San Rafael, Calif. - In an effort to inspire and equip students to create film projects that exceed their goals, Autodesk Inc., maker of 2D and 3D design, engineering, and entertainment software, sponsored the Visual Effects Society (VES) second-annual award for "Outstanding Visual Effects in a Student Project." Autodesk sponsored the annual competition to provide students with experience and software to help succeed in their careers.
The winning project was a film by Thilo Ewers entitled "They Will Come to Town," which received the honor at the 8th Annual VES Awards held recently in Los Angeles. Other award recipients included Academy Award winners James Cameron with the VES Lifetime Achievement Award and Dr. Ed Catmull, president, Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios, with the George Méliès Award for Pioneering.
Ewers began his winning project, which was inspired by a photo of the Brooklyn Bridge, by adding in some shadows to add depth, but he felt there was a deeper message to share. Utilizing Autodesk Maya 3D modeling, animation, visual effects and compositing software, Ewers set to work creating a project that had deeper meaning about the environment and global warming. With the help of a colleague, Ewers learned how to use Maya while he was creating the project. Ewers studied at the Filmakademie in
Ludwigsburg, Baden-Württemberg Germany, and now works at Pixomondo in Santa Monica, California.
"Winning this award is such an honor," Ewers says. "Creating this piece allowed me to expand my skill set and learn how to use valuable new technology, while gaining first-hand insight into film production. As I
grow in my career I am committed to making films that not only push the technology boundaries, but that also have meaning. I want the films I work on to have an impact on the viewer so they walk away inspired."
Autodesk provides students and educators with the tools and resources necessary to help students to be equipped and trained in their careers. Autodesk's online Education Community, which has more than one million members, provides students and professors with free copies of software, Autodesk MasterClasses and resources, in addition to its student licensing program, which is how Ewers obtained his copy of Maya.
"Seeing students create inspirational, meaningful projects such as Thilo's is encouraging and further validates our support for this program," Joe Astroth, PhD, Autodesk Chief Education Officer says. "We are thrilled to
learn that Thilo became proficient in Maya at the same time he was developing his project. Seeing his piece demonstrates the important role films play in our lives, and how the generation of students today will
create work that impacts and inspires filmmaking in the future."