We've requested a photo.SE style render contest before, but it never received much attention from SE. In light of the site redesigns taking place, now seems like a good time to revisit the idea (again).

For reference, the "photo of the week" on photo.SE operates on a single meta post where entries are submitted as answers:

This contest follows a new perpetual format with continuously-rolling voting. Submit and vote on photos whenever you like. Every Monday (give or take; it's done by hand when site moderators have a spare moment), the top-voted image will be selected as the winner, and:

  • moved to the Winners' Hall of Fame

  • featured on the main site header for the next week

Then, the contest will continue with the remaining photos in the thread.

Some additional ideas discussed for our contest in the previous meta posts include:

I'm not sure if any of these are feasible for SE to implement, but now would be the time to discuss them and other ideas further.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This would be cool. From time to time there are answers with pretty appealing images worthy of recognition $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 8, 2018 at 4:52
  • $\begingroup$ While this could be great, we've tried to do contests in the past (when we had a lot more "avid" users). When the third contest came around, there were hardly any entries. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 8, 2018 at 20:00
  • $\begingroup$ @X-27 That's one reason to go for a low-profile "rolling exhibit", exactly has photo.SE has; that way entries accumulate over time and never get reset to 0. Plus (as you observantly pointed out earlier) having the results on the main site can only help draw more entries. $\endgroup$
    – gandalf3
    Commented Dec 8, 2018 at 21:44
  • $\begingroup$ When I saw the title I never would of guessed that you were the author. $\endgroup$
    – David
    Commented Dec 9, 2018 at 15:04

2 Answers 2


I've always been against a "image header" contest. I still think it would not work.

This is a Q and A site, period. Adding an art contest deviates from our core mission, which is to be the best possible place to ask and get answers for blender.

Blender artists is a much better place for art contests. It is a forum, it has a whole contest section already, and there is a large active membership there to participate in the contests.

On BSE not so much. You we have lots of users, but that will not translate in to entries for the contest. Our core active users is rather small number of active users (by active users I mean the ones doing the work of the site, answering flagging, voting, editing etc.) Those are the only ones who would enter a contest, and of those we do not know how many would want to enter (I know at the moment I would not).

So with the precarious state BSE is in, I would much rather focus on keeping the site in the best shape we can (and dealing with the deluge of low quality questions), instead of pealing off some of our active users' precious time on the site and having them make pretty pictures for the site.
Essentially if you are going to spend time for BSE I would rather not you spend it making the "render of the week", we have lots of unanswered questions.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ A few years ago we had a decent sized community here. (NID/VRM, GCF, Scala, tardis, iKlsR, Gwenn, Gandaf, you, Myself, and probbaly a few others I'm forgetting. Now? GCF is still around, you and gandalf are still are active, I stop in occasionally, but Duarte is really the only active user around now that wasn't them. We still have (and might have more) avid users now, but a much, much smaller community. Contests are a community event, and we just don't have that many people left :/ $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 9, 2018 at 15:45
  • $\begingroup$ I think having a contest/gallery display on the front page would only help to build "community" and interest in the site. We're doing this for fun anyway; I really doubt the existence of a contest would impact normal participation negatively (quite the opposite). That said, our active users actually seem to be on a generally upwards trend. The particular people who hang out in the renderfarm may not be as active recently, but we are by far not the only active users. Who knows who may poke their nose into meta after seeing a pretty picture on the main site and become more involved from there? $\endgroup$
    – gandalf3
    Commented Dec 10, 2018 at 3:23
  • $\begingroup$ Note that with a scheme like photo.se there aren't any deadlines, so no incentive to drop everything and focus solely on making a render. For contests with deadlines and prizes, you're right, there are plenty of better options. As I see it, this would be less of a contest and more of a gallery of the best stuff people here have made, put to good use by spicing up the main page a little (think blendernation headers). $\endgroup$
    – gandalf3
    Commented Dec 10, 2018 at 3:27

Not just a render showcase, but a BSE-related render showcase

Candidate renders should ideally have originated from a Blender session started to research or to record a screencast for an answer.

The original BSE post should be linked.

It's ok if the original subject of the question is no more evident in the artwork, but the authors are encouraged to explain the link between post and artwork.

Something like:

In this question OP asked how to make equally-spaced random instances of objects from a collection along a curve blah blah blah. I made a minimal scene as an example for my answer (find it here), then I thought it could be made into a nice render by adding some blah blah blah.

Here's the final thing, hope you like it:



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