My goodness. What a difficult competition to judge. All three judges selected different top images for different reasons. We had to call in the reserve judge to break the three way tie. The results were shielded from each judge and the tie breaker was asked to pick from the top three.
I have some comments from the judges that I would like to post at this time.
Phil Martin writes:
First I wish we could give everyone something because this is really tough. I have looked these over I have decided to go with Tim Shedelbower. Personally I have never seen an image like this come from EIAS. I can't get technical, but there is just something that jumps out about it that I really like. My congratulations to everyone.
Matt Hoffman writes:
First of all, I would like to complement all the artists who entered. I
enjoyed all of your artwork (sketches and renderings) and was very
appreciative of the time you took in creating it and the time spent
interacting with others on the CGForums. Reading all of the comments by
the artists and viewers greatly enhanced my enjoyment of this contest
and I'm sure it provided an enriching experience for everybody who
visited the forums.
Below you will find my comments on my vote for the winner and a few of
the other entries. If I didn't comment on your entry it is a reflection
on how busy I am and not on your art.
My vote for the winning entry:
Tim Shedelbower Scattered Life
Tim's rendering definitely captures the theme of the contest. I loved
the phoenix rising from a puff of fire above the trees. The source of
the fire is nicely hidden behind the top of the palm trees, and the
wide puff of fire at the base narrowing a bit and flowing towards the
phoenix looks great. The overall color scheme which is dominated by the
orange/red foreground elements and green middle elements against the
dark-gradient background gives the image a feeling of depth. There is
a strong sense of motion achieved with the rising phoenix and fire
balanced by the falling feathers and the beetles crawling down the
tree. The modeling is nice (and I'm sure those grizzled hands were a
lot of work), but it's the overall composition of the image that really
draws the eye.
Great job Tim!
Matt's Comments on a few of the other entries:
Yoshiki Ishizaka Can you see me?
Of all the entries, this is the one I would most like to have rendered
and printed poster-size to frame and hang on my wall. The modeling and
texturing of both the planter/plant and the floor/backdrop are perfect.
The lighting is subtle and beautiful. I probably spent more time just
staring at this image than I did looking at all of the other entries
put together. There is something very serene about it. I do find the
top of the image somewhat unsatisfying. I'd like to see the top of the
plant within the image.
Uwe Kerpen Reborn Nature
I can see the Uwe spent a lot of time in Silo on this one. I do like
the way this image fulfills the theme of the contest. But the
composition doesn't seem quite right to me. Perhaps the camera angle
should have been from a higher angle. The way the image is set up, the
legs seem to be the most dominate element. I would have liked it better
if the female form were more dominant.
Loon Yik Herng The Contrast
What a nice modeling job on the human figures and the background is
amazing. The lighting in the foreground doesn't seem quite right. I
would actually love to see this image rendered using the Cell (cel)
shader and stronger foreground light.
Eric Hanson Writes:
FIRST PLACE - Yoshiki Ishizaka
This is a strong image visually and aesthetically. It shows the power of line and simplicity to yield something stronger than an aggregate of many elements. The lighting feels convincingly soft and diffuse, as you can feel the soft daylight reflecting into the scene. The cool color temperature in the shadow really helps validate the skylight source. Material development also is convincing, from the porcelin to the leaf texturing. The actual phoenix seed is a bit enigmatic, but perhaps that makes the scene richer. The strength in this image is in the power of suggestion versus showing the literal.
SECOND PLACE - Uwe Kerpen
Conceptually, I find the masculine to feminine evolution intriguing. Narratively, the sword provides a rationale for the shift, but I am not sure what the birds communicate. From a visual standpoint, the image could be less monochromatic, perhaps a shift of hue in the sky to differentiate the two would provide more contrast and depth. Also, I find the composition to be too rigid, ehphasizing the foreground masculine versus the more refined sculpt you put in on the woman's face in the rearground. Perhaps put less axial centrality to the image and weight it towards the upper rebirth vs the rougher lower half. But a strong piece nonetheless. The base materials and texturing is well done.
THIRD PLACE - Richard Joly
A lot of effort was put here on textures and materials. I think to move it to the next level, more development, breakup, and inconsistency could be applied to the lighting. Also, some materials such as the clock's brass could be better adjusted to the light intensity. It would be nice to see more occusion-based soft shadows, which we are all accustomed to now. The shading of the glass dome is very well done. Overall, I would say that there are too many elements asking for your attention, without directing your eye to one place. Perhaps if the lighting primarily emphasized the central object it would be stronger. Well done overall, however.
Brian J. Pohl writes:
FIRST PLACE - Uwe Kerpen
I selected this image as my top winner because of a combination of things. First off, it was an excellent demostration of the entire CG process. Completely modeled without any parametric help, the image captures the spirit of both rebirth and transformation. I was also impressed with the educational elements that Uwe provided his readers within his thread. The entire process was well documented and a pleasure to read. I would like to see a little more color injected into the scene. The subtle hints of red and green almost pull your eye away from the center focal point, the statue itself. However, the texturing elements and GI lighting of the composition brings everything into focus for me. I also greatly appreciate the masculine/feminine contrast of the image. Very powerful.
SECOND PLACE - Yoshiki Ishizaka
What a beautiful composition. Very elegant and brilliantly lit. The texturing of the piece is quite accurate and invites the viewer to examine the work with a sense of graceful expectation. The use of using color as the image's center of attention also works. I agree with Matt in that this is an image worthy of framing. Its simplicity says it all.
THIRD PLACE - Tim Shedelbower
My first impression to this piece was wow.. how cool. The colors blew my mind. It possesses a retro feel with modern influences. It could almost be an album cover. I was extremely impressed by the technological tour de force of plugins and technologies utilized to create this picture and the render time just blew me away. Very impressive.
Once again gentlemen. Congrats. Tim.. I'll be in touch.