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Old 14-07-2011, 08:07 PM   #1
WaNDerEr
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Arrow Digital Matte Painting Contest 2 : "LOADING DECK" [July-August'11]

Hi Friends,

Here we are back once again with our very own digital matte painting contest for the month of July-August'11


"LOADING DECK"

Below is the guideline for the contest given by one of our most honorable judges Alex Jenyon:


Overview:

In previous challenges, we have been a bit concerned that people are trying to complete too much work in a short period of time, and that the quality is suffering as a result. We know that people's free time is very valuable, so we're going to try some changes to how the challenges are run.


Over the next few months we are going to try to bring up the general level of all the entries. Each challenge will have a more defined brief (which should make it faster to complete) and each month will focus on a different area of matte painting.


This month the focus is on creative use of reference photos. The internet is such a rich source of photos that it is very easy to get caught up in the search for the PERFECT photo element that will match your scene. But sometimes the on-set photography might be lacking, or the right photo might simply not exist - in which case you have to get creative with a more limited selection of images.


An piece of old duct-work might be used as a guard tower, or some jetty pilings might be useful as part of a staircase. A fuel tank doesn't just have to be used as a fuel tank - it can have other uses too, and some extracted clouds might make a great grunge map to go with it...


The brief for this challenge is to create a matte painting of the loading dock for a research facility of some kind. This is the place where personnel, supplies and equipment are unloaded, and is the only entrance and exit to the complex. All the source images can be found in a .zip file here:



Reference_1.jpg is from 'www.morguefile.com', and was shot by mconnors. The plate and other reference images are shot by Alex Jenyon. You are allowed to copy, distribute, transmit and adapt any of them. Attribution is not required. You are prohibited from using these images in a stand alone manner (meaning the ONLY thing you can't do with them is claim the original images are yours and then sell them). More info on the (very nice) morgue file license is here:






Some rules:


YOU MAY ONLY USE ELEMENTS FROM THE PHOTOS WE HAVE PROVIDED. Nothing else! - no other textures, no 3d renders, no stock images cleverly disguised as photoshop brushes. (Simple photoshop brushes, and ones sampled from these photos are fine). Think outside the box as to how you can leverage the greatest use out of every bit of the photos - flipping, mirroring, cloning, etc. Adding elements painted entirely by hand is fine too, as long as you are happy you can manage the level of realism required.


The image named 'plate.tif' is your source plate, and the final matte painting must be based on this image. It shouldn't be extended or cropped, but the rest is up to your imagination.


In a finished matte painting, we would probably try to use a real plate for the water. You can use the water from any of the images we have provided, and add/remove the reflections as you see fit. Grading the water is okay, but don't clone or extend it, as this would be impossible to replicate with a moving plate.


The final image should be delivered as a jpeg at the same size as the plate, but you've got a 16-bit image to work with if you need any extra color information.


Some guidelines / ideas:


The exact kind of transport used is up to you - it could be a landing area for boats, float planes or helicopters. Nothing too futuristic, though - this is a contemporary facility.


If you would like to use a 3d block model to get your perspective correct, please do - but don't use any finished renders. This is a matte painting challenge focusing on using a limited number of source images in interesting ways, NOT a 3D modelling contest!


Grading the plate is fine, but this is a daytime shot, so don't go overboard, or do a 'day-for-night' transformation.


No people, animals, rain, snow, fire, smoke or moving elements (other than the water). Mist / haze is fine, as long as it's realistic. Waterfalls are banned!


How the entries will be judged:


The final entries will be judged first and foremost on the realism of the image. This is a matte painting challenge, not a concept art or illustration contest - the design and the creative approach is important, but not as important as believability. A simple design that looks convincing and is technically well done will score higher than an ambitious design with lots of technical issues.


From now on in these challenges, in order to win, you will need to have produced a production-quality image, or one very close to it. By this, we mean an image that is largely convincing, and that could be used as the background to a real shot in a TV show or commercial with some minor changes and a good compositor. We are not expecting high-end feature film quality, but we would like to see real matte paintings, not illustrations.


If you would like some further guidelines, have a look at some of the entries to earlier challenges. A lot of the past winners have since been hired by VFX studios, and are now professional matte painters (yes, people have been hired as a direct result of entering these challenges).


It's quite a high quality bar, so it is possible that none of the entries will make it. In this case, no prizes will be awarded - but we will make sure that every entry receives some kind of feedback. Don't be too disheartened if this is the case - we wouldn't be doing anyone any favors by lowering the quality bar simply to have a 'winner' every month.

How to enter the contest?

People who are having CGTantra user ID can participate simply by creating a new thread (i.e. go HERE and click 'New Thread'). There is no other criteria to enter the challenge. You need to remember that you should post w.i.p and final image on or before final submission day. Final image has to be posted separately (apart from own thread) in "Final Entry Thread".

Deadline :
On 10th August, 2011, a Final Entry thread will be posted, where the contestants will be required to submit their final matte-paintings till 15th August,2011! It is MANDATORY for the contestants to post their final entries in this thread, in order to be eligible for the judgement by the panel of honorable Judges! After 15th August'11, no other entries will be accepted and final entry thread will get closed.

Result Declaration:
Final result will be declared on a separate thread on 22nd August',2011,Monday.

** IT IS MANDATORY TO POST "WORK IN PROGRESS" BEFORE THE FINAL SUBMISSION!!

HAVE FUN!!




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Last edited by WaNDerEr; 19-07-2011 at 07:54 PM.
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Old 14-07-2011, 09:24 PM   #2
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I need to get off copy-paste-texturing. Let's paint!
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Old 15-07-2011, 01:09 AM   #3
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How much of the original plate must remain, if any?
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Old 15-07-2011, 02:06 AM   #4
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Quote:
How much of the original plate must remain, if any?
There is no solid answer to this in terms of % or area. You can use as much or as little of the original image as you like, as long as the final painting is based on the plate.

This means the plate dictates the horizon line, the light direction, the scale, and the general 'feel'/setting of the shot, as well as the camera (FOV, exposure, etc.). Within these limitations, you could change every single pixel of the image if you wanted, but it would likely be a bit unnecessary, as well as taking too long.

As a general rule with matte painting, you should change the minimum amount possible to get the effect that you want.

Hope that answers your question.

AJ
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Old 15-07-2011, 05:35 AM   #5
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We look forward to seeing what you guys come up with this time round. As always, myself and Alex will try and drop in often to give guidance and feedback on the WIP's!

Cheers,
Nick
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Old 17-07-2011, 08:05 PM   #6
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Hi everyone,

For us newbies to CG Tantra how do we set up our WIP thread?

many regards

Rich



Naval research centre, prelim sketch

Last edited by Rockhoppermedia; 17-07-2011 at 09:05 PM.
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Old 18-07-2011, 05:59 AM   #7
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I was wondering basically the same thing as Rockhoppermedia. Where do we put our WIP. In the Digital Matte Painting Challenges or somewhere else?
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Old 18-07-2011, 08:47 PM   #8
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Just create a new thread here in the matte painting challenge subforum.

(i.e. go HERE and click 'New Thread')

There aren't any WIP threads at the moment, so I can see how that might be confusing.

Make sure you put all your WIP images in ONE thread - don't make a new thread for each update, as this gets confusing for everyone.

Near the end of the challenge, one of the Mods will open up a brand new thread for you to post your final image.

Hope you enjoy the challenge.

AJ
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Old 19-07-2011, 05:08 AM   #9
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thanks mate
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Old 19-07-2011, 02:45 PM   #10
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i might give this one a crack - pretty challenging rules there - darn it, i sooo badly wanted to add space craft and waterfalls...hehe
anyway, been out of the loop for a while doing way too much work stuff, see what i can come up with
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Old 22-07-2011, 01:18 PM   #11
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Hi,friends i want to participate in this Matte painting Challenge,but from where i can get this source image plate.tif ...Please Help me....
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Old 22-07-2011, 03:55 PM   #12
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Plate.tif is not not working.....can u give some other link of plate...
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Old 22-07-2011, 09:08 PM   #13
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There isn't a problem with my server, so you should be able to download the .zip file from the link given above without any problem.

You will need to 'unpack' the .zip file. Most computers have a utility to do this installed already (any recent version of Windows or OS X will probably open it automatically). If you can't open it, you might need find and install a utility to help you - but it should be easily available to download (for free).

If you've opened the .zip file, but can't read the .tif, you are probably trying to use an image editing package that doesn't support 16-bit .tif files. Any graphics package that's good enough to do a matte painting in should be able to manage this, the most common one being photoshop.

If you don't have access to photoshop, you could use 'GIMP', which is free (open source), and available on all operating systems.
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Old 22-07-2011, 09:16 PM   #14
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@Warlord

Free time is always a valuable resource, and there is never enough of it... Hope you get some time to take part.

If the rules weren't so strict, I'd bet money that waterfalls and spaceships would be making a fairly regular appearance. Hopefully the limitations make it easier to decide on an idea, rather than starting with a completely blank canvas, which I sometimes find a bit intimidating. After all, a blank canvas could turn into ANYTHING, and it's easy to waste time being indecisive.
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Old 22-07-2011, 09:54 PM   #15
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Can i USe diFFerent elements from different images....apart frm pics dat has been provided..........................???????????????? ?????????????????
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Old 22-07-2011, 10:18 PM   #16
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No.It has been clearly stated that you may only use material from reference photos.This means you can't use any other resources apart the 4 provided reference photos + plate.You can make brushes,clone,sample....as long as it's from the provided photo reference.
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Old 23-07-2011, 08:04 PM   #17
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Guys, Please go through the rules and regulations panel very carefully to understand the process. Everything is clearly mentioned over their.
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Old 23-07-2011, 11:49 PM   #18
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Good luck everybody. Wish I could participate this time but don't have the time right now. But I am enjoying watching everyone's entries. Keep up the good work.
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Old 24-07-2011, 05:00 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Jenyon View Post
@Warlord

Free time is always a valuable resource, and there is never enough of it... Hope you get some time to take part.

If the rules weren't so strict, I'd bet money that waterfalls and spaceships would be making a fairly regular appearance. Hopefully the limitations make it easier to decide on an idea, rather than starting with a completely blank canvas, which I sometimes find a bit intimidating. After all, a blank canvas could turn into ANYTHING, and it's easy to waste time being indecisive.

yeah alex.....i totally agree, blank canvas syndrome sux...kinda why i like these challenges occasionally, takes the decision of what to paint away.....definitely prooving to be challenging, but should have a WIP to post in the next few days....cheers
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Old 27-07-2011, 03:37 PM   #20
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Cool topic! Good luck everyone! Might be able to get some time to have a go at this next week, but if not will definitely be back for the next one!
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