3D Challenge: Abstract Elements

3D Challenge: Abstract Elements

For some 3D artists, visualizing sci-fi or mythical creatures is a more difficult task than building a 3D model of a photorealistic, real-world object. For others the opposite is true. With the new 3D Challenge: Abstract Elements CGTrader is bringing everyone a task that is both complex and easy at the same time.

In this challenge we are looking for high quality, realistic models of various shapes and forms found in nature, graphic design or thought-of by people. Not sure where to start? Create a flame, cloud or smoke. Design a top-facing 3D flower, an ornate leave or create an ornamental work like filigree. How about making a decorative frame for use in a surrealistically designed composition. Make a water splash or a crystal. Turn a plain geometric shape into a decorative piece of art or shatter glass, creating a pattern of fractured shards. Put your imagination to work and show us how stunning and interesting 3D can be even when working on simpler objects!

Similar to the Designer Schwag and Sports & Hobbies challenges, this competition is designed for Maya and 3ds Max users. These models are intended to work well with the Adobe Dimension CC app, formerly known as Project Felix, and for use in the Adobe Stock 3D collection. To be eligible for this challenge, it is important to review the technical requirements. Here are the key ones:

  • All submissions should be a single-subject model (please don’t put water and flame into the same model).
  • Only Maya (.mb or .ma) and 3ds Max (.max) formats are accepted.
  • Use VRay Standard Material (VRayMtl).
  • Only quads are accepted (no automatic tri-to-quad conversion). Triangles can be used sparingly and only where absolutely necessary.
  • Poles should have maximum of 5 edges.
  • Single UV set per mesh (0-1 space, non-overlapping).
  • Real world scale objects (in centimeters).
  • Asset names should use camelCase or underscores (no spaces), and be consistent respective to all dependent files. Also, be sure to use English only.

Want a quick tip? We have a visual guide section of Do’s & Don’ts illustrating all the technical requirements and where to check specific properties. Also be sure to read through the terms & conditions sections for additional details you need to know.

Besides the technical requirements, there are a few other things that you should keep in mind prior to entering this challenge. Following these tips will make the review process faster and earn you extra karma points from our team:

  • Do not try to submit models that do not fit the theme; every single submission will be reviewed.
  • We cannot accept any models showing trademarks or containing other non-proprietary content. So to be on the safe side, don’t include any text or logos in the model or even in preview images for presentation on CGTrader. Check this blog post for more info.
  • When creating your model, if using real world references, be sure to alter, change or modify the model to be your own unique design.

Learn more about all of these topics - the theme, the technical and legal guidelines, and the associated Adobe Stock Contributors terms - in the dedicated section.

This challenge is another great opportunity to win amazing cash prizes and subscriptions to different Adobe apps, but also to build a unique model that is perfectly constructed for the graphic design community. In addition, by joining this challenge, you have the opportunity to become a contributor to the Adobe Stock 3D marketplace. This could be with no additional work on your part since CGTrader will take care of the work for you!Use this opportunity to become a part of the future of 3D content at Adobe. Join now! If you have any questions regarding the challenge, drop us a line to challenges@cgtrader.com or post your questions in the dedicated forum discussion.

Challenge ended on: 2018-01-29 23:59:59 UTC


Below are the models participating in this challenge. Browse through them or submit yours!

$7.50 off
  • PBR
3D model Spilled Paint Can in Four color textures
obj, fbx, spp, sbsar, mtl and more
$14.50 off
    Two Swans 3D
    $12.50 off
      Gemstone 3D model
      $4.50 off
        3D model Gold sphere
        max, obj, mtl
        $8.70 off
          Panther 3D
          max, obj, fbx, mtl, stl
          $4.50 off
          • PBR
          3D Ice Cube V1
          max, obj, fbx, 3ds, c4d and more
          $9.95 off
            3D Vintage Image Frame
            $7.50 off
              3D Orange Splash
              max, obj, mtl
              $3.60 off
                Decorative Cloud cloud 3D model
                max, obj, fbx, mat, mtl and more
                $2.50 off
                • PBR
                Metal Globe 3D
                obj, fbx, mdl, mtl, ma and more
                $7.50 off
                  Abstract splash 3D
                  max, obj, mtl
                  $13.50 off
                    adobe-challenge-abstract-elements 3D Butterfly
                    max, obj, mtl
                    $3.60 off
                    • PBR
                    3D model PBR Blue crystal ice
                    max, obj, fbx, mat, mtl
                    ma, mb
                    $5.00 off
                    • PBR
                    The Kiss in Bronze 3D model
                    obj, fbx, spp, sbsar, ma and more
                    $4.50 off
                    • PBR
                    Cute Snow Man Figurine man 3D model
                    max, obj, fbx, 3ds, stl and more
                    $3.90 off
                    • PBR
                    Christmas Stocking V1 3D PBR
                    max, obj, fbx, 3ds, mtl and more
                    $1.50 off
                      Sphere Black Clay 3D model

                      Do's & Don'ts

                      To help you better understand the technical requirements of the challenge and the feedback you may receive, we have illustrated each of the rules with examples of what would and wouldn't qualify for the competition.

                      1. Only 3ds Max and Maya formats are accepted (.max, .3ds, ma, .ma).

                      At this point in time, Adobe Stock is only accepting 3D models created in this software. Since the models are going to be sold on both CGTrader and Adobe Stock, users are not allowed to create models with the student version of the software. By default, student versions limit commercialization options.

                      2. Materials assigned to geometry must be Chaosgroup V-Ray Standard Material (VRayMtl).
                      Texture maps should be in PNG format. Texture image(s) should be square resolutions (4K (4096 x 4096) preferred, but a minimum of 2K (2048 x 2048) required).

                      3. Models should be single-subject only. No groups or series of objects are eligible.

                      This requirement can sometimes get a bit tricky, but as a general rule of thumb - don't be afraid to submit a single object even though it looks too simple to you. We understand that it would make sense to have a water splash in a glass but for this challenge, please strive for a single object and only relevant to the theme (e.g. don’t submit the glass, but the water splash is really we are after).

                      4. The scene should consist of the 3D model and connected V-Ray Standard materials only.

                      No lighting setups should be present. Hidden and unused nodes should be deleted from the scene.

                      5. UV Layout: 0-1 space.

                      6. UV Layout: non-overlapping.

                      7. Rotate the asset so the most interesting side faces toward the Z Positive axis in Maya or Y Positive Axis in 3ds Max.

                      8. Freeze Transformations (Reset xForm in Max).

                      9. Place the model to sit on top of the origin (0, 0, 0). Floating models are not accepted.

                      10. Model should not have any missing faces or open holes.

                      11. No subdivided surfaces.

                      12. Poles should have a maximum of 5 edges.

                      13. Flatten all modifiers ("delete history") before submitting the model to the challenge.

                      14. Normals for the entire model should have consistent facing direction.

                      15. Only quads are accepted (no automatic tri-to-quad conversion). Triangles can be used sparingly and only where absolutely necessary.

                      16. Model should be in real world scale (in centimeters).

                      17. Model should not display any logos, trademarks or violate other third party rights.

                      18. Preview image render (no text in the images).

                      19. Model should only be under a royalty free license in order to qualify.

                      20. Use English only in naming the files with, camelCase or underscores in titles. No spaces or special characters should be used.

                      1. CoffeeCup - Good, TazaDeCafé - BAD
                      2. “CoffeeCup.max” - GOOD, “Coffee_Cup.max” - GOOD, “Coffee cup.max” - BAD
                      3. “CoffeeCupV01.max” - GOOD, “coffee_cup_v01.max”- GOOD, “CoffeeCup(01).max” - BAD, “CoffeeCup-V/1.max” - BAD

                      Awards & Prizes

                      For this challenge, we will select six winners in two different categories - one for the best model and one for the best portfolio. These will be judged by the Adobe and CGTrader teams based on how well the asset(s) conform to the technical and legal specifications along with the quality of the model in regards to functionality, versatility and appearance.The three best designs will be awarded the following prizes:

                      For the best model:

                      1st place winner:

                      $1,500 USD

                      A complimentary year subscription to Creative Cloud by Adobe

                      2nd place winner:

                      $1,000 USD

                      A complimentary year subscription to Creative Cloud by Adobe

                      3rd place winner:

                      $500 USD

                      A complimentary year subscription to Photoshop by Adobe

                      In the portfolio category, three winners will be selected using the same criteria above, but instead of looking at a single model, we will be reviewing all of the models submitted by each artist.

                      The best portfolio winners will be awarded:

                      1st place: $1,500 USD

                      2nd place: $1,000 USD

                      3rd place: $500 USD

                      Terms & Conditions

                      In order to qualify for the prize winnings, you must agree to terms & conditions.

                      Technical requirements:

                      If you don’t understand any of the points below, you can check section Do’s and Don’ts for visual representations of these requirements.

                      • Models should be single-subject only - no groups or series of objects are eligible
                      • ONLY Autodesk’s Maya (.ma or .mb ) or 3ds Max (.3ds or .max) file formats are accepted
                      • Scene should consist of 3D model and connected V-Ray Standard materials only:
                        • No lighting setups
                        • Hidden and unused nodes should be deleted from the scene
                      • Materials assigned to geometry must be V-Ray Standard Material (VRayMtl):
                        • Texture maps in PNG format are preferred (.jpg, .ext files are accepted)
                        • Texture image should be square resolutions (minimum of 2K, 2048 x 2048)
                      • Ensure asset does not have any missing faces or open holes.
                      • Real world scale (centimeters)
                      • Rotate asset so the most interesting side faces toward Z Positive axis in Maya or Y
                      • Positive Axis in 3ds Max.
                      • Freeze Transformations (Reset xForm in Max)
                      • Place models so they sit on top of the origin (0, 0, 0); no floating models
                      • UV Layout (0-1 space, non-overlapping)
                      • Only quads are accepted; triangles can be used sparingly and only where absolutely necessary
                      • Please only use English in naming files:
                        • Use camelCase or underscores and be consistent when naming the files
                        • Don’t use numbers in the beginning of the file name
                      • Topology:
                        • No subdivisions surfaces
                        • Poles should have maximum of 5 edges
                        • All modifiers should be flattened (history deleted) before submission
                      • Normals for the entire asset should have consistent facing direction
                      • Model should not display any logos or trademarks
                      • No texts are allowed in preview renders


                      By participating in this challenge, you agree that:

                      • Models meeting the technical requirements and aesthetic guidelines will be available for licensing on Adobe Stock under a CGTrader profile. The user can set the price for the model on CGTrader while Adobe Stock will reevaluate the price based on their benchmarks. However the price for the end user will not be lower than $19.99 on Adobe Stock. For more information about 3D asset pricing visit the Adobe Stock FAQs.
                      • Eligible models cannot be removed from CGTrader.com or Adobe Stock for a 6 month period following the end of the challenge.
                      • Your models must comply with the Legal Guidelines for Adobe Stock Contributors

                      General rules:

                      • 3D Challenge: Abstract Elements will run from the 30th of October, 2017 to the 15th of January, 2018.
                      • When uploading your entry model, be sure to check the Abstract Elements challenge checkbox to get your model tagged and counted in the challenge.
                      • Make sure to add the information about VRay materials and other key information (based on technical requirements) in the model description.
                      • Abstract is a broad topic for modelling and a number of different objects could compete for the prizes. The items that would qualify include, but are not limited to:
                        • Objects found in nature: clouds and smoke, fire, liquid drops and splashes, ice and snow, crystals and gems, floral objects (flowers, leaves, vines - the more design oriented, the better!)
                        • Ornate: Ornate frames (used to place around objects for design effect), decorative filigree, tendrils (ribbons)
                        • Business: arrows, communication symbols (speech bubbles, punctuation, buttons), direction symbols (compass, map pointers)
                        • Shapes: shattered glass, decorative non-primitive shapes, organic shapes, other signs/symbols
                      • Only 3D models uploaded from the 30th of October, 2017 to the 15th of January, 2018 will be considered as valid entries.
                      • The best models will be judged by Adobe and CGTrader representatives.

                      Things you should know

                      • The models submitted for this challenge will not be immediately seen in the Entries section. Only models approved for aesthetics and technical aspects will be published next to entries.
                      • Receiving initial feedback from CGTrader might take 1-2 weeks. If any technical problems are detected, you will be sent an email listing issues that needs to be fixed. You don’t need to delete and create a new model, just upload the corrected files to the same model and we will see your changes.
                      • Designs uploaded to the gallery are not treated as valid entries. However, uploading your model render as a showcase to the gallery is not prohibited.
                      • The challenge is open to everyone, including teams, legal entities and individuals from all over the world.
                      • You can submit as many models as you want.
                      • Participating in the challenge and uploading 3D models to the CGTrader platform is free of charge.
                      • All the entries must be original works.
                      • Employees and relatives of CGTrader, UAB and Adobe teams are not allowed to participate in this challenge.
                      • Any existing taxes or duties must be paid by the winner. CGTrader and Adobe are not responsible for any illegal actions taken by the prize winners.
                      • We are independent sheriffs of this challenge, so stick to the rules and don't do anything crazy.
                      • Have questions? Check out our FAQ section or contact us at challenges@cgtrader.com
                      • Once submitting an entry for the competition, you will be asked to accept terms and conditions. You can review the legal text of terms and conditions here.


                      Below is the information about sponsors and the products that are giveaways for the challenge.


                      Adobe is the global leader in digital media and digital marketing solutions. Adobe’s creative, marketing and document solutions empower everyone – from emerging artists to global brands – to bring digital creations to life and deliver immersive, compelling experiences to the right person at the right moment for the best results. In short, Adobe is everywhere, and is striving to change the world through digital experiences.

                      Dimension CC

                      Adobe Dimension CC, formerly known as Project Felix, is an Adobe app that empowers graphic designers to combine 2D and 3D assets together to create photo-real product shots, scene visualizations and brand concepts. Designers can quickly apply materials to models, add background images, fully light entire scenes and render it without a steep learning curve or complex workflow. Learn more.

                      Adobe Stock

                      Access over 75 million world-class images, graphics, videos, templates, 3D assets, plus our Premium collection—all built right into your favorite Creative Cloud apps by Adobe. Adobe Stock lets your creatives find the perfect image faster with Visual Search powered by Adobe Sensei.


                      The judging of the challenge is supervised by CGTrader staff. Winners will be chosen following the requirements below:

                      The Challenge winners will be decided by the judging teams from CGTrader and Adobe, with each delegating two judges to pick the final winners. The judging will include:

                      • Meeting all technical requirements
                      • Quality of the model in regards to functionality, versatility and appearance
                      • Detail, innovation and general achievement in design of the model
                      • Clear and attractive presentation on CGTrader.com and from the perspective of Adobe
                      • Don’t forget to include quality model images, write detailed descriptions and apply relevant tags, which are helpful during the judging process

                      All the criteria mentioned above apply to portfolio prizes as well. A designer is considered eligible for the portfolio prize when more than two 3D models are submitted for the challenge, meet all the criteria, and are approved by the CGTrader team.

                      Frequently Asked Questions

                      Please go through these questions before contacting us

                      Do I need to upload files or only images of my 3D design?

                      You need to upload files and images of your 3D design in order to participate in the challenge.

                      How do I know my model is eligible for the challenge?

                      First , when uploading your 3D design, click on the Abstract Elements Challenge checkbox to mark your model as an entry. This will inform the CGTrader team that the new submission was received. Since the CGTrader team reviews every model submitted for the challenge, you might get several emails from our team on the status of your model (check your inbox for emails from challenges@cgtrader.com). Once the 3D model goes through the approval process, you will receive email stating that your model has been approved. This congratulations means that your model is eligible and is now competing for the prizes. You will then be able to also see your model in the Entries section of the challenge.

                      I don't want to put my entry model for sale. Do you have any suggestions?

                      Does earning money from your digital files sounds like a bad idea? For the CGTrader marketplace, try to put a higher price on it, let's say 300 USD. For Adobe Stock, the pricing tiers vary and might change over time, but your model would not be priced lower than $19.99 on Adobe Stock.

                      I don't want to lose the copyright on my model after it is sold.

                      With both CGTrader and Adobe Stock, you continue to retain the copyright to your model.

                      For licensing on the CGTrader site, there are Royalty Free, Editorial and Custom licenses for you to choose from. Individuals or companies that buy editorial licensed models can't use these for commercial purposes. If you would like to earn your share of a commercialized end product - you can add some specific terms on the model usage on the CGTrader site.

                      By entering this challenge you also accept that the model will be sold on Adobe Stock for commercial use, which means you cannot submit models with an Editorial License or Custom License for the challenge. Please read the terms and conditions to see what entering the challenge entails and so that you understand the expectations around removing the asset. This includes not deleting eligible assets from CGTrader or Adobe Stock for 6 months after the challenge end date.

                      How can I participate in the challenge?

                      Design a great looking photorealistic 3D model meeting all of the technical requirements for the challenge and upload the asset to CGTrader.

                      What if I put the required tag on my already published 3D model on CGTrader - do you treat it as a valid entry?

                      No. Only 3D models uploaded in the period from the 30th of October, 2017 to the 15th of January, 2018 will be treated as valid entries.

                      Do free 3D models participate in the challenge?

                      Yes, absolutely. Sharing artwork is always appreciated in the community although the model may be revenue generating if added to the Adobe Stock collection.

                      Do price tags play any importance when entries are being judged?

                      No. But do not forget that the prices are always judged by the customers.

                      I want to participate in the challenge so I am going to delete my already uploaded models and upload them again to meet the "publishing period" requirement. Can I do that?

                      No. We are tracking every deleted and uploaded model, so models that are deleted and re-uploaded will not be considered eligible.