View Full Version : Game Art Competition #3 rules

02 February 2003, 10:08 AM

Theme: Licensed/Franchise CHARACTERS! :eek:

As artist on a console/PC game production team, youve been chosen to create content based on a previously established franchise! A respected publisher has obtained the license and has chosen your development studio to create their new AAA title. The suits in charge have expressed a strong interest in sticking to the look and feel of their much desired license.

Choose a licensed character to model and texture. Focus on keeping the model/s true to the established world. Try to match the look and feel of the character with the already established world of the film, comic, cartoon etc.

a good example

Rules/Guidelines :

Your content will be used in a 3D realtime engine. Keep your model efficient and functional!

Poly limit 2500

Texture limit maximum 512x512 for body, and 256x256 for head.

Content should be recognisable from your chosen franchise and Source/Reference images should be included but not required. Viewers should instantly recognize the feel of the licensed franchise (startrek is ultra clean and starwars is dirty and used. Tim Burtons batman is very dark and gothic, while old school DC comics batman is campy and colorful etc ).

All work must be your own, and started from scratch for this contest. You are not permitted to use models that you created or began work on before this contest. remember.. work in progress competition!


As this is a Work In Progress competition, you should post your progress as you go along. All posts should be entered in a thread titled:

Game Art Comp 3: (Your Name) : (Franchise: model description)


Game Art Comp 3: (Mrhappypants) : (XXX : Vin Diesel)

Use that thread for all of your updates, and comments about your work. Others should feel free to post in said threads with comments, crits, questions, and advice. Any questions regarding the contest in general should be posted in THIS thread.

As the contest deadline approaches, I will create a thread titled "Game Art Comp 3 Submissions." It is here that you should submit all of your final work for judging, IN 1 POST. This will give everyone a chance to see all participant's work side-by-side. No comments or crits should be made in that thread, save that for people's individual threads.

At the contest deadline, you should submit the following:

1)Description behind the model. State the name of the object/s and the franchise youve chosen. An example would be

Here is "The Joker" from Tim Burton's dark and moody 1989 BATMAN. He is 2500 polygons with one 512x512 texture for body and one 256x256 for head. He is intended for an action adventure game like devil may cry or tomb raider.

2) Reference Images and Drawings used to create the model/s (proportional templates, concept designs etc)

3) Three orthogonal views of the flat-shaded model/s without textures but wireframe.

The orthogonal views should be any three of: front, back, top, bottom, right, left. These images should use default lighting on a one-color background. The OpenGL views from within your modeling program should do fine.

4) Three perspective views of the grouraud-shaded model with textures applied.
5) The individual texture sheets used layed out seperately, including UV views.
6) One beauty render. This may include fancy lighting, simple atmospheric like explosions etc.

Please make all images no larger than 800x600


The contest begins as soon as you read this post. The deadline is April 1st 12:00am GMT time.


We need a few volunteers (4-10) to participate as judges. Once the deadline is reached, each judge will award a set # of points to the entries they like the most based on technical execution, and visual/franchise appeal. If you want to judge say so in this thread, the first 10 will be chosen.

:thumbsup: :thumbsdow :thumbsup:


The winner of this competition will get to choose the subject and terms of the next competition! :beer:

Future competitions may include stricter or looser restrictions on polycount and textures. The next comp may not involve modeling/texturing, it may involve animation, designing user interfaces, creating logos or box art, or any other game-related art task!


P.S. I borrowed some of your text, Wanzai.

Good luck and have fun everyone! :buttrock:

02 February 2003, 12:50 PM
I like the subject of this one, bro. It should be great practice to create models based on others' designs rather than our own. After all, franchise-based games are a big part of the industry (whether they are usually well-done or not is another matter...)

However, I don't mean to step on your toes, but I think the guidelines for this comp are way too broad for fair comparisons to be made. Instead of allowing the subject to be ANYTHING within the franchise, perhaps narrowing it to a character OR a vehicle OR an environment would be better. Or a specific combination of the above. I like the idea you proposed of a character and vehicle that are meant to be used together. That would be a fun idea with alot of leeway, yet still ensure that everyone will be on the same course.

Also, I think that setting some sort of limit on polycount and textures would be appropriate, so that there is some basis for comparison among final submissions. I feel that some entrants may feel more comfortable this way, without wondering whether they are going too overboard or underboard with their budgets. I know I would! :)

Considering that both of the previous competitions had to be extended and had few final submissions, and since this comp appears to involve more work than the others, it might be a good idea to set a later deadline. February, after all, is a short month. Maybe April 1st will give more people a chance to finish?

Finally, and this is a small point, I'm not so sure that allowing participants to judge is such a great idea. It's not that I don't trust people to be fair, but there is that obvious conflict of interest.

Once again, I'm not trying to tell you what to do, just making some helpful suggestions to ensure that this comp is even better than the past two. I guess I just like things more focused. Either way, good luck to everyone who enters and let the games begin!

- Me

02 February 2003, 01:51 PM
thanks for the suggestions sanhueza,

Im aiming to "lighten" up on the rules this time, to gain more entrants. After scanning through the very popular cgtalk challenges I see lots of them that are fairly broad in scope. entrys can be characters, vehicles, and environments. I think people are most comfortable showing off their strengths and not everyone is a character artist specializing in lowpoly firstperson shooters (not that you said we should do that). With few constraints we can encourage more art to be submitted.. more art to critique (commenting on others art makes your own stronger as you become aware of what is weak about a piece) and more art to scan through which makes more people submit as no one wants to eat in an empty restaraunt...

I would like This contest to be about self expression and FANART... who wouldnt want to scan through a thread containing game models such as an Ewok Tree village environment, the tank from "ghost in the shell"
Mad Max, or Mad Max's inteceptor! I say we should get away from constraints on this 3rd contest and see what happens.. if people disagree then post a reply and let it be known.. its still early and can be changed.. afterall i think these competitions should be group activities for all and not a prize based competition where we try to one up each other.

as for polygon and texture limits... I dont think they are a mandatory for a gameart comp because we are now using normal mapping. This technology allows a gameartist to model extremely high poly models and reference the geometry in realtime onto a low poly model. the bump maps are created from the highpolys normals.. doom3 Nolf3 Halo2 are all using this technology.. gameartists need to focus on anatomy and clothing more then ever now.. the days of lowpoly efficient sculpting are fading away.. check out for some cool info on this stuff.

Its all about the art.. the strength of the execution and the style of the artist that makes a piece in my oppinion, not the constraints. Most of us know gamelimits anyways (efficient poly use is important, keep the texture in powers of 2, etc etc)

as for the competition taking longer then others, I intend for this comp to be shorter then the others by not having constraints. you dont have to shoot for a certain # of polys.. just make a smokin model that gets the point across.. if people like it theyll vote for it. a 250 poly model of howard the duck might be a very professional piece and beat a 15,000 poly model of gigers alien.. its all about the use of time, and thats part of everyones job each day as a gameartist. How long is this going to take me? Is it too ambitious? Will the quality suffer if i go that detailed?

ok ive put my oppinion out there.. what does everyone want? its YOUR competition! Reply with comments if your entering :wip:

02 February 2003, 03:44 PM
As for me ( i would like to join in this time, hopefully iŽll manage to find enough time ), i kinda agree to both of you.

First of all it is the artistic talent that makes a great piece of work but on the other hand we are unfortunately still restricted to a certain polycount and map sizes ... sure those borders will be pushed further in the future and the importance of "perfect" use of polys and maps will diminish. But we are not that far yet.
Therefore iŽll suggest we stick to the limits we have at the moment ( ~2500-3000 Tris, ~1024 Square map ) ...

And as for the time schedule, i agree to sanhueza, that March 12th is by far too short ... Hey we all have work to do :) ... and more time hopefully equals more participants and better results ...

Btw. i really like the contest subject ... Lets go !!!

02 February 2003, 06:21 AM
Ok the rules have been changed :scream:


poly limit is 2500

texture is 512x512 body 256x256 head

judges are excluded from entering

deadline is april 1st

ive edited the original post, read it for more clarification.

:buttrock: LET THE GAMES BEGIN! :buttrock:

02 February 2003, 07:50 AM
>texture is 512x512 body 256x256 head

Just color or are transparency etc. allowed ?

02 February 2003, 07:55 AM
alpha is allowed

no bump maps however

you can break those textures up however you like.. just dont use more then 1 512x512 and 1 256x256. If you want to create props/weapons, id recommend cutting the head texture in half, and using 2 128x265 textures.

message or reply if you have more questions!

moose droppings
02 February 2003, 08:15 AM
this is pretty sweet ass. Much cooler than the cgchat contests imo (sorry cgchat guys, i dont like yer contests)

all the examples you have given have been of film or comics.

Is it within the guidelines to redesign/remodel a current character of a game? Ie, taking Conker and making him in a 2500 count, or remodeling mario or sonic? They do fall under a current "franchise," so dont reaaaly know why it'd be aproblem.

However, i do see going to movies or comic books or books, etc could work more to the advantage of the modeler, but i still think it'd be fun to remodel a char from a game... and possibly making it better than they did ;) hehe.

im debating this contest... sounds like a good time, and i have plenty of ideas millin aboot, just need a bit of clarification before i get hardcore into working.

thanks! this sounds neato SLAYER! ;):buttrock:

02 February 2003, 08:55 AM
you know i was thinking of doing a new version of the 8bit bionic commando! I think that would be pretty sweet.

So by all means if its a franchise that has an established style then run with it! doesnt matter if its an older video game that could use an update.. a model of ronald mcdonald... or mr clean. any franchise is ok, lets see some cool art!

02 February 2003, 09:06 AM
Hell ya Bionic Commando!
ya this contest seems a little bit easier on my brain. The last one got me all confused with the textures...and trying to figure out if we were building a vehicle or just a domesticated animal.
I did so much brain storming I finally just put it aside since I knew I wasn't gonna have the time hence. Enough whining.
I got a couple ideas
lets get rollin!

02 February 2003, 10:39 AM
Originally posted by MrHappyPants
alpha is allowed

no bump maps however

How about enviroment maps ?

Btw, I think the Problem with the last Challange WAS that the Riules were too loose

Anyways, I like the Idea that we have a guide to stick to instad of designing our own stuff. If I had won, I would do a similar challange :thumbsup:

I try to join this time too :wavey:

02 February 2003, 10:48 AM
im going to do this challange...itl be a good kickstart for me...i have reallized that i spend to much time with schoolstuff and to little time with 3d :D

02 February 2003, 10:56 AM
environment maps are fine.. just remember to stay under the given texture limit.

02 February 2003, 06:00 AM
.... ive edited the original post, read it for more clarification.

You forgot to edit the polycount in the original post. It reads 3000, where you have changed it to 2500 in a later post.

Sounds like a cool contest!

02 February 2003, 06:33 AM
oops, thanks scribble

02 February 2003, 12:46 PM
sorry i could use a little more clarification on the texture limit

ie alpha maps are alowed so with alphas it would be 2x32bit textures one 512 and one 256.

Or is it one 512 and one 256 24 bit for colour and plus one 512 and one 256 8 bit grey scale for environment and transparancy.

I can then use my alphas or greyscale as both transparancy and environment but not bump?



02 February 2003, 01:17 PM
you have 2 32bit textures to work with. One 512x512 32 bit and one 256x256 32bit to work with. Use them as you like.

However if you only have a small piece of geometry with alpha or environment maps I would place them on a different (smaller) texture and keep the main color map at 24bit. especially if its a weapon that may not be used with the character all the time.

example would be using a 256x256 32bit color/alpha for a characters wings. A 256x256 24bit for the body, a 256x256 24bit for the head and a 128x128 24bit for a weapon..

lots of ways to texture a character... dont stress about constraints, id like this contest to be about the art, not bells and whistles

02 February 2003, 01:25 PM
Thanks for the quick reply, now to annoy the missus this weekend by totally ignoring her :) ...


02 February 2003, 09:12 PM
Hey everyone !
I was wondering if it would be possible to post two wips for the challenge and decide only later one which one to submit ?
Would it also be alright to base the model on concept arts done for the original characters ?
Thanks in advance !

02 February 2003, 11:56 PM
no problem with using concept art of the franchise.. just make sure the concept art is in the same style and feel of the established franchise. oh and post your reference images too if you can.

as for posting up 2 wips and submitting only one.. theres no rule saying you cant post up as much wips pieces as you want. you only get ONE submission though. id stick with the same character and do 2 models of it one after the other... the second is bound to be better then the first! good luck!

02 February 2003, 12:28 AM
thanks for the quick response !
I'll make sure i post the reference image aswell.
About multiple wips : i was asking because i am not sure the first one will be accepted, so i have another potential one just in case...

02 February 2003, 12:25 PM
Okay wait. So the MAX we can have for texture sizes (combined) is 1 512x512 and 1 256x256?

When I say combined, I mean... can we cut up the 512x512 texture into 4 256x256 textures? Or 2 256x512? Or however the hell we want as long as in the end, ALL the textures add up to a 512x512 and a 256x256 image?

Are we allowed to work in teams? I ask because I have a buddy who I love to do work with.

Are we allowed to come up with multiple character textures for the same model? I was planning on doing a musician.. and on his webpage he has 2 distinct outfits. And if my buddy and I were allowed to work together.. we could hammer out both textures at the same time.

That's it for now, I guess.


02 February 2003, 12:39 PM
yeah thats correct about the textures.. do whatever you like as long as you dont use more then 1 512 and 1 256.

as for working with your buddy... we may have a "team" contest later but this one is solo. all work has to be your own..

if you want to create more then one skin for the character its ok for the WIP thread.. but when you submit for judging at the end of the contest only one skin can be entered.

good luck!

02 February 2003, 12:19 PM
Question: Any restriction on the amount of bones used?

Originally posted by MrHappyPants
P.S. I borrowed some of your text, Wanzai.

This is gonna be a tradition or something... I borrowed some text from Sanhueza too :)

02 February 2003, 07:13 PM
you dont have to rig or animate.. the character just needs to be modelled with animation in mind. use however many bones you want but probably wont get to show them off in the final entry

02 February 2003, 07:41 PM
You don't? How are you supposed to pose the character, for the beauty shot for example?

Anyway. This means no constraints there, and that is good :) I won't need many, was just wondering while looking at Robo who could use some bones on the pipes etc. to have some nice secondary animation.

02 February 2003, 08:13 PM
well to be honest i just envisioned the entrys in the standard pose "ready" to be rigged... like bobo's quake model used in the skinning comp we just had... i wasnt around for you first character competition, so if thats what people are used to doing then great! If you want to rig up for the beauty shot thats fine but i dont think it should be required and or points docked for the standard model pose.. rigging to me is an animators job (although modelers do it all the time) and i havent rigged a model in years.. guess i should just do it.

in your rules for the first comp did you state a requirement for rigging? I didnt.. why dont we leave it as eye candy for anyone who wants to include it in the beauty shot?

02 February 2003, 08:47 PM
right... the first comp wasn't "mine", but true there wasn't a word about the rig. alright, everything clear :)

02 February 2003, 10:05 PM
yeah that was sanhueza..

02 February 2003, 07:09 AM
Possibly a dumb question...

What if our character has 'evolved' throughout its various appearances in a certain game?

I'm doing a monster that has been in the FF universe for quite some time and it's gone through a few cosmetic changes in each reincarnation. But the design has remained basically the same.

Should I just pick one look and re create that? Incorporate the different looks into a 'new' texture?

02 February 2003, 07:14 AM
alot of entrants are posting up the source image that there trying to create.. Id recommend doing that so the judges at the end of the competition can give you more points for nailing the likeness.. however some of us are "revamping" the character since our source reference is limited (or the character is from a book). Its really up to you.. the judges will be trying to award points based on keeping with the "feel" of the franchise but that doesnt mean you cant take a few liberties with the design..

hope that helps? pm if that doesnt make sense

02 February 2003, 06:18 PM
Just a quick question about the maps : do we HAVE to used the 256*256 texture for the head or are we allowed to cut the skin up into bits as we see fit ( ie the 256 for head + accesories etc) ?

02 February 2003, 08:54 PM
no you dont have to use the 256x256 for the head.. thats just a normal technique for characters.. cut it up any way you need to!


02 February 2003, 08:59 PM
ok ! thanks !
I know it's pretty much standart but in my case the head isn't exactly in need of big tex space :)

02 February 2003, 11:43 PM
would it be possible for me still enter the competion as iv started a model but it was after the comp started here is the models thread thread as iv been doing it as a wip Priss (

I really hope i can enter as iv made a good effort to make a good entry.

looking forward to some good news.


03 March 2003, 12:07 AM
I really like the idea, and i have some projectss that i wanna do, but firts of all: 1) About the beauty scene, we are able to build an enviroment for the character or the full scene must be 2500 pols?
2) Can we send more than one Char.? 3) if we use less polys, we can make more points?
:buttrock: :buttrock:

03 March 2003, 02:49 AM
Reply to ADDER: is priss an established character? if she (it) is then i dont see any problem with you entering her.. the only catch is can you update your thread to a gameart entry and state the name of the character (more then just priss :)

a final submission thread will be started later and you can put the finished model in there. Nice work so far.. going to make a strong entry

Reply to AndreKling: you cant build an environment but you can use atmosphere effects.. the simpler the better (we want to focus on the model/texture). you can only submit one character (the final submission folder will be created later). Im not sure what you mean by "if we use less polys, can we make more points?" if you mean extra vertices then no.. I cant see why you would want any extras in the scene.. good luck! :thumbsup:

03 March 2003, 03:00 AM
Thanks dude :thumbsup:

Yeah priss is a manga charecture from the bubblegum crisis anime series.

Shouldnt be a prob updating the thread :-)
when i update i should have a few updated screens to as iv started the textures.

im glad you think it is a strong entry as the standard of work from the other guys is real good.

03 March 2003, 03:30 AM
Hi i was wondering about the specs for the final posting does the 3 views have to be 3 seperate images or can they all be on the same image like This (

03 March 2003, 04:21 AM
yeah thats perfect.. if all goes as planned Ill probably make the "submission" thread with an example submission in it to keep things nice and clean.. that way we dont have 10-20 submissions all looking differently.

03 March 2003, 07:01 PM
Just wondering about the various shots.

the perspective shots should be textured, but from the preview window of whatever the models were made in? As there are already orthoganal shots, can the erspective ones be posed or is that only the beauty render that can be posed?

Does each shot have to be a seperate pic, is there a minimum size, or can we combine them into one shot. I am thinking that there are a minimum of 7 (3 perspective 3 orthoganal and one beauty) shots that will take quite a while to load (and for me i am going to have hosting problems).



03 March 2003, 11:52 PM
hey! im from threedy forums and got refered to cgtalk by a friend, and i really like it! this comp sounds fun too, gl everybody!

03 March 2003, 01:17 AM
TPE: combine the 3 shots of a "group" on one page.. 3 orthos on a page, 3 textured perspectives on a page.

as for posing.. dont pose the orthos but everything else is fine!

03 March 2003, 02:29 AM
Time is getting short. I better finish soon.


03 March 2003, 09:11 AM
MrHappyPants what is the limit for the number of images per post, because i tryed to edit one of my earlier post to make a dry run for the submission post and even though i had combind the perspective shots and even the reference shots etc it still gave an error saying that i could not post so many pictures in a single post. Could it also be that as i included links to the mesh and a 3dviewer that took the limit too high?

If you know it should be possible to link sufficient images in one post dont answer this and i will just keep trying untill i get it right :)



03 March 2003, 05:58 PM
I am sorry i think it is another one of those days. The post your submission thread is closed, so we shouldnt post there, or is it too early or should we just make another thread? Feeling silly again...

The next bit is a test to see if the post works this time...

O.K found out the maximum number of images that you can have is 8 and was trying to get 11 in, ill have to link some of them instead of putting them inline.


03 March 2003, 06:08 PM
Wow Tpe congrats again !
Love the model of course, and the presentation is quite 'tasty' aswell, really dig how you posed him !
Not to mention the textures ..:drool:

Cheers !

03 March 2003, 10:32 PM
oops sorry guys, the submission thread should be unlocked soon!

as for how many pics you can post.. yeah im not sure but the last couple comps have been fine with linking to the image.. should be fine with 5-6 images

heres examples from the very first comp

03 March 2003, 05:06 PM
Originally posted by MrHappyPants
no bump maps however
I do realize it's too late to change things anyway :) but I must ask - why no bump maps??

- jonas


Oops, didn't read through the whole thread... :blush:

I think I get it now, it's just a RAM limitation as part of the challenge, and doesn't really have anything to do with bump or no bump...

03 March 2003, 12:07 AM
err.. Mr HappyPants : i am starting to get worried , do we still have time till tuesday april 1s 11 Am ? Cuz i saw you post that judging will not start before tuesday if the deadline wouldn't be then ... sorry if it's just my paranoia showing thru again !:)

03 March 2003, 12:46 AM

whoops I goofed, thought today (sunday) was the 31st.. the deadline is still GMT time april 1st 12:00am.

the deadline will definetly NOT be any earlier then that of course. if thats what you were asking.

03 March 2003, 12:56 AM
yep that answered my question :) thanks for putting an end to my worries ! :thumbsup:

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