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Maryam
07-26-2012, 11:50 PM
MPC Digital Matte Painting Challenge
'Alien Cloudscape' July 27th 2012 – September 7th 2012

MPC recently completed the VFX for Prometheus
and in celebration of the release of the movie we now challenge you to create your own original otherworldly environment!
The goal of this competition is to achieve a photo-real looking digital matte painting that represents the thick cloud layers of
an alien planet carved by whirlpools of wind.

The concept sketches below are a basic representation of the general layout of this hypothetical shot and its light direction
and colour palette. The final matte painting should respect these indications, though entrants are free to rearrange the details,
playing with light and shadows to improve the composition and balance the image.

http://mattepainting.org/mp/images/ui/mpc_concept.jpg
http://mattepainting.org/mp/images/ui/mpc_cloud.jpg



Some rules:

You are allowed to use any mix of techniques: photo manipulation, digital painting and CG renders are all acceptable as long as
the final image respects the previously defined requirements.

Our generous co-sponsor - environment-textures.com - is providing a free login to their library for the duration of the contest,
so you have access to some very high quality source images to use in your paintings.

environment-textures.com
Username: MPC
Password: contest

You are free to use images from other sources besides environment-textures.com, but be mindful of copyright restrictions on any
images you use - in particular, don't use anything from another artists' painting, and definitely don't sample any screenshots from
Prometheus itself! (We worked on it, after all, so we'll spot it fairly easily...).

In order to enter the contest, simply create a new thread in this section of the forum. Please include your real name in the title of
your thread (for example: 'Alien Cloudscape – John Smith’). Entrants should use this thread to explain the methodology they have
used and show a few steps of their work in progress.

The contest will run from the 27th of July to 12 midnight GMT on the 7th of September. Towards the end of the contest, a 'final entries'
sticky thread will be created. To be eligible for judging, you will need to post your finished image to this thread before the deadline.

The final image must be delivered as a 4K 8-bit sRGB jpeg. That's way too big to view nicely in a forum, though - so we would like you
to post your image to the 'final entries' thread at 1/4 of this size (1024x576), and add a LINK to the full res image. We'll remind you
about this later. You may upload your image as attachment or find an external site to host your images, it's very easy - there is a
sticky thread on how to do this:

http://www.mattepainting.org/vb/showthread.php?t=567

Entrants should not be a current MPC employee or anyone who has worked for us in the past 24 months.




http://mattepainting.org/mp/images/ui/mpc_sponsors.jpg

1st Prize
An Apple iPad
An annual premium membership to environment-textures.com
A full years subscription and gain access to ALL training videos in the cmiVFX.com library...
and potentially earn the right to teach the winning painting on a training video as an official cmiVFX Mentor Star.

2nd Prize
$250 of Apple Store vouchers
A standard annual membership to environment-textures.com
Three videos from cmivfx.com

3rd Prize
$100 of Apple Store vouchers
Six-month membership to environment-textures.com
One video from cmivfx.com



http://mattepainting.org/mp/images/ui/mpc.jpg
MPC (The Moving Picture Company) is a world leading post production facility creating high-end digital visual effects, computer
animation and integrated digital services for the feature film, advertising, music and broadcast industries.
www.moving-picture.com/

http://mattepainting.org/mp/images/ui/et.jpg
Environment Textures - High Resolution Textures for 3D artists and Game Developers.
www.environment-textures.com

http://mattepainting.org/mp/images/ui/cmiVFX.jpg
cmiVFX is the leader in high end video training for the visual effects and computer graphics industry.
www.cmiVFX.com


Some FAQs / guidelines:


Who's going to be judging the entries?

http://mattepainting.org/mp/images/ui/mpc_j.jpg


How will the winners be decided?

A feature film digital matte painting should always let the audience think that they are looking at a photograph.
A believable (if not physically accurate) lighting approach, correct perspective and consistent grading will be the
crucial aspects of how we evaluate the work.

We expect to receive a single layer 4K-sRGB image that meets the usual basic requirements we have in production:
consistency of sharpness throughout the image and absence of visible grain.

The final results will be announced on this forum 2 weeks after the contest closes.

Will we get any kind of feedback?

Writing feedback on lots of entries is very time consuming. We'll give detailed feedback on the top three (to explain why we
think they are the winners), and comment on every entry in the top 10. We don't have time to reply to everyone, unfortunately.

What do you mean by '4K', exactly?

A cinematic image can have lots of different aspect ratios, and several are commonly described as '4K'. In this case, please paint
an image with the pixel dimensions 4096x2304. When projected in a cinema, this could well be cropped to 4096x1714, so you
might take this into account when constructing your image.

Why do we need to deliver an 8-bit jpeg - that doesn't sound very realistic?

We'd love to ask everyone to deliver 16-bit tif files, but this is going to strain the bandwidth of even the fastest internet connection.
We'd recommend that you work in full 16-bit mode when painting though and convert to 8-bit for delivery.

How closely do we have to follow the concept art?

As closely as you can, whilst making sure the final image is photo-real. If you come across an issue where you could either follow the
concept art exactly OR make the image look better, take the second option.

In most online contests, we need to leave feedback on other artists' work. Don't we need to do that here?

Everyone is basically working on the same painting, based on the same pieces of concept art, so that seems a bit unnecessary.
Feel free to comment in the 'WIP' thread of another artist (I'm sure they would appreciate it), but it's not mandatory.

Why do you want us to post our real names?

Two primary reasons - firstly, because it's weird referring to real people by forum nicknames when writing feedback.
Second (and possibly more importantly) if you win, or we decide we want to hire you, we need to know who you are!

I'd really like to work at MPC - are you hiring?

We're looking for talented DMP and environment TD artists at all levels, from juniors through to leads.
If you've got a show reel and a decent attitude, we'd love to hear from you.
https://tbe.taleo.net/NA4/ats/careers/requisition.jsp?org=MPC&cws=4&rid=206

http://mattepainting.org/mp/images/ui/mpc_contestbanner.jpg

...And some LEAGAL stuff (we live in a litigious world, unfortunately, and we need at put this in somewhere):
Entering this contest does not imply any kind of agreement or contract between you and the Moving Picture Company (MPC), mattepainting.org, cmiVFX or environment-textures.com. Prizes are offered at the sole discretion of MPC, and the contest may be terminated, altered or extended due to unforeseen technical issues. Winners are responsible for providing MPC with a valid shipping address, and will also be responsible for all customs charges and fees. The winning images may be displayed on MPC's website, environment-textures.com and mattepainting.org in connection with this contest. This contest is not endorsed nor linked in any way to 20th Century Fox, Brandywine Productions, Dune Entertainment or Scott Free Productions.

RiKToR
07-27-2012, 07:15 PM
This looks like a great challenge. I think I will break out the old tablet and see what I can do.

Jaxko
07-28-2012, 05:26 AM
Thanks a lot for putting this competition on. Awesome theme and im looking forward to this.

rockhoppermedia
07-28-2012, 09:05 AM
Looks really good comp to join in with. Good luck to everyone!

Richie

cloudpenguin
07-29-2012, 07:05 AM
This sounds like a fun challenge, great theme also. Thanks for setting this up.

netocg
07-29-2012, 08:30 AM
This challenge will be very interesting. Clouds could be very challenge, I wish good look to all entrants.
I also have a few questions:

1) Clouds, wind, weather effects normally are moving elements. Should I include these types of elements that normally gonna be animated in comp or created in the CG process(considering the the matte-painting is more a background image for the "original plate" then a final shot by itself)?

2)Could I include some kind of ruins, or lost cilization for the environment?

3)In case of the matte-painting is not only the background element, but let say the "final shot", it's allowed any post-processing work?

Thanks for your time,
Antonio Neto.

Denniz
07-29-2012, 08:32 AM
Looks like a great challenge.

Is anyone else getting a limit exceeded issue from www.environment-textures.com?


Thx,
Dennis

netocg
07-29-2012, 09:46 AM
I get it too.

Looks like a great challenge.

Is anyone else getting a limit exceeded issue from www.environment-textures.com?


Thx,
Dennis

Alex Jenyon
07-29-2012, 05:17 PM
1) Clouds, wind, weather effects normally are moving elements. Should I include these types of elements that normally gonna be animated in comp or created in the CG process(considering the the matte-painting is more a background image for the "original plate" then a final shot by itself)?

Yes - you should include all the clouds indicated in the concept art in your painting.

In a shot like this, the clouds are at such a large scale that we wouldn't really expect any significant movement, and it's perfectly reasonable to create them as a static DMP (The brief is designed to be as realistic as possible, so this is something we have done on a real project).

2)Could I include some kind of ruins, or lost cilization for the environment?

No - the challenge is to follow the concept art as closely as possible, while creating a photo-real image. We don't want this turning into a concept design challenge too - it's hard enough already!

]3)In case of the matte-painting is not only the background element, but let say the "final shot", it's allowed any post-processing work?


Depends what you mean.

DO add subtle photographic elements (as indicated in the concept) - atmospheric glow, haze, light wrap etc. as required.

DON'T add rubbish instagram effects, grain, vignetting, chromatic aberration or cheesy lens flares.

Does that answer your question, or have I misunderstood what you were asking?


Is anyone else getting a limit exceeded issue from www.environment-textures.com?

I'll check what's going on tomorrow - I'm seeing the same thing. Thanks for flagging it up.



Look forward to seeing everyone's entries

AJ

Scharb
07-30-2012, 03:05 AM
That's really awesome. Thank you MPC. Can't wait to work on it. It will be definitely fun. Also looking forward to see all the matte paintings.

Alex Jenyon
07-30-2012, 09:37 AM
The environment-textures.com login should be working now - apologies for the technical hiccup.

AJ

rockhoppermedia
07-30-2012, 10:29 AM
Thank you Alex,

Rich

cloudpenguin
07-30-2012, 03:36 PM
I still can't download any photos, getting the error "Download or IP limit!", even though the current limit says 51/250.

rockhoppermedia
07-30-2012, 03:50 PM
same problem, however here are some links to help you out,

http://www.spectrumtextures.com/index.php

http://www.texturemate.com/

http://www.cgtextures.com/

Flickr is available, please please do what I do and that is to search under advanced and click the creative commons tab and also the commercial use tab. I also send a message to the author and send a link to the matte painting that I have done. If its a commercial matte painting I always ask the author. Never had a no yet, but I always keep a copy of their agreement on file.

Also do you possess a camera, if so use it, create your own texture library. Its hard to get organised at first but you will get the hang of it.

cloudpenguin
07-30-2012, 04:10 PM
Thanks Rockhopper, cgtextures has always been my goto-site but didn't know about the other two. This will definitely get me started.

My old camera is no use for high-res textures so it's always great to hear about other online texture libraries.

Alex Jenyon
07-30-2012, 04:47 PM
Sorry everyone - looks like the account limit was exceeded again.

We'll get in contact with environment-textures.com to make sure no-one is being greedy (downloading large numbers of images for other projects), and try to get it sorted as soon as we can.

Thanks for your patience.

AJ

netocg
07-30-2012, 06:40 PM
Thank you very much Alex.
Yes you answered everything, now it's clear.

Yes - you should include all the clouds indicated in the concept art in your painting.

In a shot like this, the clouds are at such a large scale that we wouldn't really expect any significant movement, and it's perfectly reasonable to create them as a static DMP (The brief is designed to be as realistic as possible, so this is something we have done on a real project).



No - the challenge is to follow the concept art as closely as possible, while creating a photo-real image. We don't want this turning into a concept design challenge too - it's hard enough already!



Depends what you mean.

DO add subtle photographic elements (as indicated in the concept) - atmospheric glow, haze, light wrap etc. as required.

DON'T add rubbish instagram effects, grain, vignetting, chromatic aberration or cheesy lens flares.

Does that answer your question, or have I misunderstood what you were asking?



I'll check what's going on tomorrow - I'm seeing the same thing. Thanks for flagging it up.



Look forward to seeing everyone's entries

AJ

GordonTarpley
07-31-2012, 08:14 PM
Very cool. I think I'll be getting in on this one!

Yatzenty
08-01-2012, 03:04 AM
Superb theme. It will be very interesting to see how will everyone perform within such tight restrictions. Obviously there will be a need of getting flawless clouds photography, hopefully environment-textures.com will come with help, so far also no luck in downloading any textures from my side. Exciting!

Kemeri
08-01-2012, 10:47 AM
Well, good luck, and hello for everyone, I am joining too! :)

Csaba Kemeri
www.conceptart.hu

EYECON
08-01-2012, 12:54 PM
AWESOME challenge... looking forward to seeing all your works... this should be fun!

I will be at the sidelines cheering you guys on!!! WHOOHOOO!

Thanks MPC!

somu03
08-01-2012, 10:06 PM
I,m really like this Challenge. I,m in.

tripathychirag
08-02-2012, 12:29 AM
Good Concept..
definitely looking forward to it.


One doubt..
Can we added elements like lightning glow inside clouds??

netocg
08-02-2012, 07:43 AM
I have just one more question:
When you say "digital matte painting that represents the thick cloud layers of
an alien planet carved by whirlpools of wind." I can't stop to think about what kind of terrain the planet is compost.
And as we can see in the concept there's no indication of that.
So my question is:
Should us show some terrain in the matte painting or even an indication of it?
Or basically what the matte painting only shows are the clouds in the sky "space atmosphere"?

MedFaska
08-02-2012, 09:24 AM
cool challenge, ill be in too, good luck for everyone :)

JGoodliff
08-02-2012, 09:37 AM
great challenge, best of luck to everyone :)

Alex Jenyon
08-02-2012, 05:01 PM
Can we added elements like lightning glow inside clouds??

It's not indicated in any significant way in the concept, so it's up to you. Keep it subtle, and make sure it looks realistic. It's possible that some internal lighting on the clouds will help the composition, and make some of the cloud shapes 'read' better. It could also give you a lot of problems, so use your own judgment as to whether it's warranted or not.

Should us show some terrain in the matte painting or even an indication of it?

Again, the concept could be read either way, so it's up to you. Don't make a big feature of it if you decide to add it - if we see it at all, it will be very hazy and very subtle.

Hope that helps - answers are a bit nebulous, but the brief is pretty rigid already, and I don't want to lock it down any more.

AJ

Kaioshen
08-02-2012, 05:14 PM
Awesome challenge, should be a lot of fun.

Temjin
08-03-2012, 09:24 AM
This looks very interresting. I'm In :)

adornanimation
08-05-2012, 09:00 AM
This is the First Contest am Entering... :)

kire
08-05-2012, 09:06 AM
What's the download/IP-Limit on environment-textures? I've downloaded like 10 cloud images at the beginning and now it keeps telling me that I've hit the IP-Limit, although it also says 52/250 photos. :/

Kaioshen
08-05-2012, 10:55 AM
Tells me the same thing and I haven't been able to download anything yet.

Alex Jenyon
08-05-2012, 11:21 AM
What's the download/IP-Limit on environment-textures? I've downloaded like 10 cloud images at the beginning and now it keeps telling me that I've hit the IP-Limit, although it also says 52/250 photos. :/

Unfortunately, I don't know the exact limits that environment-textures.com have put on the contest account (other than the fact that there are some, for hopefully obvious reasons).

As soon as I get some more info, I'll post it here - and sorry that it's not working out for some people.

AJ

Kaioshen
08-05-2012, 06:04 PM
It's no problem at all man, the account is very much appreciated, as is the help.

thiago-pires
08-10-2012, 03:15 AM
Cool idea and really good artists on the challenge! It will be a lot of fun!

Rhex
08-10-2012, 05:56 PM
Hey! do we have to upload WIP?, or how do you become officially a participant of the challenge? (just asking XD) im in too!

Alex Jenyon
08-11-2012, 10:23 AM
Hey! do we have to upload WIP?, or how do you become officially a participant of the challenge? (just asking XD) im in too!

The first post in this thread should explain everything - have another read through, and ask if anything is still unclear.

AJ

miragenz
08-15-2012, 05:34 PM
hi guys, just wondering...? from a commercial pov, and not taking into account any projection setup or the like - say strictly 2d. Would this be a 40hr matte or less or more?. Always keen for insight into the 'real world' cheers dave

99cyclops
08-18-2012, 06:31 AM
Good luck to all!!! ^___^

Yatzenty
08-21-2012, 06:10 AM
Hi Alex, is it ok to submit more than one image in the final entry thread? Say I have 2 options of my painting.


www.jacekirzykowski.com

Alex Jenyon
08-21-2012, 02:21 PM
@Jacek:

It's going to get too confusing if we allow people to submit multiple entries (if we allow 2, why not 3? or 4?). Only one final submission, please!

We'll look through the WIP threads when judging though, so post any additional versions there.


@Dave:

If there were no client comments, and it's a static 2D matte, a working week sounds about right. That's a LOT to ask for an online competition, though, so we're not necessarily expecting everyone to have spent that long.

If it was a full stereo shot, with client comments, tweaks, revisions, delivery to comp, etc. - you would probably be looking at (at least) three full weeks.

AChavda
08-21-2012, 05:45 PM
I know the contest officially runs until September 7th, but is that including the judging period? When should we expect the final entries thread to open up?

Alex Jenyon
08-21-2012, 06:41 PM
I know the contest officially runs until September 7th, but is that including the judging period? When should we expect the final entries thread to open up?

The final submission thread will open at the end of this week, and will close at midnight (GMT) on Sep 7th.

The judging will start after the contest has ended.

Yatzenty
08-21-2012, 09:55 PM
@Jacek:

It's going to get too confusing if we allow people to submit multiple entries (if we allow 2, why not 3? or 4?). Only one final submission, please!

We'll look through the WIP threads when judging though, so post any additional versions there.

Ok no worries, thanks

Lo
08-22-2012, 12:20 AM
Hi everyone
I tried to download one picture from ET, it says "201/250 photos - IP limit" even if this is the very first picture I tried to download O__o

I wonder if my dinamic IP (home PC) is recognized as multiple owner IP or something like this...

very frustrating, is there something I could do?

thanks
Lorenzo

A1taiR
08-23-2012, 08:34 AM
Can't download anything from http://environment-textures.com
The following message occurs:
Download or IP limit!
Pls, help!

Alex Jenyon
08-23-2012, 12:04 PM
Sorry for the frustration everyone - we've passed the information on to the guys at environment-textures.com.

The IP limit stops too many people downloading from a single account at the same time - it's this limit that's causing the error. It's already been increased (and it looked like it had temporarily solved the issues people were having), but obviously it wasn't enough.

If you try again at another time of day, you might have more luck, and in the meantime I'll try to get the issue solved.

Cheers

AJ

steven369
08-23-2012, 04:27 PM
Hello everyone,
lot's of well known people in here and pretty crowded already!
I'd like to join this round and hope for lots of inspiring results!
Cheers!
- Stephan

Manuel De Escayola Pea
08-30-2012, 01:13 PM
I Know Im talking part in the contest quite late, but anyway I hope that you enjoy my work.

Greetings from Spain good!!

Lo
08-31-2012, 04:15 PM
Hi guys,
I've found on Flickr these groups:
http://www.flickr.com/groups/cloudsoc/pool/with/14393740/
http://www.flickr.com/groups/354029@N20/

hope it helps as inspiration!

Lo

Stevo
09-04-2012, 07:17 PM
Hi
I'm taking a late interest in this challenge (probably too late :-/), having just completed a work deadline.

The brief says the concept images provided are for "general layout" and "light direction and colour palette". Am I right in assuming that the first image is for "general layout" only?

Thanks

netocg
09-05-2012, 12:46 PM
This probably a stupid question but, the rules says the final thread submission will be closed at 12midnight on september 7th.
This means we have the whole frieday 7th to work on it?
Or it close from change of the day 6-7th, thurdays to frieday?

Alex Jenyon
09-05-2012, 10:00 PM
@Stevo: Yes, the first image is for layout only

@netocg: I'm going to lock the final entries thread at 12pm GMT at the end of Friday (that's 4pm my time in Vancouver, so I don't need to be at my computer at midnight). Depending on your own time zone, you do have all of Friday to work on it.

AJ

qstom
09-07-2012, 04:12 PM
Hi Alex...

Please double check.. I think 12pm GMT it's 5pm in Vancouver...
I'm running late so that extra hour means a lot to me :D!

Cheers!!

Alex Jenyon
09-08-2012, 07:57 AM
You are completely right - I'd forgotten about BST. I locked the thread at 5pm my time.

AJ

thiago-pires
09-08-2012, 09:57 AM
Great challenge! I got a little late on this one but I had a great time doing it. Hope there will be more contests like this.

Cheers!

99cyclops
09-08-2012, 04:57 PM
Thanks to Mattepainting.org and MPC for this great challenge!
I enjoyed very much and I will continue to post my new matte painting works. ^___^

Alex Jenyon
09-21-2012, 08:16 PM
Nearly ready to announce the winners - I meant to have it ready today, but work deadlines caught up with me, and I want to check my spelling when my brain is less fried.
I'll put up the results thread tomorrow. Apologies for the delay!

(I've also got a lot of PM's to reply to - I'll get on those as well)

Thanks for your patience

AJ