Samurai Challenge Winners


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

For our 17th challenge we received 136 submissions, with many awesome Samurai characters and Samurai-themed scenarios. Thanks everyone for participating!

Our jury, consisting out of 12 people, had a good time judging all the accepted submissions. Each judge voted for their own top 5 artworks. All in all, 16 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 16 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.

Gamer Noob

1 copy of Blender 2.8 Launch Pad course

Carlos Lee

1 copy of Blender 2.8 Launch Pad course

Sam D

1 copy of Blender 2.8 Launch Pad course

Funso Dorgu

1 copy of Substance Painter Launch Pad course

Hakeem Siddique

Pedro Bomfim

1st Place

Lukas Kutschera

We’re congratulating Lukas Kutschera for winning the first place!

Follow Lukas

Lukas about his entry:

“I’ve actually started out doing a mecha Samurai but it was going nowhere, so I started over and after looking up Samurai armor reference I was fascinated by the huge Variety and their interesting designs, so my main focus was on trying to make a somewhat authentic samurai armor.

I don’t know how I got the idea with the skull, but eventually I thought about a cursed samurai as a theme and the Tarantula was a nice fit I thought. As someone with arachnophobia I did not enjoy the reference gathering for that as much, but due to time running out I spent on the armor I was looking for a free obj, which I found. It’s not supposed to be the focus of the image but I thought it to be a nice detail.

Another focus was to improve my shading and although I am happy with the result, I think there are some materials I couldn’t capture as much as I’d like to, but to sum it up I really enjoyed the challenge. It’s always great to have a deadline to push yourself and as I expected I need every minute, so as I write this maybe 15 minute before deadline a rim light render is still going, so I fill this out now and hope I make it lol.

Created using ZBrush, Substance Painter, Maya (Arnold) and Krita.

Clay Render

What our jury says:

Lukas Walzer: “The amount of well researched detail and richness of texture in this piece is beyond amazing and incredible regarding the time it took. Overall awesome!”

Gregory Smith: “A strong render with subtle lighting that helps to sell the mood. The detail is very well crafted.”

Chris Plush: “Ah the original samurai all those masks are modeled after, cool! Awesome take on the samurai, and great work on every detail of it.”

Darko Vucenik: “Mummified remains of this samurai indicate masks they wore were closer to their actual appearance than commonly taught. This model is so rich in detail and the texturing is spot on, from wrinkles on mummified scull to patina on various amour pieces.”

Christoph Werner: “Very nice work and a great attention for details.”

Ken Liang: “This is my favorite samurai of all. Where do I even begin? The details are so overwhelming and I really like the mummified look of the head. The unusual set of teeth adds another layer to the character development, aside from the really arcane color palette that was chosen for the armor. Great lighting overall but personally I would have used purple and green/cyan lights to play with a more stylized arcane feel. Spiders are a great touch as well. Could’ve done away with the artifacts which is visible all around the edges of the models.”

Marius Iatan: “A very clean render, with sharp details based on traditional samurai armor. Well done!”

Ebrahim Umar-Khitab: “Lukas delivers a tremendous level of detail in his work. The interplay of his material work and sculpting skills are fantastic.”

Andrew Probert: “THIS one simply blew me away, in it’s absolutely jaw-dropping material realism.”

Joseph Nickson: “The attention to detail and material work across this piece is astounding, held back only by some readily resolvable rendering issues. Fantastic work across the board, I’d love to see it re-rendered in all its glory.”

2nd Place

David Fitzgerald

We’re congratulating David Fitzgerald for winning the second place!

David about his entry:

The concept is a samurai leaving a dark forest towards a temple out of view.”

Created using Blender & Cycles.

Clay Render

What our jury says:

Lukas Walzer: “I really like the photographic feel in this image, it looks like straight out of an old magazine, including the washed out colors. There’s a nice look of gritty realism in the abundance of foliage, which I really like!”

Marius Iatan: “An apparently simple scene, which hints to a background story. Nice style and composition.”

Ebrahim Umar-Khitab: “David’s work stands out by making the environment the central focus, with attention paid to every element in the scene.

Christoph Werner: “I love the filmic mood and nice camera direction.”

Andrew Probert: “I liked this because it creates a sense of guarded anticipation, protecting a temple or shrine.”

Ken Liang: “Am I looking at a photograph?! Amazing render! Great shaders in the foliage. Composition and lighting is also spot on. The shaded wip render shows the samurai facing the opposite direction, but I think you made the right decision to go with this version as it tells a better story as a whole (it helps with the composition because the samurai is facing the point of interest in the picture.) Well done.”

3rd Place

Jesse Amiel Gayanilo

We’re congratulating Jesse Amiel Gayanilo for receiving the third place!

Follow Jesse:

Jesse about the entry:

“My idea is basically a Geisha who got her hands on one of the infamous Muramasa cursed swords to defend herself from maybe an intruder, but I try to focus not on the blade, but on the burning blood-lust fueled by anger the Geisha is experiencing, in the intruder’s point of view.

It was a great exercise for sculpting stylized characters, keeping the scene on the non-photorealistic side, and sculpting Japanese style flames and clouds.

Created using Blender, Krita and MakeHuman.

Clay Render

What our jury says:

Lukas Walzer: “I just love the illustrative quality in this one! Details like the clothing folds may not be exactly accurate, but the overall look is just stunning, it forms a powerful image that leaves a lasting impact!”

Gregory Smith: “I really like the energy and movement in this image. The colour work is striking and paired with a dramatic composition, whilst details like the cloth’s pattern bring it to life.”

Chris Plush: “Points for the highly believable facial expressions alone, then everything else is well done too. Plus the backdrop perfectly blends and accentuates the fury, well done!”

Ebrahim Umar-Khitab: “I like how Jesse was able to execute on a specific mood and translate that into every element of the piece.”

Darko Vucenik: “Great stylized interpretation of the theme. I love the over the top expression, messed up hair and wonderful demon in the background.”

Christoph Werner: “I like the character acting. Jesse’s work stands out from other characters in this challenge.”

Ken Liang: “Really awesome stylized render that feels like I am looking at a book cover for a samurai themed manga. I like that the background is very detailed but still adds to the composition and doesn’t overwhelm the character. I like the facial expression as well and the red color palette really helps with letting the audience feel what the character is going through. Personally, I would add a light flare/glint at the end of the sword as the cherry on the cake.”

Honorable Mention

Sebastian Beltramini

We’re congratulating Sebastian Beltramini for receiving an honorable mention!

Follow Sebastian:

Sebastian about his entry:

The Guardian.

What is this massive, frightening Samurai protecting? Would you venture into the cave?

When I heard of the Samurai challenge, I immediately thought of combining two ideas:

– The terracotta army protecting the emperor Qin Shi Huang burial site

– I was always in awe with the statues shown in the LOTR movies.

So I decided I wanted a Samurai statue guarding something. After discarding a few ideas, I settled for a cave lost amidst mountains.

Then I thought of adding someone peeking into the cave, someone we can identify with, something that would add questions to those already posed by the massive statue.

Created using Blender and Substance Painter.

Clay Render

What our jury says:

Marius Iatan: “A scene that can be very well pictured in an adventure game or movie. I like the idea and the fact that the samurai is not in fact the main character :)”

Chris Plush: “Great sense of scale and plenty of detail. Awesome modeling, texturing, and classic cave-of-wonder story.”

Darko Vucenik: “There is a real sense of adventure into this piece. I love how the giant stone samurai towers over the little explorer. Small detail such as flock of birds help a lot with the sense of scale, Both the foreground and background are crafted with wonderful detail.”

Christoph Werner: “A classic work. Could be perfect a cover artwork for a video game.”

Joseph Nickson: “The sense of atmosphere, story and scale here are all fantastic. Great work fitting the theme of these months round into a fresh and imaginative piece.”

Honorable Mention

Davy Li

We’re congratulating Davy Li for receiving an honorable mention!

Follow Davy:

Davy about his entry:

“I’ve been learning Blender for a while now, but never use it to do some real work. This time the theme draw my interested.

When I was a kid, I used to play around in my grandparents house alone, and I liked to watch anime a lot. I liked to make those weapons from the TV shows using sticks or useless wood. That’s how this idea come to be.

With this experience of using Blender, I find it is a pretty good tool for modeling. But with shading and texturing, I still need to improve. i.e. UDIMs are confusing to use.

Created using Blender and Substance Painter.

Clay Render

What our jury says:

Lukas Walzer: “A fully-fledged character that could be straight out of a big-budget animation movie! It comes with an appealing design, lovely details, an indicated story and great lighting.”

Gregory Smith: “This is a really fun entry, with a great concept and narrative. The lighting in particular was what stood out to me.”

Chris Plush: “An all around awesome work of art and story. Fun art style and great composition..”

Andrew Probert: “I voted for this simply because I’m kind of a sucker for kid-pretending scenarios. The depth of field and falling leaves add to the composition more realism and the Blender logo is a fun Easter Egg.”


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