3D modeling and rendering competition

The Autumn Colors

Winter is an etching, Spring a watercolor, Summer an oil painting and Autumn a mosaic of them all." – Stanley Horowitz

The challenge is over!

To the winners

"A Lovers Stroll" by Jeff Rowland
Washington Green Fine Art

Sponsored by

First place

"City living" by James Dowling

"The creator of this image really manages to capture the autumn vibes perfectly. Even though the image does not look fully photo realistic, there's is a great presence and storytelling going on. We really feel like this could be the local coffee shop around the corner from where we live. There's a lot of details in the image that's almost hard to notice but they are there, just how we'd love to see them. The characteristic well modeled ground, the ivy on the wall and the interior details.

Personally we don't usually like having 3D people in images since they tend to drag the overall quality of the image well, but in this case they work quite well with the overall scene. If we were to point out something that could improve, the first thing coming to our mind would be the sometimes flat shader work, and the fact that there is quite heavy motion blur on one person, while the others are 100% sharp." - Illusive Images

"This project has successfully integrated 2 complex factors, time and people, achieving an integral result very rich in substance and with a perfect autumn mood." - Juan Garcia

"The picture captured that pleasant Autumn atmosphere that airs in the beautiful streets. Makes you really want to have a cup of warm coffee. Also, it has to offer some pretty details. Beside slight critics such as the motion blur and some materials that would benefit of more depth, the image denotes both technical and choreographic skills." - Massimo Gnocchi

Second place

"Hide and seek" by Davide Yogurt Weber

"Starting with the overall image, it feels very much like autumn: warm tones but still tells a story of cold winds. The general idea to the image is good and compositionally it works very well, framing the cute house with the trees. The only downsides are that the wonderful details of the house isn't really visible in the final image. and maybe that the top of the image becomes a little too cluttered, but the overall image weighs up for all of that.

Technically, it is obvious that the creator has spent a great amount of time creating the house model. The art direction is very creative and cute, the house really has it's own personality. It's not a house, it's a character. Definitely a character we'd love to see in a Disney movie." - Illusive Images

"The overall work expresses personality, which is an aspect I truly appreciated. In my opinion, the right color variations here could have told a lot more. Still, great work." - Massimo Gnocchi

"There's a lot of technical skill here, though the final image is somewhat less than the sum of its parts. The color is too uniform and the image is very busy and hard to read at first sight." - Bertrand Benoit

Third place

"Tikin le'" by Mario Cameras Crivelli

"I like the composition and dynamism of the image, as well as the execution. It's an image that convinces as a whole and stands up in the quality of its details." - Bertrand Benoit

"A tribute to nature with good handling of scale, and with minimal human intervention make this piece very special, it is cheerful and positive." - Juan Garcia

Honorable mention

"Tesseract and humans" by Juan Carlos Saldivar

"It denotes the autumn spirit is technically exquisite, its handling of color is impeccable, it is serious and conceptually it is very interesting, geometry of the fifth dimension inferred in an architectural project and photographic approach make it perfect." - Juan Garcia

"It's a good piece with great details, but it also hides a strong meaning. Personally I think the meaning of the image loses to the image complexity, which in my opinion are two elements that cannot always live together." - Massimo Gnocchi

Honorable mention

"Mountains View" by Bartosz Kontek

"Serene, balanced, coherent. Good mixture of technical competence and artistic feel." - Bertrand Benoit

"It's an energic picture. If I had to tell my personal critics, something does not feel right about the distribution and the scale, yet the overall image catches your eyes for those red tones." - Massimo Gnocchi

Honorable mention

"Last leaves of autumn" by Peter Sivi

"This image is so simplistic, which might be why we liked it so much. It pretty much only contains two elements, the house and the trees, but is still telling story with the dog and the person, seemingly coming home from an adventure.

The image catches an autumn feeling very well with the warm leaves on the ground, yet keeps a overall cold feeling to the air. The color palette with the warm bottom third of the image together with the blue/white top and the black house on one side works so well together, it feels very intentional. The color grading on top of that, with the crushed blacks and toned down highlights really adds to the autumn feel. Compositionally it's great, we know the image is about the house and the adventure, still the house is a little disguised behind the trees, also following the rule of thirds in a good way. Maybe we would want to see some more detail work and variation. Different kinds of trees , and more details on the ground as it feels a bit too uniform. Rocks, bushes and mushrooms could do the image good, but without disturbing the simplicity. However, the overall feel to the image weighs up for it." - Illusive Images

"Minimalism and photography are very well achieved elements in this piece, storytelling and color also play an interesting role." - Juan Garcia

"The colors of this picture catch your eyes, the conflict between the warm and colder tones, and the subtle cross-processing effect. I think more work could have been done on some details such as the ground, but other than that, it's a balanced and pleasant image." - Massimo Gnocchi

Other finalists

We really think this image deserves some attention. It succeeds with the most important thing in our industry: Create a feeling.

When we look at this image, we feel. We want to be there, experience that. The color palette is just amazing and this image could definitely be a competition winner, if it wasn’t for the fact that it does not really relate to the topic (autumn), and there is absolutely no information of how the image was made, or if the clouds are even 3D. - Illusive Images

"It's almost the opposite. Technically simple, almost simplistic, but compositionally stronger, simpler and bolder." - Bertrand Benoit

"This image also deserves some attention in our opinion. Maybe it is simply because we are Swedish and the mood in this image pretty much sums up what our autumn’s look like, with slightly depressing grey skies and never ending rain. Maybe it’s because it’s focused on modern architecture, which lies close  to our hearts. Or maybe it’s just because the nice details, like the great wet asphalt texture, the rain, or dirty concrete. It is definitely partially because of the well written poetic text that was included in this contribution.

Technically, the trees on the left could definitely get some more love, and the street to the right could do good with some details. Regardless, the image is great and really catches our eyes with the cold outside and the warm and cozy inside. We really feel the need to run inside the house and take cover." - Illusive Images

"Ambient here is a key element, storytelling invites you to imagine, is nostalgic, autumnal and technically well achieved, the photographic composition also plays a role of weight." - Juan Garcia

"I like the composition and the limited palette. It is almost bichromatic. There's a painterly feel to it. The boat and rower are not necessary, however, and distract somewhat from the calm setup." - Bertrand Benoit

"Overall the colors and composition are spot on, and the work on the ground is good. Maybe lighting depth needs more work as it feels a bit like a HDR effect. Also I find the purple car quite disturbing." - Massimo Gnocchi

The competition

The wind starts carrying everything away, and September brings a weird happiness. Yes, for some of us, the end of summer marks the begin of something. As we get back to our duties, we feel refreshed, and we start making plans.

So, why not starting with a good challenge?
Nature, Architecture, Still Life. It's up to you to unleash your imagination in this Autumn-themed modeling & rendering competition.

Photography by Roland Halbe

  • FStormRender 1 year of license
  • Corona Renderer 1 year of FairSaas 1 Workstation + 3 Nodes license
  • V-Ray 1 year of license
  • RebusFarm 300 RenderPoints (worth 300€)
  • 1 year of Seller Subscription at CGMood
  • Opportunity of paid collaboration with CSMA Architects
  • Publications
  • 36 Artist Credits
  • 10 Exclusive Models
  • Optional Special 3D model award
    Sell your scene on CGMood for a custom price
    Labeled as "Competition 1st prize 2018"
  • Optional Special tutorial award
    Sell or share a tutorial on your scene on CGMood

  • FStormRender 6 months of license
  • Corona Renderer 6 months of FairSaas 1 Workstation + 3 Nodes license
  • V-Ray 6 months of license
  • RebusFarm 200 RenderPoints (worth 200€)
  • 1 year of Seller Subscription at CGMood
  • Publications
  • 20 Artist Credits
  • 5 Exclusive Models
  • Optional Special 3D model award
    Sell your scene on CGMood for a custom price
    Labeled as "Competition 2nd prize 2018"
  • Optional Special tutorial award
    Sell or share a tutorial on your scene on CGMood

  • FStormRender 3 months of license
  • Corona Renderer 3 months of FairSaas 1 Workstation + 3 Nodes license
  • V-Ray 6 months of license
  • RebusFarm 100 RenderPoints (worth 100€)
  • 1 year of Basic Subscription at CGMood
  • Publications
  • 16 Artist Credits
  • 3 Exclusive Models
  • Optional Special 3D model award
    Sell your scene on CGMood for a custom price
    Labeled as "Competition 3rd prize 2018"
  • Optional Special tutorial award
    Sell or share a tutorial on your scene on CGMood


  • The competition is open to 3D Artists, designers, architect and whoever has experience in the 3D visualization field
  • The competition is anonymous, thus you should never write your name or state your identity through logos or watermarks.
  • There are no software restrictions: you can use the 3D package you feel most comfortable with.
  • Material must be done entirely by you, thus your intellectual property. Assets with a CC0 license may be used.
  • Material must be submitted within 30 November 2018 - 0:00 UTC+1 (Rome)


  • The participant attempts to persuade a Jury member.
  • The participant breaks the anonymity of the competition by declaring their name, or by placing logos\watermarks on the images.
  • The participant submits the final image beyond the deadline date.

Photography by Ustina Green


Juan Garcia

Architect, Lighting TD Artist

  • 2016 FStorm Render beta tester.
  • 2015 Stargate Studios Founder & Club de Cuervos Netflix VFX / Heroes Reborn, Fear the Walking dead VFX.
  • 2014 VRay 3.0, VRay RT & phoenix, Chaosgroup beta tester.
  • 2013 AU Autodesk University MX / Topic: Advanced photorealistic GPU Rendering (Best Speaker winner).
  • 2011 Autodesk Event conferencist / Topic: Gpu vs Cpu latest rendering technologies on VFX.
  • 2011 Mental images Nvidia iRay GPU Renderer beta testing & feedback collaboration.
  • 2011 Cannes shortlist Finalist con Capitán Grafito TV character animation Ad.
  • 2010 Conferencist Games & Animation congress Bogotá Colombia.
  • 2009 Global Autodesk Showreel Best of the Best piece selected.
  • 2008 Siggraph Autodesk Showreel piece selected.
  • 2008 Founder of WhiteRabbit Animation Studio.

Bertrand Benoit

3D Artist \ ArchViz

Like his mother, an acclaimed French painter, Bertrand Benoit has always felt a powerful urge to draw. But it wasn't until the mid-2000s that he turned to CG as his main medium.

In the past decade, he has been recognized with several awards, including the 2010 CGArchitect Award. His work has appeared in such publications as the New York Times, Exclusive, CLOG, and Sharp Magazine.

Once briefly active as a commercial Archviz artist, Bertrand is now focused on pursuing personal CG projects and building his commercial 3D asset collection. His tools of choice include 3ds Max, Chaosgroup’s V-Ray and Corona, Octane and FStorm.

Illusive Images

3D Studio

Illusive Images is a small 3D Studio founded in 2017 by Daniel Reuterswärd and Johannes Lindqvist. With more than 2 decades of experience between them they have made names for themselves in the industry and are now embarking on a new adventure together. The studio has a clear focus on creating realistic, selling images.

Massimo Gnocchi

Architect and 3D Artist

It is the subject that most can unite art, science and reality: it is not just about form, or function. It is, first of all, about people.

Architecture is the main discipline for Massimo, along with 12 years of experience as 3D Artist to express his design ideas.

Launches CGMood near the beginning of 2018, with the goal of defining new standards for 3D model sharing, and create a high-profile community of 3D artists.

Evaluation criteria

  • The project's relationship with the competition theme.
  • Concept meaning and strength.
  • Coherence between the concept and the final result.
  • Artistic quality, such as composition, color theories and photography.
  • Technical quality, such as modeling, lighting and shading.

Material to be submitted

  • The final, rendered image of your work.
  • A minimum of five work-in-progress images, including wireframes or renders.
  • Optionally, your concept sketches and images.
  • A description of your work, including the software used.
  • You can join the challenge and submit the images whenever you want before the deadline date, even the day before.

The competition is over!

Thanks to everyone who took part of this event.
The jury will now reserve some time to carefully judge all the projects. Remember that you can also vote for your favorite works.
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Mario Cameras Crivelli

Tikin le'

- Tikin le '- (means Autumn in Mayan language).

I was looking for a personal work about a natural landscape after seeing some photos on the web, specifically a photo of a curved tree. Then I knew about this competition and I decided to do my scene with an Autumn mood.

I do Archviz for a living, so this kind of nature scenes are not usually asked by clients and I always use my personal works to learn new stuff and to explore new techniques and styles, so I decided to do this image.
It needed a lot of landscaping and detail, nature is too random and too loaded of detail, so doing this work was a real challenge for me because I tried to use as less RAM as possible. The scene used only 22 GB of RAM during rendering phase besides it uses millions of proxies and displacement mods.

The software used was SpeedTree + 3dsMax 2017 + Corona + AE + PS + DabartiCapturePro

First I modeled the curved tree in SpeedTree. I have used SpeedTree before using some templates and doing changes to get animated trees for animations but this was the first time I used it to create my own tree from the beginning, so this was my first challenge.
Then in 3ds Max I modeled the landscape. I wanted to do an image that was composed with the Golden Ratio, so I modeled the wooden road and mountains to get it.
The volcano is just a cone with displacement maps and the mountains are just just plans with deformations.

As part of my work I create Architectural Animations and I am a "Full 3D" guy, that means that I like to have the most things possible within the 3D Scene so if I have to move the camera, the objects are already there and I do not have to suffer doing trackings or super difficult (for me) VFX compositions. For that reason I decided to go Full 3D with this scene.

I spent a lot of time scattering trees and objects. I put different things such as: Trees, twigs, stones, undergrowth, leaves. Also I put them underwater. I tried to place them correctly so they will look natural.

The scene is divided in Foreground, Middleground and Background, so the scatters have different values ​​between them to use the less instances as possible, optimizing the scene for rendering. Also I played with the scale of them so the ones in the background are a little bigger to be noticeable in the final image.

I also used a lot of Displacement maps. Some remarkable objects are:
-The texture of the yellow leaves up in the foreground (scanned by me using Dabarti Capture Pro)
-The wood bark of the curved tree
-The wooden boards
-The water near the plants next to the boarder.

Also I wanted to try to make the Fog manually, so I placed some geometry over the lake, background trees and around the volcano and I used the VolumeFog material with the help of some displacement maps, I think the result is great and very fast at rendertime.

The final rendertime of the 2500px image was just 40 minutes in a Dual Xeon, so I was very glad with the optimization work I did.

In the postproduction process (After Effects + Photoshop) I only added some stains, birds and all the color grading stuff.

I hope you like it and if you have any question please ask :)
Thanks for reading.