General Discussion Thread



What kind of error? Did you get it during download, while extracting the RAR file, or when loading the scene into Maya?


Thank you for the welcoming!

I downloaded the file and opened it with StuffItExpander and when i opened it with Maya 2010 I would get an error saying that the file can not be read.


Did you check ignore version when opening it? I just tested it in 2010 and if you ignore version it should work. Hope that helps.


thanks for the help! I still get an error but now the scene actually opens up. There’s some error with the panZoom. I appreciate all the help!


I would select all the geometry and go file - export selection if you are using Maya. Sometimes that helps to get rid of any little bugs that might be bogging down your scene.

Hope that helps!


Lighting Challenge #25 Artistry is up!

Good luck and have fun!


I think for the next challenge, or anyone coming up should include some kind of character. I loved lighting challenge #18 which had that robot character in it and I think it inspired some really awesome renders from the community.


As there are lot talks and concerns about dooms day causing threat to the human mankind, i would opine to have a challenge that depicts the aftermath of dooms day or warning of dooms day…It would be fun to see how an individual visualizes the ‘not-seen’ dooms day.
Few more ideas can be like, global warming, an universe, " if time-machine was invented and the present generation travels to past or future",a futuristic visualization of technology.

I aint sure if these would make a good idea for the challenges( may be bcoz of the complexity of the models it would have)…but neways, i m inspired by the forum and challenges as well.I would try to keep myself updated and be part of the challenges…



How about a cultural/foreign setting? Like a French outdoor cafe? :slight_smile:


I have to say i agree with two of the previous post about having the next challenge be something reminiscent of challenge #18. That does look like it was a fun one. I look forward to seeing what the next one will be. Thanks for doing these challenges, I have done several as exercises after the competition was over and and did get to actually enter one but still , i enjoy it.


Congratulations on another terrific challenge. A gallery is on-line showing some of the amazing work that was contributed:



Let’s go to the movies! A new challenge featuring a character at a Matinee, is now up!


Thanks for all the great ideas!

As always I’m on the lookout for modelers who would like to create our next challenge. Send me a PM if you’re interested in helping out. Thanks!


i just have a suggestion about future challenges.
i feel adding own models or making modifications to the models should not be allowed because that takes away the essence of a “challenge”. i feel the challenge is to light the scene as it is given to you.if we make changes according to our own convenience then it does not remain a challenge. but its alright to move the model around and change camera angles. but making major changes in the models should not be allowed.

it is just a humble suggestion. but i HAVE TO say that you guys are doing a great job by putting up such challenges and those feedbacks are really very helpful for us to learn more.
thanks a lot. :slight_smile:


Looking forward to the next challenge! This is my favorite section of cgtalk by far, even though I typically just lurk and check out the work. Any leads or cool ideas brewing? :beer:

I get what you mean but some of the artists on this board put in what must be 60+ hours on some of these challenges, and to have your render tarnished because the coins in kings bounty weren’t fully round or chamfered is just a shame. (A great challenge too btw, unreal caustics on some of those diamonds!) Also it’s hard to explain to a 3rd party without sounding like you are making excuses. Not sure if that’s what you meant by major change. Many of the winners for these challenges didn’t make major changes so I think the spirit is working out regardless. :slight_smile:


well i get what you mean, but i surely did not mean we cannot refine those models, may be smoothen it, adjust the material attributes…etc…but i have seen artists totally change the models, some of them completely replace them with their own and even add some more items in the scene, that i feel is not the right thing to do for a “challenge”.



Cave! Let’s light some cave!

Like this one:

Now we have to add some fancy lighting.


Long post. Bonus points if you get through it.

I’d hoped to participate in the Cinema challenge, but I ran out of time. What I particularly liked about it was the fact it was character lighting, pretty much a staple, and that it was an interesting situation. I’m hoping more shots like this come along.

Supes and Directors get antsy when their TDs go ‘off the reservation’ and start making the shot into whatever they want it to be. Usually you’ve just got to make the shot that’s in front of you look as good as you can get it.

Having said that, this is a learning exercise. Some results have been highly creative ideas taken from a common starting point, and it’s been really interesting to see what people come up with. I think the question is, how do the participants want to treat the exercise.

From a feedback point of view, if you know what the goal of the shot is, it’s easier to give feedback to get to that goal. If it’s wild, then it’s harder to judge the artist’s intent. While I might work on one shot at a time, the shot still has to fit into a larger body of work. There might be many ways to light the shot to make it look pretty. Fewer of them will support the intent of the shot.

Perhaps a solution might be to offer a brief precis along with the shot, explaining what the ‘sequence’ the ‘shot’ fits into is about, and what the shot is to convey. Those that want to play along are ‘allowed’ to add details to the scene if it helps them sell the shot, and frame the shot to taste.

eg. “INT NIGHT. Closeup of Iggy over Sebastian’s shoulder.
Mid-heist, Iggy reacts to the wail of alarms (offscreen, screen left), and looks to flee.”

In that shot, you’d probably want to light it to try to capture Iggy’s reaction as he realises he’s got some leg work to do. You’d also want models and layout that captures that beat in the film.

If people then want to take the scene, disregard the precis, but want to make something out of the parts, good on them. No harm, no foul.

To offer some more alternatives, what would people think about having to light to a plate?
Or maybe having to light a relatively ‘generic’ set up as if it was part of some different films / tv shows? The Challenge picks a kind of shot trope (eg. horror scream) and offers a (generic) model / set, then the participants find and post the reference they want to recreate (so those following along can offer suggestions), then go at it? Maybe genders might be switched, maybe props might be missing. Regardless, is that horror scream you’re doing Psycho, Scream, or Home Alone?

[edited, came up with more]


Supes and Directors get antsy when their TDs go ‘off the reservation’ and start making the shot into whatever they want it to be. Usually you’ve just got to make the shot that’s in front of you look as good as you can get it.

u got it! :wink:


I agree! Dan really hit it out of the park with modeling a great, character-oriented challenge. This was exactly what we need more of. I regret that I was in the last weeks of a production during this challenge, and didn’t get time to give feedback or participate myself.

I agree again. I tried something like that for Challenge #4:
Based on the script, people lit the scene for the romantic, the horror, the sci-fi, etc. Providing a script fragment makes the exercise closer to each person being the director and art director of the film.

I also like the idea of providing images to match. Some visual reference (maybe stills from the kid watching the movie in Up, Cinema Paradiso, Purple Rose of Cairo, etc.) could give more specific guidance.

While creative direction could have been missing, I think really a lack of experience and direction in lighting characters was the bigger problem on this one. I wasn’t able to put together a gallery of winners from this one, even though some people were off to promising starts. Prepping a character model for rendering, with shaders and textures on eyes, skin, and clothing, hair set-up, etc. takes a lot of time, but then even people who made it through that, but hadn’t really lit characters before, still didn’t really seem to have a solid idea of what to do next. I suspect that more step-by-step instructions on topics like how the fill light should work on back-lit characters, maybe combined with a request that people post light-by-light breakdowns and then more feedback from people who light characters a lot, could have created a more successful outcome. Some of these ideas would put even more demand on hosting these challenges, though: these are just supposed to be a fun, collaborative contest, and are not advertised as a full course or a free on-line workshop for all the participants. Over time, I think people do get better at lighting characters with practice, though. I hope we keep tackling character-oriented challenges when possible, maybe even re-using some of the same characters in new settings, until more people master the process.