autoPack Visualization Challenge

Challenge Sponsors: Prize Sponsors:

autoPack Visualization Challenge
16 December 2012 - 18 March 2013

We know about molecules; we know about cells and organelles; but the stuff in between is messy and mysterious… yet that is the level of magnification at which much of the action takes place: the scale of perhaps a few to several hundred nanometres… it is precisely here that our understanding remains the most patchy.
– Philip Ball, from the scientific journal Nature, 2003

Scientific visualization is a multi-billion dollar industry, which aims to investigate and communicate the realms that exist beyond our normal senses. In the molecular world of alien-looking shapes and bizarre physics, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) attacks critical immune system defense cells in human blood, causing the disease AIDS. This pandemic has taken over 33,000,000 lives, with millions more added each year.

Autodesk unites with two leading research institutes to challenge you to explore this mysterious world. They will provide competitors with a cellPack model of HIV in blood serum and a powerful open source app, called autoPACK. It is up to you to convey humanity's complex relationships with this virus, be they emotional, political, or intellectual. We need your help to excite general audiences with visuals that will help us spread interest in the search for a cure.

This is your opportunity to be a pioneer on the frontier of science!

For more information, please visit: http://www.autopack.org/challenge

AMD websiteAMD website

The cellPACK HIV model and autoPACK software are provided open-source by Art Olson's Molecular Graphics Lab at The Scripps Research Institute and by Graham Johnson's Mesoscope Lab at the University of California (qb3@UCSF). uPy interfaces for autoPACK by Ludovic Autin.


Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: How do I actually enter the competition?

    To join the challenge, you need to be a registered CGTalk Member (it's free). Go to the challenge webpage and click the green "JOIN CHALLENGE" button to enter. Once you have agreed to the terms and conditions the join button will change to a yellow "UPLOAD ENTRY" button, allowing you to submit your WIPs and final entry.
  • Q: Why must entrants be members of CGTalk or CGSociety?

    We need to be able to contact all entrants -- we have one registration system. This also means that all competition entrants are covered by the same set of Terms and Conditions.
  • Q: What deliverables are required for the Video entry type?

    - At least 2 WIPs (Work in Progress (either animated or static)) with a simple, but descriptive protocol that overviews the tools and techniques you used including use of the autoPACK app.
    - Final HD video submission
  • Q: What deliverables are required for the Still Image entry type?

    - At least 2 WIP (Work in Progress) with a simple, but descriptive protocol that overviews the tools and techniques you used including use of the autoPACK app.
    - Final submission
  • Q: What are the Final Still Image technical requirements?

    Minimum side: 1600 pixels
    Maximum side: 2560 pixels
    Any proportions
    File type/extension: High quality JPG / .jpg
  • Q: What are the Final Video technical requirements?

    Suggested Resolution: HD 720p - 1280x720
    Accepted file-types: (avi mov mkv mp4 flv)
    Maximum file-size: 500MB per upload
  • Q: Is it ok to use vray, RenderMan or 3rd party renderers for rendering?

    Yes -- you are free to use any software you like anywhere in the process as long as you use autoPACK to get started. Even camera footage sculptures, games, other types of artwork, etc. as long as the final product is a proper digital movie or jpg "of" your creation that was heavily inspired by the original model.
  • Q: Can I have multiple final entries?

    Yes, maximum of 3 per category (focus! don't spread your efforts too thin.)
  • Q: Are we allowed to use web downloaded textures?

    Yes, but you must credit everything you use. Anyone caught not crediting material, contributors or inspirational works will be disqualified.
  • Q: Do I need a paid CGConnect membership?

    Not at all! Our CGChallenges are open to all CGTalkers. If you don't already have a free account, get one here.
  • Q: How do we register our Team for the Team Video category?

    You can either assign a Team Leader to join the challenge and upload on the teams behalf, or register a new CGTalk account for the team.
  • Q: I want to submit an Image AND a Video, can i do both?

    You sure can, but you will need register separate CGTalk accounts to enter in multiple categories.
  • Q: How can I get out of this challenge?

    Just stop submitting.
  • Q: How do I delete/edit an entry?

    Select the entry you want to edit from the 'View My Entries' page, and click the blue 'edit entry' button (top right).
  • Q: Can I upload my WIP images to my own server? Is that counted?

    No. Please use the Challenge site facility to upload your Work-In-Progress. It allows us to track the entries properly, and guarantee continued hosting of all images.
  • Q: I'm using a new email but the challenge keeps sending stuff to my old one. How do I fix that?

    You go into CGTalk's UserCP (User Control Panel) and change your email address there. If you still have problems, email us.
  • Q: Is it ok to use vray, RenderMan or 3rd party renderers for rendering?

    Yes -- you are free to use any software you like anywhere in the process as long as you use autoPACK to get started. Even camera footage sculptures, games, other types of artwork, etc. as long as the final product is a proper digital movie or jpg "of" your creation that was heavily inspired by the original model. The only exception is if you plan to enter the Molecular Viewer Only Video category (see next question).
  • Q: What is the Molecular Viewer Only Category?

    This is a special category designed to give scientists who use viewers designed to look at molecules a chance to compete for a separate prize (rather than against professional animation and effect software packages). You don't need to be a biologist to compete in this category. To participate, you must export your final video directly an autoPACK supported Molecular Viewer with no post-effects other than compressing the file to a suitable movie for upload. You may, however, use 3rd party plugins for your molecular viewer. The winning entry for this category will be required to send their session files to the autoPACK developers to prove that only a Molecular Viewer was used. The developers write this software, so don't bother trying to fool them... we understand the rendering quality from these viewers will be limited so if you want to enhance your final, just put it in the Unlimited Category.
  • Q: Can I get trial or educational versions of the 3D software required for the challenge?

    Yes. Click on the Instructions page for links to demonstration versions of Maya, 3D Studio Max, and CINEMA 4D. You can search those pages for education versions of each package which are free for students and the Autodesk products are free for academics as well. The Molecular Viewers are free for academics. autoPACK is free and open-source for all users.
  • Q: My question wasn't answered above. What should I do?

    If you have additional questions or comments, please post a reply to the FAQs thread on CGTalk.

Proudly Sponsored By Back to Top