[ENDED] Sketchfab Modeling Challenge: Dune Buggy

Fire up your engines because this week we challenge you to model a dune buggy, upload it to your Sketchfab account, and tag it #DuneBuggyChallenge.

Full rules and prize details can be found in the blog announcement:


Hi, I don’t get it what means “suitability for real-time”.
what is real-time? history? trend?
would you please elaborate more?

I assumed low poly material optimized like you would for a game so I stuck with one material and kept poly count low. But I do see a lot of people used several materials and have 500k+ triangles.

“Suitability for real-time” refers to how well optimized your model is for display on Sketchfab. Millions of polys + several 8k textures, for example, would be less suitable for real-time display than 500k polys and a few 2k or 4k textures. Does that answer your question?


You all brought the spirit of adventure to your dune buggies! Thanks to everybody for participating. :desert:

And the winner is...

Ladybuggy [Dune Buggy Challenge] by @mdcrtv

Here’s what the judges had to say about the winning entry:

" I always love the original and creative designs and this one is both things. The model is perfectly executed and we can see some kind of different materials really well done. He used the colors in a smart way too, green & red they are complementary." - Kevin (@KevinCayuelaBorg)

“A standout take on the theme, executed with style. So many details to discover (thanks annotations) and post processing filters have been used super effectively.” - Tom (@nebulousflynn)

“Wow, at first one could overlook this one, but what a detail! Those keys!” - Mieke (@miekeroth)


Aww yee.

I kept it simple on the original model description – figured it would be more fun for people to discover the details on their own. But since the contest is over, I’d like to share some info:

The ‘7’ decal represented a seven-spotted ladybird. I left flat shading on the headlight glass so that the geometry would resemble compound eyes. The fenders might seem a little mismatched with the white, but those and the shell mounts are meant to resemble the secondary spots. The overall shape of the buggy is wide and rounded, echoing the shape of a ladybug.

The spare tires off to the side may seem a tad random, but they represent two extra legs, so there are a total of six ‘legs’ in the scene.

An earlier model had the fuel annotation on the gas cap, but then the idea of fuel jugs came to me. Ladybugs eat aphids… cars eat fuel… aphuel. Anywho… Added a couple jugs, moved the annotation, and the rest is history!

There is a rubber ladybug dangling on the end of they key chain and it happens to use the same texture file as the shell. Oddly enough, this isn’t split in my blend file. I’m not sure why that’s happening in sketchfab, but I’ll consider it a happy accident since it looks like the shell is opening for the wings to come out.

The drink was a brownish ancillary detail, but then I found the (kinda gross) fact about their blood defense and had to make it yellow.

A lot of the other details were less bug-centric and more in an effort to make it believably functional. Like the shifter having a linkage to the engine, wiring to all the gauges, plugs, etc… or the steering wheel having control arms to both wheels. Some last minute additions were the rear-view mirrors and baskets beside the seats.

There are only a few major texture files – the shell, leaves, hood and textured metal. I had to do some baking to convert procedural stuff to images, but it worked pretty well. I know the depth of field is a tad heavy-handed, but my intention was for it to look very small and to keep the focus centered on the buggy and not the leaf dunes.

I’m thrilled to bits that this won the contest, especially up against so many other fantastic models. So thanks again to all the judges and folks who liked it.

I don’t mean to toot my horn, but I really poured my heart into this model. Probably re-uploaded with edits and optimizations more than a dozen times… and can’t tell you how happy it makes me that it was deemed worthy of winership.

Thanks again!

1 Like

Congrats @mdcrtv, what a great entry! :slight_smile: