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Winners Announced
October 2020

Moving Castle Challenge

19th CG Boost Art Challenge for 3D Artists - Improve your 3D Skills!

Submissions received
Artwork by
Desmond Wong

Magic Book Challenge winners announced!

For our 19th challenge, we received 180 submissions with many creative, outstanding moving castles of any kind!

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
Desmond Wong
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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Get feedback and improve faster with our community.

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

Kay John Yim

We’re congratulating Kay John Yim for winning the first place!

Follow Kay

Kay about his entry:

“Set in the medieval times, my submission tells the tale of the Moving “Mirage Castle”- a mysterious city built on top of a gigantic rhinoceros, bringing both war and civilization to whatever city it conquered. The “Mirage Castle” was always covered in haze and mystery, as it was always mobile, and its every movement exerted immense force to the earth and the atmosphere, creating sandstorms that covered its trace.

It took me about a week to complete my final render from scratch. Once I have made up my mind on creating a “castle with four legs”, I very quickly settled on Gothic Architecture – as I found the silhouette Gothic spires and stone materials blend together with Rhinoceros quite well.

Taking a page from Romanticism paintings, I introduced landscape elements (sunflowers) and ruins (foreground arch) to add a sense of mysterious and darkness to the image.

The most challenging part was to create a convincing context that convey the gigantic scale of the moving castle – it took a lot of iterations to get to final state of character posing and positioning.“

Created using Cinema4D, Redshift, Rhino, PIFuHD, Marvelous Designer and Character Creator.

Clay Render

What our jury says:

Lukas Walzer: “What makes this image strong are its great silhouettes. It’s basically a depth pass with color, making the image readable even from a very far distance.”

Cedric Van der Kelen: “Beautiful composition, storytelling, strong silhouettes, has me curious for more about that world.”

Gregory Smith: “The composition and framing take you straight into the scene in this image. I’m slightly unsure of the scale in some elements, but that’s compensated for by the excellent castle design and readable narrative.”

Aidy Burrows: “Great composition with this one, frames within frames, and using both height and depth of the image to deliver that sense of awe. Awesome work on every level.”

Chris Plush: “Very epic scene and interpretation. Really well-rounded piece that was well done in all regards.”

Ebrahim Umar-Khitab: “My favorite kind of art is where you immediately want to know more about the world and characters you see – Kay John Yim absolutely nails this one for me. On top of that, this piece has some great mood, with excellent execution on character design, framing, and lighting.”

Darko Vucenik: “This image has such a sense of adventure to it. Everything from rhino castle to warriors in the foreground is nicely done. Atmospheric perspective is great. The effect of sunlight shining through petals of sunflowers looks great and gives the image a bit of a painterly feel.”

Ken Liang: “Wow. This is a very good story-telling piece of art! There are many ways you can interpret the story, but no matter how you look at it, you never lose focus of the giant mythical creature carrying an entire kingdom on its back.”

2nd Place

Lino Thomas

We’re congratulating Lino Thomas for winning the second place!

Follow Lino

Lino about his entry:

“A slight festive feeling roams on the streets below as people are astonished by the mighty sight of the floating capital.

I was reminded of the game “Bioshock Infinite” when I have heard of this topic. My setting was heavily inspired by this game, so I tried to recreate this warm and calm feeling which you experience at the beginning.
A soft lighting was used to make the floating structure not look overwhelming and intimidating.
I tried to use some pastel colors to emphasize this softness.
The volumetric clouds were placed around the castle to give it a bit of depth and anchor it better into the scene.”

Created using Blender.

Clay Render

What our jury says:

Lukas Walzer: “Outstanding composition and flawless execution. There’s a whole world opening here!”

Cedric Van der Kelen: “Great composition, really translated the scale of things well, would’ve liked to see a bit more story elements to it.”

Gregory Smith: “I think the camera angle in this submission is fantastic. You get a great sense of scale and depth without any distractions, while the lighting, color, and volumetric effects all contribute to a striking mood.”

Marius Iatan: “An image that brings memories of a few dystopian games I’ve enjoyed over the time. Nice atmosphere, and I like the balcony spectator touch.”

Aidy Burrows: “Great awe-inspiring image here, very well done even with the landscape proportioned frame, rather than pushing the height of the objects instead the depth has been pushed and it works just as well. I like the pink warm sunny almost alien vibes, again reducing the threatening way the image could otherwise be portrayed with some giant structure looming from above.”

Ebrahim Umar-Khitab: “Lino is able to play with color tones, scale, and perspective to create something striking and memorable.”

Darko Vucenik: “I like the design of the castle with all those netted balloons at the bottom. Lighting in all those pink tone is really nice. Atmospheric haze sells the scale relay well and a lady with a parasol on the balcony is such a great detail.”

3rd Place

Raz Freedman

We’re congratulating Raz Freedman for receiving the third place!

Follow Raz:

Raz about the entry:

“How the little bunny worked hard on his sandcastle when suddenly…

I created this scene using Blender 2.90 and rendered in Cycles. The sand was a fun challenge for me – from sculpting the crumbling sandcastle to creating a procedural sand texture.”

Created using Blender and Photoshop.

Clay Render

What our jury says:

Lukas Walzer: “Such a cute interpretation of the topic! Careful attention has been given to all the tiny details and their effective placement.”

Chris Plush: “Awesome character and scene, particularly nice sand textures.”

Wybren van Keulen: “The setting sun isn’t just making it pretty, it strengthens the story. Very strong!”

Darko Vucenik: “There were some sand castle ideas in this competition but this is my favorite one. Materials for the sand and the cart are spot on and that sad look on bunny’s face is so appropriate.”

Christoph Werner: “Very nice perspective and storytelling. Good lighting.”

Honorable Mention

Abe Viljoen

We’re congratulating Abe Viljoen for receiving an honorable mention!

Follow Abe:

Abe about his entry:

“I wanted my castle to be unusual, removed from the general ideas of Ghibli or Mortal Engines, I love whales and surrealism and just started with the general idea of a flying castle.
My render was made up as I went along, and I wanted the foreground to act as a “last outpost” for those dreaming of the ideal floating castle in the sky. I wanted the whale to be as surreal as possible and used the clouds and lighting to create a swirling composition which is mirrored and harnessed by the foreground.

It was a fun render and the first time I have attempted such a grand scene, at times it was tough as my PC struggled to keep up, but it was worth it for the end result.”

Created using Blender and Photoshop.

Clay Render

What our jury says:

Marius Iatan: “The flying whale is a loved theme in the sci-fi world, and Abe’s take on it is a very good one. I like the ‘dreamy’ touch and the surreal image of the whale appearing in the sky above the deserted shore. Nice work!”

Wybren van Keulen: “You pulled out every trick in the book named composition, and it works! Just beautiful.”

Christoph Werner: “Love the scene composition and idea. Well made!”

Ken Liang: “What a surreal artwork! Very nice composition, especially with the manipulation of clouds. Great models and materials as well!”

Honorable Mention

Malte Hedenström

We’re congratulating Malte Hedenström for receiving an honorable mention!

Follow Malte:

Malte about the entry:

“As always, I started working on this entry quite early in the challenge to really have a chance to do my best. The idea behind this project was at the beginning very loose, when all that was in my head was a castle moving along the railways in some sort of environment. At first this was a wide barren desert. But the colors of autumn stuck with me when I have been wanting to do an autumn themed render for some time, the orange is just too good to pass on.

To challenge myself a bit, I wanted to make this a stylized piece. Because of this, most of the environment textures are procedurally generated. In the beginning I also tried this approach for texturing the castle, but quickly realized that this wouldn’t work and if so I would waste a lot of time. Instead, I moved to Substance. There I quickly started mocking up some image textures. But while doing so, a new idea popped into my head. That my artwork could show a contrast between two different worlds texturized through different art styles. Because of the fact that my castle was heavily steampunk inspired, and the environment was a wonderful autumn forest, this worked perfectly. And my piece had a story.

And after a number of revisions, feedback sessions and doubts my render was done. A lot has been learned from this project, but most importantly the difference that some minor post-processing techniques can do for the final product.

Can’t wait for my next time to join, have a good one!”

Created using Blender, Cycles, Substance Painter and Photoshop.

Clay Render

What our jury says:

Chris Plush: “Superb style in this piece. Great attention to detail and composition, and overall just an awesome scene.”

Ebrahim Umar-Khitab: “Malte packs a lot of character into this little scene with elements of dynamic action and a color palette that is bright and engaging.”

Darko Vucenik: “Great style in this piece. Wonderful choice of colors. Those roads always feel so tiny when driving Big Bertha around.”

Ken Liang: “I’m really digging the stylized look and render of this artwork. Great vehicle design and clever use of depth of field!”

Highlights: Training Arena

Let’s see how our newcomers have performed.

Raffle Winners

Learn who’s won our raffle.


  • Malte Hedenström
  • Devarsh Shroff
  • Tushar Ganesh

The sponsors and supporters of this challenge.