Rendering Contest

In an earlier post titled “Piston Cup Renders” I asked my readers to submit renders of my Piston Cup. I understand that setting up a model and rendering a scene takes a lot of time and patience and people usually have better things to do with their time. So taking that into consideration this time I decided to have a real rendering contest and got Thomas Teger, VP of Marketing at Luxion, to sponsor more than $4000 worth of prizes. OK, so now that I’ve got your attention let see what the prizes are:

  • First Prize: 1 license of KeyShot Pro worth $1,995
  • Second Prize: 1 license of KeyShot with 1 year Subscription worth $1,195
  • Third Prize: 1 license of KeyShot worth $995

KeyShot is the rendering product by Luxion. It is one of the easiest rendering programs that I have used, although I must admit that I haven’t used many. To get a sense of how easy it is this is what I came up within a couple of minutes after installing the product. Since I am a novice at rendering I asked Al Dean of DEVELOP3D to judge the contest.

OK, if you are interested in taking part in the contest please pay close attention to the following because this contest maybe a little different than what you may have come across in the past. Download the model of a Porsche GT3 in OBJ format from here (17 MB). Next take a good look at the following picture. Download it somewhere on your computer because you will need it.

Click image for larger view

You need to render the GT3 using the rendering software of your choice and make it look at close to the image above as possible. This contest is not about how “good” you can make the GT3 look. Rather, it is about how “real” you can make it look. Actually, this makes Al’s job quite easy because all he needs to do is compare the image above with the one that contestants send.

I took this picture during my recent trip to the US while roaming in Boulder. It was in the evening as can be seen from the angle of the shadows. You are free to use parts of the picture as decals. There is no need to add the other cars in the picture. Simply place the GT3 on an empty road. However, I think you will need to add some extra geometry to the left of the car to get those shadows and reflections. And needless to say, you need to position your camera exactly how I positioned mine. Please send one image only.

This contest will run for the next two weeks. Last date for submission is 22nd October. Please send in your entries by email to me at deelip (at) sycode (dot) com along with your contact information including country, company you work for and the details of the rendering software that you used. I will be posting the entries after the contest ends and the winners will be chosen shortly thereafter. If you want me to share your contact information on this blog for others to see and maybe contact you, let me know. This maybe helpful if you are interesting in taking up rendering projects for others.

I’ll be grateful if you could spread the word about this contest in the forums you visit, on Twitter/Facebook or your blog if you have one. The link to this post is

Update (11-Oct-2010)

A second category has been added to the contest. This new category gives you more freedom in the sense that you are free to render the model in any way you like, and not be limited to making it look like a photo. See “ Rendering Contest – Second Category” for details.


Contest Sponsor:

  • d3print

    Have you any other format than .obj?

  • d3print

    Have you step or iges or similar, for some common Mcad application?
    Tryied open the obj file with ProE, but file was broken.

    • Sorry, I only have the mesh representation of the model. I guess the NURBS representation would be a closely guarded secret.

      • d3print

        I could try the NURBS option.

        • I meant I don’t have the NURBS model with me.

          • d3print

            Yes, I understod. Could try the NURBS if I can somehow translate the model.

  • Davide Ciarloni

    Congratulation for the contest
    Dowloading the model right now

    What about the enviroment? Do you have an HDRI representing the “space” and “lights” around the car?

    • All I have is the picture I took with my camera, that’s all.

  • RDV

    So does it need to look exactly like in the picture? -> seeing the GT3 from behind sitting in traffic?
    Or do you just mean, in “white” with the correct numberplate etc…

    • Yes, “seeing the GT3 from behind sitting in traffic?” is what is required. Normally, people use rendering software to make something look good. Depending upon the capabilities of the rendering software, that can be relatively easy. Even a novice user like me can come up with something stunning in no time. The point here is not to find the best rendering software. Rather it is to find the person who knows to make use of his rendering software in the best way.

  • RDV

    Comparing the 3d model and the picture you have taken, it’s a lot more different than “adding some geometry” The rear lights have a different shape, the bumper is looking different and so does the spoiler.
    Do we need to change that too?

    I apologize for the double-post.

    • There is no need to change the geometry. I understand that the OBJ model and the car in the picture have some differences. When I mentioned adding geometry I was referring to adding geometry external to the car so that its shadows and reflections have the necessary effect on the car body.

      • RDV

        thanks for your comment, Now I can start focussing on the render!

  • Elwood

    Hi, can we use compositing softwares? Then can we fake details with photoshop or is it just rough renders? Thx for the contest.

  • Sorry, no Photoshop. You can use parts of the image as textures and stuff like that. This contest is not about how well you can fake it with image editing software. It’s about how real you can make it look with rendering software. Its a rendering contest, remember. 😉

  • MashTun

    There is a bit of a problem if this is to be a “Renderer Only” competition:

    Assigning appropriate materials is difficult because they the surfaces are grouped in very odd ways. For example: the rearview mirrors are grouped with the roof molding and the tail light LEDs. There is no way to manipulate the surface groupings of an OBJ file so that you can have emissive red tail lights, black molding, and reflective mirrors. Ungrouped surfaces can be grouped in a renderer, but pre-grouped surfaces can not be ungrouped in the renderer.

    It is also impossible to create a composite set up of models where you show the mirrors of one, the moldings of another, and the tail lights of another. You have to show all or nothing.

    It would be a huge pain, but this could be worked around with Photoshop. However, as you said, Photoshop is not an option.

    Anyone know where you could get a nurbs copy on the cheap?

    • Which renderer are you using? I opened the OBJ file in Rhino and found that all the components of the rear view mirror are all separate. Yes, the LHS and RHS parts of the review view mirror assembly are grouped. But I guess that’s fine.

      • For example in Thea render are surfaces grouped as described above.

        • I just imported the OBJ file in KeyShot and noticed the problem you mention. Funny. Let me see what I can do about this.

    • When importing the model into KeyShot make sure you check “Keep Individual Parts”. This will break out the model nicely.

      As far as other rendering software goes, you may want to try and import “by group” if that is an option.


  • Tip when importing the obj into KeyShot:

    Check “Keep individual parts” upon import. This will break out the model nicely.

    • Yes I can do the same when importing into Thea.
      I skipped the popup menu with import options ..

    • Yes I can do the same when importing into Thea.
      I skipped the popup menu with import options ..

    • MashTun

      Didn’t work for me. Should I be able to do this in the educational version?

  • MashTun

    A check box. A simple check box solved the issue. Man…..
    Thanks again Thomas. One of these days I will stop asking questions with obvious answers, and start asking tough questions.

    • MashTun

      I take it back. That didn’t work for me. Keyshot won’t seperate the parts and Rhino won’t open the obj file.

      Maybe it got corrupted or something. I’ll re-download.

    • MashTun

      Yup…corrupted. Re-downloading did it.

      • Excellent. Look forward to seeing a good render from you.

  • So if we do a good enough job, how will you tell the image from the render from the actual photograph?

  • Vellmer

    are we allowed to use the original Picture (prepaired in PS) as a background in the rendering?

    • Yes, you can. Although it is not necessary. Like I said, you can place the car on an empty road if you like. But if you want to spruce up the render to use other parts of the image as background, that would be fine as well.

  • Nicu_2

    So what about things like the actual shape of the license plate being differrent? And that bumper sticker? Do we just leave those off the model?

    • I guess you can omit the license plate. If you can use some feature of your rendering software to play a trick, that would be nice. You can use the bumper sticker from the image as a decal on the model, or something similar.

  • Julien

    Hi, i would like to know if contest is finish? If yes, where can we see the result?