CgTalk:FXWars! Winter Kingdoms - Challenge:23 - WE ARE LIVE!


Winter Kingdoms

Copyright © 2008 Walden Media

Looking for inspiration? (more design thread will be posted during the week)
[li]CgTalk Daily Sketch 1653 NTL (PRODUCTION DESIGN) “Ice Queen’s Fortress” [/li][/ul]

BY Roberto Ortiz

Winter Kingdoms is an open FX-Wars challenges. It is designed to evoke the faraway lands that were remember so vividly from our childhoods. They can be either lands of Light or lands of darkness.

Simulate a series of establishing (either exterior or interior shots). Imagine you have been tasked to do a series of establishing shots for fantasy film or animated film. This means that how the environment looks and feels like is key.

We have limited the scope to two mayor categories:
[li]Exterior Shot (Imagine a dark and stormy night as the camera comes up from the cliff walls up to the castle tower )[/li][li]Castle Interior / Environment (Imagine the main chamber of the castle where the count is waiting)[/li][/ul]Since this is a environment war you NEED to add at least one environment effect to the sequence. On the exterior shots we could see, moving tress, clouds, lighting, mist, fog. And on the interior shots , we could see fire, fog, or some cool lighting effects. You don’t need to do all of the effects, just one or two. Also you might do fully digital shots or if you wish you can do a composite shot/matte painting or a filmed sequence. But because of the tight dateline it is STRONGLY encouraged that this challenge be done in teams.

If you want a preview of what can be done, check out the winning entry from our past DRACULA challenge:

(Click Image for video)

FXWars! “Dracula’s Castle”!: Fred Burdy, hybrid entry

One of the key of the challenge, for all entry types, is to do believable movie style shots of the castle. Multiple techniques should be used to produce the shots (3D models, matte painting, live action, photographs etc) so good integration of the elements is key. Like the last challenge this is an excellent opportunity for compositors to try their skills. (But a a composite is not a requirement)

At the end pf the challenge a finished entry that looks EXACTLY like the kinds of scene we could see in a fantasy movie (live action OR animated) so keep in mind that the keys are realism and feeling You will have ONE MONTH to do the challenge.

Simulate a series of establishing (either exterior or interior shots). Imagine you have been tasked to do a series of establishing shots for a fantasy film.
[li]Santa’s Kingdom[/li][li]Icen Queen Castle[/li][li]Jack Frost Town[/li][/ul]This means that how the environment looks and feels like is key.

The entry with the best VISUAL EFFECTS will be selected by an open vote. (You may do the entry anyway way you want , an FX piece with live action, a synthetic cg entry or a hybrid. The winner will get bragging rights and a small banner designed by me.

Keep in mind that the entry can be set in ANY time period, and the style of the project can be either in a realistic or campy.

January 26, 2008

NEW! Friday FEBRUARY 6th,2009
The announcement for this mini challenge will be posted in
(After that You have ONE MONTH to do the challenge.)

You may do one of these types of entries:
[li]TRIBUTE[/li][size=2]Think of the visual FX sequences from films like Chronicles of Narnia, Polar Espress, Nightmare Before Xmas.
[li][color=darkorange]FREEFORM ENTRY[/li][/color]The core requirement for this type of entry is to have fun.

[li]VFX SHOT[/li][size=2]This is your chance to test your compositing skills .You need to use a REAL background plate (clip or sequence).[/size]
[/ul]But keep in mind the key thing that I expect to see in all entries is GOOD VISUAL EFFECTS

[li]No work taken DIRECTLY from an existing tutorial. You may use an existing tutorial only for reference.[/li][li]You may use a pre existing model, as long as you give credit to the creator. If you cant model, use simple shapes, since we are interested in the simulation. (But teams are encouraged, and if you are a modeler, you can make your model available)[/li][/ul][color=white]Voting:
(We will select by an open vote )
[/color]You may vote for:

[li]Best WIP THREAD[/li][li]BEST Animation(If Any)[/li][li]BEST COMP WORK (If Any)[/li][/ul]
[color=darkorange]And the big one of course

[li]BEST VISUAL EFFECTS[/li][/ul]The winner will get bragging rights and a small banner
designed by me.

[li]The animation and visualizations must have been done AFTER the topic has been announced.[/li][li]You may use stock previously shot footage for background plates and VFX elements.[/li][li]IF you use footage for a VFX sequence it must be raw NOT contain any Visual Effects.[/li][li]WIP are encouraged if they are posted in ANOTHER thread. Please provide a link to them on this thread.[/li][li]WIP thread should be posted on the FXWARS Forum forum and should follow[/li]the following naming convention: FXWars! Flying Car MY NAME ENTRY TYPE (TRIBUTE, FREEFORM, VFXSHOT), (Note: Group entries are allowed)
[li]It is Recommended that Final movies should be rendered at 320 x 240 or 640 x 480 in QuickTime* format (Sorenson Compression), but other resolutions and formats are allowed. * (The animation format is open for discussion.)[/li][li]The animation should follow the following naming convention:[/li]MYNAME_FXWARS(RESOLUTION).mov. And please add your name at the beginning and end of the animation, and if you can, also add a small non disruptive watermark during the animation.
[li]If for some reason, you can’t host movies, sequential images (Thumbnails size 160 x 120 ) are accepted.[/li][li]You are STRONGLY encouraged to add your entry to You Tube. If interested, please contact the Roberto Ortiz.[/li][li]Please add a brief text description about your piece.[/li][li]The artist also has to post total length of time it took and program used.[/li][li]Collaborative pieces are accepted and encouraged, but Teams entries must have a identifying banner and a name. Shot lists should be included with the entry.[/li][li]Individuals participating in a team CAN have their own individual entries.[/li][li]Post on this thread your link to your WIP thread and your FINAL piece.[/li][li]You can add multiple entries, as long as they have different WIP threads.[/li][li]Freelancers CAN participate in more than ONE entry[/li][li]All Teams members & Freelancers will get screen credit for in the title cards for participation[/li][li]Only participants who follow the rules and submit a final entry will be elegible for the voting process.[/li][li]The moderators reserve the right to taken down any thread.[/li][/ul]
[li]Nightmare Before Xmas[/li][li]Polar Express[/li][li]Ice_Hotel[/li][li]Chronicles of Narnia[/li][/ul]-R


I’m a little lost it looks like we can either do a scary Environmental shot (like Dracula’s castle). Or a holiday winter wonderland Environment. Is that right ?


You can do either
Santa’s Kingdom
or Dark…

Jadis the Winter Witch Castle…


Depending on the comments we will go live tonight.




I’d love to do some snow!


Sounds very interesting.


Oh, this was easy: I just hold the camera out the window, like so:




Thanks for showing my work :slight_smile: Damn it’s old now! I had a really good time doing this!


This is my cup of tea :arteest:

Looks like I’ll be doing my first FXWars in a long time :thumbsup:


hey fred i love that dracula piece you did. i was blown away by it the first time i saw it. man, it seems so long ago.



That was a good one!


Wow ZAP you win!


I’ve never competed in an FXWars challenge, but being in the Christmas spirit, I’ve decided to create the north pole and Santa’s Village. Good luck to everyone that’s competing and Merry Christmas!


grrr this one would be awesome but my comp at home just pooped out on me :frowning:
have to get a new one


wow this is nice…im in for it


Hi mod,
FirstTimer on FXWars…
A quick query… Are we limited to only the three themes listed (Santa’s kingdom, IceQueen’s castle, JackFrost town) ? Or are they just example themes i.e. can we pick any other winter-based theme ?



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