Underwater Competition Results

After the relative easiness of last month's competition, I decided to throw a curveball to the blender community: Make an Underwater scene. Some people flat out refused claiming that it was above their skill set, but 120 brave people rose to the challenge and submitted an entry.  

Finalists

These are the entries that stood out to me and almost won:
Created by ClaytonJ

Created by ClaytonJ

You almost had me convinced this was a photo! I even did a search on Tineye to check. Wow! The caustics and murky atmosphere make this image super realistic. The only thing letting it down is the texture stretching near the mouth. I know that's caused by the caustic lighting, but it still looks odd. To make the scene even better a few light streaks shining through the water would add some much needed "wow". But as a photorealism artpiece, it works amazingly well. Well done Clayton!
Created by Falksen

Created by Falksen

In regards to composition, detail and completeness, you win. The turtle alone is a huge task, let alone the coral reef and fish. It falls short of realism however when inspecting the turtles skin and also the lighting on the underbelly. But it's almost there! I could definitely see something this hanging on the wall of someone's house. Just a little bit more detail and this will be amazing. Great effort.

Created by Pratik Solanki

Created by Pratik Solanki

The winner of last month's competition returns for another shot at the title! Another fine image. The detail and depth separates it from others. From the rusty chain to the schools of fish swimming around, you can see the amount of work that's gone into it. The low camera angle assumes dominance, and makes the sea god look big and powerful. Nice! However, artistically I think it fell short in the composition. The bright light in the background draws the viewers attention more than the main figure, which is wrong. It's tricky to create backlight shots, so I don't doubt you spent a while on this. But in future, high levels of contrast (ie. bright lighting) needs to be on the main area of focus (the sea god's face), not the background. But overall this is a fine image. Great attempt!

Created by Tonituo

Created by Tonituo

This one is just cool. The smug look on the octopus' face makes it easy on the eyes. It's far from realistic, but I'm sure that wasn't your goal. I like the natural frame that the ground provides and also the caustics shining through the water. Definitely an ambitious project to attempt with Luxrender! The repetitive texturing and lack of detail on the octopuses (or is it octopods?) are it's biggest downfalls, but overall I like the simplicity of it all. Well done!


The Winner


With 121 entries, deciding on a winner wasn't easy (as every judge inexplicably states), but I finally narrowed it down to my favourite:

Zagupi!

You sir have talent. I almost skipped this because I thought it was a real photo! You've done exceedingly well in getting the mood and lighting just right. Most artists (myself included) would be tempted to add environment lighting, but you kept it true to life by leaving the backdrop a terrifyingly black. It's exactly the way real photos from the deep look, so it looks very realistic. If I were to critique anything I'd say that the scene is a bit simple, and could use some more objects. But maybe it's the simple-ness that makes this work. Congratulations Zagupi! You've won your pick from any item in the Blender e-Shop + $500 donated to any charity of your choice + a permanent spot in the Winners Hall of Fame;)

Thanks!

A big thank you to everyone who participated in this competition! As much as I'd love to give feedback on each individual entry, it would take up too much of my time. So if you'd like to know why you didn't win, leave a comment with your name, and ask the community for feedback. I'm sure they would be more than happy to provide it.
Muhammad Fahad