Q. Do “life forms” include plants? / What exactly is supposed to be in the image? / I want to create an image with xyz lifeform, can I? / Are unborn eggs ok? / Can I create a Terminator-like mecha creature? What’s OK and not? - Semantic questions
A. Artistic liberty is given to you to create and amaze us. Use your initiative, as we do not wish to give too many guidelines or restrictions.
Q. Why are mods not allowed to enter this challenge?
A. Due to the large prize, and to keep judging unbiased (selected mods will be asked to judge the final entries), we are making a general rule - no mods allowed.
Q. Are collaborations (2 or more artists working on one entry) allowed?
A. No. Collaborations are not allowed as it completely changes the dynamics of the challenge. If teamwork is allowed, it would give larger teams an advantage.
Q. Can people with educational licenses, or trial/exp versions enter?
A. Yes. There is no restriction on whether you use educational or fully licensed software.
Q. Can people with pirated software enter this challenge?
A. If you are using pirated software, you are only continuing to do so at your own legal risk. Neither Alienware, CGNetworks nor any of the contest sponsors endorses the use of pirated software and anyone silly enough to admit to using pirated software will have their entry removed from the challenge promptly, with risk of legal action from the respective copyright holders.
Q. Will this be the only challenge or will the regular ones such as an animation challenge/2D challenge during this one?
A. There are currently no plans to run other challenges during the Alienware Challenge (subject to change). The reason for this is due to the high attrition rate when running too many challenges at the same time. We want everyone to focus on one challenge, for three months, do a good job and most importantly, finish it.
Q. Is post processing in non 3D applications (e.g. Photoshop) all right?
A. Absolutely. We believe that in order to get the best image quality and results, you will need to perform post-work in an image processing application. Your image, however, must be predominantly 3D. How you want to construct your image (multiple 3D elements composited, or full 3D render), is at your discretion.
Q. How much 2D is allowed over the 3D? Do things like dust, fire, and all other effects have to be achieved within the 3D app or can they be painted on afterwards? Would even things like paint-overs be allowed?
A. The image needs to be predominantly 3D, or give the effect of being three-dimensional. The purpose of this challenge is to facilitate the creation of art. Use your discretion, artistic license and initiative in creating the art.
Q. On the main CGnetworks competition area do you just want 1 finished milestone pic, i.e. 1 final concept, 1 finished modeling, 1 finished textured etc. and leave all the inbetweens to cgtalk or shove every single created picture in CGnetworks?
A. Submit images that you want to be considered for judging. You will need at least one per milestone. You do not need to submit all WIP shots via the CGNetworks challenge system as you may like to host them and directly plug them in-line on posts. This is at your discretion.
Q. Is there a set image aspect ratio we have to work to?
A. No, but you may like to consider working in a ‘portrait’ layout as it will be easier to use the image in a promotional poster setting, or print in a book such as EXPOSE’ 2. This is at your discretion, but are valid consideration points.
Q. Does your first Concept Sketch have to be done in pencil or is a painter/photoshop drawing OK?
A. You can use Photoshop, Painter or any other drawing application to do your concept sketches. These do not need to be done in traditional media.
Q. Does the final winning image need to be of a certain size at 300dpi?
A. Image Size (IMPORTANT PLEASE READ)
- Image dimensions should be print resolution (as large as you can possibly render). Do not send in a low-resolution placeholder and ask us to get back to you, as we won’t.
- A guideline is 2657 pixels wide and/or 3636 high, 300 DPI.
- DO NOT upsample your images to achieve higher resolution. If you cannot reach the desired full-page resolution, just send in what you have.
Final submission information will be made available in January 2004. All contestants will be emailed with secure FTP information only in January 2004.
Q. Do artists need to sign over usage rights for Alienware or whoever to use i.e. will the winning images be used commercially?
A. All artwork submitted for the Alienware CG Challenge, including WIP’s are automatically given rights for Alienware and CGNetworks to use for marketing purposes. This is documented in the terms and conditions presented during the challenge entry and submission process.
Q. The rules state to avoid well known sci-fi franchises but what about a lesser known sci-fi concept?
A. The sole purpose of avoiding well known sci-fi franchises is to prevent any possible infringement of copyrights, intellectual property, and to promote originality. While you can be inspired by existing material, it is good artistic practise to avoid blatant copying of existing designs.
Q. May I submit more than one entry?
A. No. Each individual is restricted to one entry.
Q. Wondering if the challenge is limited to still pictures. If a short camera move or atmospheric (lightning, rain, etc…) effects can be used in a short clip and included with a still image for consideration when judging?
A. This challenge is limited to still images. While you can create animations for your own edification, judging will only be limited to stills.
Q. Can the milestones that you upload be updated or are you bound to the one you upload first? In other words, are the uploads you use with the CGNetworks system final?
A. You can upload multiple entries for the same milestone - e.g. you may have 2 or more concept sketches that you wish to upload for consideration.
Q. Can I enter the challenge using digital matte painting using predominantly Photoshop or Painter?
A. While there is nothing stopping you from entering the challenge, the milestones are clearly catered to 3D image creation, and you will be unable to meet these milestones. Quick answer is ‘no’. Long answer is ‘yes’, but you probably won’t meet the requirements to be considered for judging.
Q. Are Work In Progress (WIP) going to be judged?
A. No. But you need to submit work in progress shots (screengrabs, sketches, test renders, etc) in order to meet the requirements of this challenge. We will not be judging the quality of the WIP’s submitted, but they need to be submitted, for the overall entry to be considered for judging.
Q. Are terrain generators allowed?
A. Yes. As long as it is not the prominent feature of the artwork, it is allowed. E.g. backdrop mountain vistas… you cannot use terrain generators or other parametric software model generators to create the primary subject matters.
Q. Are there deadlines on the work in progress milestones?
A. No. However, one of the judging criteria is “community interaction” - artists who ‘hold back’ their milestones and submit all at the last minute will not score well in this category.
Q. So what ARE the judging criteria?
A. Full judging criteria and panel of judges will be announced in January 2004. Before then, we will not disclose or discuss the judging process or criteria.