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2017 CGTrader Digital Design Awards: Stories Behind the Best Works

January 12th, 2018

2017 CGTrader Digital Design Awards: Stories Behind the Best Works

Have you ever felt bored before starting a new project? Uninspired? Unmotivated? Idealess? Well, we might just help you out! See, we’ve talked to the winners of our CGTrader Awards 2017 and asked them to tell us their sources of inspiration.

As the answers kept coming in, we realized we had a treasure chest of inspiring, interesting and just down right beautiful advice! We wanted to share these nuggets with you and hope you get inspired before the weekend!

Games are good for you

More than two winning pieces were directly connected to games: Red Archer by Keiran Slater-Cox and Water Mill by Aleksey Serebrakov, from Towerfall and Warhammer, respectively.

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As for video games being an inspiration… Like so many others, the winners of both Photorealism –Denis Bodart for “Mr. Ladybird” – and Cartoon – Pierric Grillet for “Sick sad world” – categories said they were draw into 3D design because of video games. Others, like Josu Martina (3rd in the Cartoon category), said video games were their source of inspiration.

Just remember to leave some time for inspired work between those gaming sessions!

Watch a movie

Almost as often as video games, movies were a frequent source of inspiration for most 3D artists. The winner in the Character category – Duc Philippe Nguyen for “The Joker” – said movies, as well as classical art, comics and other CG artists were what inspires him. The winner of the Sci-Fi category – Julen Urrutia Peres for “K.L.I.M.T” –even told us he only realized 3D was a viable employment choice after watching Lord of the Rings! Karoline Ng (2nd in the Fantasy category) said she is inspired by the works coming out of Pixar, Disney, and Square Enix.

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So, turn on a movie with great CGI and get inspired. We’ve heard great things about Kubric’s Space Odyssey.

Start following your favorites on CGTrader

Pierric Grillet and Daniel Mozbäuchel (3rd in the Photorealism category) said they get inspired by going on sites like CGTrader, Artstation and Behance to look at what their favorite artists are working on. We second that opinion! And what better place to start at than the Awards gallery.

When’s the last time you went outside?

The winner of the Public award Rowena Frenzel (“Ancient Bride of the Dead”) told us she finds as much inspiration in nature as she does in artbooks, movies, games and music. Daniel Mozbäuchel seconds that opinion.

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It’s everywhere

Along with Rowena, Anton Podvalny (2nd in the Sci-Fi category) told us he gets inspired by everything in life: looking at grass or architecture, by hearing people talk or birds chirp– you name it. As Rowena said: ‘You just have to open your eyes, ears and heart’.

So, if nothing else, an open-heart surgery might help! (We’re joking!)

Next: Challenge yourself, learn and grow

Basically, every winner told us that a major force driving their work is learning. Noel Que (2nd in the Character category), Aleksey Serebryakov (2nd in the Environment/Scene category), and Skyler Jyvq (2nd in Public) among many others, told us how they learned something new and interesting, when working on their pieces, be it skin lighting, new styles or tools.

If you choose something challenging and new, you’re not only having fun, you’re also learning. This doubles your motivation, and, no, we’re not joking this time! Here's Pierrick's octopus, instead:

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Check out the winning pieces and get inspired!

What better way to amplify your inspiration than by seeing the winning models HERE.

Check out other great works at the CGTrader 2017 Digital Design Awards gallery

Two thousand participants competed in the 2017 CGTrader Digital Art Awards for a prize pool of over $50,000. More than 3,800 works of art were submitted to six categories, with a bonus award given for the Public vote.


Tell us what you think!