Image Courtesy of Rohan Dalvi

SideFX Contest

Machines permeate through nearly every aspect of our daily lives. They are tiny and they are colossal. They work silently on the macro scale and they can screech and klang to move the earth. They can blast through the stratosphere and they can drill into the earth's core under thousands of pounds of pressure. What kind of machine exists in your mind? How does it move? What does it sound like? Show us the machine of your mind.


In order to upload your entry, you need to have an account on and be logged in.

Submissions are now closed. Please come back for future contests!


Best Overall

Dell UltraSharp 30 PremierColor Monitor

30" monitor with PremierColor that delivers every creative professional their ideal color space. With 1.07 billion colors, you can see more details in higher clarity, even across an ultrawide viewing angle. Read More..


AMD FirePro™ W7100

Professional graphics card deliver exceptional performance and special features designed to accelerate high-end workflows for design, engineering, and media and entertainment professionals.


Intel® SSD Pro 5400s Series

The Intel® Solid State Drive Pro 5400s Series is designed to meet business needs by enabling blazing fast performance and simultaneously upgrading a system’s security and manageability profile.


Houdini Swag Pack

Entry to be used as Houdini Splashscreen, with artist credit - and you win a Houdini Swag Pack! Tshirts, giant Houdini beachball, and some other mystery fun stuff!


Create your marvelous machine using Houdini and Mantra! It can be a still frame, or an animated sequence of infinite moving machine parts. There are no restrictions on file type or image/movie resolution - and yes, you can import external file formats (though the more you do in Houdini, the more we take that into consideration). As for Mantra, sure you can use just texture maps - but the Principled Shader and VOPS can be your better friend.

As for compositing - you can use Photoshop or After Effects or any application you like; but the less you rely on them, the more the Jury will take that into consideration. Bonus if you use just COPs instead! You can work in teams, but it may be difficult to split the prizes up amongst yourselves, so we recommend solo entries.


Upload your work

Artwork upload tool goes live on December 1, 2016. Submit your entry no later than 11:59 pm (EST) on January 31st, 2017. Zip up your final image/video (please name it "yourname_final" so we know that it's yours)!


Judges evaluation

Judging will occur between Feb 1st to Feb 14th, 2017. The judging panel will select entries based on aesthetics and originality!


Results announcement

Results will be announced on Feb 15th - we'll post the winning entries, runner-ups and some of our other favourites here at


Prizes enroute!

All winners will be contacted to arrange for the delivery of their prizes - post a selfie when it arrives!



Peter Claes

VFX Lead Artist
The Mill

Michael Frederickson

Technical Director, Set Extensions

Ronny Franken

Visual Arts Coordinator and Lecturer
International Game Architecture and Design (IGAD)
Breda University of Applied Sciences (NHTV)

Rohan Dalvi

CG Instructor

Manny Fragelus

Program Director-CGMA, Modeling Lead

Marc Horsfield

Production Technology Supervisor
Method Studios

Matt Estela

CG Supervisor
Animal Logic

Gavin Graham

Global Head of VFX
Double Negative VFX

Steve Holmes

3D Artist


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