Architecture Visualization Challenge VII

15 January 2018 – 30 April 2018


Sponsored by

Welcome to CABINS, The 7th Architectural Visualization Challenge I’m running in partnership with Quixel as the marquee sponsor. The book CABINS by Philip Jodidio and the fantastic illustrations by Marie-Laure Cruschi served as the principal inspiration for this year’s challenge theme. That, and my love for prefab architecture design.

The Finalists & Winners!

The challenge is closed for new entries and here are the 24 finalists. Use the filter buttons to see just the Winners!

You can also explore ALL entries made during the challenge…

The world’s largest scan library. With thousands of PBR scans for games, visualization and VFX, with plug-ins for all major tools, engines and renderers, Quixel MEGASCANS are the marquee sponsor of CABINS.
Quixel is running point on CABINS as the marquee sponsor with Megascans integrated into the challenge theme. They will also provide you with assets to be used in your entry creation.

Megascans enables uncompromising quality and efficiency. It has helped studios speed up the creation of realistic scenery, such as MPC and its Megascans-based The Jungle Book environments, which won the 2017 Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.

CABINS is also sponsored by three category sponsors and many more prize sponsors, to whom I owe a lot of thanks for joining in offering support and great prizes for the winners.

Yulio is end-to-end Virtual Reality software for architects, interior designers, real estate management and construction engineering companies to easily publish and share Virtual Reality Experiences. Yulio’s Virtual Reality technology was designed to close the communication gap and redefine how designers work with their clients. Yulio is available in the App Store, Google Play and Samsung’s Oculus Store for Gear VR.
Laubwerk offers easy-to-use software extensions for architects and CG artists looking for authentic 3D plants, and plant scattering tools. With drag-and-drop simplicity, and easy-to-use tools that modify the shape, age, season and level of detail for each of Laubwerk’s beautiful 3D plants, users can seamlessly add 3D trees to any CG project. For Autodesk 3ds Max & Maya, MAXON Cinema 4D, SideFX Houdini, Trimble SketchUp, and Python.
Since 2006, Ranch Computing render farm enables graphic designers of all industries (architecture, VFX, animation…) to render their 3D projects serenely by meeting their deadlines and mastering their budgets. They rendered over 250,000 projects and support the major 3D software and provide you with free tools which check your images before rendering them to make sure everything goes smoothly. Don’t waste time and energy with rendering anymore!
Lumion empowers architects to transform their CAD designs into strikingly beautiful renders without any prior training. After just 15 minutes, you can learn to create jaw-dropping images, videos and 360 panoramas with lightning-fast speeds. Whether you model in SketchUp, Revit, 3ds Max, Rhino or many others, Lumion breathes life into your designs with realistic trees, stylish effects, and thousands of objects and materials from our content library. Lumion — beautiful renders within reach.
And also prize sponsoring partners such as iToo Software, AXYZ Design, Corona Renderer, VIZPARK, MAXTREE, Skatter, Polyget, Exlevel and more coming!
About Cabins
CABINS by Philip Jodidio
The seeds for this challenge were planted more than a year ago, during SOA’s Academy Day #7. There, I had the pleasure of interviewing the Scanmaster and Founder of Quixel, Teddy Bergsman and see him presenting Megascans. Understanding what an impact Megascans is going to make, we decided to dedicate a big part of the upcoming challenge theme to it.
The field of architectural visualization is a striking blend of both the pursuit of photorealism and the desire to create something artistic, inspiring, and entirely new.

The fast technological advancements in VR/AR/MR and adoption by content creators, calls for a re-evaluation of our workflows. In CABINS, I propose taking the “World Building” approach to the next level with photogrammetry by Quixel’s Megascans to help you achieve reality in the render.

I encourage all followers of the blog, as well as newcomers to take part in this Challenge. This is an amazing opportunity to explore new territory and push our limits.

Jump start your imagination and create something inspiring!

Recent Posts

Check out some of the posts made on the CABINS blog during the challenge.

Making of Australian Forest

Hi all. I’m really grateful to be on the list of winners. A lot of competitors did such a fantastic job, very detailed and with great concepts. Congrats to all winners and participants!

I would like to give you a short vision of how I prepared the Australian forest entry.

The Concept

Few weeks after the announcement of the challenge, I came up with the idea of a glass cabin in a forest. Of course, it’s not new, but I had a specific idea about an Australian forest.

I remembered our first trips around Sydney, nights were full of sounds, a forest full of creatures. So I imagined the short story and drew a sketch in photoshop. It took an hour to get the atmosphere that I liked.

Making of Inside Out

I have been doing arch viz for many years now, and over that time I have found that I enjoy the nature part of any project the most. I like the challenge to mimic nature and create a believable environment in which architecture occupies. So, this was an exciting prospect to me, not only to create an environment for a cabin but to visualize it in VR and get access to trial the Megascan assets.

I am going to break my entry into three parts.



Nature underwater





Post Production

Making of Northern Wisps

I placed my cabin in Icelandic Thorsmork. It is a diversified valley with a beautiful color palette and striking rock formations.
Although it’s pretty close to the booming tourist routes, it remains relatively tranquil due to the more dominant river crossing on the way. That place gave me the possibility to create some plausible scenes which evoke serenity with chilling hints of the raw, untamed and besieging nature.

The project turned out to be pretty complex in the end, including many scenes in various lighting scenarios. It wasn’t however planned in this form and thus never felt really overwhelming.

In the beginning, I thought about only one scene with 2-4 points of views. The rules of the competition required preparing spherical images so I organized this environment so as it would be interesting all around. It’s a common pain with spherical panoramas that they include only 10-20% of the absorbing content, and the rest is merely a filler. I tried to avoid it, at least in first renderings.

Your Mission
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to visualize a prefab cabin (existing or your design) in a location of your choice that you recreate in 3d so that it is possible to experience it as a virtual reality experience.
You can use any software you like to create your entry for this challenge while using Megascans assets in the process and delivering your 360 VR Tour via Yulio’s service.

Don’t worry, we’ll provide you with Megascans assets, and Yulio is free to start with.

CABINS offers you lots of freedom regarding your concept. I’m not providing you with a specific model as I did with the GH HOUSE and THE MUSEUM, but there is a (very loose) program you need to keep to.

Don’t panic! There are no wrong answers to this.

“Your cabin (or group of cabins) serves as a shelter or vacation destination for someone specific or the general public be it in paid or free form. You are also in charge of recreating the surroundings of your cabin, so be sure the two work nicely together.”

At this point, I usually state that your entry will be judged according to overall accepted standards of architectural visualization, but this time around you have a chance to set some new standards!
Parisian illustrator & graphic designer, Marie-Laure Cruschi, crafted an amazing set of cabin illustration for Philip Jodidio’s book “Cabins” published by Taschen. The subject alone strikes a hard chord for me as I’m fascinated by cabin design, and with 61 of these in this book accompanied by gorgeous illustrations, it looks like a real gem!
For all of you who asked me what is a Cabin in the context of the challenge, the projects showcased in this book are a great starting point.
Inspiration for Cabins all around the world!
Table of contents of CABINS by Philip Jodidio. Available on by TASCHEN
Here are a few illustrations and photos from the book that I liked. I hope these will get your creative juices flowing. As you get started with your entry, make sure you dedicate time to the concept before you dive into the process.
Looking forward seeing you initial concepts start to pour in the challenge milestone update stream.

Good luck!

The Judges
The winners will be chosen by leading artists from the architecture visualization field. People you know and that are an inspiration to us all. Your entry will be judged based on categories such as concept, story, lighting, materials, 3d modeling, technical skill, emotive qualities and participation on the blog showcasing your progress as well as offering feedback to fellow challengers.
Teddy Bergsman
CEO and Co-Founder – Quixel AB, Sweden.
Teddy is the Co-Founder and CEO of Quixel, creator of Megascans, the world’s largest library of physically based scans. Having played an active role in the CG industry for over a decade, Quixel has developed a range of groundbreaking scan based tools for artists, significantly impacting modern computer graphics production. Quixel was recently responsible for inventing the scanning and processing technologies behind the vegetation scans used for Disney’s “The Jungle Book” film and is passionate about developing user-friendly and artistic production tools for photorealistic computer graphics.
Peter Guthrie
Co-Founder – The Boundary, UK.
Peter graduated from Edinburgh College of Art with a Diploma in Architecture (RIBA Part 2) in 2000. Following a five year period working at Richard Murphy Architects as a project architect, he established Peter Guthrie Visualisation which, through his constant thrust for research & development and perpetual willingness to share knowledge with the industry through his blogging, rapidly became a world leader in architectural visualization. Peter’s HDRI skies, which he continues to develop and refine at PG Skies are considered some of the best image based lighting solutions available. Peter is a co-founder of The Boundary established in 2014.
Andreas Landgren
Co-Founder – Tomorrow AB, Sweden.
Andreas Landgren has a background as an industrial designer; he also holds a bachelor´s degree in engineering and visual communication. In 2006 Andreas was one of three founders of Tomorrow. During the last decade, Andreas has used his creative energy to enable a multitude of large-scale projects around the world. Tomorrow is a Swedish award-winning visualization studio that works with architects worldwide to create unique experiences and enable future projects. Tomorrow works with visual communication and concept development to create successful projects. Tomorrow consists of artists, architects, designers, dreamers, innovators, and thinkers.
Gianpiero Monopoly
Co-Founder – State of Art Academy, Italy.
The passion for architecture and computer graphics took Gianpiero to look for new ways to represent through images designers and architects’ ideas. After some work experiences in Italy, in 2007 he started working as Project Lead Artist for the well-known English Studio Hayes Davidson. There, he created images for Renzo Piano Building Workshop, Kohn Pedersen Fox, John Pawson, David Chipperfield, Hamiltons Architects and West8. In 2009, together with Roberto and Manuela, he set up the State of Art Studio and Academy and became Managing Director.
Ronen Bekerman
Co-Founder – The Craft, Israel.
With more than 15 years of professional experience in the Architectural Visualization Industry Ronen is currently heading Polytown Media providing visualization solutions and training for architects and designers looking to better their skills at visualizing their designs, founded and running the popular ArchVIZ Blog at since 2009 and is a co-founder of The Craft established in 2015.
Making of CABINS concept
Part ONE by Ronen Bekerman
Here are more images from the CABINS concept set I have created for this challenge launch.

Terms, rules and more!

Stay tuned for more information about more sponsors, awards, prizes, rules, terms, and how to upload your progress milestones. Start your creative process, and for any question you may have, use the form below.

Just check the FAQ first!

This is a skill-based competition
Nothing else to add to this one.
The 2018 “CABINS” Challenge (“Challenge”) is open to legal residents of all countries (collectively, “Territory”) who are over the age of majority in their country, province or state of residence. Employees of Sponsor, its divisions, affiliates, subsidiaries or advertising agencies associated with this Challenge, and relatives of and those living in the same household as such individuals are prohibited from entering. For the purpose of this Challenge, relatives are defined as spouse, partner, parent, legal guardian, in-law, grandparent, sibling, children, and grandchildren. Void where prohibited by law.
The Challenge is organized by Ronen Bekerman on via Polytown Media LTD (“Organiser”), Dubnov 7, WeWork Building, Tel Aviv-Yafo 6473207, Israel.
The Competition is sponsored mainly by Quixel AB, a Swedish corporation, with registered and business offices at Stora Torget 3, S-753 20 Uppsala, Sweden. And Yulio Technologies Inc. with registered and business offices at 151 Placer Court, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M2H 3H9. And Laubwerk GmbH, with registered and business offices at August-Bebel-Strasse 27, 14482 Potsdam, Germany.
Agreement to Official Rules
By participating in this Challenge, entrants agree to these Official Rules, which are a contract, so read them carefully before entering. To the extent permitted by law, this contract includes a limitation of your rights and remedies. Organiser and Sponsor reserve the right to make reasonable amendments to these Official Rules at any time, to qualify and verify all submissions, and to reject any submissions that do not meet the requirements for participation as established by Sponsor. All decisions made by Organiser and Sponsor concerning this Competition shall be final and binding on all entrants, in all respects. Each winner will be required to participate in the prize fulfillment process and sign documentation, such as a release, within the timeframe specified by the Organiser and Sponsor, as more fully detailed below.
Join by clicking the button on this page header
Provide your full name and email and start inviting more artists to the Challenge. The one inviting the most active pariticpants will win a special prize.
Create your Passport
If you didn’t yet, this is the time to do so and create your blog Passport. You can find help about how to do this here.
Post progress milestones
The more the better. Participation is a factor when we pick the winner in the end. Aim to have at least one update per workflow stage. The CABINS challenge uploader will open on January 21st. Spend the first few days for thinking about your concept. 
Submit your final entry


You’ll need to provide at least three still images :

  1. Exterior Long Distance View
  2. Exterior Cabin View
  3. Interior Towards Landscape View

Feel free to add more but make sure to mark the main three as such. I will provide more infromation about how to do that towards delivery time.


You’ll need to provide at least two 360 VR renders via Yulio as a hotspot tour. An account on Yulio is free to open and you’ll add the URL for your VR to the final submit.

Feel free to add more hotspots to your tour.

You must clearly mark your final entry upload as such. You will see an option for it in the uploader.

Offer feedback to fellow challengers

This is a very important aspect of the challenge. Helping others before getting help for yourself. I suggest that before any milestone update you make for your own entry, offer feedback for someone else. That would be the minimal expected engagement level. Do aim for more!

You must use Megascans Assets + Terms

Once you submit your Concept Progress Milestone, Quixel will send you access to a temporary account loaded with 160 valid until April 30th, 2018.

Terms of use :

  • This temporary access contains 160 points under the Megascans Freelancer (4K resolution) license, and is to be used specifically for Architecture Visualization Challenge VII.
  • When the contest ends, and your temporary access to the library has expired, you will still have access to the assets you have downloaded using the 160 points.
  • If at some point in the future, you wish to use these same assets in a project commercially, you will be required to pay for the 160 points (depending upon the use-case; Freelance, Indie, Studio) before you do so.
  • If you do not pay for the assets at that point in time, it will be considered a breach of the terms of service.

Access options :

  • If you are new to Megascans, we will give you a temporary account using the email you have contacted us with.
  • If you already have a Megascans account which is active, we can add the points to your existing account.
You must deliver a Yulio VR Tour

More on that soon! Don’t worry about this too much as there is no rush at the early stages of the challenge regarding the use of Yulio. This comes later as you start rendering 360’s of your nearly complete entry.

Single artist personal entry
The work you submit to this Challenge must be your own personal works for the most part. Use of pre-made assets allowed, but keep the main work yours. Single submission per artist only. The is no team category this time.
Winners are required to write a MAKING OF
If you win, you will be required to write an in-depth making of article showcasing your amazing work. Making sure you post milestone updates on regular basis will help you with that come winning day!
No explicit content
Any imaging deemed to contain content that depicts explicit acts that are overtly violent, sexual, cruel or brutal will be subject to disqualification.
No plagiarism
Any image deemed to be the same or similar to one currently published will be subject to disqualification for reasons of copyright liability.
Grand Prize Winner (est. value €15,500)
  • Quixel – One Megascans Indie License with 1-year access (unlimited points)
  • Yulio – Subscription TBD
  • Laubwerk – 9 Plants Kit of choice
  • Ranch Computing – Rendering Credits 
  • Lumion – PRO License
  • iToo Software – TBD
  • AXYZ Design – ANIMA License + Assets TBD
  • Corona Renderer – 2 year Corona FairSaaS License (1 workstation + 3 nodes)
  • Polyget – Complete Foliage Collection
  • VIZPARK – VP Complete
  • MAXTREE – 6 Vol of choice
1st Runner Up (est. value €9,000)
  • Quixel – One Megascans Indie License with 6-month access (unlimited points)
  • Yulio – Subscription TBD
  • Laubwerk – 6 Plants Kit of choice
  • Ranch Computing – Rendering Credits
  • Lumion – Standard License
  • iToo Software – TBD
  • AXYZ Design – ANIMA License + Assets TBD
  • Corona Renderer – 1 year Corona FairSaaS License (1 workstation + 3 nodes)
  • Polyget – Complete Foliage Collection
  • VIZPARK – PLANTS Complete
  • MAXTREE – 4 Vol of choice
2nd Runner Up (est. value €6,200)
  • Quixel – One Megascans Indie License with 6-month access (unlimited points)
  • Yulio – Subscription TBD
  • Laubwerk – 3 Plants Kit of choice
  • Ranch Computing – Rendering Credits
  • iToo Software – TBD
  • AXYZ Design – Assets TBD
  • Corona Renderer – 6 months Corona FairSaaS License (1 workstation + 3 nodes)
  • Polyget – Complete Foliage Collection
  • VIZPARK – HDRI Complete
  • MAXTREE – 2 Vol of choice
How do we use any software if Yulio offers just two plugins?
Using the plugins offered for SketchUp and 3dsmax is great and can make the process easier, but not a must. You can upload content rendered on any program. This is how I do it.

Pin It on Pinterest