Prop Art (Rendered) Winners Interview — Untamed: When Animals Ruled the World

1st place Untamed: When Animals Ruled the World – Prop Art (Rendered): Robbie Walker


With the conclusion of the Untamed: When Animals Ruled the World Community Challenge, we’re excited to present to you a new series of conversations with the top three award winners for each Challenge category. Over eight interviews, we’ll be diving into the artists’ submissions, their winning techniques, and their advice for future challengers.

Read on to hear about the ArtStation Challenge experience from Prop Art (Rendered) category winners Robbie Walker, Elsa Alexandra, and Svenja Rösner!


See all Prop Art (Rendered) Submissions

2nd place Untamed: When Animals Ruled the World – Prop Art (Rendered): Elsa Alexandra

Taking on the Challenge

It can seem intimidating to take on an ArtStation Community Challenge, but the Prop Art (Rendered) winners shared that deadlines, the theme, and community support can help one stay productive and motivated.

Robbie: I like taking part in ArtStation Challenges as the deadline pushes me to get a piece of personal work finished. I know I’m going to come out the other end with something to show! Plus, it’s a great learning experience. Everyone is going through the same thing and they help one another out. The community feeling when doing it is super positive and supportive.

Svenja: The animal theme really appealed to me; I directly knew that I wanted to join the production phase when I saw the Challenge announcement.

For me, the ArtStation Challenges are a great motivator to work on personal art. Usually, I struggle a bit to motivate myself to create something after work, but the community environment of the Challenge and the fact that there is a deadline helps a lot with that. Seeing the regular submission posts of the other artists really keeps me motivated.

Elsa: When I saw there was a new ArtStation Challenge, I spent some time debating whether I should join or not. It was when I came across Adam Törn’s concepts that I knew I wanted to try to recreate them in 3D. Looking at them, I could not stop thinking about how much fun it would be to hand-paint their textures.

3rd place Untamed: When Animals Ruled the World – Prop Art (Rendered): Svenja Rösner

Behind the Submissions

For this Community Challenge, artists were asked to imagine a world where animals/creatures have evolved to be the peak lifeforms on Earth. The winning prop submissions all tell rich stories from this alternative universe.

Elsa: I had been feeling a bit lost for some time in regard to my art, but seeing all the submissions during the concept phase (of the Challenge) really inspired me and made me want to create again. I was working at the time the Challenge started…throughout the workday, I only thought about getting home to get on with the Challenge.

Robbie: I chose two concepts: one from Adam “Forange” Törn, and one from Zuzka Chlupackova. The wagon and honey pot concepts from Adam belonged to a world he’d created where bears steal honey from bees in this long-running war. I loved the fun aesthetic of these two props. The backpack from Zuzka had such a nice feeling to it, I liked the idea of someone bustling about the woods collecting herbs and ingredients for cooking outdoors.

Svenja: Throughout the concept phase, I regularly followed along with the submissions of the Prop Design category. The beautiful concept art from Anastasia Bubnova inspired me the most. Since I’m a big fan of oceanic and aquatic themes, it was a perfect pick for me. The concept of the Clepsydra was particularly interesting to me because it was the first time I heard about the mechanism of a water clock. Also, all her concepts include a lot of different seashell designs; modeling them was a great learning experience.

1st place Untamed: When Animals Ruled the World – Prop Art (Rendered): Robbie Walker

Pushing Your Workflow Further

Community Challenges are a great time to both try new techniques and to sharpen old skills. The winning Prop Art (Rendered) artists shared with us how their workflow compared to their regular way of doing things.

Robbie: I aimed to push my hand painting skills further with the Challenge. I had recently finished watching the animated series Arcane and was in love with the art style. I tried to emulate this a little during the hand painting process. Time management was also something I was keen to focus on, as I’ve fallen short in the past and not finished two Challenges.

Svenja: One of my goals for the Challenge was to have fun with it, which is why I just enjoyed working in my comfort zone, without any special new techniques. In the beginning, I was unsure if I wanted to go for handpainted or stylized PBR texturing. Eventually, I decided on the latter because it’s the workflow I’m currently working with the most. Working in this style also allowed me to get things done much quicker compared to hand painting, which made the deadline less stressful for me.

Elsa: I followed my usual workflow. When it comes to handpainted props, I generally model the prop and jump right into painting its textures. However, it is true that I wanted to try the process of sculpting the high poly and baking the textures this time. That way I would have a base to start with, which is what I actually did for my first prop. However, the fact that I joined around a week after the production phase began made me a little bit insecure and I went back to my usual workflow, which gave me more time and peace of mind. Something new that I did try was experimenting with the VFX and creating different ideas in Photoshop to see which one would suit each prop best. It was fun expanding my skills in this area.

2nd place Untamed: When Animals Ruled the World – Prop Art (Rendered): Elsa Alexandra

Advice for Future Challengers

All of the interviewed artists agreed that for optimal ArtStation Challenge performance, one should remember to take time for fun and self-care.

Elsa: Plan your work ahead to have a good life/Challenge/work balance and thus have time for yourself. Spending too much time doing something can distort your vision and you may fail to assess the progress you have already made. That is why this is a good opportunity too. It helps you to engage in the community, to receive different points of view from other artists, and for you to help them with your support.

Robbie: Have fun with the Challenge! Post regularly, show images of your own work, ask questions on how other people created theirs, and try and set yourself a time limit for each part of the process to ensure you finish!

Svenja: Don’t stress yourself out too much over things like completing on time or asking yourself if you’re good enough to participate—in the end, I think the most important aspect is to have fun, so if you enjoy working on your submissions, you’re doing everything right!

3rd place Untamed: When Animals Ruled the World – Prop Art (Rendered): Svenja Rösner

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ArtStation Community Manager