What is a "Render Challenge"?
A render challenge is a competition in which artists compete to create an image or animation using a computer 3D graphics program such as Cinema 4D, Blender, or Maya. These contests usually have a fixed time span in which participants can submit their work to be judged by a panel or by the public. Often, there are prizes awarded to the winners of the competition based on criteria set by the organizers. There may be additional rules that constrain what theme, tools, assets, or process the artist must use for their submission to be considered valid.
Render challenges are a great way to get better as a 3D artist because they encourage creative problem solving. They also help new artists build up their portfolios and practice new techniques.
How do I participate in a challenge?
Step 1: Read the brief/rules
Each challenge is different, so you'll have the read the rules before you start participating. Have a look through some of the challenges in our database and read through the rules for each challenge. Some challenges require that use a particular software or asset, and sometimes they are limited to students or beginners only so make sure you read the rules carefully before starting on any work!
Step 2: Work on your submission
Once you've read through and understood the rules of the challenge, you can get started creating your artwork. Make sure that you are following the rules for the specific challenge you're participating in. It would suck if you did a bunch of hard work and then got disqualified just because you didn't read the rules carefully!
As you're working, many challenges provide a forum or chat where you can share your work-in-progress (WIP) and get help from others. We highly recommend taking advantage of this because often there are mistakes that others will catch or suggestions for improvement that you would have never thought of!
💡 Pro-tip: While you are working, don't forget to hit save once in a while! You never know when something might crash 😭
Step 3: Submit your work
When you are happy with your final submission, make sure you double-check the rules again just in case you missed something. If you have some extra time, consider going back and polishing your submission or experiment with some other camera angles or materials. You never know, you might find a better result with fresh eyes!
Finally, you can submit your work using the instructions provided by the challenge.
Step 4: The results
Once the due date of the competition is passed, usually the organizers will announce the winners and get in touch with them to work out details or show proof that they actually created the work and followed the rules.
If you won, congratulations! But if you didn't win, don't be discouraged. You just created an amazing piece of artwork using nothing but a computer and some imagination. That's no small feat! There will always be another challenge that you can try again in. In the meantime, have a look at some of the other submissions, especially the ones that won a prize. What did they do differently? How can you incorporate some of those techniques in your future work? Maybe try recreating some of their work (for your own learning purposes). Learning from others and responding to constructive criticism is one of the best ways to accelerate your growth as an artist, so don't underestimate it!