Introducing Imagination Originals: a new 3D art competition for all

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It is no secret that Imagination Technologies has been leading the industry in creating IP to allow ray tracing to happen on mobile platforms. Earlier in the year, we spelt out exactly how this could be achieved, and since then, the pace of development has not slowed.  We have already committed to bringing ray tracing to market next year with the follow up to our recently launched B-Series GPUs and we also announced our Ray Tracing Levels System, describing six differentiated levels to provide context to the various approaches to ray tracing currently available in the market. Our white paper on the subject explains just how that works.

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Mobile games development is big business with annual revenue of over $68.2 billion in 2019. Graphically, development in this space has also exploded and hardware capabilities and game graphics now rival that of consoles. But with a new wave of consoles now here, to stay competitive, mobile must also embrace the next big thing – and that’s ray tracing. With ray tracing on mobile hardware an approaching reality, we wanted to show the world the kind of thing that could be created when mobile gaming meets ray tracing.

Making ray tracing work on a mobile platform is a challenge for hardware engineers. The current thinking around Level 2 and Level 3 ray tracing solutions works for the big, power-hungry console and desktop space, but a decidedly more elegant approach is needed to for mobile. A Level 4 solution with coherency gathering, among other streamlined improvements like Bounding Volume Heirarchies, is the realistic minimum for ray tracing in the mobile domain.

Making ray tracing efficient on mobile is one thing, making it look good is an entirely different challenge and it is this that falls to the many talented artists the world over rather than the engineers.

With that in mind, we are proud to introduce Imagination Originals!

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The Imagination Originals initiative is a challenge to the game art community to make gorgeous work but with the added sparkle of ray traced lighting, whilst working strictly within the limits of mobile power budgets. Using specified ray tracing settings within Unreal Engine 4, the challenge will be creating gorgeous ray traced lighting without being able to crank the settings to the max. Exact details on these settings can be found in the competition brief.

With a first-prize of £1,000* and a panel of guest judges from across the industry, Imagination Originals will showcase some of the best and brightest the art community has to offer.

How will it work?

The Imagination Originals page is live now. You can sign up for the competition, check out the full rules and view submissions from other entrants.

Entries are open until 14th January 2021. After this, entries will be closed, but there will still be time to work on your incredible creations. Submissions will be open until 15th of February and at this point, Imagination and guest judges will assess the submissions.

All the submissions will be judged on their artistic merit. How well they are lit, the quality of the models and the fidelity of the textures, will all go towards the final marks. The other side of assessment is for those shortlisted for the prize. Whilst beauty is important, functionality is also. The second stage of judging will focus on the technical efficiency and skill demonstrated to get a smooth-running, optimised, piece of game art.

Come one, come all.

Ray tracing is the future of mobile gaming, and we have opened this competition to the future of mobile game development. To all the graphics artists out there – it’s your time to shine. Whether you are a student, a hobbyist, or an industry veteran, we cannot wait to see what you can create!

Nathaniel Ayling

Nathaniel Ayling

Nate works as a technology communications executive at Imagination Technologies. With a background in consumer communications and the rather different world of military communications, he has worked with several globally renowned brands. He is also an avid 3D artist and has a passion for all things game art. https://www.artstation.com/nathaniel_ayling

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