up for this because it doesn't eat up weeks of (hobby) time and no concept art creation is involved.
01-24-2005, 08:34 AM
Well Malcolm, I think you're wrong again. You say there is no reason not to normal map characters, but there is. We are a studio of about 12 people. Our games usually have very tight dev schedules, and short time periods between milestones. We don't exactly have the time or the resources to create high poly meshes for character normal map generation. There are a lot of other smaller studios that are exactly the same way. I mean, we only have 2 character artists, and one enviornment artist (me). We don't have EA backing US up, so there is no talent or money pool to draw from. We simply have to do the best we can with what we have. Now, I'd surely LIKE to have normal maps on our chars, and our enviornment. It's just not feasible for our studio.
Our characters are 5000 tris each, so they can be lit fairly accurately without normal maps. My problem comes in with the enviornment though. With our chars being so high, I only get about 10,000 tris for the enviornment (including props). This isn't an issue on the PC and Xbox versions, since I'm using lightmaps. But for the PS2, it's a bitch, since I barely have enough verts for lighting. The PSP will also be a hassle to work with. I do bake lighting information into my textures though, as this does help with the look of things.
And yea, I know you guys use nurbs for your terrain. If you're doing a racing game, dynamic terrain tesselation IS the way to go. /images/graemlins/laugh.gif
01-24-2005, 10:22 PM
Very well then I agree that I am wrong and some studios will not use normal maps for characters even on next gen. Heck I don't even model characters for a living.
01-25-2005, 07:03 AM
Daz's contest sounds great. Let's get this thing going.
01-25-2005, 07:32 AM
I am all for you guys setting this up. The only thing I will advise is that you make sure to get all the rules and regs settled here BEFORE you announce anything and then go forward. If not, it seems to create MASSIVE issues.
01-25-2005, 08:52 AM
Making normal maps a requirement pretty much sunk the elemental contest. I'd suggest using CGchat as an example of how to successfully set up a challenge. They allow normal maps but do not make it a requirement. It allows people to choose what they are most comfortable with. I've always approached the contest with the thought of "What if this was an assignment within a studio". That's flawed thinking as most of the people who participate in these challenges arenít in them for the restrictions but for the enjoyment of working within a common theme. The cooler the theme and the more reasonable the requirements the more people you usually get participating.
Daz, I think it would be a great challenge. I recently finished a likeness of Daniel Negraneau for 5000ft. I had a blast with it. Iíd like to see bust rather than just heads though. I really loved the bust presentation of your soldier.
01-25-2005, 08:37 PM
Yea BoBo, Daniel looks freakin amazing /images/graemlins/wink.gif
Those marketing guys should be getting some screenshots of the game out pretty soon, as well.
I'm with Bobo. The current CGChat contest is allowing normal-maps, but they're not a requirement. A couple of people are using them (I for one am trying to), but the vast majority are just using the 4500-poly limit to make a game-res mesh.
It all boils down to how much spare time everyone has, and what they want to learn and achieve.
Disallowing normal-maps completely will also alienate some entrants... so better to have the complete spectrum of competitors by allowing them but not requiring them!
OK so normal maps possible but not essential. Sounds like we should go for HL2-esque constraints then. But what do you consider a bust Bobo? You mean just depict say the tops of the shoulders?
A couple of things Im still not sure about:
1) Do we think that keeping your characters identity a secret until after entry would be more fun than not? Perhaps that is just asking too much to maintain for any period of time. My gut feeling is that we dont mention who the character is unless we want to or someone else does. But its no big deal If it is known. It should still be simple enough to vote for which one you think is the closest likeness.
2) What sort of deadline do you reckon? A month? A couple?
The more people that respond the better I can figure this out.
Oh and MacD, to answer your comment:
If you pick someone really obscure, then how is this the actor likeness challenge?
The whole idea is that we hone our skills in depicting a likeness which is a tricky thing. I think you have to pick a well known Hollywood actor or it kind of defeats the point no? If you include photo ref you then remove any achievement the artist might have obtained in getting a spot on likeness.
I dunno, I just kinda think that If you pick a German extra from 'run lola run' that nobody recognises then its sort of your own doing if that makes sense? Dont mean to be blunt, just trying to nail down some rules here and I feel that the spirit of the contest should be an internationally renowned movie star.
Asher: I think yeah that 'in role' actors ( e.g 'Sigourney Weaver as Ripley ) would be great and perfectly acceptable.
I also think that wip threads are important since I dont think the point here is to be digging up stuff weve allreadt got kicking around.
Hows this all sounding?
01-25-2005, 10:05 PM
I'd rather have everyone start a post and pick their char. I like the cgchat contests that way. You get to see the progression of the character.
As far as deadline goes it just depends on the limits. 1500 with a 512 it could be a month. 3-5k with a normal map maybe 2 months. Either way it sounds like fun. You should try to get this started by Febuary.
"I'd rather have everyone start a post and pick their char."
Im not sure I follow Jeffro?
Btw, Id rather not go down the full body road. I want to keep this centered around likeness. That takes an awful lot of time to get right as it is without having to build an entire characters body. I like Bobos bust idea.
Each person would have their own post and you would see progression of the character yeah. Im just debating wether or not the artist makes their actor known in the thread, or would rather leave people guessing. Perhaps we shoule leave that open?
01-25-2005, 10:28 PM
i think we should leave it open.
some images incase some people get confused as to what a bust is because someone undoubtably will /images/graemlins/wink.gif
01-26-2005, 08:54 AM
Vassago, canít wait!
Asher, perfect examples!
Daz, I think a month is perfect time for completing a bust. It should be left up to the artist if they want to reveal who they are working on or not. During the WIP stage of the challenge, I could see that people may want to let people know who they are working on simply to gain some help from the community. They should be allowed to do so. Challenges arenít only to show what skill you have but also to help grow and learn as an artist. A lot of people have talent but may need a helping hand to get over the hump from time to time.
One requirement that you may want to add is that any images posted (reference material) should be hosted by the entrant. Since we are dealing with photos of actors we donít want to end up with threads full of leeched images from different web sources (movies.com, CNN.com, etcÖ). Of course I donít if this is as much of an issue as it was years ago when I was in web design.
I think the optional normal map is the way to go: let's everyone do what they do best and allows those who want to learn the opportunity to do so...if they have the time.
As far as famous goes...I'm not saying go for the bit-part actor...I just think that if you take a character from a Takeshi Kitano movie, or Milla Jovovich from the 5th element, or Rik Mayle, and you do a bang up job of it, you shouldn't lose because someone doesn't recognise the perfect likeness you made. I mean, famous ofr one continent is unknown on another.
However, I do like the funfactor of keeping your entry secret, so I'd propose that people keep their likeness a secret until final submission, when they can submit (along with the rest of the screenies) the name of their likeness and a referencepic to put beside the model.
Anyway, no matter the particulars, I think there's quite a bit of interest in this contest...so lets make it one /images/graemlins/smile.gif
01-26-2005, 06:38 PM
People should be able to keep them secret if they want to, i dont think it should be a requirement of the rules.
01-30-2005, 12:29 PM
Just curious, is this contest going to come to be. I'm really interested in this one. I would like to see it happen.
I'm not ignoring it /images/graemlins/smile.gif Im just slap bang in the middle of doing a personal demo reel. Yeah I think we should push ahead with it fairly soon.
01-30-2005, 01:23 PM
Daz, when ever you set it up I am still down with supplying 2 EA games as additional prizes, hopefully I will be able to compete as work is really starting to ramp up right now. I wouldn't mind seeing a little longer deadline though as I've been looking around the net and not finding any good quality source images of the celebrities I was thinking of modeling. Maybe 1 month + one week?
01-30-2005, 08:02 PM
Why not just do a month and a half then?
01-30-2005, 08:11 PM
Also a good idea EarthQuake.
01-31-2005, 06:39 AM
What I was poorly trying to say was that it's great to see the progression in a thread. I like cgchat where you create a thread for your entry and post the progression. Either way is fine by me. So right now it's a bust, 1500 polys, 1 512 for skin, 1 128 for eyes/hair, and a normal map if needed?
Yeah the progression part was always the intent. Yeah I think thats about the size of it.
01-31-2005, 12:35 PM
I'de like to see atleast a 256 for hair.
01-31-2005, 12:55 PM
Well, tomorrow being Feb 1 and all someone should kick this off at midnight. I am really psyched for this. I need to get my list of 10 possibles narrowed down to 2-3 though.
Well, I am smack bang in the middle of my demo reel right now, and will be for a couple of weeks. But I dont really need to enter. No reason why we cant push on without me If people are screaming to do this now.
Kub: Waddo i need to do? Finalize the rules, and then?
01-31-2005, 08:15 PM
Sorry Daz, I didn't see this until Scooby pointed it out to me.
Just start a thread in the Contest forum, I will give you access to moderate it, post all your rules and deadlines and necessities and from there on out it's all you, buddy. =] If you need my help, just holler.
01-31-2005, 08:34 PM
Blast! I have perfect timing starting that model yesterday now dont I?
02-03-2005, 06:55 AM
Daz, I wouldn't mind waiting for you to be available to participate. I'd really like to see what you'd come up with.
02-03-2005, 07:31 AM
Yeah, I suppose we could wait. I mean an actor likeness contest without Daz would be like jello wrestling without Poop.
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