We chat with the winning entrants of this 3D contest which focuses on creating cabins – realistic or fictional – featuring a virtual reality twist
Winners of Ronen Bekerman’s cabins contest
the seventh of Ronen Bekerman’s contests revolved around the idea of cabins, tiny homes hidden away from the world. this was the first time, however, that the challenges required implementing virtual reality, meaning that it was expected that these grand and awe-inspiring scenes needed to be rendered to be VR compatible, too. in conjunction with this a partnership with Quixel’s megascans was set up, allowing those who took part to make use of the library of PBR textures.
“i wanted the cabins to stand out from the environment, and be deeply poetic,” says Bartosz Domiczek, who was announced as the winner of the challenge. “i wanted them to even to be naive or structurally nonsensical in this poetry of theirs.”
His entry into the competition was an icelandic mountain range, dotted with tall, canvas tent-like structures that – as he puts it – would have been impossible in the setting. “i started shaping the first by outlining the credible wooden frame,” he explains. “the external fabric was simulated in marvelous Designer, using double seams on the edges. the material of the external cover was the crucial aspect of this project and i wanted the very specific translucency and some plastic glossiness that would evoke the construction site feel. nothing too sophisticated, rather uniform and utilitarian.
“my environment was pretty barren,” says Domiczek, highlighting how this meant he couldn’t hide the terrain behind vegetation. “i started by collecting a bunch of references and creating the basic typology of geological forms i needed. i assigned the specific tools i wanted to use. i decided to start with world machine and sculpt the details in Zbrush. i also used a lot of rock assets from Quixel megascans and manually placed them to complement the scenes.”
Quite the contrary is Jamie Holmes’ entry into the Cabins challenge, a secluded tropical beach setting with the sort of hideaway you’d see in a Bond movie. “Because i knew VR was a component of it, i sort of planned around how that would work,” says Holmes, whose entry won him second place in the challenge. “so the first part of my process was creating a
my environment was pretty barren and i couldn’t hide the terrain’s characteristics underneath the vegetation Bartosz Domiczek, architect and CG artist
rough scene so i knew what would be seen if you turned the camera in any direction.
“the actual water is probably where i spent most of my time,” laughs Holmes, “just trying different things, playing with the shaders quite a lot.
“it was all within the shader, making sure that the depth change looked like it should, so that as the water got deeper it got more blue, more murky.
“it did prove to be quite a lot of extra work, i think in the end it worked out and i certainly learnt a lot from it, too.”
For sergey Ferley, who placed third in the competition, his entry was a “tribute to my life Australia”, after the artist was recently inspired by the Aussie outback and wanted to create a scene that captured both the wildness and fragility of such an environment.
“i had never used speedtree before. it’s a great tool,” he says of his process in creating the Cabins challenge entry and the tools he used.
“And Corona, too; this is the second time in my life i worked with this engine and it’s amazing, it’s so easy to change and tweak options with the lighting. But the most difficult part for me was the surrounding, especially the trees because i wanted to get as close to the real eucalyptus trees as possible.
“Creating the trees and all the debris on the ground and the scattering of these elements, this was the task for me – it took a lot of experiments, three or four times i completely changed the trees for this scene.”
A full list of winners, runner-ups and honourable mention scan be found online at cabins. ron en bekerm an. com/cabins-challenge-winners-announced.
Sergey Ferley had been living in Australia up until recently, which inspired his rendition of this fragile glass house within the outback
Jamie Holmes wanted to break away from the sort of work he does daily and create something extraordinary with his scene
Bartosz Domiczek was inspired by Iceland, wanting to create something that could not be feasible in reality