German Students Win VES Award
February 14, 2012

German Students Win VES Award

SAN RAFAEL, CA — Students from Filmakademie Baden-Wuertemberg School were recently honored with a VES Award for “Outstanding Visual Effects in a Student Project.” The Award was sponsored by Autodesk, demonstrating the company’s ongoing commitment to inspiring students of all ages imagine, design and create a better world.
The winning project — "a.maize" — was created by Roman Kaelin, Falko Paeper and Florian Wittmann of Filmakademie Baden-Wuertemberg in Ludwigsburg, Germany. Using computer animation created with Autodesk Softimage software, the students produced a short film that captures the anticipation and excitement surrounding the industry's annual FMX animation conference. This is the third time in the award's four-year history that students from Filmakademie Baden-Wuertemberg have won.

"We wanted the FMX trailer to showcase how the conference brings people and ideas together, and filling the city of Stuttgart with giant popcorn pieces was a way for us to convey amazement and wonder. We created the popcorn pieces with Autodesk Softimage and particularly with ICE (the Softimage Interactive Creative Environment)," explains co-director Roman Kaelin. "Winning the VES Student Award was a complete surprise, and we are honored and very happy."

The VES "Outstanding Visual Effects in a Student Project" award was created in 2009 as the result of a challenge to the VES by Steven Spielberg to recognize the future of the visual effects industry. Submissions were received fro around the world and while it was not required to use Autodesk tools, many students employed the software.

The following is a list of submissions:

- a.maize - Submitted by Filmakademie, Baden-Wuertemberg. Students: Roman Kaelin, Falko Paeper, and Florian Wittmann. WATCH
- Aquatic Bloom - Submitted by School of Visual Arts, New York. Students: Susie Hong and Bokyeong Kim. WATCH
- Defective Detective - Submitted by Ringling College. Students: Avner Geller and Stevie Lewis. WATCH
- Hai Hase - Submitted by Filmakademie, Baden-Wuertemberg. Students: Florian Greth and Julia Reck. WATCH
- Renee the Movie - Submitted by DAVE School. Students: Syrena Edmonds, Zack Heimbegner, Brian Mullen, and Nathaniel Skinner. WATCH
- We Miss You - Submitted by Filmakademie, Baden-Wuertemberg. Students: Jann Doeppert, Tonio Freitag, Hanna Maria Heidrich, and Sebastian Nozon. WATCH

"Every year by the quality and art that we see in our student awards category completely blows our socks off,” says Jeffrey A. Okun, chair of the VES. a.maize is a tremendously exciting work of art that uses the same technology and tools as industry professionals to produce the visual effects."