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Tim Ellis wins Maxwell Rendering Contest, Writes Tutorial


final_maxwell-ml_tellis-sm.jpgThis deserves a headline here at for sure! Tim Ellis (also known as “sonix” on the forums) has done an incredibly photorealistic image for the Maxwell Rendering Contest. It was modelled in Blender, and rendered with the widely acclaimed Maxwell renderer. Competition was tough, many great entries were submitted, but Tim Ellis came out on top. He landed on no less than a clear 1st place!

The goal was to get as close to a reference photo as possible. Through incredible attention to detail, and carefully re-creating what seems like every single atom of the scene, Tim Ellis succeeded in getting a true-to-life result.

mwc_desk-ml-01.jpgLooking behind the scenes, the modeling of the scene itself is just as, if not more, astonishing than the rendered image. Tim Ellis appears in Maxwell Magazine with a very comprehensive tutorial covering the modelling process – all done in Blender. The Maxwell Magazine can be downloaded in .pdf format here. Tim Ellis' tutorial is pages 18-113. As mentioned, it's very comprehensive!

If you still can't get enough of Tim Ellis' entry image, visit this thread at the forums for a wide selection of interesting downloads. The actual .blend scene (!) and amazing multi-light animations are among these. There should be enough here to keep a determined Blender learner active for a long time!

Congratulations from, Mr. Ellis! Very well done!

About the Author

Mathias Pedersen

Read more about Mathias Pedersen (The M.h.p.e.) at


  1. Yeah, you definately deserved that one Tim Ellis! I watched the WIP the right from the beginning, and you really have done an incredible job! Congratulations!

  2. Congrats Tim !

    I thought I was the only one going that way (Blender + Maxwell) and was considering myself a bit like a kind of alien...
    I came from Maya to Blender, and even if the transition hasn't been as smooth as it could have been, the results are here.

    It's been a long time since I haven't been on the Maxwell forums, but two of my images are still in the official gallery =)

    Congrats again !

  3. I was really impressed when I found this a while back and it's even more impressive to see how he did it!

    Awesome work Tim.

  4. Wow, I have been watching this since the first post, and there was no doubt in my mind that you were going to win when I saw the amount of detail you were putting into the first objects in the scene. Congratulations!!!

  5. That sure is good - only thing I don't like is the graininess of the maxwell renderer but I suppose that can't be helped.
    Excellent job!!

    -epat. :)

  6. EDIT: unless the graininess is deliberate to simulate the CCD in the back of a digital camera since admittently it would look a bit unlike the orignal reference image without it!!!

    -epat. :)

  7. Steven Brown on

    What's with page 195's ad link to a site ""? Is that just an incredibly unfortunate lingual coincidence worth pointing and laughing at for a long time to come, or an attempt to farm errant searches with a dubious site name? I'm hoping the former, as therein lies the funny.

  8. Congrats, watched this for a long time. SO glad you won!!! hope this springs you into something new and even more challeging/rewarding.

  9. all right, one of the best things... in the no-sculpt era ;-)
    this is the real answer to people thinkin' that blender is good as a toy, but not useful if you have something better; the true limit is the artist: best modeler>best models!
    Tim&blender are the best!
    what's the next award? :-)
    sorry for my english... as usual :-(

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