Challenge #746 Voting CLOSED

“Tiers”? As in ranking entries instead of picking one favourite?
Please eleborate for a lesser vocabulary gifted friend.

Another record-breaking WC!

As promised, I’d like to comment on the entries now.

Since there are so many entries, I’ll be brief and focus on what I admired most in each entry.

Here we go, in WC voting order:

didierv: Very convincing ice crystals and a color palette to support the sense of it being a cold scene.

joshwinkler3d: There’s a strong sense of Vorticism at play in this image, drawing the viewer toward the center. Some more information (especially in the Key Ideas section):

RayVelcoro: A nicely modern crystal with some visually intriguing refractions! The greyness contrasts well with the inner red intensities.

MACEPRODUCTIONS: Love the colors =) and the depth of field (DOF) employed here as well. The ground texture is also nicely varied.

PyBlend: Some truly spectacular speculars here, and the composition implies a much larger, if not infinite structure beyond the visual boundaries of this render.

yashwanthCB: I’m a fan of low-poly style renders, and this treatment, as your render demonstrates, works well with depicting crystal formations. Nice color variation too!

astiero: I do not know about this character, but what you’ve portrayed here is technically and emotionally impressive and stands out as perhaps the most unique approach to this Weekend Challenge topic. Great work!

KyleSan: The cuteness here is admirable, and the creature looks to happy, if not proud, to have found the crystal! Nice composition and work on the floor/cave sculpting/texturuing as well.

Fulip: I started out working on a geode revealing an inner crystal formation, but then I really got into the texturing aspect with my entry to the point it became the project. I’m glad you realized your entry so well and so interestingly! Very nice!

Sci-fi-Guy: Yesterday I saw the official movie trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and this render reminds me of the scene where the Falcon is flying through what appears to be a vast underground cavern full of crystals like these. Very nice materials and colors!

Millani: There’s a great sense of depth/motion here, and I like how the red crystal stands out while forming a firm center for the image.

paddywwoof: What a great NPR (non-photorealistic) stylized render! Technically and artistically impressive and aesthetically pleasing!

fdo: I can tell a lot of work went into this, and there’s much to be admired, including the texturing (on the rock and the wood) and more.

mattthecat: Like Helge, I think it would be great to see one of these walk through a garden at night! I especially like that your turtle does not look overly burdened by his crystal back but rather enjoys being a source of light and beauty. Great colors and illumination throughout!

purbosky: There’s a mysterious quality to this image and a compositionally compelling lead-up to whatever might be hatching. The contrast between the colors and brightness/darkness works well to emphasize the primary subject in this piece.

david.speer: I’ve always found it fascinating that there could be perfectly formed 90 degree angle objects in nature, such as in crystal formations, and you’ve highlighted that particular aspect well here. Nice sky hues as well!

FlyingBanana: How this image hints at a larger underground cavern is very cool, and I also find it interesting how the opening ahead could either be an entrance (to a brighter world outside) or to a deeper interior illuminated from within, which also leads to imaginative possibilities, perhaps a greater crystal or bioluminescent-lit cavern.

usernew: The texturing and crystal illumination are very nicely done here, and the addition of non-crystalline rocks helps make the environment more convincing.

skadoosh: There’s an appreciable degree of realism in this piece, and I find the dual nature of the title of this piece very interesting as well!

robproctor83: A technically great and artistic piece which also hints at a larger story with the book and the desk, which is a great framing/compositional mechanism here. So glad you got the time to produce a higher sample render to highlight all the great work that went into this image.

fcharr: One of the things that I found especially interesting about this render was how, looking outside, this could mean we’re either really high up some sort of mountain or we’re looking straight up at the sky through openings in the ground. Nice contrasting here as well between interior environment/objects and the outside.

M2o: This, like robproctor83’s image, also exhibits a technically masterful and artistic render while connoting a greater story. Very nice texturing and lighting as well!

Photox: Great concept and executing, as usual with you, and with a bit of humor as well! The realism here really works well. And it got my vote!

bazevedo: Wow, there’s a lot in this image, and it speaks of great effort! Great work on composing such a complete and interesting image which can also tell a story!

DM9: You’ve achieved a very different style in this piece while managing to go a unique route all while still staying on topic with the given WC topic. And, at closer inspection, the cloth and metal/crystal (especially how that bends/flows) stand out as technical achievements in their own way.

Mastermind!: With close-ups come more details, necessarily, and your image does not disappoint. The details and variations within them, as well as the depth-of-field, help support the realism here in a visually pleasing way.

BladeManEXE: I could imagine this being a still frame from an adventurous video game. Often crystals are depicted as cool, but the temperature here is clearly very high, aglow with an intensity. I just hope someone wears a heat-resistant before trying to lift that sword =)

NadirP: Simply beautiful! What a great balance between realism and aristry! There’s a great sense of solidity and weight here. With some more render samples and/or denoising (e.g. Blender 2.79) this image would achieve a rare render perfection!

str11: Love the colors and the wonderful variation you’ve achieved in the crystal formations throughout this image. This is also one of those images which, while already great, could, with increased render samples and/or denoising, reach a rare state of render perfection.

Miatpi: This is really amazing how you’ve incorporated a moving mechanical element here producing a convincing sense of motion, energy, and (with a little imagination) sound. The sparks are a great addition, and the crystal is beautifully realized.

NATIVO: Very artistic and, if considered as a vision, mystical. The pillars support a sense of history, a great passing of time, and the diamond in the sky is a powerful visual metaphor open to numerous interpretations. The only thing this image cries out for is a true title.

appie.123: There’s something very Indiana Jones-like about this image: peering around a corner at a long-lost treasure. Nice volumetric light and work on the cavern/moss, stand, and crystal!

caz747: Amazing how you, like Miatpi, introduced a dramatic sense of action in this piece. Very sci-fi, and that’s great! Nice unique ship design, and nice otherworldly crystals as well!

OLG: [first image] Very very nice! The not-quite symmetricality of this piece stands out and supports this as a pleasingly artistic approach to the WC topic. Very nice variation and colors as well! [other images:] Beautiful work and materials. The last two could be portfolio pieces!

Helge: As always, there is much to be admired in your work, and the friendliness of this image helps it stand out on top of all the other wonderful aspects of this image (lighting, character design, foliage, trimmings). It would be nice to see a book of all your images one day!

Thanks again to all of you for helping to make this one of the best WCs ever!


Glad you like it. Actually, I used Gimp for this example. However, if it had been an actual project I would probably have used Blender in order to apply the changes to every new version/render of the image automatically. E.g. in this case vignetting and halo could have been done with masks. (Or - in a more destructive way - painted in Blender’s image editor.)

Aren’t tiers used in sport? I was talking about separating the “good” entries from the “really good” ones, and having a winner for each tier. But I wasn’t being serious, and I don’t think there is a simple way of doing this with a forum.

@RobertT Thanks for the feedback!

Ah, Ok. I don’t know sports… :o

@RobertT Thanks for the comments on the entries!

Thank you for the kind words and the time spent responding to the entries @RobertT

Cheers RobertT for the comments, they’re much appreciated. Must admit I’m a huge sci-fi fan, so it’s very easy for me to go off in that direction when I get half a chance.

thanks Robert :slight_smile: I have to admit I didn’t feel too happy with my render last week. Looking forward to this week’s topic!

Some comments to the entries. I will try to keep it under 10k chars this time :wink:

didierv: You capture the coldness really well here and the branch also looks nice. I think you could’ve made the ice more apparent with a light from the back, showing the transparency.

joshwinkler3d: Loved the silhouette effect of the crystals, making them appear even more numerous. The whiter region in the middle was a nice touch.

RayVelcoro: That’s a pretty crazy crystal! I liked the red colour, but the material outside looks a bit strange. And the floor looks too much like what you get from a grid in the viewport, making the scene feel “sloppy”.

MACEPRODUCTIONS: Nice and simple. The overall colours are nice, and the floor is also cool. You also managed to bring the attention to the foreground very well. I think you could’ve made the crystals in the front stand apart from each other by adding some slight variations in colouring or saturation.

PyBlend: That’s a nice take on the theme. I suppose this is the molecular structure of a crystal? Looks pretty cool. With some additional DoF this would make a nice wallpaper.

yashwanthCB: I liked the colours here. You said in the entry thread this was for a website, so your needs might be different, but I think you should’ve filled the sky with something.

astiero: I really love your style. Also nice take on the theme, though I don’t know the character. Her facial expression is really well done, it makes me feel sorry for her. But one things bothers me: Her arms are too short! It seems she can barely reach her stomach without bending forward, to say nothing about reaching the legs.

KyleSan: That’s a cute creature (angel? demon?)! I liked its expression, and the crystal in its hands also looks nice. The image is a bit too dark though.

Fulip: Pretty cool concept. I think that’s how museums are going to be in the future: With floating exhibits protected with force-fields. The crystal is nice, and the device around it is very cool too. I was just a bit confused with the distances here: Are the blue displays on the left in front of or behind the table?

Sci-fi-Guy: That’s a lot of crystals all right! And yet, I cannot see any repetition. The colours are nice, and the hole in the centre makes this picture interesting. However, I think it is a bit too hard to properly tell one crystal from the other (the edges are not sharp), which makes it complicated for me to focus anywhere in particular.

paddywwoof: Nice effect! I’m certain it would be much easier and faster to do this with pen and paper, but art is not about doing things the easy way. It is about doing things the fun way! I liked how there is a bit of story here. Also, is she wearing clothes? Judging from her nipples I would say no, but maybe that’s just my imagination being hopeful :stuck_out_tongue:

fdo: Nice rough walls. The glossy thing in the middle is also nice, whatever it is. The lighting is pretty cool. However, wooden bucket and the hammer look really strange. It feels as if they were just pasted in there, completely disregarding the lighting.

mattthecat: Glowing crystals growing out of a turtle? Don’t ask why, ask why not! The lighting is good, and I liked how the crystals are shiny. However, I feel you could’ve made the growing out part look more natural. I can see you just placed the crystals in there, but they should somehow penetrate the shell, making the it uneven around the holes.

purbosky: Nice colours, and the crystals are also pretty. The scene is a bit too dark though, and I can barely make out the lizard-thingy.

david.speer: I liked the shading of the crystal. These cube-like crystals always intrigued me (just like RobertT said). You could’ve added some ripples to the water (ocean modifier?).

FlyingBanana: Loved how you managed to make me feel inside the cave while looking at this. Reminds me a bit of old games like Myst where the player navigates through pre-rendered scenes, clicking on relevant areas to proceed. Also, the bright region in the end makes me curious!

usernew: This crystal feels pretty hot. If I were in fantasy-land, I would say this is a fire crystal. I liked how you depicted it in a natural environment, making a nice contrast with its almost supernatural aspect.

skadoosh: Simple, but it looks pretty photorealistic. Guess I wasn’t the only one going for the red-black-white colour scheme. A most wise choice, may I add :slight_smile:

robproctor83: Loved the details here. The table, the books, the vials, some shards. I also loved the story behind the scene. Somehow, I think this crystals are really important for the owner, maybe even magical. The open book was also a very nice touch.

fcharr: Are those crystal lettuces? I liked the cave. After reading RobertT’s feedback I also found the ambiguity with respect to the direction (am I looking upwards or forwards) pretty cool.

M2o: I don’t know why, but something here is shouting “Harry Potter”. Maybe the glasses or the red crystal? I really liked the crystal, and the handwritten note in the foreground was also a nice touch. Loved the details in the background too.

Photox: Haha, very creative! Though I suppose after breaking the crystals into powder they are not very valuable. The crystal is very well done, and I loved its blue-purple colours. Also the powder is very nice. The little trailer is so cute!

bazevedo: The background and lighting are pretty good. Also, you managed to separate the foreground and background nicely with DoF.

DM9: That’s a interesting idea. First, it is a meta-render: You rendered the cover for the disk, and the used it as a 2D image for another render. And second, you almost completely avoided the theme while this remaining on it (feels a bit like cheating, but the result is good). The character is pretty cool, and so are the details of her clothes. In my opinion, her jaw is a bit too long though, but maybe she is just making a funny face.

Mastermind!: Nice closeup of the crystal, but I think you could’ve improved the lighting. The bright, out-of-focus crystal in the back is calling more attention the the one in the front.

BladeManEXE: This looks pretty hot! I liked the sword, but I think without the flames it would be better.

NadirP: That’s a relly nice crystal, very detailed. I loved the material and the bright light coming from the back. But as robproctor83 said, it would be nice if there were something in the background.

str11: Pretty colours and nice transition between transparent and purple. Lighting and ground are nice, but I can see a lot of repetition on the crystals (e.g., down right from the big one I see 6-7 very similar ones oriented exactly in the same direction).

Miatpi: Nice sparks! The hammer is pretty cool (I can’t help but to think that a robot is holding it) and the crystal is also pretty nice. The contrast between bright and dark is very well done.

NATIVO: I really liked those columns and the reflections on the floor. The reflections on the floating diamond are also cool. But the crystals on the floor look a bit weird. The bottom part is okay, but the top is just diffuse gray?

appie.123: Very mysterious. Also, nice use of volumetric lighting. I think the crystal is too far away and also does not have a clear shape, making only a bit more interesting than the detailed wall in the foreground.

caz747: Really nice, subtle references here! The ship is very nice, and the material of the ground is pretty cool (looks a bit fluffy though). I think it wasn’t a good idea to block the explosion with the crystal. Also, I think it would make more sense if the explosion were expanding away from the center of the laser.

olg: (first one) That’s pretty abstract all right! Looks a bit like a honeycomb, but crazier. I liked the material.

RobertT: Pretty amazing texture. The transition between colours is very nice too. I never thought about using blender for 2d art :slight_smile: Though nodes are very powerful, and it would be nice if, for example, GIMP also had features like this.

Helge: Your renders are always so cute! The little guy looks so friendly. However, I think you could’ve improved his position. It took me a while to notice that he was comparing the gem with the bush. For me, it feels like he is giving the gems to the bush, which does not make much sense.

Thanks Millani and RobertT for the comments! :smiley:
It must have taken forever with these many entries.

Thanks Millani and RobertT for the comments!

RobertT and Millani, echoing the thanks for the feedback. Regards.

@RobertT, @Millani, thanks for your time and opinions, I really appreciate it! I hope to have the opportunity to take a part in the next challenge :slight_smile:

@Robert:Thanks, too kind of you! Now that you say it, maybe I’ll put a little book together for the kids. I should probably use the chance as long as they are still small and like to read books with mon and dad. :slight_smile:

@Millani: Thanks a lot. You are right, there is room for improvement. And since I used bones this time, I could actually do that.
However, I think, even a tree/bush likes to get a present every now and then. :wink:

I took a minute to try something with Blender.

If you’d like to have a look at it, you can find the blend file right here:

This is an interesting (even though, not completely unexpected) development. Because of it I’m currently updating/improving the tools which I’m using to generate the voting posts. The old way was taking way too much time lately. This has been a good thing for Miatpi, but I’m starting to show first lack of sleep symptoms. :wink:

@RobertT and Millani: thanks for all the comments! I’m hoping to refine my piece later on especially on lighting and image size/cropping, kinda rushed back then.

@Helge: that’s a nice compositing setup there!

@robproctor83: seeing the current vote result, hope you can finally break the 2nd place curse! :slight_smile:

And… the winner of Weekend Challenge 746 with 23.33% of the votes is… robproctor83!
Here’s to all the great participators…

didierv : 2 : 3.33%
joshwinkler3d : 0 : 0%
RayVelcoro : 0 : 0%
PyBlend : 0 : 0%
yashwanthCB : 0 : 0%
astiero : 2 : 3.33%
KyleSan : 3 : 5%
Fulip : 0 : 0%
Sci-fi-Guy : 1 : 1.67%
Millani : 0 : 0%
paddywwoof : 0 : 0%
fdo : 0 : 0%
mattthecat : 0 : 0%
purbosky : 0 : 0%
david.speer : 0 : 0%
FlyingBanana : 0 : 0%
usernew : 0 : 0%
skadoosh : 2 : 3.33%
robproctor83 : 14 : 23.33%
fcharr : 0 : 0%
M2o : 1 : 1.67%
Photox : 12 : 20%
bazevedo : 1 : 1.67%
DM9 : 0 : 0%
Mastermind! : 5 : 8.33%
BladeManEXE : 0 : 0%
NadirP : 13 : 21.67%
str11 : 0 : 0%
Miatpi : 2 : 3.33%
NATIVO : 2 : 3.33%
appie.123 : 0 : 0%
caz747 : 0 : 0%

Oh wow, I actually won! That was really close, and honestly I was just expecting second place lol. After this I might do a couple non competes, I did’t get why people did non competing at first but it kind of makes sense now.

But… Let’s see… Now that I have conquered the weekend challenge I have all this power… Next weeks theme is going to be… ME! I want everyone to make pictures of me! Flattering pictures, only flattering, that’s important… I’m just kidding guys, they don’t have to be flattering, I also have a dark side… Okay I’m just kidding again… for real let’s see, next weeks theme… UNICORNS!

Alright I am just joking around, you will have to wait and see what Helge reveals. Maybe I’ll make the theme… Turkeys? Who knows :slight_smile:

@robproctor83 Congrats! I really liked your submission and it got my vote. I’m excited to see what you come up with for the next theme!

Rob, congrats, you broke the curse!

RobertT, thanks for the critique and vote! Your render was amazing, if I had to guess I’d say you were pulling some node magic by plugging in the color output of a texture into the vector input of another texture. Regardless, inspiring and original per always. Fate has me away from my machines, and I will be winging it this Weekend. It’s possible I actually won’t be able to use a computer at all. But that doesn’t mean I won’t enter something!