What about a new NWDA Contest?

Started by FrankB, April 10, 2010, 06:45:53 pm

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April 10, 2010, 06:45:53 pm Last Edit: April 10, 2010, 06:49:30 pm by FrankB
Hi everyone,

I think it might be high time to launch another NWDA image contest.
This time, we're up for a new idea, a different type of contest. I would like to test the idea with you, and you tell us what you think about that.

The contest is so unusual that I'm struggling to give it the correct title.
Let's call it a "NWDA & Planetside True 3D and Animation Contest".

The idea is the the following: Every contestant creates a custom scene, with a strong focus on realism. However, other than the usual still, your scene needs to hold up from different camera positions and angles. Every contestant creates 6 shot each with a different camera position and perspective, with these 6 shots mimicking stations of a camera animation path.
You would put these 6 shot together into one image that you submit, and it would be like a little animation story board.

The winning scene and story board will be fully animated, as the winning prize (along with a few other prizes probably). Oshyan from Planetside was so gracious to offer his time and rendering computer resources to create a full camera animation based on your scene & story board, and render away. The winning, final animation would get full visibility on the Planetside and NWDA websites, and potentially in other places (if there's an opportunity for that). At least, that's the plan so far.

The way the contest works, we think everyone can participate, no matter if you have the animation version of Terragen 2 or not, no matter whether you have the deep or free version.

So your turn now: what do you think about that? Sound good? Are you interested? Any questions or suggestions regarding this contest idea?

Best regards,


April 10, 2010, 06:54:16 pm #1 Last Edit: April 10, 2010, 06:56:11 pm by Oshyan
Good idea to get some feedback from the community on this. Personally I'm really excited about the possibilities. I see the results of this contest being a great showcase for what TG2 and our community members can do.

I see a lot of people here either without the animation version, or just concerned about render time to make anything of quality in an animation, so normally a contest for animation hasn't seemed possible. But if we can shoulder some of the burden of rendering and setup on our end, perhaps it can work? I hope so!

My thought on the 6 images would be that they can be lower resolution/detail, so that render time is not prohibitive. Unlike other contests, this isn't something you might be rendering at super high resolution and detail. In the end the render settings will need to be highly tuned to animate well anyway (and at acceptable render time), so the render settings for the submission don't matter as much, as long as they show what the scene has to offer if animated.

The other thing is obviously this means you'd be sharing your scene (TGD) and any objects you use with Planetside. We will of course not be using them for any purpose other than animating and rendering your scene. If you're not comfortable with that, or there are legal issues (e.g. use of proprietary objects like Onyx Tree), then you may not be able to participate. But hopefully that won't be a problem for many people. Planetside will have to err on the side of caution for legal use issues of course, so make sure you have the rights to use the materials in your scene.

Looking forward to hearing what you all think!

- Oshyan

Zairyn Arsyn

*i almost posted this in the Next/Previous Keyframe Keyboard Command? thread*  :D

I'm thinking im going to give this contest a go, maybe actually
& just started on new rendering project

i like the idea of having 6 images, like a story board.  i think its a interesting idea.

is their a deadline set for it yet?

i7 2600k 3.4GHZ|G.skill 16GB 1600MHZ|Asus P8P67 EVO|Evga 770GTX 4GB|SB X-FI|Antec 750W


April 10, 2010, 07:19:45 pm #3 Last Edit: April 10, 2010, 07:23:43 pm by FrankB
great you like the idea - no deadline set, as of yet. Also, no detailed contest rules written up so far.
Like the last contest, I think we would give it 2 months. How does that sound?

One thing we need to clarify if there is generally enough interest to run this contest, is how many frames the animation will be long. This will greatly impact on how far you would move the camera, for example...



Good idea. I'm working on a forest planet with icecaps and water right now. Not much luck with the ice, though. Oh well, back to Terragen....
They just issued a tornado warning and said to stay away from windows. Does that mean I can't use my computer?

Henry Blewer

If 1280 x 720 could be a image resolution for the contest, I'm in. Rendering larger takes a long time for me.
Forget Tuesday; It's just Monday spelled with a T


Honestly I'd say 1280x720 (720P high definition) would be a *maximum*. Rendering at HD is rather time consuming. I don't think I could make any guarantee that the resulting animation would be HD, although I'm hopeful. 720x480-ish (DVD resolution) would be a good baseline.

- Oshyan



Me too, if I find the time (and the right 'world')... exciting idea!


very good idea !
i have to say that 720p animation is very very long to render, even with optimised values...

Henry Blewer

Cool. That resolution (720 x 480) renders with reasonable speed on my system.

I was thinking the still submissions could be low res HD, just for the posts so people can show off their talent better.
Forget Tuesday; It's just Monday spelled with a T


As long as the scene is up to us individually this could be great.  I wouldn't like to see one type or one scene that everyone does.


April 11, 2010, 08:52:56 am #12 Last Edit: April 11, 2010, 08:54:35 am by FrankB
the choice of scenery would be completely open, just like last time.
However, like last time, we would be looking to accept only "final" work, in the sense of that it has to reach an acceptable minimum quality threshold. Look at the last year's contest gallery, to see what I mean. I think we haven't been judging too hard at all, but we would reject "default render with modified sun elevation" type renders :D

Like last year, we would encourage everyone to share their ideas and render works in progress over time. You know, other image contests have that rule that the submitted artwork must not have been posted elsewhere before, but we don't care, and in fact promote the opposite. I recall that last year, specifically those participants who have posted their works in progress here, received a bulk load of helpful critique and tips, and the end result was so much better than their first versions.

This year we're in the happy position to be able to increase the max image file size to 1 MB per submission, so that image quality concerns from compression that were present in the last contest, should become a concern of the past.
I also suggest that the submitted storyboard must be in the format 1680x746 (the screen width of many wide screen monitors out there). That would leave room for the 6 shots each 560x373 px, arranged in 2 rows and 3 columns. That's an aspect ratio of 1.5 per shot.



OK, this may sound like a stupid question, but are the contest entries supposed to be posted here, or at Ashundar?
They just issued a tornado warning and said to stay away from windows. Does that mean I can't use my computer?


Sounds like a cool idea for a contest to me.