Epic Games and Ronen Bekerman Launch “The Vineyard” Challenge

By Dana Cowley

Ronen Bekerman’s popular real-time architectural visualization competition returns with Epic’s official support and the power of Unreal Engine 4 behind it

June 4, 2015  - The field of architectural visualization presents a striking blend of both the pursuit of photorealism and the desire to create something artistic, inspiring, and entirely new. Epic Games announces a partnership with Ronen Bekerman to bring that industry into an exciting new chapter of real-time interactivity and rendering.

Building on the success of five previous architectural visualization challenges on ronenbekerman.com, Epic is sponsoring the 2015 “The Vineyard” Challenge, with competitors exclusively building their entries in Unreal Engine 4. The Challenge will kick off on June 15 and run until September 15, with the winners to be announced at the State of Art Academy Day #6 in Venice on October 2-3.

Along with complete access to Unreal Engine 4, which is now free, Epic is contributing the largest cash prize pool in architectural visualization contest history, with over $60,000 in prize money, including a $25,000 grand prize for group entrants, and a $12,500 grand prize for individual entrants.

By bringing together game development and architectural rendering, this real-time competition marks the unification of the two fields in a way that hasn’t been seen before, encouraging a deep collaboration that will result in something entirely new for all involved.

Ronen Bekerman, owner of the popular architectural visualization blog at ronenbekerman.com and creator of the 2015 “The Vineyard” Challenge, said:

“It is always my aim to host at least one major arch viz challenge per year, and after The Museum Duo Challenges I knew the next one had to break new ground.

“The opportunity to bring real-time gaming technology to the world of architectural visualization highlights not only the versatility of Unreal Engine, but also opens the door for a new concept of visualization, where the use of interactive animations and immersive VR will be increasingly relevant.

“I encourage all followers of the blog, as well as newcomers, to take part in this Challenge. Great prizes aside, this is an amazing opportunity to explore new territory and shape the way arch viz is going to be done in the near future.”

The theme of “The Vineyard” Challenge was chosen specifically to take advantage of the power of Unreal Engine 4, namely for developers’ ability to produce high-fidelity interior spaces and stunning outdoor vistas. Challengers will be encouraged to think outside the box to interpret a modern winery setting of their own invention, and will be judged on a number of categories such as best lighting, best design, and best interactivity. Winners will be chosen by a group of expert judges from the game, film, and architectural fields.

“The use of Unreal Engine 4 in this brilliant architectural challenge is yet another example of the technology moving outside of its original capacity and affecting an entire industry in a way that I don’t think anyone could have predicted,” said Epic Games Lead Technical Artist, Wyeth Johnson.

“Our focus on building not just great game development tools - but great tools, period - is what makes this challenge possible. It also highlights a unique aspect of our real-time rendering technology, in that architectural scenes that used to be relegated to the still image are now capable of coming to life in ways that are interactive and responsive to the viewer. We can’t wait to see what people in the community do with that extra layer of capability beyond just a beautifully rendered static scene.”

Full details on the challenge will be available on ronenbekerman.com and unrealengine.com, with official submissions taking place on a dedicated forum at ronenbekerman.com, and Epic support at forums.unrealengine.com.

About Unreal Engine

Developed by Epic Games, the award-winning Unreal Engine is known for bringing high-fidelity experiences to PC, console, mobile, Web and VR. Unreal Engine accelerates the creation of games, applications, simulations, visualizations and cinematic content. Download Unreal Engine for free at unrealengine.com, and follow @UnrealEngine for updates.

About Ronen Bekerman’s Architectural Visualization Blog

ronenbekerman.com is the most popular and trusted Architectural Visualization Blog & Artist Community online, keeping the finger on the pulse of the ArchVIZ Industry since 2009. It is a unique place for architectural visualization artists all around the globe to share and learn from each other, get the most valuable resources to help them grow, and find the latest industry news.

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