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Shade Your World Discuss this contest in the forums

GameDev.net, in conjunction with NVIDIA and SoftImage, are celebrating the release of NVIDIA FX Composer 2 by asking you to get your shade on!

The challenge is simple: Use NVIDIA FX Composer 2 to create an amazing shader. Show us scenes that sparkle, surfaces that shock, materials that are out of this world – or maybe so close to it you can’t tell the difference. And while you’re at it, see if you can make it artist-friendly, too...

We're looking for entries in two categories: "Single Material" and "Full Scene." Single Material is all about shaders that define the appearance of a surface or surfaces on objects within the scene, while Full Scene is more about shaders that affect the appearance of everything (for example, post-processing effects).

To the top three entries in each category, NVIDIA are laying on some shiny prizes. First place in either category gets you a GeForce 8800 GTX graphics card. Second place gets you a copy of the 3D artwork package Softimage XSI Foundation (currently the only package on the market to support both HLSL and CgFX, even Direct3D 10 shaders, in their sandbox tool). Third place gets you a copy of the new graphics-voodoo book GPU Gems III. Top entries are likely to make it into NVIDIA's Shader Library, too. To make things easier for entrants, they're also releasing some sample assets for you to build your entry upon, if you wish.

You've got until 11:59PM PST, September 2nd. GO!

Update, September 1st: We've decided to extent the contest another couple of weeks to account for the fact that many people have been busy with conferences. The new deadline is 11:59PM PST, September 16th. If you've already submitted an entry, feel free to use the extra two weeks to extend your entry and resubmit it to us.


We'll be judging all entries on two criteria:

  • Aesthetics: Does it look cool?
  • Usability: Is it easy to set up, and can I tweak it so it looks just right?
Aesthetics will be scored out of 15, and Usability out of 5; then your marks will be added to obtain a final score out of 20.

Judging the contest will be Richard "Superpig" Fine, technical lead from GameDev.net, and Kevin Bjorke, marketing lead for the NVIDIA Shader Library.

Sample scenes

As mentioned above, NVIDIA have released a couple of sample COLLADA scenes to help you get started. Please note that they're entirely optional; you don't have to use them, but you can if you want to.

(Note: This scene includes animation)
"Noggin" "Toothadil"


When you've got something to submit, ZIP or RAR it all up and email it to shadeyourworld@gamedev.net. Make sure to include the following information in your email:

  • Your name
  • Which category you're entering
  • The material or effect your entry is featuring (i.e. which one the judges should be looking at).
If your email is missing any of this information, it'll be ignored.

Contest Rules
1. Entries may be submitted in one of two categories: "Single Material" and "Full Scene."
2. Entries in the "Single Material" category should feature a single material applied to an object in the scene. Other materials and objects present in the scene will be ignored.
3. Entries in the "Full Scene" category should feature a compositional or post-processing effect applied to the entire scene. The materials and objects within the scene itself will be ignored for judging.
4. Entries may use any shader technology supported by FX Composer 2.
5. All support files required to load and view the entry in FX Composer 2 must be included in the entry. Ideally you should include a project file but this is not required.
6. When submitting multiple files, you must compress your entry as a RAR or ZIP archive and submit the result as a single file.
7. An entrant may submit multiple entries into both categories. The same entry may be submitted multiple times in the Single Material category provided that each submission features a different material within the entry.
8. By entering the contest, entrants grant NVIDIA the right to redistribute their entry through inclusion in their Shader Library, under the terms of the NVIDIA Developer General License, on condition that the entrant is appropriately credited for their creation.
9. Entrants may be individuals or groups, with no limit on group size. Prizes will be awarded on a per-entry basis, and neither GameDev.net nor NVIDIA is responsible for determining how a group distributes prizes amongst themselves.
10. It is the entrant's responsibility to ensure that we have received their entire entry by the time submission closes.
11. Any entry containing content that would qualify it for an 'AO' rating from the ESRB will be disqualified.
12. The contest is open to entrants who are 13 years of age or older and located anywhere on Earth. Void where prohibited by law. GameDev.net staff members or NVIDIA employees are not eligible to participate. The contest is subject to all applicable federal, state, and provincial laws and regulations.
13. By entering the contest, entrants agree to provide proof of identification for any prizes awarded as required by law; they also agree to provide contact/shipping details to NVIDIA for the purpose of delivering prizes.
14. The judges reserve the right to disqualify any entry that is deemed to be contrary to the spirit of the contest.
15. Any entry that infringes the intellectual property of any third party will be immediately disqualified. This includes but is not limited to the use of 'ripped' textures, models, or shaders from other games, and the use of registered trademarks. Use is permitted if the entrant has permission from the owner of the IP, but you should be prepared to prove that you have permission. This rule applies to all assets you submit, even those that are not featured in the entry.
16. GameDev.net reserves the right to modify contest rules or cancel the contest at any time without prior notification. It is the entrant's responsibility to monitor the rules for changes. (We will of course make an effort to notify you if the rules change, but this is out of courtesy, not responsibility).
17. The contest manager's decisions are final.


By entering, the entrant represents and warrants that they have the right to grant GameDev.net and NVIDIA the rights set forth above and hereby warrants that (1) the entry material is original and they are the sole author of and owner of all rights including copyrights to the entry and that the entry is not subject in whole or in part to claims of ownership of others or (2) the entry is subject, in whole or in part, to claims of ownership and copyright by others but that the entrant has the right to grant GameDev.net and NVIDIA the rights set forth above. The entrant retains any and all rights of ownership, intellectual property rights and all other rights entrant may have in and to the entry. Notwithstanding mentioned ownership rights, by entering, the entrant personally or on behalf of their company grant NVIDIA permanent, non-exclusive, world-wide rights and a license, but not an obligation, free of any charge or compensation, to use, edit, copy, distribute and publish all or part of the entry, and all rights subsidiary to and derivative from the entry, in any medium now known or invented in the future, for the purpose of inclusion in the NVIDIA Shader Library; the entrant also, personally or on behalf of their company, grant GameDev.net permanent, non-exclusive, world-wide rights and a license, but not an obligation, free of any charge or compensation, to use, edit, copy, distribute and publish all or part of the entry, and all rights subsidiary to and derivative from the entry, in any medium now known or invented in the future, for promotional, advertising or demonstration purposes for GameDev.net's products or services or for GameDev.net generally.

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