TurboSquid 3D art competition: Lost At Sea

Sponsored by:

Allegorithmic logoMarmoset logo
ArtStation logoGreyscalegorilla logoSansar logo
Chaos Group logoSketchfab logo

3D Art Competitions

Show off your 3D design and modeling skills by entering TurboSquid’s 3D art competitions. Keep an eye on this page to stay informed on the status of our current contests.

Currently Open: Lost at Sea

TurboSquid is proud to announce our first ever 3D art competition, and we’re offering over $10,000 in cash and prizes to the winners! This is probably no surprise, but our first contest will have a nautical theme: Lost at Sea. The contest will have two categories, and we’ll award prizes to the top 3 entries for each category. Artists will have until October 6, 2017, to either make a single real-time model or 3D rendered scene and submit it to us. Anything from a straightforward raft in an endless ocean to something more more abstract that fits the theme is fair game. Be creative!

Want to share your WIPs, renders, and more from this contest? Join our discussion over on the TurboSquid blog, or share your images with us on Twitter (@TurboSquid) using the hashtag #LostAtSea3D.


3D Composition:

  • Can be a well posed and lit diorama, small scene, or full worldspace able to visually convey the theme.
  • The goal is to have a beautiful render – we’re judging the quality and composition of the final image.
  • There are no restrictions on the renderer or plugins used, you can even make it in a game engine!

Real-Time 3D Modeling and Materials:

  • Models must be submitted as files that open in some real-time engine or renderer – Marmoset, Sketchfab, Unreal, Unity, Lumberyard, CryEngine, etc.
  • Preview renders of the model should be well lit and framed, but we’re ultimately reviewing the quality of the model itself.
  • If the model meets the StemCell specifications, we’ll generate versions of the model for all of our currently supported platforms, free of charge!


3D Composition:

1st Place: $1500 + V-Ray for 3DS Max + 1 Year Sketchfab Pro + 18 Months PixelSquid subscription + 1 Year Substance Indie + 1 Year Artstation Pro

2nd Place: $1000 + Greyscalegorilla HDRI Link Suite + 1 Year PixelSquid subscription + 6 Months Substance Indie

3rd Place: $500 + 1 Year PixelSquid subscription + 3 Months Substance Indie

Real-Time 3D Modeling and Materials:

1st Place: $1500 + Marmoset Toolbag 3 + A pano pack of their choice + 1 year Sketchfab Pro + 1 Year Substance Indie + 1 Year Artstation Pro + 1 year Sansar Creator Subscription

2nd Place: $1000 + Marmoset Toolbag 3 + Greyscalegorilla Signal 1.5 + 1 year Sketchfab Pro + 6 Months Substance Indie

3rd Place: $500 + Marmoset Toolbag 3 + 1 Year Sketchfab Pro + 3 Months Substance Indie



All submissions must be entered by 11:59 GMT -5:00 on October 6, 2017.


3D Composition:

  • High resolution image in 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The image must be at least 3996×2160 pixels (Cinema DCP 4k), or a spherical projection render of at least 4096×2048 pixels.
  • Wireframe images, alternate angles, works in progress, editor shots, etc – any amount of proof that the final image was rendered in a 3D application without significant retouching. See FAQ for more.
  • Listing of any 3rd party content used in the scene (external/stock models, HDRIs, etc)

Real-Time 3D Modeling and Materials:

  • One or more ‘beauty’ renders of the model in a real-time renderer of your choice.
  • End product model and basic rendering environment (For example, an .fbx & packed textures along with a .tbscene file, or an archive of .uasset files and statement of engine version used)
  • Included scene must match the beauty renders.
Can I submit a model I’ve made previously as an entry?
No, models made before this contest will not be allowed. The 3D Composition category can use models from any source, but the end image must be made for this competition.

Do you have any guidance on preparing a model for the real-time category?
We have a series of tutorials that were created for our StemCell project that will help you understand many of the steps involved in preparing a model for real-time usage.

Do I have to run my model through a conversion process as part of the submission?
No. We should be able to open the model in any format you send to us. If entries meet StemCell specifications, we’re offering complimentary conversions for finalists solely at their discretion.

Do I have to publish my submission on TurboSquid?
No. Publishing your entry for sale on TurboSquid is not a requirement of the contest. We are asking for a copy of the model files for the Real-Time model category solely for judging and technical review.

Can I use Photoshop for my finished render?
You can, but only for touch-ups, and slight effects enhancements (glows / depth of field / motion blur, etc.), levels adjustments, and simple color grading/ hue/ saturation tweaks. No extensive paintovers, 2D backplates, or effects (like bubbles or dust) should be created in Photoshop— these kinds of elements should be generated in 3D. Aside from the aforementioned tweaks, the scene must render as submitted.

Can I submit multiple entries?
Yes! We highly recommend focusing on a single entry, but you’re welcome to submit multiple entries if you’d like.

Can I submit entries to both categories?
Each entry can only be submitted to one category.

Are teams allowed?
Yes! Prizes will be distributed to the account that posts the final submission; it is up to the members of the team to distribute winnings.

Can I watermark my renders?
You may add non-intrusive watermarking on any works in progress and publically posted renders for social sharing, but no watermarking is allowed on the final submission render(s) sent to us.

“Lost At Sea” Art Contest

Official Rules


ELIGIBILITY: Open to individuals who have a TurboSquid account and are 18 years of age or older. Employees, representatives, freelancers and agents of TurboSquid, Inc. (“Sponsor”), its parent, subsidiaries, affiliates and advertising and promotion agencies, and members of their immediate family (spouse, parent, children, siblings and their respective spouses, regardless of where they reside) and persons living in the same household, whether or not related, are not eligible. Void where prohibited. Contest is subject to all applicable federal, provincial, state and local laws.

CONTEST PERIOD: The contest begins at 12:00 GMT -5:00 on August 8, 2017 and ends at 11:59 GMT -5:00 on October 6, 2017 (“Contest Period”).

HOW TO ENTER:  During the Contest Period, create a nautical “Lost at Sea” themed 3D Scene or a Real-Time 3D model (each, a “Category”) and submit it via the TurboSquid Contest Google Form by following the directions at https://www.turbosquid.com/3d-art-competitions (“Entry”). All Entries must be received by 11:59 GMT -5.00 on October 6, 2017 to be considered.

3D Modeling & Texturing Category (Real-time): Entry must be an original, unpublished work by entrant that does not contain, incorporate or otherwise use any content, material or element that is owned by a third party or entity.

3D Composition Category (3D Scene Render): Entry must be an original and unpublished work by entrant. If it contains third party elements, they must be credited in the Entry and entrant must be able to provide proof of any necessary permissions to a form acceptable to Sponsor.

Entry will be deemed submitted by the authorized owner of the applicable account. There is no limit on the number of Entries you can submit; however each Entry must be substantially different than any other Entry you submit, as determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion. If you do not have a TurboSquid account, creating one is free. All applicable site terms apply. Entries generated by any means which subvert the Entry process are void. All Entries become the sole property of Sponsor.

PROHIBITED CONTENT:  Entry may not contain, as determined by the Sponsor, in its sole discretion, any content that:

  • contains music;
  • is sexually explicit or suggestive; unnecessarily violent or derogatory of any ethnic, racial, gender, religious, professional or age group; profane or pornographic; contains nudity;
  • promotes alcohol, illegal drugs, tobacco, firearms/weapons (or the use of any of the foregoing); promotes any activities that may appear unsafe or dangerous; promotes any particular political agenda or message;
  • is obscene or offensive; endorses any form of hate or hate group;
  • appears to duplicate any other submitted Entry;
  • defames, misrepresents or contains disparaging remarks about Sponsor, its products or services, other people or companies;
  • contains trademarks, logos, or trade dress (such as distinctive packaging or building exteriors/interiors) owned by others, without permission, to the extent permission is necessary;
  • contains copyrighted materials owned by others (including music, photographs, sculptures, paintings, and other works of art or images published on or in websites, television, movies or other media), without permission, to the extent permission is necessary;
  • contains materials embodying the names, likenesses, voices, or other indicia identifying any person (living or dead), such as license plate numbers, personal names, e-mail addresses or street addresses, including, without limitation, celebrities and/or other public or private figures, living or dead, without permission, to the extent permission is necessary;
  • communicates messages or images inconsistent with the positive images and/or good will with which Sponsor wishes to associate; or
  • violates any law.

Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify any Entry that it determines, in its sole discretion, is not in compliance with these Official Rules.

PUBLICITY GRANT/ GRANT OF RIGHTS TO ENTRIES:  By submitting an Entry, except where prohibited, each entrant (and, if an eligible minor, his/her parent or legal guardian) grants to Sponsor and its licensees, successors and assigns an irrevocable, perpetual, unlimited, royalty-free, fully paid-up license to reproduce, distribute, display, exhibit, exploit, perform, edit, create derivatives of, and otherwise use the Entry and all elements of such Entry, together with any other material, and the name, city and state/province of residence, voice, image and/or likeness of entrant, in any and all media now known or hereafter devised, in any manner, in whole or in part, worldwide, without compensation or notification to, or permission from, entrant or any third party, for any purpose whatsoever, including without limitation, for purposes of advertising or trade. Entrant (and, if an eligible minor, his/her parent or legal guardian) agrees that he/she may be required to sign a document to this effect. Sponsor has no obligation to make use of the rights granted herein.  

WINNER DETERMINATION:  All eligible Entries received for each Category will be judged by a panel of qualified judges based on the following equally weighted criteria:

  • Technical precision;
  • Creativity; and
  • Adherence to the nautical theme of “Lost at Sea” (collectively, “Judging Criteria”).

In the event of a tie in any Category, a tiebreaker judge will judge the tied Entries using the Judging Criteria to determine the winner(s). Sponsor reserves the right to not award all prizes for any Category if, in its sole discretion, it does not receive a sufficient number of eligible and qualified Entries for that Category.  All decisions of the Sponsor and judges are final and binding. Sponsor will not reveal the judging scores for any Entry.

WINNER NOTIFICATION: Potential winners will be notified via email. Potential winners will be required to execute and return a Declaration of Eligibility, and a Liability Waiver and, unless prohibited, a Publicity Release within ten (10) days of date of issuance. If a potential winner does not respond to the initial notification within the time period stated, all required documents are not returned within the specified time period, a prize notification or prize is returned as undeliverable, or a potential winner is not in compliance with these rules, prize will be forfeited and, at Sponsor’s discretion, a runner-up for the Category at issue may be notified. If winner is at least 18 but still considered a minor in his/her jurisdiction of residence, Sponsor reserves the right to award the prize to winner’s parent or legal guardian, who will be responsible for fulfilling all requirements imposed on winners set forth herein.


3D Scene Category Prizes

1st Place: The prize package consists of:

  • US$1500 (awarded in the form of a check);
  • V-Ray for 3DS Max;
  • 1 Year subscription to Sketchfab Pro;
  • 18 Month Pixel Squid subscription;
  • 1 Year subscription to Substance Indie; and
  • 1 Year subscription to Artstation Pro.

Approximate Retail Value (“ARV”): US$3,150.80.

2nd Place: The prize package consists of:

  • US$1000 (awarded in the form of a check);
  • Greyscalegorilla HDRI Link Suite;
  • 1 Year PixelSquid subscription; and
  • 6 Month subscription to Substance Indie.

ARV: US$1,498.40.

3rd Place: The prize package consists of:

  • US$500 (awarded in the form of a check);
  • 1 Year PixelSquid subscription; and
  • 3 Month subscription to Substance Indie.

ARV: US$679.70.

Single Real-Time 3D Model Category Prizes

1st Place: The prize package consists of:

  • US$1500 (awarded in the form of a check);
  • Marmoset Toolbag 3;
  • 1 Marmoset pano pack of winner’s choice;
  • 1 year subscription to Sketchfab Pro;
  • 1 Year subscription to Substance Indie; and
  • 1 Year subscription to Artstation Pro.
  • 1 Year subscription to Sansar at Creator Level

ARV: US$2299.68.

2nd Place: The prize package consists of:

  • US$1000 (awarded in the form of a check);
  • Marmoset Toolbag 3;
  • Greyscalegorilla Signal 1.5;
  • 1 year subscription to Sketchfab Pro; and
  • 6 Month subscription to Substance Indie.

ARV: US$1,557.4.

3rd Place: The prize package consists of:

  • US$500 (awarded in the form of a check);
  • Marmoset Toolbag 3; and
  • 1 Year subscription to Sketchfab Pro; and
  • 3 Month subscription to Substance Indie.

ARV: US$868.70.

In the event any prize cannot be awarded due to the laws and regulations of the winner’s jurisdiction, Sponsor will substitute a prize of comparable or greater value.  For example, if cash cannot be awarded, Sponsor will substitute a gift card of equal value. Subscription services are subject to the terms and conditions specified by the applicable provider. Prizes are non-assignable and nontransferable and cannot be redeemed for cash. Prizes are awarded “as is” with no warranty or guarantee, either express or implied. Winners responsible for all federal, provincial, state and local taxes (including income and withholding taxes) associated with prize acceptance and use not specified herein as being provided.  Winners may not substitute a prize, but Sponsor reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to substitute prize (or portion thereof) with one of comparable or greater value. All prize details are at Sponsor’s sole discretion. Limit one (1) prize per person.

GENERAL CONDITIONS:  By participating, each entrant (and, if an eligible minor, his/her parent or legal guardian), except where prohibited, agrees: (a) to abide by these Official Rules and decisions of Sponsor and judges, which shall be final and binding in all respects; and (b) to release, discharge, hold harmless and indemnify Sponsor, its parent, subsidiaries, affiliates and advertising and promotion agencies and all of their respective officers, directors, employees, representatives and agents (collectively, “Released Parties”) from any and all injuries, liability, losses and damages of any kind to persons, including death, or property resulting, in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from entrant’s participation in the contest or the acceptance or use of a prize.

Except where prohibited, Released Parties are not responsible for (i) lost, late, incomplete, damaged, inaccurate, stolen, delayed, misdirected, undelivered or garbled Entries, emails or other communications; (ii) lost, interrupted or unavailable network, server, Internet Service Provider (ISP), website, or other connections, availability or accessibility or miscommunications; (iii) failed computer, satellite, telephone or cable transmissions, lines, or technical failure; (iv) jumbled, scrambled, delayed, or misdirected transmissions or computer hardware or software malfunctions, failures or difficulties; (v) other errors or difficulties of any kind, whether human, mechanical, electronic, computer, network, typographical, printing or otherwise, relating to or in connection with the contest, including, without limitation, errors or difficulties which may occur in connection with the administration of the contest, the processing or judging of Entries, the announcement of the prizes or in any contest-related materials; (vi) any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by users, tampering, hacking, or by any equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the contest; or (vii) injury or damage to any person’s computer related to or resulting from participating in this contest. Persons who tamper with or abuse any aspect of the contest or Sponsor social media account, who act in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner or who are in violation of these Official Rules, as solely determined by Sponsor, will be disqualified and all associated Entries will be void and Sponsor may request entrant remove the Entry from the platform. Should any portion of the contest be, in Sponsor’s sole opinion, compromised by virus, worms, bugs, non-authorized human intervention or other causes which, in the sole opinion of the Sponsor, corrupt or impair the administration, security, fairness or proper play, or submission of Entries, Sponsor reserves the right at its sole discretion to suspend, modify or terminate the contest and if terminated, at its discretion, select winners for the Categories at issue from among all non-suspect, eligible Entries received for such Categories up to time of such action using the winner determination procedure set forth above or as otherwise deemed fair and appropriate by Sponsor.

The invalidity or unenforceability of any provision of these Official Rules shall not affect the validity or enforceability of any other provision. If any provision of the Official Rules is determined to be invalid or otherwise unenforceable, then the Official Rules shall be construed in accordance with their terms as if the invalid or unenforceable provision was not contained therein.

Sponsor’s failure to enforce any term of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision. Should a winner make any false statement(s) in any document referenced above, the winner may be required to promptly return to Sponsor his/her prize, or the cash value thereof.  WARNING: ANY ATTEMPT BY AN ENTRANT OR ANY OTHER INDIVIDUAL TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE ANY WEBSITE ASSOCIATED WITH THIS CONTEST OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THE CONTEST IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS, AND SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO PROSECUTE AND SEEK DAMAGES (INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, ATTORNEYS’ FEES) AND OTHER REMEDIES TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW.

Dispute Resolution: Except where prohibited, by participating in this contest, each entrant (and, if an eligible minor, his/her parent or legal guardian) agrees that: (a) any and all disputes, claims, and causes of action arising out of or connected with this contest, or awarding of the prize, shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action; and (b) any and all claims, judgments and awards shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred, including costs associated with participating in this contest and in no event will entrant be permitted to obtain attorneys’ fees or other legal costs; and (c) under no circumstances will any participant be permitted to obtain awards for and hereby waives all rights to claim punitive, incidental, and consequential damages and any other damages, other than for actual out-of-pocket expenses, and any and all rights to have damages multiplied or otherwise increased. Some jurisdictions do not allow the limitations or exclusion of liability for incidental or consequential damages, so the above may not apply to you.

Data Protection/Privacy Policy: Information collected by Sponsor in connection with this contest may be used by Sponsor in accordance with its Privacy Policy posted on https://support.turbosquid.com/hc/en-us/articles/230094807-Our-Privacy-Policy.

WINNERS LIST: For the names of the winners, send an email to contests@turbosquid.com by no later than October 31, 2017.

Sponsor: TurboSquid, Inc., 935 Gravier Street, Ste. 1600, New Orleans, LA 70112.

Free StemCell 3D Models

Looking for some models to help take your submission to the next level?

We’ve worked with some of our artists and arranged to make these 20 3D models free to download and use during the contest. You’ll get a full lifetime royalty-free license for anything that you download while they’re free! We’ve included over $1,400 worth of models in this promo, so make sure to download them before the contest is over.

You are able to use any of these promo assets in your contest submission, but you may not resell or redistribute these as part of any products you create for the contest.

Each of these models was built to our StemCell specification. They are designed to be highly portable between modeling apps, and are also meant to easily decimate if you need to reduce poly counts for your scenes. Learn more about our StemCell project.

sailboat 3d model by royalmix
gunpowder keg 3d model by Tornado Studio
lighthouse 3d model by Tornado Studio
conch shell 3d model by royalmix
heart cockle shell 3d model by royalmix
jellyfish 3d model by Tornado Studio
sand dollar 3d model by Tornado Studio
life preserver 3d model by royalmix
tentacle 3d model by Tornado Studio
old ship wheel 3d model by Tornado Studio
palm tree 3d model by royalmix
palm tree 3d model by royalmix
low poly palm tree 3d model by royalmix
raincoat 3d model by royalmix
rain hat 3d model by royalmix
spyglass 3d model by Tornado Studio
tropical plant 3d model by royalmix
tulip shell 3d model by Tornado Studio
Medieval wash tub 3d model by Tornado Studio
turtle 3d model by Tornado Studio