CGAfrica Competition: Legend Of Sango: The Third Emperor (3D Character Design) Sponsored by Framestore Winners Announced | CGAfrica

CGAfrica Competition: Legend Of Sango: The Third Emperor (3D Character Design) Sponsored by Framestore Winners Announced

CGAfrica | CGAfrica
13 Aug 2023

In the dynamic realm of animation, gaming, and visual effects, the CGAfrica Competition stands as a beacon of recognition and celebration for the finest talents emerging from the African continent. Among its many captivating categories, the 3D Character Design segment has taken center stage with the theme "Legend of Sango: The Third Emperor." This competition, proudly sponsored by the esteemed DNABlocks, Foundry,  Framestore and Animallogic, has drawn in a multitude of exceptionally skilled artists who have exhibited their prowess in bringing the vibrant past to life. In this exploration, we delve into the essence of the competition, the inspiration behind the theme, the remarkable winners, and the collaborative force of the sponsors that made it all possible.



Winners of the CGAfrica Competition 2022

The convergence of rich history and artistic expression within the "Legend of Sango: The Third Emperor" theme resulted in an intensely competitive field. Countless artists from across the African continent passionately embraced this theme, employing their imaginative prowess and technical finesse to reimagine the enigmatic Sango and his epoch. This profound cultural backdrop served as both a canvas and a challenge for the participants to capture the essence of Sango's power, wisdom, and divine aura. As the entries poured in, the competition reached a crescendo of talent, pushing the boundaries of 3D character design.

Selecting winners from such a fiercely competitive environment was no easy task, but the judges meticulously deliberated and awarded the top three positions to the following exceptional talents:


First Place

Denis N'guessan

Emerging victorious from a pool of exceptional talents, Denis N'guessan ascended to the pinnacle of the CGAfrica Competition's 3D Character Design segment. With a triumphant blend of artistic ingenuity and storytelling prowess, N'guessan's rendition of "Legend of Sango: The Third Emperor" captured the essence of this enigmatic figure in breathtaking detail.


In the realm of 3D character design, N'guessan's winning entry truly stood as a representation of the power of creativity, storytelling, and technical mastery. As he clinched the coveted first-place position, he not only earned well-deserved recognition but also became an emblem of inspiration for aspiring artists across the African continent and beyond.




With a creative prowess that resonated with the very core of Sango's power and enigma, Denis N'guessan's contribution rose to the forefront. His portrayal of Sango, brimming with regal strength and enigmatic wisdom, became an embodiment of the theme itself. The tapestry of his artistry wove Sango into a figure of might and reverence, reflecting the historical context while infusing it with a captivating contemporary flair. His portrayal echoed the grandeur of Sango's reign




The CGAfrica Competition 2022 witnessed an artist rising above the competition, embodying the very essence of the theme and showcasing the potential of artistic expression in the digital age. Denis N'guessan's victory serves as a reminder that within the realms of imagination and innovation, the lines between history, culture, and creativity can be beautifully blurred, resulting in works that transcend time and space.

Congratulations to Denis N'guessan, the first place winner of the CGAfrica Competition's "Legend of Sango: The Third Emperor" 3D Character Design category. May this accolade mark the beginning of an artistic journey that continues to inspire and captivate the world. 


Second Place

Arthur Wokocha

As the judges navigated the labyrinth of exceptional entries, Arthur's work emerged as a beacon of distinction. Although the topmost pedestal was secured by another, Arthur's second-place achievement showcased an artistic voyage that was nothing short of exceptional. His ability to capture the essence of Sango's enigmatic reign while weaving a contemporary narrative earned him the reverence of the discerning panel.


The second-place accolade stands as a testament to Arthur Wokocha's deft skill in navigating the realms of art and history. His work, an embodiment of meticulous craftsmanship and creative passion, demonstrates his ability to balance homage with innovation. With each brushstroke or pixel, he etched a visual chronicle that unveiled a slice of Sango's world, captivating the imagination and resonating with those who beheld it.




In celebrating his achievement, we celebrate the power of art to transcend time and space, weaving together threads of heritage, imagination, and skill. As we turn the pages of the CGAfrica Competition's story, Arthur Wokocha's name stands as an indelible chapter, a testament to the unbounded potential of creative expression.


Third Place

Nahom Seyoum

Nahom Seyoum, the third-place winner, brought a unique perspective to the theme "Legend of Sango: The Third Emperor." With a masterful touch, Nahom's work captured the essence of Sango's divine presence, infusing it with a mystic allure that beckoned the observer to delve deeper. His portrayal of Sango echoed with echoes of history, embodying the ruler's reverence as the god of thunder. The celestial aura, seamlessly interwoven with earthly might, created a portrayal that was both captivating and reverent.



Unveiling the Marvels of Creativity: CGAfrica Competition's "Legend Of Sango: The Third Emperor - 3D Character Modelling"

Stepping into the spotlight is the captivating 3D Character Design segment, and this year, it takes on the formidable theme of "Legend of Shango: The Third Emperor." With esteemed sponsorship from DNABlock, Foundry,  Framestore and Animallogic, this competition has summoned an array of exceptionally skilled artists to craft a visual ode to history. Here, we delve into the essence of the challenge, the legend behind the theme

Challenging the Imagination: Breathing Life into Emperor Shango

More than a mere competition, this challenge transcends artistic boundaries to resurrect the mighty Emperor Shango. Beyond the hues and pixels, it tests the creative mettle, the ingenuity, the imaginative prowess, and the modeling finesse of Africa's budding artists. It beckons them to take up the mantle of history and paint it anew with their unique perspectives. As the curtains rise, it's an opportunity of a lifetime to display their talents before the seasoned eyes of Africa's celebrated artists and judges, eagerly awaiting to critique and acknowledge these artful renditions.

Sequel to 2D, Elevating to 3D: A Glimpse into Emperor Shango's Realm

The challenge doesn't merely aim to bring the mighty Emperor Shango to life; it aims to ignite the sparks of creativity, ingenuity, imagination, and modeling skills within the burgeoning African artist community. It's a rare opportunity to unveil one's talents before the discerning eyes of renowned artists and judges, presenting a chance for critique, growth, and recognition.

As a sequel to the 2D design challenge that preceded it, this contest heralds a focus on the three-dimensional modeling of Emperor Shango, as depicted by the victor of the previous competition. The stage is set for artists to channel their vision, technical prowess, and cultural sensitivity to embody the essence of a historical icon.

About Shango: The Third Emperor

Shango, a name echoing through the annals of history, was not just a king; he was a royal ancestor, a symbol of power, and a force that shaped the course of the Yoruba people in West Africa. Hailing from the Oyo Empire, his rule was marked by unceasing campaigns and battles, and his legacy intertwined with the very elements of nature itself.

Described as a ruler with a voice that echoed like thunder and a mouth that spewed fire when he spoke, Shango was an enigmatic figure who commanded both reverence and awe. His rule held tales of whimsical displays of power, including the ability to conjure lightning and thunderstorms. The rich oral traditions of the Yoruba people paint Shango as a deity-like figure, one who could summon fire at will, yet had a restlessness that marked his reign.

Artists were tasked with a creative challenge that resonates deeply with cultural and historical threads. They were invited to reimagine Shango, not just as a king, but as an emperor—a ruler who united both strength and sagacity in equal measure. The competition beckoned artists to envision Shango as a man, as an icon, and as a figure whose legacy transcended time.

The Oyo Empire, in which Shango reigned, was a powerful Yoruba kingdom that stretched across present-day Eastern Benin and western Nigeria. Shango's rise to power was marked by daring feats and heroic exploits, tales that were passed down through generations.


Meet the Competition Judges


Omar Fernandes

Omar Fernandes is a 3d Artist from Guinea-Bissau, with over 20 years of experience. Omar started his career with Archviz and Advertisement and moved to AAA Games and major Hollywood blockbusters

With credits in projects like Grand Theft Auto V, Game of Thrones, Rings of Power, Ready Player One, and several Marvel and Star Wars projects, among many others. Omar currently works at ILM Singapore as a lead and supervisor for the Generalist team.

Federico Favaro

Federico specialises in creating testing and maintaining complex, but at the same time optimized and animator-friendly, setups for characters, vehicles, and props, either realistic or cartoony, as well as developing tools to help the animators or to improve the pipeline.
He has been working with Framestore for over 11 years and on so many movies including Avengers: Endgame, Avengers: Infinity War, Paddington, Gravity, Beauty and the Beast and so many more.


Our Sponsor

The CGAfrica Competition: Legend Of Sango is poised to be a groundbreaking event for the world of digital art and design, with a focus on 3D character design in Africa. At the forefront of this exciting competition is the main sponsor, Framestore , a name synonymous with excellence in the realm of visual effects and creative content.

Framestore 's involvement in the CGAfrica Competition speaks volumes about their commitment to fostering creativity and innovation in the digital arts. With a rich history of delivering awe-inspiring visual effects for blockbuster movies and advertising campaigns, Framestore brings its expertise to support emerging talents in the African digital art community.

The competition promises to showcase a diverse range of talents, and the sponsorship from Framestore will undoubtedly elevate the event's prestige. As a leading creative studio, Framestore's contribution extends beyond financial support. 

the CGAfrica Competition has garnered support from other notable sponsors: DNABlocks, Foundry,  and Animallogic.



Framestoreis a British visual effects, animation and production company with offices in London, Montreal, New York, Los Angeles, Bangalore, Mumbai, and Melbourne. It is one of the largest and most respected visual effects companies in the world, with a long history of creating groundbreaking work for film, television, advertising and immersive experiences.

Framestore was founded in 1986 by John Leitch and Carl Jones. The company quickly established itself as a leader in the visual effects industry, working on films such as The Dark Crystal (1982), Labyrinth (1986) and The Abyss (1989).

Here are some of Framestore's most notable works:

  • Gravity (2013): Framestore won an Academy Award for its work on the film's visual effects, which were used to create the film's realistic depiction of space.
  • Ex Machina (2014): Framestore created the photorealistic digital character of Ava for the film. Ava was praised for her realistic appearance and complex emotions.
  • Blade Runner 2049 (2017): Framestore won another Academy Award for its work on the film's visual effects, which were used to create the film's stunning visuals of a futuristic Los Angeles.
  • Coraline (2009): Framestore animated the stop-motion film Coraline, which was praised for its innovative use of 3D animation.
  • Rise of the Guardians (2012): Framestore animated the film Rise of the Guardians, which was praised for its fun and imaginative visuals.



Framestore is a company that is constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible in visual effects, animation and production. The company's work is consistently praised by critics and audiences alike, and it is clear that Framestore is a leader in the industry. Framestore, a powerhouse in visual effects and creative content, is no stranger to the world of imagination and creativity. By sponsoring the CGAfrica Competition 2022, Framestore reinforces its commitment to supporting emerging talents and celebrating the intersection of technology and art. 



DNABlock is a 3D animation platform that enables users to create 3D avatars and cinema-quality animated content with no animation knowledge or programming knowledge. The platform uses AI to assist users in the creation process, making it possible to create realistic and engaging avatars and animations quickly and easily.

DNABlock's flagship technology is called "Replikant," which allows users to create custom 3D avatars that look and move like real people. Replikant uses a combination of AI, computer vision, and natural language processing to create avatars that are both realistic and expressive.

In addition to Replikant, DNABlock also offers a variety of other features and tools that make it easy for users to create 3D animations. These features include:

  • A drag-and-drop interface that makes it easy to create and manipulate 3D objects
  • A library of pre-made assets that users can use to speed up the creation process
  • A timeline editor that allows users to control the animation of their scenes
  • A physics engine that allows users to create realistic simulations




In a world where the digital landscape is ever-evolving, DNABlock emerges as a significant player in providing cutting-edge solutions for the creative community.



Foundryis a British software company that develops software for the media and entertainment industries. Its products are used to create visual effects, animation, and other creative content for film, television, and games.

Foundry's most popular products include:

  • Nuke: A node-based compositing software used for creating complex visual effects.
  • Mari: A 3D painting and texturing software used to create realistic textures for 3D models.
  • Modo: A 3D modeling and rendering software used to create high-quality 3D models.
  • Katana: A real-time rendering software used for creating interactive visuals for games and other applications.
  • Hiero: A shot management software used to organize and sequence footage for VFX and animation projects.
  • HieroPlayer: A review and playback software used to view and share VFX and animation projects.




Foundry, a trailblazer in developing innovative software solutions for creative professionals, lent its support to the CGAfrica Competition 2022 as a beacon of creative excellence. Foundry's software tools have been instrumental in shaping the digital art landscape, enabling artists to push the boundaries of their craft. 


Animal Logic

Animal Logic is an Australian animation and visual effects digital studio based in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, Vancouver, Canada, and Rideback Ranch in Los Angeles, California. It was founded in 1991 by Zareh Nalbandian and Richard Baneham.

Animal Logic has produced a number of award-winning animated films, including Happy Feet (2006), Happy Feet Two (2011), The Lego Movie (2014), The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (2019), and Peter Rabbit (2018). The studio has also worked on a number of visual effects films, including The Lion King (2019), The Jungle Book (2016), and Avatar (2009).

Animal Logic is one of the world's leading animation and visual effects studios. It has won numerous awards for its work, including two Academy Awards, two BAFTA Awards, and three Annie Awards. The studio is known for its innovative use of technology and its commitment to high-quality animation.


Animal Logic is currently working on a number of projects, including the Netflix original film The Magician's Elephant, the animated feature film Leo, and the television series The Family Treehorn. The studio is also developing a number of new technologies, including its own virtual production stage.

Animal Logic is a major player in the global animation and visual effects industry. It is a creative and innovative studio with a strong track record of success. The studio is well-positioned to continue to produce world-class animation and visual effects for years to come.



A Collective Vision Materialized: The Path Forward 

We look forward to continuing to work with our sponsors in the future and bringing more opportunities and support to the African animation industry.

Congratulations to the winners of the competition and a big thank you to all the artists who participated. We look forward to seeing more of your work in the future.


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