Magic Book Challenge Winners


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

For our 20th challenge we received 187 submissions with many creative magic books of all kinds! Thanks everyone for participating!

Our jury, consisting out of 15 people, had a good but also hard time judging all the great accepted submissions. Each judge voted for their own top 5 artworks. All in all, 29 submissions received votes, which you can see below.

We also picked three 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 29 entries that received votes by our jury. Click here to see all entries.

Challenge Raffle Winners

Congrats to the 3 winners of the challenge raffle. 

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

Ogunniran Olanrewaju

1 course of your choice between Blender 2.8 Launch Pad  and Substance Painter Launch Pad

Thomas Grandits

1 course of your choice between Blender 2.8 Launch Pad  and Substance Painter Launch Pad

Vincenzo Pollidoro

1 course of your choice between Blender 2.8 Launch Pad  and Substance Painter Launch Pad

1st Place

Ozana Nemčanin

We’re congratulating Ozana Nemčanin for winning the first place!

Follow Ozana 

Ozana about her entry:

“We just now witnessed an executed spell that went terribly wrong. Inexperienced witch that read this spell page only wanted to get herself a pet. One bat, even better plenty of bats. She did manage to get herself bats but also, hm something else was lurking around…

I’ve created this work completely in Blender using EEVEE. Affinity Photo was used to create textures, and also to enhance colors, color balance, and contrast. Smoke, dust, and spiderweb I did with planes in Blender, which had alpha texture (created in Affinity Photo).

Created using Blender 3D and Affinity Photo.

Clay Render

What our jury says:

Marius Iatan: “An image that definitely spells ‘magic’. I like the dynamism, the choice of colors and the overall feeling of the scene.”

Chris Plush: “Between the action of the scene, the effects used, and the demonic forces being unleashed, this piece was put together with a pretty tangible sense of chaos which was the best part. Everything is well-made too, particularly the book itself which has such a great amount of detail and grunge.”

Ebrahim Umar-Khitab: “Ozana gives us explosive energy and is able to capture a sense of dynamism in the scene with the effective use of light and color accents.”

Wybren van Keulen: “An explosion of visual interest, but you kept it clean with a subdued color scheme. Lots to see, lots to like!”

Darko Vucenik: “You can just fell the energy bursting out of this image. All the flying pages and smoke effect create a very dynamic feeling. A lot of nice detail everywhere and I especially like how the edges of pages were done looking old and tattered”

Ken Liang: “Very powerful image! I really like the effects that helped bring out the impact of the claw coming out of the book – the carefully placed pages that points to the center, the glow of the text on the book, the way the objects are positioned on the table, the smoke, and yes, the bats!”

2nd Place

Vladimír Stáňa

We’re congratulating Vladimír Stáňa for winning the second place!

Follow Vladimír 

Created using Blender, Zbrush, Substance Painter, Affinity Photo.

wip Image

What our jury says:

Lukas Walzer: “Some solid shading and lighting going on here. Colors and materials are working great together to create this dark gothic mood.”

Gregory Smith: “A great entry; it meets the topic perfectly in an inventive way, provides an engaging narrative, and is very well executed technically.”

Darko Vucenik: “I like this “call of cthulhu” inspired piece. I like the overall mood of the piece with dim ligating and mist. Book as a portal for monsters is truly a horror classic.”

Martin Klekner: “Very dark and mysterious artwork, with great modeling, sculpting, as well as composition and lighting. I like the symbolism of the piece. The little character maybe lacks a detail or two for me to be completely happy… Other than that – great work, especially love the Cthulhu-like octopus!”

Ken Liang: “Great mood and atmosphere in this image. Especially love the creature design and the lighting really helps bring out its form (really glad that it’s not all wasted with poorly lit and dark environment). All in all a very pleasing render to look at. So my question is, who’s giving the key to whom? Hmm…”

3rd Place

Benedicto Mendoza

We’re congratulating Benedicto Mendoza for receiving the third place!

Follow Benedicto :

Benedicto about his entry:

“In a hidden magical vault where only the powerful wizard can access, lie a vast treasure made not with gold but with old paper and ancient words. Among this treasured magical book stands out a mystical and powerful one that comes to life when the magic hour comes. It flies like a butterfly and roams the infinite library where it searches for another one like it.

Created using Blender and Photoshop.

Clay Render

What our jury says:

Lukas Walzer: “The lighting and subtle choice of colors makes this image very pleasing to look at. There’s nothing overdone here and I really like the sparkling effect.”

Darko Vucenik:“Twilight is a special time in the eternal library. Some very special books come to life. Great lighting, texturing and the damaged edges on the book’s pages are excellent. Nice use of DOF to emphasize the book in the foreground. The background with those book mountains is magical too.”

Martin Klekner:“A real pleasing combination of lighting, colors and composition, love how polished this piece is! Even though maybe not too original, my eyes kept wandering back to it, really enjoying the flow and harmony of it. Great work!”

Ken Liang: “A very comfortable scene. I like how the glow lining is not over the top and accentuates the magic effect, a good example of ‘less is more’. I also like the choice of using the sunset as it does not only add to the mood but also to the story telling aspect. It’s as if the book is coming to life once the night arrives.”

Joseph Nickson: “Beautifully composed piece with some absolutely luscious material work, the book truly looks alive and the variation of the burnt pages sells the image completely.”

Honorable Mention

Ondrej Dufek

We’re congratulating Ondrej Dufek for receiving an honorable mention!

Follow Ondrej:

Ondrej about his entry:

“I’ve tried a different approach. I wanted to do something more crazy and fun, no smartass interpretation of the topic this time. The first idea in my head was an image with stylized shapes, but realistic materials, to make a nice contrast.

But during the process I wasn’t feeling it at all and end up taking a more illustration approach, where I treated the whole image more like a vector graphics with bold flat colors and gradients. I ended up using no image textures, trying some grease pencil doodling, thick outlines and coloring everything during process and not just in the end after everything was blocked out or modeled.

It was fun, but I got kinda stuck in the end, not being able to enhance the visuals as much as I would like, because my workflow was not clear enough and I knew I wouldn’t be able to retexture everything in Substance for example, in time. But it was a fun exercise anyway.

Created using Blender.

Clay Render

What our jury says:

Lukas Walzer: “This one really stands out from the rest and delivers an amazing job of reinterpretation in terms of colors and mood. I just love those crazy cartoonish vibes and the vibrant colors!”

Aidy Burrows: “Love this interpretation of the theme. Such a fun stylized image – definitely stood out amongst the other entries.”

Ebrahim Umar-Khitab: “Ondrej presents a vibrant and playful take on the theme, with the nod to Adventure Time being a clever vehicle to switch his entry up into a character piece instead.”

Juan Hernandez: “Awesome piece of artwork. I love the crazy take Ondrej had on this one. A great choice of unusual colors give the piece a lot of life and it all works very well in composition. I also like how there is a combination of 3D and 2D objects which give the artwork a lot of personality. Well done!”

Ken Liang: “This is such a fun scene! I like the stylized approach taken and how everything is so wacky and whimsical. And the magic book is clearly the hero here, no question about that. My critique is that I would prefer brighter pastel color tones to go with the overall treatment.”

Honorable Mention

Fabrizio Bernasconi

We’re congratulating Fabrizio Bernasconi for receiving an honorable mention!

Follow Fabrizio:

Fabrizio about the entry:

“With this artwork I simply wanted to convey the idea that reading is an experience that allows anyone to adsorb knowledge, experiences, concepts in an effortless way and helps you open your mind making you a better person.

Created using Blender, Affinity Photo.

Clay Render

What our jury says:

Marius Iatan: “A very nice concept that makes you think. You can almost feel the connection with the book, and you have to learn what is the story behind the image.”

Aidy Burrows: “Really great work conjuring up quite the magical image in this one. Really like the paper/books from trees connection and nature at the heart of all magic here. It’s bright, pleasing and eye catching.”

Martin Klekner: “This render by Fabrizio Bernasconi picked my interest right away, with a nice combination of color, great details both on the book and the tree, good-looking materials, as well as the overall idea about the piece. Maybe too many glints for my taste, but otherwise, I really love this piece.”


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