Graveyard Challenge Winners


We are very happy to announce the winners of the CG Boost “Graveyard” Challenge!

For our 11th and first challenge of 2020 we received 119 submissions including all sorts of scary, funny and suggestive Graveyard designs. Thanks everyone for participating!

Our jury, consisting out of 12 people, had a good time checking all the accepted submissions. Each judge voted for their own top 5 artworks. All in all, 19 submissions received votes, which you can see below.

We also picked six random winners for the challenge raffle, see who has won below.

Congrats to the winners and honorable mentions, but also to everyone who was taking part! Remember, the best prize you can get from this challenge is improving your skills.

Regrading the prizes, we will contact the winners during the next few days.

A big THANK YOU goes to all of our great sponsors (see below) which provided the amazing prizes!

Now scroll down to see the winners and don’t miss out the next CG Boost Challenge!

~Zach and the CG Boost team


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Here you can see the 19 entries that received votes by our jury. Click here to see all entries.

Challenge Raffle Winners

Congrats to the six winners of the challenge raffle. 

Watch how we picked the winners, here. We will contact the winners in the next few days.


1 copy of Blender 2.8 Launch Pad course

Alex Wesselink

1 copy of Blender 2.8 Launch Pad course

Jindrich Patik

1 copy of Blender 2.8 Launch Pad course

Sam Moscow

Pascale Paolini

Muhammad Labeeb

1st Place

Arek Socha

We’re congratulating Arek Socha for winning the first place!

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Arek about his entry:

“As soon as i saw the topic, I connected graveyard with darkness and mood. I had several versions, but when i finally came up with this one, i could feel it.”

Created using Blender 2.81a, Cycles, 3DCoat.

Clay Render

What our jury says:

Zacharias Reinhardt: “This one captures the dark graveyard theme shockingly well. I find it challenging using black and white as style, but here combined with the noise it perfectly conveys a nightmare feel. The creepy creature, tight arranged tombstones and the skull lane adds to this atmosphere. Despite there is visual noise, the well-balanced composition makes it pleasing to the eye. This is what children nightmares are made of and great artworks too.”

Lukas Walzer: “Incredibly inventive and dreamy, this image is reminiscent of old etchings, like the illustrations of Gustave Doré. Being a black-and-white image, the perfect arrangement of values is extraordinarily visible.”

Aidy Burrows: “Very well composed shot with an almost nostalgic feel. At the foot of a hill a central path paved with loosely flowing skulls banked with tightly packed gravestones curves up to some looming Lovecraftian statue looking down at the scene. Yet from this grim image comes some hopeful contrast. A girl stands casually holding a teddy bear and flanked with a small furry companion stopped just before a bright light, I get some optimism from this image is what strikes me most about it is this is despite the domineering darker suggestions of the image throughout, nice job!”

Chris Plush: “I’m not usual partial to black and white art, but it really works for the spookiness of this entry. This is a really awesome piece with a story I’d love to know more about. Excellent design, composition, and sense of horror.”

Julien Kaspar: “I love the composition, lighting and the way the eyes are generally leaded through the artwork. The strong and well-placed contrast in values works very well and the additional filters compliment the creepy old photograph feeling and possibly hide some missing or messy details without harming the quality of the image. Well done.”

Ken Liang: “Absolutely amazing! Love everything that this image captures – from the camera angle to the mood and composition. Also appreciate the choice of using B&W and still able to retain the details in every nook and corners.”

Wybren van Keulen: “Beautiful atmosphere and a perfect example for when black-and-white works really well. The dash of light brings out the girl with the dog and makes this composition work well. It’s a crazy dense scene with thousands of objects, yet it is easy on the eyes – well done!”

Marius Iatan: “A scene that tells a story all by itself. Very good composition and detail, and inspired choice to finish it in black and white. Well done!”

2nd Place

Andrey Agafonov

We’re congratulating Andrey Agafonov for winning the second place!

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Andrey about his entry:

“Vocation Stronger than Death

I was going to do something really dark and spooky for this topic… but who am I kidding? 😀

Every amusing and humorous stylized idea I had sounded x10 times more fun to make, I reckon I just like this style and it likes me.

I put most of the work into the character, who is based on a real 18th-century landscape architect, who is known as “England’s greatest gardener”. I learned a lot about sculpting-retopology workflows, anatomy, and became quite confident with using Substance and also tried Marvelous Designer for the first time. Martin Klekner’s YouTube channel was a helpful resource. I am very happy with the progress I made and I am looking to further improve.”

Created using Blender 2.81 (Cycles) and Krita.

Clay Render

What our jury says:

Zacharias Reinhardt: “This artwork convinces in every aspect. From the vivid characters and setting, down to every tiny detail of the scene. The terrific storytelling is supported by the pleasing composition, warm light and slight retro feel with the washed out colours. The gardeners love to his craft conquers death, just like my dropping jaw conquers me from keeping my mouth closed.”

Lukas Walzer: “Storytelling in this one is just awesome and funny! The contrast between the detailed, very well done characters and the minimalistic landscape with its very stylized proportions supports the composition and unique style of the image.”

Aidy Burrows: “Another great take on the theme, even the grave can’t keep back this diligent gardener :D. Well composed with nice colors, no excess details, well-modelled, good character expression and a well-made environment. Nicely done! :)”

Chris Plush: “Very cool entry. Hilarious story here, and great character design as well as environment. This is an awesome entry in all regards.”

Christoph Werner: “Great communication between the characters.”

Ken Liang: “Really love the wide range of materials used in this image. Great characters and nicely detailed environment. All in all, great job!”

Marius Iatan: “A less-grim interpretation of the theme, which for some reason throws me back to the Grim Fandango days. Nice overall render.”

Wybren van Keulen: “A story is being told here, a very cartoony one and it’s a cheerful take on the graveyard theme. It’s one of these search-and-discover more types of images, and I like it!”

Serhii Antropov: “I love such cartoon style with a story behind it. Good colors of a summer day, “Gardener” on the gravestone and emotions on the skull.”

3rd Place

Eike Endrikat

We’re congratulating Eike Endrikat for winning the thrid place!

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Eike about his entry:

The idea came when I talked to a colleague about this challenge. What about a flies graveyard in the basement?
However, unfortunately I didn’t get enough time to model the flies by myself. I downloaded them from Sketchfab (Digital Archive of Natural History).
They developed an open source scanner for tiny objects. The flies got a lot of details and look quite realistic. 
I modeled the glue tape and some hair, cut the flies into body, legs, wings and head and add a transparent and glossy material to the wings. After that I spread all the parts around. What a fun!
I downloaded a HDRI from ‘’ and set it in the background. Painted the glue tape in Substance Painter and add some details. I rendered the scene with Arnold in 3ds Max. At the end I put the foreground, background into After effects, added Ambient Occlusion on top and added some god rays in between glue tape and background.

Created using 3ds Max, Substance Painter, Arnold and After Effects.

Clay Render

What our jury says:

Zacharias Reinhardt: “I love when artists challenge their minds to go beyond the obvious. This fly graveyard is not only a great interpretation of the topic, but a visual spectacular one too. Look at all the detailed fly bodies and little hair strands sticking to the tape. The harmony of color, light and composition, makes it an outstanding work.”

Lukas Walzer: “Probably one of the most original takes on the topic! A quite simple asset, but incredibly detailed and well executed! You can even see the tiny hairs attached to the strip! Also, the flies of different sizes are accurately modelled and give the image a very photorealistic quality.”

Aidy Burrows: “I had to give mention to this one since it’s such a macabre take on the theme and a disgusting one at that! Flies are a common symbolism of death and decay, and here in this image we have the symbolism of death’s very own graveyard!! Which might even suggest it to actually be a super positive image! Some sort of grim triumph over death. But it still doesn’t stop it being awful (in the best possible way!!!). Amazing dedication to the subject matter, must have had to look at this for ages! Lots of great realistic detail, superb!!! Gross, but superb!!! :D”

Darko Vucenik: “This is a very funny interpretation of the topic. So simple but very effective. Flies are very realistic and the texturing is great.”

Gregory Smith: “Very simple, but incredibly effective. This entry is instantly eye-catching through its striking lighting, and meets the topic in an original way.”

Julien Kaspar: “It’s a simple idea but the execution of the render is really making it engaging to look at and the details keep making you peek closer. The name-tag at the bottom seems a bit unnecessary and distracting in quality difference but that’s when we get into nitpicking. Good job.”

Wybren van Keulen: “Great idea and such attention to detail – there’re even hairs and several dismembered fly legs on there. For me the image works much better when cropping off the bottom. It’s pretty obvious that it’s a fly catcher. Cropping the image will zoom in and will better show the intricate details.”


Serhii Antropov: “Good idea, alternative view of topic. Even hair-spring here.”

Honorable Mention

Julia Kotze

We’re congratulating Julia Kotze for receiving an honorable mention!

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Julia about the entry:

For this challenge, I thought I would do something cute and funny rather than dark. I’ve always loved the personification of animals. I think it would be quite traumatic for a person to find a pile of human bones while walking with her kids – It is a bit more light-hearted when it’s a chicken. 

I had a lot of fun with this scene. I’ve learned so much in terms of working with hair in Blender. I’ve also had the opportunity to do some sculpting and more advanced compositing.

I was not able to spend as much time as I wanted on this challenge, so I kept my concept and background elements simple.

Created using Blender 2.8, Cycles and Adobe Photoshop.

Clay Render

What our jury says:

Aidy Burrows: “Simple image but nothing complicated required to get the feeling across as it does this so very effectively. On atechnical level, the composition, camera focus, lightingand materials are all very well done. A great example ofhow a great image doesn’t necessarily require supercomplicated modeling and lighting setups. Creative use of the theme too!”

Christoph Werner: “As I’m a photographer I like the high realism in this picture. Today a lot of cg images comes with clean and perfect renderings, the use of noise makes this picture unique.”

Darko Vucenik: “The design of the characters is very cute and reminds me of decorations that I would often see at Christmas street fair stands when I was a child. I love the lighting with that soft, overcast day feel to it. Depth of field is used so well to really focus the attention to figurines. I would like to see a bit less grain in the image.”

Lukas Walzer: “I always love especially the images that dare to go with a more quiet topic and actually succeed in doing so, and this is one of them! There’s a lovely vintage quality and simplicity to it that really warms my heart!”

Honorable Mention

Alexander Ivanov

We’re congratulating Alexander Ivanov for receiving an honorable mention!

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Alexander about his entry:

“I wanted to make spooky swampy Graveyard with character in it.
I started with a basic landscape with a simple plane for water. Then I modeled few simple gravestones and spread them with particles system and two tombs which are barely visible. After that I made 3 variations of the trees and then spread them around too. I did the same with some foliage too.
I wasn’t sure for the character at the begging, but I wanted it to be on a boat, so I modeled a quick and simple boat and made a Fuse character and placed it there with a shovel instead of paddle and for a final touch I put a lamp in front of the boat. I set up the moon Light and a winterish HDRI. Then I play around with two volumes for fog, one for the overall atmosphere and the other for the fog on the ground. Then I rendered with Eevee on 256 samples and then I color graded just a little.

Created using Blender, Eevee, Fuse, Mixamo.

Clay Render

What our jury says:

Christoph Werner: “Lovely dark mood.”

Marius Iatan: “A scene with all the ‘classical’ references to a graveyard. Nice atmosphere and just the right amount of lighting.”

Serhii Antropov: “Classic graveyard but made with soul. Nice mood and lights, shovel instead of oars.”


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