Frequently Asked Questions


#1

For questions/answers on the Challenge, please post here…

  1. Please read the instructions before posting here.

  2. Please help us to answer questions. If you see a question already answered, please refer the person to that answer so that we don’t keep repeating ourselves.

Challenge-Specific

Q: It’s based on a book… do I have to read the book?

A: Nope. You don’t need to do anything book-related, it’s just there to help set the theme of what we’re talking about. As long as you’re depicting alien-human interaction, you’re set!

Q: Do I need a paid CGSociety membership?

A: Not at all! Our CGChallenges are open to all CGTalkers. If you don’t already have a free account, get one here.
Q: How early do I have to start submitting milestones?

A: As early as possible. Although there is no due date earlier than the final closing date, part of the final judging vote puts emphasis on Community Interaction, which means that people who ‘hold back’ their work in progress till the last minute can be penalized.

Q: Can we work in teams? What about pairs?

A: Yes, teams can submit to the video category. See also the Looking For Group thread.

Q: I’m using a new email but the challenge keeps sending stuff to my old one. How do I fix that?

A: You go into CGTalk’s UserCP (User Control Panel) and change your email address there. If you still have problems, email me.

Q: What if I am a winner and I want a different prize? E.g. What if I win the Grand Prize but I want the Runner Up prize instead?

A: You can contact the other winner with the prize that you want, and ask if they want to do an exchange. What you guys do with your prizes is up to you, and we’re not going to be involved in it.

Q: How do I actually enter the competition?

A: Go to the challenge site and click on “Enter The Challenge”. Upload your pictures through the challenge site submission (“Submit Your Entry”) or the CGChallenge Uploader.

Q: How I can get out of this challenge?

A: Just stop submitting.

Q: Can I have multiple entries?

A: Not in a single category. As stated in the guidelines, no multiple entries although it’s possible to enter multiple categories.

Q: Can I upload my WIP images to my own server? Is that counted?

A: No. Please use the Challenge site facility to upload your Work-In-Progress. It allows us to track the entries properly, and guarantee continued hosting of all images.

Technical

Q: Are random or parametric terrain and foliage/plant generation software (Bryce/Vue/Terragen) allowed?

A: Yes

Q: Can I use Poser, Daz 3D or pre-fabricated models?

A: Yes. This is no different from using your own pre-built models or the parametric models now availble in most 3D systems. However you should add significant creative input to make the models and results unique?

Q: Can I use a trial version of a software?

A: Yes. We don’t care. The final image must not have watermarks on it.

Q: The guidelines in the instructions says that the resolution for the final image should be at least 2657 pixels wide and/or 3636 high, 300 DPI (portrait). Why do you need such a high resolution for?

A: We want to train people to create artwork for print - suddenly detailed textures and meshes are important in the creation of your art! We also like encouraging people to submit their art for Ballistic Publishing books, like EXPOSÉ.

Q: What resolution do you want the final image to be exactly? What about if we make the image a different aspect ratio and orientation?

A: That’s cool, just make it big enough to fill a full page in an A4-sized book. Or make it bigger, even!

Q: Because of hardware limitations, is it ok to render a part and use it as a background, or render in “layers” and composite it all together later?

A: Yes. This is how professionals work – you should use every tool and technique availble in the best way possible.

Q: Any problems if I do it with a student license of Maya?

A: If it is watermarked then yes. Otherwise, no.

Q: Is it ok to use vray, RenderMan or 3rd party renderers for rendering?

A: Yes – you are free to use any software you like.

Q: While I know its ok to use 2D textures in this 3D project…is it going to be ok to use a 2D element as a back drop? Like a background…like a matte painting?

A: Yes. You should always use every tool that is apropriate in the best way possible.

Q: Are we allowed to use web downloaded textures?

A: Yes, but you must credit everything you use. Anyone caught not crediting material, contributors or inspirational works will be disqualified.


#2

I have been thinking about making a film trailer using the Unreal 3 engine / editor. In the video explanation on the challenge website a trailer is the recommended way to proceed. I have had a film idea in my head for a long time now and it seems to fit this competition very well.

I am also in need of a portfolio : ) as I work in games combining the 2 seemed like a good idea, id get to make my movie trailer and all the assets can go into my portfolio. Would a trailer made in the Unreal 3 engine be allowed? Obviously I would save it off as a QuickTime / WMP etc format for submission.

One other thing, my movie trailer is kinda based off the Doom (from id) universe. Would that be a problem for this competition as long as I state that?

Cheers


#3

Q: Can I use Poser, Daz 3D or pre-fabricated models?

A: Yes. This is no different from using your own pre-built models or the parametric models now availble in most 3D systems. However you should add significant creative input to make the models and results unique?

I didn’t see a rule talking about using premade selfmade models, so premade models can be used or do they have to be revised?


#4

Thanks for great anothe adventue you gave us :slight_smile:

you wrote in deliverables for video:
[i] • 30 second version of trailer for initial judging. Followed by a maximum of 90 sec making of material, followed by full length Video.

[/i]It’s writtn streight forward, but please let me ensure…

  1. if I decide to do only a 30sec trailer, can it be both, entry for judging and full length video?, or this should be noticeable longer

  2. I understand that making off can be done by composing stills from WIP together with some animations… but must it be delivered together with the final entries? or only winners should deliver that…

  3. and finally where I choose that my video entry is individual?

thanks again


#5

excuse me for being stupid, but am i right in thinking it doesn’t have to have a direct link to one of the books, it can just be playing with the theme ?

thanks,
A


#6

Hi,and thanks for another GREAT CHALLENGE!

Question: Can we use 2D animation on 3D environment?For example I want to make all the props,vehicles,spaceships,location on 3D and mattepainting and the characters to be 2D.
It is posible?


#7

Just to make sure, i have to ask:

The entry HAS to be somehow grounded in the Uplift world? Or can i do something in line with the theme, but not related to the Uplift world ?

Gotta read some Uplift anyway :wink:


#8

this is from the instruction page:

"Your Mission

In this challenge your task is to show the interaction of aliens and humans. You must depict the interaction of humans, and at least one other species.

                              You can base your aliens on the species  described in David Brin’s classic Uplift series or you can dream up your own. 
                              
                              You can use any setting you like - planet bound, interior, exterior, or in a space ship. However the setting is secondary to the depiction of human - alien interaction."

#9

ah. thank you : )

dam my dyslexia! !


#10

I got a question about the Human-Alien interaction…Should we show a human and an alien in the same scene, or an Alien using human’s object or living in a human environment could be acceptable?


#11

Bigmikey, thanks, seems i missed that ‘dreaming up your own’ part ;).


#12

Would a trailer made in the Unreal 3 engine be allowed?

Yes.

One other thing, my movie trailer is kinda based off the Doom (from id) universe. Would that be a problem for this competition as long as I state that?

It’s a potential liability… but I don’t see any reason you can’t have a “Doom-like” universe, and not be “Doom”.

I didn’t see a rule talking about using premade selfmade models, so premade models can be used or do they have to be revised?

They can be used, but the final entry must be primarily your own work, and no significant part of it should be recognisably based on any earlier work.

  1. if I decide to do only a 30sec trailer, can it be both, entry for judging and full length video?, or this should be noticeable longer

If you only want to do a short one, that’s OK.

  1. I understand that making off can be done by composing stills from WIP together with some animations… but must it be delivered together with the final entries? or only winners should deliver that…

Yes, stills & animations are fine - it’s best if you slip it into the video you upload as your final piece. It’s not mandatory, but increases your chances of winning in the open categories.

  1. and finally where I choose that my video entry is individual?

All entries are individual unless you invite other team members.

Question: Can we use 2D animation on 3D environment?

Yep!

or an Alien using human’s object or living in a human environment could be acceptable?

That sounds reasonable to me :slight_smile:


#13

thanks for your answer, I only have a short question to this…

Do you mean slipping it at the end of the final video (the longer one), or to this 30sek judged one, which obviously would make it longer…

question perhaps not too clever, but just want to be sure that it can be added to the 30sec trailer, or if not, that it will be noticed at the end of the final longer video, and taken under consideration with those open categories


#14

Do you mean slipping it at the end of the final video (the longer one), or to this 30sek judged one, which obviously would make it longer…

The best thing is to have all three concatenated into a single FLV file when you upload it. That way, judges have an easier time finding your video(s) with all the content. (We always mark one as “primary”).


#15

I have a question about the visual effects entry. So the scene im doing uses Cloth (syflex) and Hair (Shave and a Haircut) and its in the animation category. Can it also be considered for the visual effects section. In other words will you allow cloth and hair to be used as visual effects to be judged?


#16

Thanks Mibus!


#17

“12. Images must conform to nominal decency guidelines. Any image deemed to contain…sexual…material in an inappropriate manner may be disqualified and removed.”

Just so I understand what is considered inappropriate, is alien nudity allowed?

Thanks


#18

Anybody have any problems with the CgTalk license?


#19

If you create a 3D still scene, but then decide to animate it, can the original still and the animated version be entered separately in the video and image categories, or should there be different subject matter for each?

Realistically, it makes more sense to concentrate on one or the other but if, for example, a solid image entry is done inside of two months, one option to try for a video entry would be to use the existing assets from that still.


#20

I just got my licence for XSI. But it still says: (Ess 32. Expires in 30 days) in the top bar. Did I do something wrong?

Ah, I found the answer myself.

Stephen Blair posted this in the Softimage Community:

There is a known problem with the XSI title bar…when you have a Trial license installed, then the title bar always shows “Expires in XX days”, even if you also have another, longer-term license installed and you are running the other license.

To see what license you are using

  • Start the License Manager
  • click Server > Query License Server and then click Run Query
  • Look at the “used” column

The problem goes away when the Trial license expires.

The Trial and the CG Talk license are both for Essentials, so if you have both installed, it should not be a problem. After the Trial expires you will still have the CG Talk license.