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Polycount is extremely happy to announce our latest video game art contest: PETROL/BLOOD, sponsored by Quixel and Marmoset!

The theme of this contest is simple: Participants will create a diorama of a vehicle and its driver (pilot/ship, rider/beast, etc.) who are competing in a 'vehicular' death-match tournament. Not one, but two beauty images will be required to entry: An in-action shot, a pre-battle pose, or a post-battle pose. Artists must consider the emotional connection a pilot or rider has with their vehicle or beast.

PETROL/BLOOD is a contest designed to focus on the art, tools, techniques, and rendering capabilities of the "next-generation" consoles and PC's. Participants of this contest will be creating artwork for a 'physically-based rendering' (PBR) engine. Both the Quixel Suite and Marmoset's Toolbag 2 are equipped to ensure your entries were created and beautifully showcased with a 'PBR' real-time solution. For duration of this contest only, both sponsors will be making their tools available to all participants of the contest, at no cost. You will be required to use Marmoset's Toolbag 2 when rendering/capturing your beauty images.

Contest ends Saturday, August 23rd 2014 @ 23:59 EST (GMT -4)

  • Participants will have 8 weeks to create a next-gen diorama of a vehicle and its driver who are competing in a vehicular death-match tournament!

    • It doesn't have to just be man-made vehicles! Animal/beast + rider, car + driver, space ship + alien, and so on are all ALLOWED in this contest.

  • a contest focused on 'next-gen', PBR rendering and art creation

  • Both the Quixel Suite and Marmoset's Toolbag 2 will be free to use via their respective 'Trial' versions of the game. During the duration of the contest Quixel & Marmoset will offer extended trial licenses to all participants of the contest, to be used on their entries (Quixel’s Suite and Marmoset’s Toolbag 2). This includes existing Trial licenses that can be renewed.

  • Up to 2 artists can team up at a time.

  • All winners will be walking away with licenses from Quixel and Marmoset for their tools, respectively, Greentooth trophies, and Newegg gift cards (value depending on contest placement). In addition to this, Quixel will be awarding the top entry winner(s) with their very own next-gen console + game.


"PBR" stands for physically-based rendering, and it is a very accurate way of rendering surface properties and lighting. Recently the game development community has been introduced to PBR by way of next-generation consoles and computers. Recently, there has been a huge increase of 'real-time' PBR in video games. The folks at Marmoset have written two fantastic articles about PBR that you should take the time to read, if you have yet to do so already: PBR Theory and PBR In Practice.

PETROL/BLOOD was designed by the folks at Polycount, Marmoset, and Quixel to expose you to real-time physically-based rendering, and what it will take to be an artist working on next-gen "AAA" titles.


  • Marmoset’s Toolbag 2 must be used for creating the beauty renders. Any of the rendering features within Toolbag 2 are available to use, including post processing. The software is available, for free, as a trial.

  • The Quixel Suite Beta must be used (non-exclusively) by users in the creation of their PBR materials. The software is available, for free, as a beta.

  • 4096x4096 texture resolution per character, 4096x4096 texture resolution per vehicle/mount, 4096x4096 texture resolution per diorama.*

  • *This is the maximum texture resolution you can use. If you'd like to share resolution from the character asset to the vehicle asset, that's fine (or vice-versa). E.g.: Only use 2048x4096 for the Character, but use 4096x0496 AND the additional 2048x4096 saved from the character materials.

  • Any type of texture is allowed: spec, albedo, gloss, normals, subdermins, alphas, and so on.

  • There are no triangle limits for this contest, but you will be judged on your geometry creation and creative use of triangles. Some next-gen titles have character models with 100,000 triangles or higher.

  • There is no custom background option in Toolbag 2 so you'll be allowed to edit in your own background if you so desire.

  • Please use this PSD file for use of the PETROL/BLOOD  and contest sponsor logos. You may also use any custom logos you or your team may have. Using the logo(s) in your beauty shots is not a requirement. No additional edits or touch-ups to your beauty shot are allowed.

  • You and your team will be creating a diorama that depicts 2 of the following 3 stories. A vehicle and its driver who are either...

    • preparing for their next round in a 'death match' tournament

    • participating in a round of 'death match' tournament

    • or reacting to the finale of the death-match tournament.

  • It doesn't have to just be man-made vehicles! animal/beast+rider, car+driver, space ship + alien!, and so on.
  • Your vehicle/pilot should not have a bigger volume than 96 cubic meters (E.g. a volume that is 4x4x6 meters).
  • Your diorama should be no bigger than 1.5x the size of your vehicle and pilot.
  • Must be a member of Polycount
  • Up to 2 people per submission
  • You will create a thread in our Contest & Challenges forum. Participants must show the work-in-progress for their entries. Please follow this naming convention for your thread title:
    • PETROL/BLOOD - [Entry name]
  • You will submit your entry to the contest submission thread.
  • When you submit your entry for this contest, you must show the following:
    • The 2 beauty shots required
    • Up to 3 technical shots (vehicle, character, example of a completed diorama)
    • A link to your Polycount WIP thread
  • Beauty shots must be taken from Marmoset Toolbag 2

  • The Quixel Suite must be used at some point in your material creation. Show this in your 'technical shots' (see below).

  • Technical shots must show examples of your geometry (mesh), and texture work - including your work from the Quixel Suite. Lighting setup and other considerations are allowed but not required to be shown.

  • You can create more than one entry for this contest (new thread each)

  • Must be original artwork and designs (nothing from existing IP’s or "fan art" are allowed)

  • The images for your final submission must be 1920x1080.

  • Video is not a requirement, but encouraged.


  • The community will vote on their 3 favourite entries, in no particular order. From that, the 10 entries with the most amount of votes will be sent to the teams at Quixel, Marmoset, and Polycount where they decide via vote on the Top 3 entries.

  • The winning entries will be announced and prizes will be handed out accordingly shortly after the votes are tallied.
  • Prizes for this contest:

    • Polycount will be providing all winners with Greentooth Trophies
    • Quixel will provide the winners with keys to the Quixel Suite. The team responsible for the #1 entry will also be awarded their choice of an Xbox One or PS4, as well as one game for that system.
    • Marmoset will be awarding the winners with full Toolbag 2 licenses (up-to 2 licenses per team depending on team size). In addition to this, Marmoset will be offering Newegg.com gift cards:
      • 1st place: $300
      • 2nd place: $125
      • 3rd place: $75

The contest ends Saturday, August 23rd 2014 @ 23:59 EST (GMT -4)

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