Autodesk Honors Promising Filmmakers with VES Student Award
February 7, 2013

Autodesk Honors Promising Filmmakers with VES Student Award

"Natalis" from Filmakademie in Germany wins outstanding Visual Effects in a Student Project Award.

For the fifth consecutive year, Autodesk extended its support for tomorrow's artists, animators, designers, and filmmakers by sponsoring the Visual Effects Society's (VES) award for Outstanding Visual Effects in a Student Project at the 11th annual VES Awards held recently in Beverly Hills, California. Chris Bradshaw, senior vice president at Autodesk, presented the honor to Jan-Marcel Kühn from Filmakademie for “Natalis.”

The graduation short film “Natalis” from Filmakademie students Daniel Brkovic, David Kirchner, and Jan-Marcel Kühn travels alongside an Android into forest foliage that unveils life-altering visions of the future. Tools from the Autodesk Entertainment Creation Suite, including 3ds Max, Maya, Mudbox, and MotionBuilder, were used to create lush backdrops, intricate characters, and whirling particle effects.

Established in 2009 in response to a challenge from Steven to recognize the amazing visual effects work being done by students, the award provides a unique opportunity for students embarking on a career in visual effects to gain wide industry visibility.

"Five years ago, Autodesk and the VES came together to invest in the future of visual effects through this annual student award. We're thrilled to provide this platform for incredible student work, and the amazing talent that we see year in and year out provides an inspiring glimpse into the future of the movie industry," said Jeffrey A. Okun, Chair of the VES.

Past award nominees have worked at leading visual effects houses such as MPC, Pixomondo, Glassworks, The Mill, and Psyop. While not a requirement, all of the nominees this year used 3D animation software from Autodesk to help bring their films to life. Handpicked from dozens of entries from around the world, such as ArtFX in France and Filmakademie Barden-Württemberg in Germany, the 2013 nominees included:

Voile Noir: Submitted by ArtFX students Michael Balthazart, Raphaël Gaudin, Clément Granjon De Lépiney, and Quentin Sauvinet, Voile Noir seamlessly blends live-action and computer graphics (CG) to recount the tale of two pilots on a mission to bring down the government. The team relied on Autodesk Maya to design all of the film's CG assets from fiery explosions to bomber planes.

Globosome: For this gorgeous short, animated with Autodesk 3ds Max and digitally sculpted with Autodesk’s Mudbox, Filmakademie students Sascha Geddert, Johannes Peter, Patrick Schuler, and Philipp Wolf portray a journey into outer space to observe the rise and fall of a new life form.

Rollin' Safari: In this hilarious entry by Filmakademie students Kyra Buschor, Anna Habermehl, and Constantin Päplow, overly rotund safari animals animated in Maya and Mudbox find daily survival tasks, such as stretching or grabbing a bite of zebra at the local watering hole, more complicated than ever.

"Every year we're blown away by the beautifully crafted original stories that these students create. The shorts not only illustrate keen artistry, but also a deep understanding of technology and how it can be applied to create a compelling story," said Chris Bradshaw, senior vice president at Autodesk. "We're proud to continue our support for this award and congratulate all of this year's nominees—can't wait to see what they do next."