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gster123 22-10-2010 07:46 PM

New Challenge Ideas Welcome
Hi guys,

After this challenge how about another?

There was a thread about a word challenge (if I remember rightly, please correct me with the correct idea).

Now another idea in the hat, how about a Christmas one? By the time it finishes it will be the festive season, make a christmas card scene? Could be a nice one for sending oput to friends, relatives, loved ones, or hated ones as the case may be!

Love it, hate it, its an idea...

I'm open for other ideas and will go on the most liked. Lets get ideas together, i'll then post a poll and vote, best idea wins, simple!

Acid44 22-10-2010 10:52 PM

I have an idea, pretty simple and open to creativity, how about a game scene? Like a battle area in a first person shooter type of scene. You know, like, interior of a warehouse or something, Challenge would be to be unique, keep it under a pre-determined poly count, use good textures/normal maps to bring out the detail.

I could see it being a popular one :p

tweetytunes 22-10-2010 11:04 PM

Why are there two threads on this topic ???

Acid44 23-10-2010 12:04 AM

Is there?

stwert 23-10-2010 12:56 AM

Yeah, two threads...? But anyway, I'm going to put in my vote for something a little more open to interpretation, like a concept challenge rather than a "use the modelling module of maya to make a single organic shape". Word challenge, anything that has to do with soup.. a bi-chromatic modelling and texturing challenge. Something outside the box.

tweetytunes 23-10-2010 01:11 AM

Acid44 23-10-2010 09:37 AM

Ah, hadn;t noticed that:ninja:

THX1138 23-10-2010 08:47 PM

I would still like to see another word challenge, but a 3D challenge would be cool also since alot of movies now days are going 3D, and we have never had a 3D challenge before here at SM.

A Christmas challenge kind of limits you to Christmas trees/lights, ornaments and gifts, santa, elves and reindeer. Not much there that really gets the imagination going IMO, but I guess that all depends on what the project is, and how cool you can make it look.

gubar 29-10-2010 10:59 AM


I think a challenge based on lighting, texturing and shading would be interesting.

Using a pre-made scene with a fixed camera if possilbe, so it's all about the finishing.

Seen something similar on another forum a couple of years back that used a bowl of fruit and I thought it was a good idea.



honestdom 29-10-2010 03:32 PM


Originally posted by gubar

I think a challenge based on lighting, texturing and shading would be interesting.

Using a pre-made scene with a fixed camera if possilbe, so it's all about the finishing.

Seen something similar on another forum a couple of years back that used a bowl of fruit and I thought it was a good idea.



i agree, i think i said this on the other thread, but +1 from me.

THX1138 29-10-2010 11:22 PM

@Gubar, That would be the lighting challenges over at CG talk right?

Those are really cool to watch.

Joopson 30-10-2010 04:57 AM

I really like the idea of redoing that grand old challenge of remaking your favorite retro game character or scene.
It was the first challenge I ever entered here, and it was quite a blast; I learned a lot.

I feel like people would jump at such an opportunity.

However, the lighting project is cool too. You would have to limit it to Mental-Ray only though, probably.

tweetytunes 30-10-2010 08:23 AM


Originally posted by Joopson
I really like the idea of redoing that grand old challenge of remaking your favorite retro game character or scene.
It was the first challenge I ever entered here, and it was quite a blast; I learned a lot.

I feel like people would jump at such an opportunity.

However, the lighting project is cool too. You would have to limit it to Mental-Ray only though, probably.

Was it just make a old school character or redesign them - iva way would be cool.

Joopson 30-10-2010 04:24 PM

I believe we could remake them, or put our own spin on them.

gubar 31-10-2010 10:57 AM


that was the one, was fun to watch and learn from.



Ozgalis 02-11-2010 01:12 AM

I would be down for doing a texture, lighting, and rendering challenge since I dont have much experiance in these areas...though this last challenge I didnt have nearly the time I thought I would so there is a good chance I wouldnt finish this one to.

stwert 02-11-2010 01:16 AM

I'd highly recommend a 1 month challenge. I know it seems counter intuitive that more people would be able to finish, but it means people are less ambitious and manage time better... this is true for me and I'm sure I'm not alone.

tweetytunes 08-11-2010 06:40 PM

Anything happening with this - and the results of the last one

honestdom 10-11-2010 10:48 AM

i still think a lighting/rendering challenge is a good idea, either that or a team challenge.
1 group of 5 (maybe), versus another. maybe a professional in each team.

Johndoe050 10-11-2010 07:22 PM

I like to model and texture something doesn't matter what. Who is in charge here? Lets get this challenge going!

3dStudent 13-11-2010 02:08 PM

I cant texture or light or render to save my life, I wouldn't/couldn't enter because of this but learning from others WIPS makes that idea get my vote too.

Nilla 18-11-2010 11:34 AM

I see there's a lot of suggestions on lighting challenges in this thread and it's something I've been thinking about as well for a while now. I really like the challenges Jeremy Birn hosts and how he posts up a gallery of the entries and the scene file which you can download on his own site once the challenge is finished. I wanted to try and do something similar to that on this site where you get a premodeled scene to light and shade, especially since we'll have a lot of lighting content on the new site which will be up sometime next week, we just have to finish writing the new forum.

My idea was this, how about we set the challenges to run for one month only and have a general challenge every two months and a lighting challenge in the month between? I think stwert is right about the bi-monthly thing that it doesn't really work because you see something and start on it but two months becomes a bit too long and the whole thing gets a bit tired and forgotten. Also I'd like to see the general challenges simplified, so that more people can enter. Suggestions for things like make a toy or that thing about a chair someone posted I think would make for good topics.

This way we could start on a new general challenge in the beginning of december and then start off the new year with the first lighting challenge on simply maya and i'll spend xmas modeling something up that we can use. And we could start simple like with a fruitbowl and move on from there as we release more complicated lighting tutorials on the site.

Let me know what you guys think,

tweetytunes 18-11-2010 12:08 PM

OMG - we finally getting the new look site.

Apart from that - I think the rest of it also sounds great

stwert 18-11-2010 05:41 PM

Yes, I agree with all that, Nilla. Looking forward to the new site too, my curiosity is piqued :)

ben hobden 20-11-2010 12:15 PM

Yeah. I like the idea of some lighting challenges. The J Birn style idea, with the scene files at the end is good. And definitely agreed with the 1 month duration idea.

A couple of other ideas I've also had are.

1) Texturing challenge. I had an idea about a challenge that could test peoples texturing, the idea being to basically model anything, or perhaps everyone could work off the same model, but see who could make best use of materials and shading. Mental Ray materials, Shader trees, best use/combination of colour/spec/diffuse/reflection maps etc. So say you had...I dont know....a desk with some objects on, or a window sill, or just a single object like a picture frame, where you could go in and really go to town on combining maps for the best results?

2) I think CG Society does a brilliant thing by asking its challenge winners to put together a little overview including wips of the technical and thought processes that went into making a winning entry. Perhaps as a further learning aid, future challenge winners could be asked to do the same, and write a commentary on how they created their piece..?

Nilla 20-11-2010 02:56 PM

We are indeed getting a new site, and the simply maya community will have a lot more space than it does on the current one so we'll have a good chance of making more of things like these challenges.

I agree that scene breakdowns are very useful and interesting to read, we will have some new forum categories and one will be on articles for featured work and what went into making it. Adding good final challenge entries to that is a great idea.

For a texturing challenge it does go hand in hand with lighting, what I was thinking if we did simpler scenes was that we could have monthly themes sometimes to focus on specifics for example it would only be allowed to use geometry based light sources and no indirect illumination techniques, or shade a full scene using only procedural textures, or make every shader based on the architectural material, or texture painting for skin on a premade character provided and so on. And we could add a sticky or create a free tutorial with some basic information to get you started and encourage more people to join. So I'm with you on that one Ben, as well I think getting restrictions can be quite useful sometimes not to get lost with too many ideas.

Another thing we could do sometimes would be to make the general challenge a clean modeling challenge where you'd have to finish on an ao render, for example it could be modeling an interior or a cartoon character and then we could use the winning scene (providing the winner was up for it of course) in a lighting and shading challenge after that. I think that would make it easier for a lot of people to enter a challenge as well, because I know I wouldn't enter a challenge that required modeling, shading and lighting a character because modeling takes me ages and I would run out of time to complete it. Also as there's a lot more people who model on this forum it would be a nice way of learning by seeing what someone else could do with a scene that you modeled.

THX1138 02-12-2010 02:33 AM

I agree, keep the challenges as simple as possible because not to many people enter much less finish, like me......:furious:

daverave 04-12-2010 07:48 PM

Model a hat, helmet, head gear that would be simple and in four week you should be able to texture and light it.................dave

Joopson 04-12-2010 08:16 PM

I don't know, Dave, that seems terribly limited and boring. It has potential, if someone did one of those fruit hats, but I think the goal of a challenge, really, is to get a final product that you could use as a portfolio piece; a hat or helmet isn't that awe-inspiring to employers.
But that could just be me. :mask:

Maybe a small current-gen (or past-gen) environment?
Open-ended is generally the way to go if you want people to enter.
And, well, it would drive me to make a lovely environment. And others, I should think.

Either way, a decision is in order, haha.

daverave 04-12-2010 08:28 PM

Have you seen some of the helmet of the neopoleonic wars, Romen helmets and evan a boble hat if done so it looked real, I pick the subject so any one could do it.......dave

Joopson 04-12-2010 08:55 PM

I definitely see your point, but a piece of headwear can only be so bad or so good. Yes, skill makes a difference, but I have seen helmets made on the computer, and truthfully, they never look amazing. And it would be a clear win for anyone using zbrush, I think.
It isn't all that difficult either, to model a helmet; I think an environment isn't too hard for beginners to take a stab at, nor is it too easy for experts. It can also be made to look fantastic. Or at least a portion of the environment; some major prop in a scene. Environmental challenges are rare here.

Regardless, whatever the next challenge, I will participate.
Can't wait!

tweetytunes 05-12-2010 09:09 AM

I think an environment challenge is needed as well.

That`s why I liked my idea about the "Chair" - You take a simple model and place it in an environment that tells a story about the owner of the chair. Just think of 100`s of chairs in a shop and the lives of the people who buy that same chair. The real challenage to that is getting a character across that you never see. A little bit like Pixar`s "Up" in a way where the main character talks to his house (but granted you do she her in the film) - the house repercents the characteristics of the wife, without her being there. (Over stretched point I know)

Simple, open-ended, challenging and anyone could take part no matter the skill. The only problems I see with it is .... who would supply the chair to start with and people going crazy building too many other prop`s.

I just hope there is one soon

Rhetoric Camel 05-12-2010 03:23 PM

i like the idea tweetytunes but I don't think that there should be one specific chair model. I think modeling the chair should be part of it.

Perfecto 27-12-2010 04:42 AM

What about a challenge that simulates a job in the industry. I've never worked in the industry so I could be wrong. It seems to me that typically someone sketches a design or concept. Once it's approved, then it goes to the modelers to model, then to the texture artists, then the lighting people. So what about a similar challenge based on a certain concept. Could even be an image really.

If it's a modeling challenge, then whoever's model best portrays the concept wins. Can do the same for texturing. As far as lighting, perhaps the contestants have to follow specific guidelines to follow like making the image look like a moonlit night, or hot summer day, or romantic indoor lighting, or an overcast evening, or perhaps the sun is setting, etc.

I know it doesn't allow for any creativity because everyone would be working on the exact same thing but the thought is that it would simulate what artists face on a day to day basis in the industry. Again, I'm just guessing here.

darecarce 03-01-2011 07:04 PM

Hey how about recreating scene from ur favorite game let say u take some scene from counter strike and remodel and texture it for production film usage to look as close as possible to the original but to be in high res for production animation. I think these kind of challenge will be good for practicing multiple aspects of production pipeline like modeling, UV, texturing, lighting and rendering as well as keeping the deadline witch is very important part of production. It can be done as one challenge or like multiple challenges for modeling, texturing, lighting and rendering, and so on. :)

Jay 03-01-2011 07:12 PM

All good ideas, I personally would like to see more people involved in the January one at the moment LOL.

I like the chair idea but Im also into a modelling challenge for the next one.....


darecarce 03-01-2011 09:23 PM

Yea modeling one could be cool :) eater character modeling or some hard surface stuff to tighten our skills up :D

tweetytunes 15-01-2011 12:02 PM

sorry Jay would have loved to have entered this challenge but just got though the door from a 2 week holiday to to the USA so missed this one - although it is a very col idea

twisteddragon33 31-01-2011 04:55 PM

any word on the feb challenge yet? I was thinking of getting my feet wet again in maya but i dropped in too late to hit january.

THX1138 03-02-2011 10:05 PM

I would like to see an environmental challenge, like tweetytunes suggested.

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