Image by Igor Slayerk

Welcome to the SIDEFX LABS Tech Art Challenge which gives you the chance to compete with the rest of the Houdini Community for cool prizes by creating Houdini Digital Assets for use in game engines, or as utilities inside Houdini itself.

The contest will run from now until the deadline on September 30, 2021 before Midnight EDT

HOW TO ENTER

The Tech Art Challenge Forum has now been made available and you will use this to post your work. Add a thread for your submission in either the Best Game Art Asset category or the Best Houdini Utility category and upload the following items:

    • 1-2 Paragraph Description of your asset and its purpose - explain who it is for and what can they do with it
    • Houdini Digital Asset file [.hda/.hdalc/.hdanc]
    • Houdini, Unity or Unreal Scene file with the Asset in place
    • 1920 x 1080 Video showing the Digital Asset being used either in Houdini, Unreal or Unity.
    • 1920 x 1080 Image showing a rendering of the results generated with your tool     

    • Do not use blackbox digital assets - the inner workings of your asset must be available for review
    • Create your Houdini Digital Asset using the following Guidelines.

Submit your work to this forum, in the proper category. You must include all the items listed above in order for it to be considered. The whole forum will be closed on September 30, 2021 at Midnight EDT so the judges can review all the completed work. To share your progress and get feedback, feel free to start a WIP thread with your asset name and either [Game Art] or [Houdini Utility] at the end to indicate the intended category.  Your final entry must be posted to one of the two category threads before the deadline.

HOW TO WIN

BEST GAME ART ASSET

Design a tool that can be used in a game engine such as Unity or Unreal that helps game artists build levels and streamline the creation of their gameplay. These assets would be along the lines of the assets found in the Unity and Unreal Starter kits. 

The asset will be judged on the following:
    • Aesthetics - how aesthetically pleasing is the game art created by the asset
    • Game Art Quality- ability generate quality results for your game engine
    • UX - the asset's ability to streamline an artist's workflow 
    • Elegance - the technical sophistication and appropriateness of the solution to the problem
    • Innovation of technical solution - out of box thinking/unique problem solving perspective
    • Level of Difficulty - how challenging was the technical solution
    • Comprehension  - how well does the entrant explain their intent and show the tool achieving its goals

JUDGES

Ben
House

Bluepoint

Darko
Pracic

Embark

Santiago Gutierrez

Naughty Dog

Paul Ambrosiussen

SideFX

Mai
Ao

SideFX

Simon Verstraete

SideFX

BEST HOUDINI UTILITY
Design a tool that will help artists working in Houdini. This could be a tool that works in any Houdini context including LOPS [Solaris] and TOPS [PDG]. This tool can create an aesthetically pleasing result or solve a technical problem that artists encounter regularly.  

The tool will be judged on the following:
    • Usefulness - how relevant is the tool to a typical artists workflow
    • UX - the asset's ability to streamline an artist's workflow
    • Elegance - the technical sophistication and appropriateness of the solution to the problem
    • Innovation - - out of box thinking/unique problem solving perspective
    • Level of Difficulty -how challenging was the technical solution
    • Comprehension  - how well does the entrant explain their intent and show the tool achieving its goals

JUDGES

Twan
de Graaf

Ubisoft

Eetu
Martola

Mainframe Industries

Henry
Foster

MOPS

Øyvind
Fiksdal

Quixel

Jeff
Wagner

SideFX

Robert
Magee

SideFX

PRIZES

BEST GAME ART ASSET
First Place: Houdini FX [SideFX] + SWAG Pack
Second Place: Houdini CORE [SideFX] + SWAG Pack
Third Place: Houdini Indie [SideFX] + SWAG Pack
Honorable Mention:  SWAG Pack

BEST HOUDINI UTILITY
First Place: Houdini FX [SideFX] + SWAG Pack
Second Place: Houdini CORE [SideFX] + SWAG Pack
Third Place: Houdini Indie [SideFX] + SWAG Pack
Honorable Mention:  SWAG Pack

Bonus: 
Winning Entries will be featured in an online Houdini HIVE Event 
Winning Entries will be considered for inclusion to either SideFX Labs or the Content Library

RULES

This contest is open to any 3D artist anywhere in the world.

  • All entries must be received on or before September 30, 2021 at Midnight EDT
  • This contest is void where prohibited
  • Do not use blackbox digital assets - the inner workings of your asset must be available for review
  • Create your Houdini Digital Asset using the following Guidelines PDF
  • Employees of SideFX or any of their agents may participate in the contest but are not eligible to win
  • The judges' decision is final
  • SideFX is not responsible for submissions that arrive late, or are lost or damaged during submission
  • If the prize cannot be awarded due to unforeseen circumstances, no cash alternatives are available
  • Assets created for these challenges must be created using Houdini products. Winners will be asked to submit .hda and .hip files to verify that Houdini was used for all aspects of the tool. If you do not submit the files then you will be disqualified
  • All content must be the property of the submitter. If you are running Houdini on an employer or school computer make sure that this does not compromise your ownership rights
  • Entries that clearly infringe on the copyrights of another company will be disqualified
  • The Entrant retains ownership of all intellectual and industrial property rights (including moral rights) in and to the asset. As a condition of entry, the Entrant grants SideFX a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, transferable, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to use, reproduce, adapt, modify, publish, distribute, publicly perform, create a derivative work from, and publicly display the asset for any purpose, including distribution on the SideFX website, without any attribution or compensation to Entrant.
  • In respect of the Asset, the Entrant grants to Houdini Community Members a non-exclusive, perpetual, worldwide right and license to use, adapt, create derivative works, create imagery, create content for video games, publicly display, publicly perform, digitally perform, or advertise. The Entrant also grants to Houdini Community Members to use any trademarks, service marks or trade names incorporated in the Asset. The Houdini Community Members may not re-distribute, sell, publish, or otherwise make the Asset or substantially similar adaptations available to any third party.

FAQ

Q. Are Indie and Apprentice users eligible?
A. Yes. Although Apprentice users can only enter the Houdini Utilities category because .hdanc files cannot be used in Unity and Unreal.

Q. Are we allowed to use SideFX Labs nodes inside my asset?
A. Yes Lab nodes are allowed - be sure to indicate this with your entry.

Q. Are multiple submissions allowed?
A. Yes.

Q. What does it mean that you cannot black box your asset?
A. Houdini Digital Assets can be set up so that artists cannot see the network inside. You need to keep your asset and any nested assets unlocked in order to allow the judges to analyze your solution.

Q. Can Megascans/Substance be used?
A. Megascan and other 3rd party models are not allowed in the contest entries or test scenes. If you use external geometry to show how your utility tool works make sure that geometry is free and open source. Megascan and Substance textures are can be used to create textures maps that you embed in your asset.

Q. Can I use an existing Houdini project as one of my entries?
A. If you are already working on a digital asset and would like to submit it to the contest that is allowed.

Q. Are groups allowed?
A. No, this contest is designed for individual artists.