Thank you for your reply. No one is required to work on the physical media mate. While I understand your concerns about excluding much of the community with limiting the technique to just 2D painting, I strongly disagree that an image cannot be produced via 3D means and made look “painted” (i.e. closer to Syd Mead’s original technique) in postproduction. Maybe it’s a longer way around for some artists who prefer the “raw” render, but I believe necessary to emulate the charisma/look of Syd’s work.


Perhaps I wasn’t clear. I think images made in 3d can be made to emulate 2d painted images and, in fact, I think that is some of my favorite work being created today. I took from your post that you believed the only way to emulate a style was to use the same medium as the artist you are trying to emulate and that because Syd Mead did not work in 3d that any 3d entries were not in keeping with the competition.


Pls, we want to see videos about the announcing of winners in siggraph 2010 inside booth 1001 by Syd Mead (27&28 July) or maybe some pictures…
Also, we want to see the top 130 entries…


Syd started his career long before computers were available. As a designer and later a futurist he had to learn the skills required to recreate accurate 3D scenes and models – all by hand…
So a lot of the look of Syd has to do with his incredible skills of creating accurate models of various vehicles, planes, boats and cityscapes. It’s the look, the composition, the coloring – everything, that defines a style. The tools you use don’t matter - it’s the result you achieve that is important.


Thank you Mark. I’m very sorry but I have a few other questions and unfortunately you are the only judge that communicates with us here, so you are my victim so to speak. :slight_smile: Please don’t be offended. :slight_smile:

Do you think that the entrants’ ability to emulate those modeling skills, that Syd achieved over time ( “accurate models of various vehicles, planes, boats and cityscapes”) played a more significant role in your judgement of the submitted works than the general Syd-like impression the artwork makes on the viewer ?
Or differently: Does the spot-on raytraced accuracy of some 3D artworks (containing “the look, the composition, the coloring – everything, that defines a style”) gave it more points in your book than a less-accurate 2D painting (containing “the look, the composition, the coloring – everything, that defines a style”), that is however stylistically closer to the general perception of Syd’s work (i.e. hand-painted artwork) ?
It may be a complicated series of questions, so probably a simplicity approach would be comparing the contents of these 2 links: http://www.leewiart.com/excellentres/detail.aspx?id=98 and http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?t=894734. I’m sure I see a difference in the look, composition, coloring - everything that defines a style.
I’m asking these questions, Mark, because, looking at some of the mixed reactions in this forum, there seems to be, probably not VERY significant, but still a small group of users who see the difference between how the judges and the public approached the execution and judgement of this competition.
Chronologically, when artworks started flowing into this competition some 4 months ago, it was all studio renders, no characters and very weak resemblance to any known Mead work. Then suddenly someone put a 2D painting in there and everybody went like “this is gonna win”, “so much Mead in it”, “strikingly Mead” (these are not citations, but the expression of the general feeling) and so on. Then more and more 2D artworks entered the comp and it became very competitive. Artwork upon artwork flew in that was closer and closer to the “averaged down” (meaning artistic cross-section,don’t take it negatively please) Mead artwork. At that point it was all clear to everyone - these guys will win, because their artwork hits your eye with the message “Syd Mead painted me”. As expected in a competition bearing the “in the style of” line. No one had any doubts and the posts in the respective threads signified just that. No one debated whether the “in the style of” means design or anything else. It was the impression, the feel that counted.
Now 2 days ago when you guys uncovered the winning entries, questions arose as to how some of the artwork actually made it into final 5. The problem is simple - “in the style of”. If you meant just the design, why wasn’t it clearly said and all the entries would be studio renders with raytraced reflections and shadows ? If you meant the overall “feel”, then that, in the case of Mr Mead, also includes the gentle imprecise strokes of the artist’s hands in a 2D application and is crucial to communicating the “Syd Mead feel” back to the viewer… Or maybe you guys said to yourselves that you also have to give some merit to the guys who did not open Photoshop to “lay hands on the artwork” ?
At any rate, there are some discrepancies between our (some, not all viewers) expectations and the judges’ decisions. Somehow, these problems didn’t arise when the “Surreal” comp was judged. Every piece communicated the same thing “I was done by Jacek”. This doesn’t seem to be the case.
Maybe for the better of the future competitions, things should be clearer next time ? More strictly defined rules and expectations, boundaries of stylistical language ?
And just to explain my own personal interest here: I’m not saying all this because I don’t have better things to do or because I wanted to win so badly (I did want to :-), but there are much better guys around and I’m capable of admitting it) or to start some flame war, but because I (and when I say “I” I really mean a few other guys) honestly feel the need to get answers to these questions.


Oh, Boy, here we go…
I’ve been wondering when this was going to come up because I’ve had some of the same feelings, but from the 2D perspective. I’ve been collecting everything I could find on Mr. Mead’s art since I discovered the first Sentinal book and was aware of his work with Blade Runner. I started out illustrating cars in college (1969) with water color and tempra on illustration board and struggled with perspective, composition, color and reflections. I still struggle with those things but I try (humbly) to emulate Mr. Meads solutions to those problems and mainly how his images always tell a story. When I learned of this competition (my first), I new right away what I was going to do. I wanted to try to tell the story about 60 years from now when people will be (hopefully) collecting and maybe still going to car shows with the classics of the future, the new Camaro, Mustang and Challenger plus maybe still finding a way to bring a 100 year old GTO (unless somebody like Obama just doesn’t outlaw classic cars).

When the first entries started being posted, I thought I might actually have a chance at an honorable mention maybe because most where 3D renders of vehicle concepts without a story or painterly feel. It took me forever to get my initial sketches and designs ready to paint (in Photoshop) and by then some really excellent “2D style” illustrations started coming in. I wish that everybody posted what software they where using, because the best ones looked like they were done traditionally although I was sure they were done 3D with a nice render and maybe finished in Photoshop or Painter. I soon realized I didn’t have a chance realistically, but what really got me discouraged was while I was struggling trying to get composition and reflections right on one painting (apparently not very successfully) others where submitting two or more images with different views, lighting etc, of the same 3D image. I’m not saying it’s any easier because I do work in Cinema 4D and know how maddening it can be to build the model and get realistic looking lighting and materials. But there is an advantage in being able to move the camera around and pick out the best or different view. I have to start a new painting to do that. I am trying to learn 3D to block in basic shapes and to help with perspective and composition but I just didn’t have the time on this one.

I know it would probably be impossible because of the blurring of the lines, but I wonder if there should be two classes, one for traditional or 2D Photoshop/Painter art and one for 3D programs.

Anyway, my entry really isn’t finished, so I want to revise it some and repost and hopefully get some feedback on helping me be a better artist.

Thanks everybody!


I agree with davek1979. From my point of view, which was based on the headline: “Images of future transport: in style of Syd Mead”, I see in final 5, one (maybe two) entry/ies that resemble style and work of Syd Mead. Rest is nothing like main theme of this challenge, in my opinion anyway. While i respect judges decision and the work of all participants, i simply do not understand it.


Maybe, just maybe someday, in a competition you can ask the artists and designers around to create something specific in their own style, by their own thinking, imagination and ideas. I didn’t followed the design lines here and didn’t expected to win, but I create something that can actually be build. Or at least that’s what I imagine and can predict.
Otherwise I can really design a car without wheels, but hey, we don’t even know what gravity is, so let’s live with it, till we learn to control it, otherwise we don’t look to bright. Is just my idea, hope I’m not offending anyone, I know some designs may have their own artistic purposes that go beyond functionality and physical nature of things and what i hope is some competition where great ideas can challenge each other for energy efficiency beauty and feasibility.
Or maybe that’s just me who wants that, I don’t know. I may be, myself more of a designer than an artist, interested in the physics of things more than their fantastic appearance that we cannot build. Or we cannot build yet or in the near future, like a century or so or by the means we have today or in that time. I believe we all can and have some ideas, what if we all try to be original someday ? And forget about “In the style of …”. After all, Syd Mead is original, that’s why he is so good.
Maybe a contest like that will be interesting, where designers and artists will be able to show their creative ideas in their own original style. And then we all can see who’s more creative and can change or create new visions, new universes, new futures, just like Syd Mead did when he started. I would be glad to know Syd Mead is judging us for our originality and potential, instead of the ability to copy and recreate his own original style.
What do you think ?


I agree too! 1 maybe 2 of the 5 being very, very nice!
Some judges don’t know nothing about automotive design and write about as deans experts in motorsports! Unbelievable!
I don’t buy it! Anybody that research a little will not buy it too!
When I saw Syd in person praising one of the worst and ugliest vehicle designs I eve saw…
Awarded works without background, with out humans… With scanned photos!
Any body here saw one finished work done by Syd Mead without background? Without people? With mounted photographs? My lord! It’s a wip contest? It’s a disrespect with the people that really do all stuff and finished theirs works! Judges don’t like my vehicle, don’t like my background; ok! I can live with it, but see an award wip work is very disappointing.
Some vehicles easily could weight several tons to transport one person over a pool table because will bog in the first hole with 4 inches in the street, detail, it’s isn’t in a street… A vehicle that you cant get inside without a helicopter? I loved the rendering, but it’s future? Vehicles without suspensions… Anyone want to ride shaking all time? I don’t buy it too!
I can’t finish my design as I wanted; and anybody could or not like it, but mine has background, humans to scale things… It’s the only one showing mechanical parts, that show that the vehicle is researched, designed, not a loose rendering…
I love Syd Meads works, specially the early ones, my rendering is in some way a tribute to his first book, but I’m really, really, really upset! For me they get the top 100 and put it upside down! It’s this that North American people think about future of transport? Here the “news”, China is coming!
I really sure NVidia like all people sending works, great amount of works… But they like the winners?
Only I saw all this flaws in the judge? By the way, congratulations to winners again! I’m in the wrong planet!!! Any body has a ticket to Sirius?



I dont agree with results of contest. Many art works of winners not in style of Syd MEad… This is sad.

Contest must be named FUTURE TRANSPORT(not in style of Syd MEad). :lightbulb


Once again I congratulate winners, and I wait for new competitions. I hope in following competitions there will be more certain rules and logical refereeing.


Any chance we might get to see the top 100?

Not to pile on, or seem like a sore loser… but I can see were some of you have beef.
When I though out my concept, I tried to base it on current existing technology, just a little bit more enhanced. Maybe next time you could set a specific time frame or technology requirements.

Seems like the judges had a very wide range of ideas to consider. Again please do not take this as derogatory, I feel that the finalist motorcycle was not designed with someone familiar with riding, it would be practically impossible to ride. (weight and riding position are out of whack). Again just an opinion…

My full respect and congratulations to all winners and finalists.
I’m not hater, really I’m not.


I guess this thread has become “the whiners list” hahaha

Ok, I only love 2 of the top 5 winners, and I guess the judges had a hard time accepting other judges “favorites”, because not all judges had comments for all 5 finalists.

Its understandable cause art its about appreciation, art is not absolute, is relative, therefore there is no way we would all be happy if the winners chosen were totally different than these.

I dont think it really matter if your design “resembled” or was somehow"Syd-style" to be on the top 5, I think what they meant when they said: “In the style of Syd Mead” , was to simply create a futuristic vehicle, in order to avoid people making a past or present actual vehicle, I think the idea was “innovation” rather than trying to do something “alike” Syd’s work.
So stop complaining about the “wrong guidelines”,…we didnt win, that’s all. But we learned a lot!!

I dont believe that all the judges are absolutely happy about the 5 winners, they all must have had different favorites, but they had to “negociate” in order to do what they were expected to.


Totally Agree…
While I agree about the bike as Cab305 said in regards to the rider aspect, I still love the design and it just spurs me on to take inspiration and do better next time.

The great thing about this competition is that it took me out of my comfort zone (I have only ever modeled one car). I was challenged to design and create things I would not have on my own, and made me look at vehicle design in a whole new and exciting way.

Betito is right, Art is open to interpretation. In a competition you can never guess what’s going to be a hit or miss…so you roll the dice and if you miss the mark try harder for next time…you can’t say you never tried.

All I know is Syd Mead actually looked at my work, said he was impressed by all the entries (glee!) That is enough for me…This is a rare opportunity I know I would not have been afforded had I not made the effort to take up this Challenge…and I know I have improved because of it .

So take heart CGers and do not despair. Do what you do for the love of it, and one day each of our stars will shine.


In the first I do not ache.

In the second, in rules was it is accurately specified that works should be “in style of Syda Mead” instead of is simple transport of future(!)

In the third in rules usage of trademarks is forbidden… (!) But even it dont accept.

I have been assured that competition will be similar on “NVArt - Surreal: In the style of Jacek Yerka” - there all seemed to me more logical.

Forgive if whom not so has understood and for my English. There is some language barrier.


It is all is told to make more likely the future competitions better.


I agree. The rules said “The Style of Syd Mead”. Even Syd never really addressed his own style, just the coolness or wow factor of the submissions. I guess that implies his choices were in his style.


I have a similar whine. Realistically I hadn’t expected to place in this competition. My entry was neither in the style of Syd Mead nor was it particularly futuristic, but to a degree in the same category as No.4 “Black Cucumber”, so I was a bit surprised that it placed in top 5. On one hand it’s obvious that a lot of work and thought was put into it’s creation, and render is near superb, so an outstanding work by many accounts. Personally I don’t like the design of it, but many others did, and it has some interesting details. On the other hand, anyone who ever owned a bike or at least rode one for more than 5 minutes can tell that it’s unrideable.

Form before function is dominant in all winners and honorable mentions. I guess, because form is perceived more subjectively it’s little wonder that many other excellent entries failed to place.

The only winners that I really like are No.1 “Crono Viper” and No.2 “TS2805”. Not only are they just awesome pictures with original and strong designs, but are detached enough from the present that the form/function issue get’s lost altogether.

Congratulations to all the winners and thanks to all who participated for an enjoyable experience.


I believe we are asking pretty valid questions. Why would anyone dismiss them as “whines” is beyond me.

Saying that, I can see that these questions have 2 directions now:
1, the one that deals with the “in the style of” issue
2, the one that questions practicality of the submitted designs

TBH the second issue is irrelevant to me personally for 2 reasons: 1, It’s not the aim of this competition to produce a realistic, industry-ready, practical design. 2, Syd Mead’s own designs don’t scream at you they are incredibly practical, they are what they are - visually attractive possibilities aimed at people who have trouble imagining these possibilities for themselves. Syd said something similar in one of his interviews IIRC.
But of course it should be a welcome plus if the design is also realistic.


Is there any list of the top100 or will be? And if yes where we can find it? :slight_smile: