After weeks of scrutiny, our judges have determined the winners of the Sculpteo-sponsored character art contest leading up to the 3D Printer World Expo in Burbank, Calif., on Jan. 31-Feb. 1. In celebration of the inaugural event, 3D Printer World established contests for engineering models, jewelry, abstract art and character/creature art.

The character/creature art category was one of the more challenging ones to score. There were dozens of professional designs submitted from all over the globe, and the quality and variety of the models made it very difficult to choose the winners.

In reviewing the submissions, it became clear that the contest was essentially a tribute to what can be done with Pixologic's ZBrush in the hands of a skilled practitioner. The software's tools and ability to output extremely high polygon counts were used to great effect, impressing the judges and inspiring frequent use of the words "awesome" and "wow" in emails and during conference calls.

We owe a big thanks to Sculpteo for helping us confirm 3D printability, an important factor in judging, which unfortunately excluded some terrific models.  After getting that out of the way, it boiled down to concept, aesthetics and originality. The four judges, including 3D Printer World staff and Paul Gaboury with Pixologic, used a point system to arrive at first through fifth places.

All five finalists' models are being printed by Sculpteo and they will be showcased in a special contest display at the Expo. Designs from the other contests will be on display as well.

Without further ado, the five winners of the 3D Printer World Expo Character Art Contest are:

5th Place - $1,000

Christina Chun of San Francisco, California & Yacu Malik of Tampa, Florida


4th Place - $1,500

Thomas Davis of Northern Virginia


3rd Place - $2,000

Frederic Martrat Pavon of Vallirana, Cataluna, Spain


2nd Place - $3,000

Jefferson Estrabinio of Malmo, Sweden


1st Place - $12,500

Jesus Bibian, Jr. of Northern Illinois