|First Runner-up "Taming the Bugbears" by Liu Wei of China commands attention with the model's flowing, transparent antennae, produced with a layered shader function within Maya. The artist modeled the main extensions by hand and turned them into soft bodies, then created the remaining ones using a MEL script.
Honorable Mention (HM) "Dreamily" by professional artist Udom Ruangpaisitporn of Thailand incorporates shapes and textures commonly found in nature and in Thai fine arts for a 3D surreal Oriental look. The image was created in 3ds max and Photoshop.
The current generation of hardware and digital content creation software is allowing today's artists to create imagery that is out of this world. To illustrate this point, Alienware, maker of high-performance computer systems, and graphics art portal CGNetworks hosted a 3D contest for which artists submitted original images of mysterious alien locations. Approximately 1550 people entered, submitting a total of 3873 pieces ranging from science fiction to abstract to fantasy.
Industrial designer Jari Saarinen of Finland was awarded the grand prize for "On the Edge of Time," which consists of several hundred boxes that were modeled and placed individually into the scene. According to the judges, "It was dynamic with movement, thereby creating an experience in which you can see the motion and hear the surface crackling." Liu Wei of China received first runner-up honors for "Bugbears," which has numerous light sources. "It has a strong color scheme and composition that adds to its sense of depth," note the judges. Monsit Jangariyawong of Thailand was second runner-up with "Alien Gate," an image judges say "contains good composition and a sense of depth and movement."
Several winning images are featured on these two pages. All those garnering awards can be viewed on the Alienware Web site at www.alienware.com/CGChallenge. —Karen Moltenbrey
Second Runner-up "Alien Gate" by professional 3D artist Monsit Jangariyawong of Thailand contains an organic look, achieved with Wings 3D, in addition to Maya.
HM This image by Christophe Baliko of Belgium incorporates color and altered gravity into this organic scene, generated with a range of tools, including LightWave.
HM "Submerged Ballet" by Web artist James Kaufeldt of Sweden portrays an alien look, which he produced with Cinema 4D.
HM "Hidden Paradise" by Brett Keyes of Canada obtains its unique look from particles, created in Maya and Houdini, and then converted into polygonal geometry.
HM This image by Jussi Saarela of Finland has an ice-like look made in 3ds max and Brazil.
HM "Mnemonia" by artist Chris Koutroulos of Greece, which hints at the former existence of an unknown presence, was created using Maya and Mental Ray with Final Gather.