The Best of CG Cookie: 2017 Edition

"Holy cow, it's tough to choose!"

- Literally everyone at CG Cookie, when asked to name their Top Gallery Picks of 2017. 

Tough choice or not, here they are, in their quad-, poly-, or brushstroke glory. Interestingly, everyone in our crew picked different pieces, showing just how much talent (and variety!) hides within our Gallery. This list is not in order of preference - nor is it complete - but shows a selection of images that we loved over the past 12 months. Enjoy, and let us know: what are your favorites?

'Tim Von Rueden's Robot in 3D' by Thomas Robb

This one is an amazing piece based on a concept by Tim Von Rueden. It not only shows an ability to pass 3D off as a 2D concept, it also shows the overall love of the Concept crew following Tim Vonn Rueden created. Seeing creations like this makes us happily emotional, and this 3D robot is especially close to our hearts.

'Dragon Knight Character' by Pierrick Picaut

From sick shield design to that incredible ready-to-jump-out-your-screen feeling, Pierrick Picaut does what he does best with this render: create an entirely believable yet fantastic character, with top notch modeling, texturing, and materials. The design is excellent and the execution follows through to the last detail. He went above and beyond with his Dragon Knight, even creating a full trailer for this beast.

'The Lunar Jungle' by Clayton Sjoerdsma

Clayton was inspired by the s vast, fairytale-meets-sci fi jungle landscapes from the movie Avatar, which he recreates with ancient looking ferms, atmospheric mist, and distant mountains that suggest the extraterrestrial location. And that's not even the best part: the vehicle itself is gorgeous, with its rugged worn look and perfectly crafted textures.

'Joi Study' by Konstantin Tamch

"Amazeballs" was the general consensus in the gallery comments for this one. As an illustrative study from a character in Bladerunner 2049, this painting is almost photographic in quality. The hair is beautifully realized, the clothes incredibly textured, and those eyes draw you right in.

'DSW Chairs' by Martin Edlund

With a render that looks like it popped straight out of the IKEA catalogue (which now uses more renders than actual photos) Martin Edlund shows that archviz, when done well, can feel alive: from beautifully natural light to a wrinkle on the carpet.

'Night Walk' by Ayrat Adynaid

Only a few artists can tell a story with a single image - Ayrat Adynaid shows he is one of them, with his "Night Walk" that makes the relatable sensation of solitude within a metropolis feel almost tangible. His use of reflections enhances the atmospheric feel of the piece and the contrast between light and shadow captures the mood perfectly.

'Luanna' by Nazar Noschenko

Every new piece by Nazar Noschenko inevitably ends up within our Staff Picks section, and this one is no different. Luanna (based on YouTube's Luanna Perez) is the latest of his cool chicks, bursting with attitude and personality. Nazar masterfully blends the line between realism and stylization making you look twice at each of his characters to check whether it's a render or a beautifully painted Photoshop piece. Also, can we say - look at that hair! 

'SL 500' by Pavka Goncharov

SL 500 2006

Normally we don't consider photographs for our "best of" picks, but we'll make an exception here... :P Nah, if you can believe it, this is a render! Pavka's exterior and interior vehicle renders are exquisite. The attention to detail is spot on as is the modeling, shading, and lighting. Beautiful.

'The Martian' by Todor Nikolov

Creating realistic models, especially of real people, can be quite difficult. Todor, however, nailed everything from the sculpting to the texturing and lighting. The attention to detail in the skin tone and details makes this character model stand out among the rest.

'Lost Attic' by Starfash

What a cinematic scene! Inspired by Gleb Alexandrov and with a poem to top it off, this artwork is expertly crafted and rich with purpose. Makes me want to visit my parents' basement to rummage through old memories. 

Your turn: Which Gallery Images Did You Love in 2017?

Again, these are just a few of the images that stood out and made us look twice (and more) this year. For more, browse the 'Staff Picks' section in the Gallery, then let us know - which ones are your favorites?

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