SIGGRAPH 2010 Announces Computer Animation Festival Winners

Category: Siggraph
Chicago, Ill. - SIGGRAPH announces the Computer Animation Festival's Best in Show, Jury Award, and Best Student Project recipients for SIGGRAPH 2010 to be held in Los Angeles this July. Nominees were chosen from 750 submissions from around the globe, presented by both professional studios and students alike.

"It was difficult to narrow the pool of submissions because of the high level of quality and technical expertise," says Isaac Kerlow, Computer Animation Festival director from The Earth Observatory of Singapore/NTU ADM. "Attendees will experience an endorphin rush as they watch the screenings of independent and commercial films, and will get a behind-the-scenes perspective from the planned Production Sessions featuring the visionaries behind some of this year's most successful Hollywood films. Whether you are an industry veteran or someone who just enjoys quality visual effects and animation, there is something for everyone this year."


In all, approximately 100 films will be shown during the Computer Animation Festival. The Electronic Theater, the iconic and tribal SIGGRAPH experience, features an identical program three nights in a row, including most of the Jury Selections. Four thematic Special Screenings show the best in TV Commercials and Cinematics, Long Shorts, Student Animations, and for the first time a special focus on Chinese Student Animations. Truly an international event, the festival had entries from 49 different countries and five continents. Fifty-two of the accepted entries are international, and 18 countries are represented in the final selection.

Some of the year's top visual effects for feature films are featured in the Computer Animation Festival including Avatar, The Last Airbender, Sherlock Holmes, Iron Man 2, Prince of Persia, 2012, and Alice in Wonderland. Plus, eight Live Real-Time Demos, ranging from mainstream to independent work, also contribute to making the Computer Animation Festival a memorable experience.

Since 1999, the SIGGRAPH Computer Animation Festival has been an official qualifying festival for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences "Best Animated Short Film" Academy Award. The film "French Roast" became an Academy nominee in the Best Animated Short category after winning Best in Show at last year's Festival. For the third consecutive year, the Festival's screenings, panels and production sessions will be open to the public, allowing general audiences to get a glimpse behind the making of computer generated effects, visualizations, and animations that is rarely available.

A complete preview video of the 2010 Computer Animation Festival is available here.

For a complete list of films and images, click here.

Here are just a few highlights of this year's Computer Animation Festival films and Live Real-Time Demos:

BEST IN SHOW AWARD

"Loom"
(Germany)
Directed by Jan Bitzer, Ilija Brunck, and Csaba Letay
"Loom" tells the story of a moth being drowned in one of nature's complex cycles. "Loom" was the final project of Jan Bitzer, Ilija Brunck, and Csaba Letay at the Filmakademie Baden Wьrttemberg, Institute of Animation, Visual Effects and Digital Postproduction. The production time, including story development and preproduction, was one year. Credit: Loom © 2010 Ilija Brunck, Polynoid

JURY AWARD
"Poppy"
(New Zeland)
Directed by James Cunningham
"Poppy" is an independent short set on France's western front in World War One. Two New Zealand soldiers are trapped behind enemy lines. They find a baby in a muddy ditch, under its dead parents. One of the men wants to save it-the other does not. Based on true events, "Poppy" was written by the great-grandson of one of these soldiers. An innovative combination of motion capture with exquisite facial animation.

BEST STUDENT PROJECT PRIZE

"The Wonder Hospital"
(USA)
Directed by Beomsik Shimbe Shim, California Institute of the Arts
In this student project, a girl enters a mysterious hospital that alters her way of seeing beauty. She is given a choice between two images of her face, "Before" and "After". As she continues on this illusionary journey, she realizes that beauty is something very different from what she expected. Credit: The Wonder Hospital © 2010, all rights reserved by Shimbe

"2012" - The Last Fluid Simulation
(USA/Germany)
Visual Effects by Scanline VFX, Los Angeles/Munich
This reel shows the underlying technology that was used for more than 100 massive fluid simulation shots on "2012". Included are examples of fully computer-generated shots with massive tidal waves, simulated ice and snow, and, finally, the aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy smashing into the White House.


Assassin's Creed 2
(Hungary)
Cinematic by Digic Pictures for Ubisoft Entertainment
Stunningly rendered and animated, this cinematic narrative follows an assassin on the prowl in a street carnival, on his quest to reveal a secular conspiracy during the masquerades of the Italian Renaissance. Image courtesy of Digic Pictures © 2009 Ubisoft Entertainment. All Rights Reserved. Assassin's Creed, Ubisoft, Ubi.com, and the Ubisoft logo are trademarks of Ubisoft Entertainment in the U.S. and/or other countries.


"Animated History of Poland"
(Poland)
Directed by Tomek Bagi?ski, Platige Image
A tale about 1,000 years of Polish history in the format of a musical-visual poem. The story starts with the beginning of the Polish nation in the ninth century, and shows the most important events and processes that took place until the 21st century. The project is a presentation-educational piece produced for the EXPO 2010 in Shanghai. Credit: Animated History of Poland © 2010 Agnieszka Piechnik, Platige Image


"Guinness World"
(United Kingdom)
Commercial by The Mill for AMV BBDO
This commercial spot shows how a pint of Guinness comes to life when poured, opening with a man striking a match and lighting a rocket as a voiceover whispers, "It?s time to bring this place to life." There begins an exhilarating journey, bringing life to barren landscapes across the planet. Credit: Guinness World © 2010 The Mill

"Day & Night"
(USA)
Directed by Teddy Newton, Pixar Animation Studios
When Day encounters Night, sparks fly! At first frightened and suspicious of each other, they get off on the wrong foot. But as they discover each other's unique qualities?and realize that each offers a different window onto the world-the friendship helps them gain a new perspective.


"Suiren"
(Japan)
Directed by Tomoya Kimpara, wow.inc
"Suiren" is a poetic science-fiction visual music piece where the ocean is a symbol of life, and machine-seeds are born to devote themselves to the creation of beautiful creatures. Credit: Suiren © 2010 Tomoya Kimpara, wow.inc


"Upgrades"
(USA)
Directed by Anya Belkina, Emerson College
"Upgrades" is a hilarious and breakneck-paced animated parody chronicling major upgrades in computer graphics software. Set to the music of Rimsky-Korsakov's "Flight of the Bumble Bee".
Credit: Upgrades © 2010 Anya Belkina, Emerson College


"Making of Nuit Blanche"
(Canada)
Directed by Arev Manoukian, Visual Effects by Marc-Andrй Gray, Stellar Scene
In this reel we explore the making of "Nuit Blanche", an elegant and poetic short film that explores a fleeting moment between two strangers, revealing their brief connection in a hyper-real fantasy heavily dependent on visual effects.Credit: Making of Nuit Blanche ©2010 Marc-André Gray, Stellar Scene


"Visualizing Empires Decline"
(Portugal)
Directed by Pedro Cruz, Centre for Informatics and Systems of the University of Coimbra
This information visualization project narrates the decline of the top four maritime empires in the 19th and 20th centuries. A physics engine is used to build a visual mood that conveys the tone of the empires' decline.Credit: Visualizing Empires Decline © 2010 Pedro M. Cruz, Centre for Informatics and Systems of the University of Coimbra


"Cours Toujours"
(France)
Directed by Olivier Barrй and Elise Garcette, La Station Animation
An intrepid creature throws himself into a wild pursuit of a bird, which gets him into comically frantic situations. Credit: Cours Toujours ©2010 Olivier Barré, La Station Animation

"Making Love"
(Sweden, Live Real-Time Demo)
Quel Solaar
This game exploration demo is an exploration of the world of the procedural one-man indie "MMO LOVE". The demo also showcases the tools used to create assets, like sketch-based modeling, 100 percent automatic UV mapping, shader and asset management tools, and the layer-based procedural texturing tool.

God of War III
(USA, Live Real-Time Demo)
Sony Computer Entertainment of America
God of War III is the latest entry in the successful God of War commercial video game series and the first on PlayStation 3. It combines epic set pieces with exquisite fine detail, and its visuals display both technical and creative virtuosity.


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