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Contest: Modeling A Cityscape


mockscreensmall.jpgA company called Retina Software is sponsoring a contest for a realistic cityscape made in Blender. The prize? 500 big ones ($500 USD)... and maybe more.

They posted the announcement on BlenderArtists as well as CGTalk last week. What's really cool is that this contest requires that Blender be used. From the BA post:

My name is Anthony and I am writing as co-owner of Retina Software, a start-up game development company. We are currently seeking capital to get our first game rolling and hire some artists. However, at the moment we are putting together a demonstration of our technology to show to potential investors. As part of this demo, we need a model of a industrial cityscape for our ships to fly around and look pretty in.

This is specifically a Blender contest. We are embracing open source software as part of our company and have already developed the tools necessary for us to import Blender models into our 3D engine. Non-Blender submissions will not be considered.

It's important to note that the model, while being rendered in 3D, will only be used as viewing from a top-down perspective, so keep that in mind when designing.

More details on the contest can be found on the company's site. The deadline is currently set to July 23rd, 2006 (the way they word it is for entries to be submitted before the 24th), and I'm sure that gives Blenderheads plenty of time to create and a chance to earn some nice cash for their work!

About Author


Just a guy really into 3D, especially where Blender is concerned.


  1. hip hop anonymous on

    there's no point in calling it a contest...when i submit my entry...there can only be 1 highlander!!! i mean winner...nuff said

  2. @Jason H
    The way they word it was odd: "We're requesting submissions to be turned in before Monday, July 24, 2006."

    My interpretation was that the 23rd was the last day that they can be turned in.

  3. @Kernon
    I think their example isn't so great (hence the need for a real 3D artist). I think what is needed is a cityscape that you fly over. So a mix between circuit board and cityscape since it will be a 3D city that you view from the Z direction and possibly view from other angles.

  4. Hey guys! A big thanks to Eugene for posting this! My name is Anthony and I'm one of the owners of Retina Software. I must say, I'm sorry I missed this site in my initial postings of the contest. This site has generated more than twice as many visits to our page as all other sites combined! I'm so glad to see all this interest. :-)

    To answer a few questions that have been asked:

    We do ask that people let us know if they are entering so that we can put you on a mailing list in case we have updates or rule clarifications. However, there is no need to officially announce an entry. We simply require a set of renders of the final model to be emailed or somehow made available to us before the 24th of July (we chose a Monday so you'd have all weekend to finish it up).

    We do however recommend that if you have any questions about how you are modeling it (especially textures) that you ask us. You would be welcome to send a draft of your model to us either for comments or so that we can check that our exporter will work with the model. As far as we know it will be fine if you follow the guidelines, but it never hurts to check. We do reserve the right to ensure that the particular will export properly before we officially declare a winner.

    As for the circuit board - we noticed after our artist did this that it did kinda look like a circuit board, but it was not on purpose. Don't think "city" as much as "industrial sector" though. Those are huge conduits and pipes with cranes and storage tanks. It really is of a grand scale, just comes across somewhat strange in the cartoony 2D rendering. And yes, it will be viewed primarily from directly above (think top-down shooter).

    I hope that helps! I'll add this posting to my list of forums that I check regularly for updates, so if you have any other questions or would like clarifications, feel free to post here. Sorry for the long response. Feel free to email us also with any questions. Thanks again, and I look forward to seeing all of these entries (especially hip hop's apparently...).

  5. OK, top down as in: it will be 2d? Should we all model roof tops only? Or something like in Age of empires III, where you scroll over a top-down landscape and the perspective changes slighty?

  6. Age of Empires is a fine example. You are correct - it is top-down, but it is full-perspective 3D. It will be running on a full-fledged 3D engine - the top-down decision is a gameplay one, not a graphical one.

  7. Hey, wanted to make an update to the contest. We've received a great response, and so, in order to try to help foster some healthy competition, we've scraped together a little extra money! We've increased the minimum prize, plus we've added 2nd and 3rd place prizes (since it was killing us to see so many great entries and know that only one would get any cash for their hard work). We now have:

    1st: $600 (with possible increase to up to $1000)
    2nd: $100
    3rd: $50

    More details are available at our website, Good luck everyone!

  8. We've decided that we can allow a one-week extension to the modeling contest. The new deadline is midnight (EST, which is -5:00 GMT) Sunday, July 30th. I hope this lets everyone breathe a little easier in this final crunch time. Good luck!

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