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Winners Announced
June 2021

Fantasy Tavern Challenge

27th CG Boost Art Challenge for 3D Artists - Improve your 3D Skills!

Submissions received

The challenge ends on Wednesday, June 23rd, 2021 at 16:00 CEST!

The winners will be announced one week later on June 30th, 2021.

Artwork by
Vladimir Mokry

Fantasy Tavern Challenge winners announced!

For our 27th challenge, we received 109 submissions and discovered many incredible and creative Fantasy Taverns.

Our jury had a good but also hard time judging all the great accepted submissions. Each judge voted for their own top 5 artworks. We also picked three random winners for the challenge raffle, see all the winners below.

Regrading the prizes, we will contact the winners during the next few days.

Congrats to the winners and honorable mentions, and a big THANK YOU to our sponsor and everyone for taking part!

Now scroll down to see the winners.

Artwork by
Vladimir Mokry
How to participate

First of all, choose your side.

Judging Criteria
Judging Criteria

Further questions? Find more info in our FAQ section.

Participate Now

Submit your work.

Select your arena *

Please submit the following two files:
1. A screenshot or clay render of your 3D scene
2. Your final render
Please use the following naming convention for your files:
Final Render: Your_Name_final (e. g. "Zach_Reinhardt_final.jpg")
Screenshot/Clay Render: Your_Name_wip (e. g. "Zach_Reinhardt_wip.jpg")

Thank you!

We will review your submission and then add it to our submission folder above. If your submission is invalid or missing something, you will be informed in a timely manner.
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Get to know our jury.

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Post your work-in-progress renders in our community and get constructive feedback from the CG Boost team and other members.


Frequently asked questions.

Where do I ask questions about the challenge?
Can I update my entry after I submitted it already, if I notice a mistake?
Can I share my artwork online before the challenge is over?
When I win the challenge, can I get cash instead of the prizes?
Can I enter both categories at the same time?

Get to know our jury.

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Winners: Pro Arena

Let’s see who has won in the Pro Arena.

Let’s see who has won this challenge.


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1st Place

Giovanni Coakley

We’re congratulating Giovanni Coakley for winning the first place!

Follow Giovanni:

Giovanni about his entry:

“I wanted to learn more about creating 3D environments. Designing and modeling all the buildings and the tavern was a fun design challenge as well as learning a lot about texturing and creating assets, landscapes, etc. So I used the challenge prompt to compose and sculpt a village around this legendary tavern that sits high up in the mountains.
Epic adventurers from all over gather at this esteemed tavern to tell of their mythical quests, daring expeditions and gather information for future journeys.
But strolling into town is an ominous figure, with blood-stained clothes, a hidden face, and a deadly sword. What could he be up to? Probably just coming for a drink, who knows.“

Created using Blender, Cycles.

Clay Render

What our jury says:

Lukas Walzer: “Very grand in scope and details alone, this image astonishes with flawless execution of every single step.”

Aidy Burrows: “Nice wide composition with a good use of depth also nice use of the leaves to break up the empty space.”

Ewa Wierbik: “This artwork looks like a screen from a fantasy game. I like the mood and some kind of softness on this render. Maybe some more post-processing would give it more contrast, but overall it looks good.”

Darko Vucenik: “Very peaceful scene with so many elements to look at. I like the design of the architecture. Nice attention to details, from crest on the shield, background characters, ivy and moss on stonework to dead leaves flying through the air. The main character is interesting. Although mostly occluded by his cape, the cape itself tells a story through it’s many stains.”

Ozana Nemčanin: “Great work. Looks like it is made for some illustrated fantasy book. Especially, I like the dynamics achieved with the leaves in the distance and the cape of the character in the foreground.”

Martin Klekner: “The amount of detail on this one is really nice, especially when it comes to the buildings and the character. The foreground terrain could definitely use some more subdivisions and particles and the background mountain a bit more detail, also, if the contrast and atmosphere was improved, this render could be even better. Nevertheless, I truly enjoyed looking over all the details in this piece!”

Ken Liang: “Very well done landscape artwork, but I feel like the author went a little off-topic here. Sure, there’s a sign for a tavern there, but this feels more like an artwork showcasing a medieval fantasy village rather than a tavern. That said, the environment is very richly detailed.”

Marius Iatan: “A scene that could very well have come from an RPG. A nice, open setup, with great level of detail, from the character to the wind blowing up the leaves. Great job!”

2nd Place

Blaise Gozé

We’re congratulating Blaise Goze for winning the second place!

Follow Blaise:

Blaise about his entry:

“Deep in the woods there dwells a peculiar group of one eyed monsters. Near the end of the day, before the sun sets and the moon rises, the little creatures enjoy fellowship with one another at the local tavern… Until a familiar face comes along and lifts them into the sky!

I wanted to create something unexpected with some humor. I didn’t want anything too complex and went for a stylized look with varying levels of detail. The characters from Pixar were an inspiration for the monsters and their materials. In addition, a majority of the materials are procedurally created!

In the end, I really enjoyed this challenge and how it pushed me. I was a little hesitant to participate because I didn’t feel comfortable with the prompt, but after brainstorming and working on it several hours a day, I’m glad about the result.

I hope you enjoyed the render!“

Created using Blender and Photoshop.

Clay Render

What our jury says:

Lukas Walzer: “An interesting choice to use an axolotl, but nevertheless a lovely image with many cozy details and superb lighting.”

Cedric Van der Kelen: “From all the entries, this is the most original in concept in my opinion. I think it could’ve been made a bit clearer if we’re looking at a huge creature or a very tiny inn. Also be careful with giving cartoon creatures realistic eye veins, it makes them very horror-esque. Composition and color are okay. Storytelling 10/10.”

Masha Bazueva: “Very creative submission! I really like the idea, the small house design, the details I can see through the window, the ground. Also, the atmosphere is really magic! Well done! The only thing I don’t like that much is the big character that looks a bit creepy.“

Ewa Wierbik: “The mood on this render is great. I love the details (especially in the windows, there is a great party going on inside) and the lighting. Very interesting approach to the topic.”

Darko Vucenik: “Whooo there pinky! There is not enough booze in the whole tavern to give you a buzz. I like the modeling on the building. So much detail, from broken roof tiles, crooked stairs to a whole menagerie of creatures glimpsed through the windows. The low sunset lighting and warm light from the window look very nice.”

Ozana Nemčanin: “Oh, this is super fun artwork. Love the textures, details, and color combination. It’s a great trick to use the out-of-focus background. Not only it made the atmosphere dreamy, but, it also lifted this great composition even more.”

Ken Liang: “I really love the stylization of the tavern design and the overall treatment for the lighting. I can see a lot of details went into the tavern (especially fun to look at all the characters that is showing through the windows) but the giant feels very lackluster. That being said, I only wished that the composition/framing could place more emphasis on the tavern instead of the giant, which occupies more screen space than the tavern itself. Nevertheless, good job!”

Juan Hernández: “Awesome job! I love the lighting of the whole scene. The idea is very cute and everything looks very appealing. I enjoyed the amount of detailed you added to his artwork. Well done!”

3rd Place

Jonathan Miller

We’re congratulating Jonathan Miller for receiving the third place!

Follow Jonathan:

Jonathan about his entry:

“During my research I saw a lot of taverns next to trees or in trees but never completely inside the tree, so that is where I set my tavern…inside the end of a huge tree trunk.

It took about ten days, as I had to make all assets from scratch, but I’m sure I can use them again. A tree this big needs huge amounts of water, that’s why I set it in a swamp, which means plants, trees, frogs, etc. I was imaging a fantasy tavern with a little edge and darkness and a pair arriving incognito for a secret meeting that others know about. Hope you like it.“

Created using Blender (Cycles) and Gimp.

Clay Render

What our jury says:

Lukas Walzer: “A feast of details! I love the stylized foliage shapes and the very balanced painterly color palette.”

Cedric Van der Kelen: “Great colors and composition. The huge amount of small parts make it a bit chaotic, but given the setting, that’s not a particular bad thing. If I wanted to show characters arriving here, I would find a way to have them stand out a bit more. Going a bit more extreme with your camera could help. Good job!”

Gregory Smith: “An excellent sense of scale and atmosphere in this environment, combined with great overall color and lighting.”

Aidy Burrows: “Enjoying the rich deep colors in this one and the depth and detail in the surrounding forest background creates a really nice feel.”

Martin Klekner: “Exquisite colors on this one! I really like how the tavern draws the eye, and also the little details on it. The characters in the tavern could use a little more detail in my opinion, still, this is a great piece :-)”

Juan Hernández: “Fun idea, I really like how all the characters around know something is about to go down. I know it’s a detail, but I love what you did to the smoke effects, adds a lot of style to the render. Great work!”

Ken Liang: “This is such a cool concept to have a hollow tree trunk as the tavern in the middle of a swamp. Has a very nice video-gamey look and feel to the overall treatment. The lighting is also very well done in my opinion, it draws the audience attention into the tavern (very warm and inviting) while another light source from off-screen for the rim lighting ensures that the rest of the environment’s details are not lost to total darkness.”

Honorable Mention

Nathan Marsh

We’re congratulating Nathan Marsh for receiving an honorable mention!

Follow Nathan:

Nathan about his entry:

“The fantasy tavern is the heart of almost every table-top RPG campaign, so there was no doubt I was going down a DnD route when I saw the theme. Whether picking up quests from mysterious cloaked figures, looking for somewhere to take a long rest between clashes with the local thieves’ guild, or seeking information about the suspicious new mage at the north end of town, a dirty rowdy tavern is always the first port of call. A brawl with the bar regulars being the inevitable second.

I decided it would be cool to style the scene as though built to scale for the table-top, using simple wooden pieces and looking as handmade and imperfect as possible. All modelling and texturing was done in 3ds Max to bring The Watering Troll together.

To add some life, I used some of Miguel Zavalas free DnD minifigures, modifying some and then creating materials to look like painted 3D prints. Of course, there’s always at least one player in the party who never gets around to painting their character…

Lastly, in Max, I added a hand coming over the top with a d20 and threw on some shallow depth of field to sell the scale, before rendering with V-Ray and using Photoshop to adjust the exposure and color balance and add a light vignette.”

Created using 3ds Max, V-Ray Next and Photoshop.

Clay Render

What our jury says:

Gregory Smith: “This is a very fun entry; I really like this approach to the topic. There’s a lot of narrative to read into the image, and it’s well executed overall. And ‘The watering Troll’ is a great name :)”

Marius Iatan: “I love the D&D concept, with all its details: the board, the 3D printed characters and NPCs, the inn itself. All the pieces fit together nicely in a well-constructed scene that tells a story.”

Darko Vucenik: “Very amusing interpretation of the theme. Adding 3d printing layers to the plastic figurines is a great touch. I like that some characters are left unpainted. Nice modeling. The positioning of the hand casting a dye is well-chosen, telling the story without obscuring any important elements.”

Ozana Nemčanin: “This is a great interpretation of the contest theme. I just love the Idea. All models are flawless. Texturing style is fascinating to me, love it. And here I also love the use of light, seems simple, but it gives us a sense of space and room where the game is positioned.”

Juan Hernández: “Great render! I really like the direction you took by connecting the fantasy tavern to a board game. Also, making the pieces look 3D printed is an awesome detail. Nice job!”

Honorable Mention

Johnny Humphry

We’re congratulating Johnny Humphry for receiving an honorable mention!

Follow Johnny:

Johnny about his entry:

“Two legendary brothers meet in a tavern run by monkeys in a forest of cheese.

The monkeys are known for their fantastic banana beer. When they came into contact with humans they helped them set up the tavern in the forest, now the tavern is run by the monkeys completely and is famous for its beer.

The trees in the forest are strange. They get milk from cows and ferment it in their roots. Slowly turning them into cheese of different types (depending on the area). The tree also produce fruit. They are like watermelons, but they are filled with sweet, thick milk. They are also sold at the tavern and are seen with the cow like pattern on them.

These brothers will most likely cause a ruckus in the forest despite being good friends.

That’s all I got for story (there’s some smaller details, but you can find it out on yer own.) Thanks for checking mine out, and I really love all the submissions so far!”

Created using Blender.

Clay Render

What our jury says:

Lukas Walzer: “Amazing and dramatic choice of shapes and colors that really create something unique and unseen!”

Darko Vucenik: “This scene is so unusual. All the character are strange and in such varied styles, yet it still all works well together in that unusual anime way. I love the stylized approach to various elements, especially the smoke. Shaders are very nice and that glass of beer look so rich. Great lighting.”

Martin Klekner: “Great storytelling in this piece, I found myself zooming in on every little detail 🙂 I really like the color contrasts, though I’d say that the lighting contrasts (light / darkness ratio) of the background room could be a little more raised for more dramatic result. Nevertheless, a really fun piece.”

Juan Hernández: “Nice composition! I like how there is a lot to look at and still everything is well-balanced. I enjoyed the atmosphere of the scene.”

Ken Liang: “The dynamic perspective and composition immediately grabs my attention when I first saw this. The good use of contrasting colors also made the main characters stood out from the environment. Love the story telling aspect as well, seems like a rivalry between captains is taking place here (great expressions too). Also appreciate the variety of other different characters to give life to the tavern. Not sure what’s going on with the bananas, though.”

Highlights: Training Arena

Let’s see how our newcomers have performed.

Raffle Winners

Learn who’s won our raffle.


  • Jonathan Miller
  • Nathan Marsh
  • Dipjyoti Nath

The sponsors and supporters of this challenge.