Rules for the Warlock Challenge - VFX Character

VFX Character
6 March 2020 - 20 May 2020 This challenge has ended

We’re proud to present the FlippedNormals Warlock Challenge!
This is a challenge where you can let your imagination run wild. We’re huge fans of fantasy, and with this theme there’s plenty of opportunity to explore different kinds of characters and environments.

Traditionally a warlock is restricted to a male witch. However, we want to encourage you to explore this concept further. You’re not necessarily beholden to gender or even dark fantasy. If you think you can put a modern spin on this trope by mixing it with horror or even sci-fi, have at it!

VFX Character Brief

Create 1 fully rendered 3D character with no paintovers - as well as presenting multiple renders of the character.

1 final image - along with front, side, back views, as well as wireframes. You will also need to show the final textures created for your character.

While you can’t do any paintovers on your character, you are allowed to do final grading. Adding background and foreground elements such as dust, sparks or anything else that adds to your presentation have to be part of your 3D scene. These can be done with planes or particles in 3D.

Final Submission

  • 1 final render of your character - 1,920px+ on the longest edge.
  • Front, side and back views of your character - 1,920px+ on the longest edge.
  • Wireframe shots and a texture overview + any additional renders you wish to include
  • (Optional) Work in progress images to show your journey from start to finish

Judging Criteria

Your work will be judged based on a number of different criteria: The technical execution, the final aesthetics of the image - as well as your own creative flair. Are you able to tell a story with your character? Does it evoke emotion? Think about the presentation, as well as the back story of the piece - and other defining characteristics you can display through the finished character.

The theme lends itself to something over the top, flashy and colorful! Take advantage of this and create something memorable.


We love to see the community thrive and grow and we highly encourage commenting on other people’s work - giving feedback and constantly pushing each other to become better artists. We know it takes time and everything helps.


:1st_place_medal: 1st Place: ($1,400)

:2nd_place_medal: 2nd Place: ($450)

:3rd_place_medal: 3rd Place: ($275)



The deadline for the Warlock VFX Character category entries is Wednesday May 20th, 2020 15:00 UTC

Winners Announcement

The winners will be announced Wednesday May 27th, 2020.

Work In Progress

  • You’ll HAVE to keep an active thread of your progress with at least 3 WIP along with your final submission.
  • Title your thread ‘ [Warlock Challenge] – [PROJECT NAME]


  • If you use a basemesh, it needs to be generic – nothing which looks like the final design.
  • The entry must be made specifically for this challenge.
  • You can only make one submission per challenge.
  • All entries are for individual artists only and the submission has to be done by yourself – no collaborations allowed.
  • Feel free to post your progress on social media and make sure to tag FlippedNormals and use the hashtag #fnartchallenge
  • Color grading and other standard compositing practices are allowed. However, as with the above, they’re not allowed to fundamentally change what you’ve done in 3D.
  • You’re allowed to use designs created by someone else, but remember to always get permission.
  • The prize amount listed is the combined value of what you can win. There are no cash prizes included on top. I.e. the 1st place winner will win the prizes listed above, and they are worth a combined value of $1,400.

Good luck to everyone!



Are we allowed to model characters, 2D designed by someone else? Or do these submissions have to be also designed by us. Hope this makes sense, thanks.

I was wondering the same thing

Whichever design you use if up to you.
No restriction that you have to design it :slight_smile:

Check my reply above :slight_smile:

You say you guys accept “secondary elements” in the background. Is there a limit to this in terms of environment? Like will a mini nature environment be allowed, or would that be disqualifying?

The focus should be on the character, not the background.
If you decode to create a few props that you feel support the character then feel free to do so.

The clause is more in reference to adding non 3d elements to alter the finished image. That’s not allowed

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Excuse my ignorance here, but whats the difference between the realtime character and vfx character? Is the VFX more movie quality while the real time is more game?

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Thats exactly it! For VFX, there are no restrictions in terms of polycount, texture maps used etc - while for game characters you have to render it in a real time engine, use less than 100k polys etc :slight_smile:

In short, one is optimized for real-time, the other isnt.


Thanks for the clarification! Now i know something i wasnt quite sure of in the past :slight_smile:

Are non-photoreal stylized entries allowed or is the VFX character supposed to aim for realism?

The style choice is yours to make.
This category pretty much allows for most things without any technical limitations

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Great, thank you for clarifying.

Where do we send final submission? Also do we need to send the character files along with images?

Final submissions can be posted in the Final Submissions thread that’s been created.
And no, just the images are fine.

Hi again! Just a thought - I wanted to pose my character early and sculpt it in the pose. Was the front, side and back view for the submission in a T-pose, or will any body position be acceptable?

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Same for me, it 'd be easier to pose it in zbrush than to rig it, and pose only for final render.

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Hello there my name is Michael this is going to be the first time I am going to participate in something like this, I am just a hobbyist am sorry. I just wanna do something like this because I am isolated in my house due to the situation of this world crisis and i want to work all this time in something that I love which is 3D characters.

Being said that I just want to ask a few questions,

  • What is a paintover? an existing model modified for this challenge? or the 3D final renders modified in photoshop?
  • Can it be any density of polygons? if I do a Decimation Master in Zbrush and show the wireframe render result, Is it valid? or you are looking for something more profesional?
  • Besides of the final renders can I show the model in masmoset toolbag or a sketchfab link? with some particles and little animations?

That doesn’t have to be in t-pose. However you want to present your character is up to you.

Hi Michael.
A paintover, we’re talking about painting over in something like photoshop.

Any density is accepted for this category.

You’re welcome to show it off however you feel is best for you character :slight_smile: