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Autodesk Honors Promising Filmmakers with 5th Annual Visual Effects Society Student Award

For the fifth consecutive year, Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) 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 on February 5, 2013, in Beverly Hills, Calif. Chris Bradshaw, senior vice president at Autodesk, presented the honor to Jan-Marcel Kühn from Filmakademie for “Natalis.”

Visual Effects Society award winner, Jan-Marcel Kühn from Filmakademie (Germany) who was honored for ...

Visual Effects Society award winner, Jan-Marcel Kühn from Filmakademie (Germany) who was honored for Outstanding Visual Effects in a Student Project for the short film "Natalis" with Autodesk Senior Vice President, Chris Bradshaw. (Photo: Business Wire)

Filmakademie students Daniel Brkovic, David Kirchner and Jan-Marcel Kühn's graduation short, Natalis, 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 Spielberg (see related video) 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 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.”

About the Visual Effects Society

The Visual Effects Society (VES) is a professional, honorary society dedicated to advancing the arts, sciences and applications of visual effects and to upholding the highest uniform standards and procedures for the visual effects profession. It is the entertainment industry's only official organization representing the extended community of visual effects practitioners, including supervisors, artists, producers, technology developers, educators and studio executives. VES’s more than 2,700 global members contribute to all areas of entertainment – film, television, commercials, music videos, games and new media. VES strives to enrich and educate its members and the entertainment community at large through many domestic and international events, screenings and programs.

Autodesk Education Community

The 6 million-strong Autodesk Education Community offers training materials, access to the Design Showcase career center as well as more than 40 software products for free* — each with a 36-month non-commercial license. Students can download the same Autodesk software that professional architects, engineers and digital artists use to push the boundaries of design.

About Autodesk

Autodesk, Inc. is a leader in 3D design, engineering and entertainment software. Customers across the manufacturing, architecture, building, construction, and media and entertainment industries — including the last 17 Academy Award winners for Best Visual Effects — use Autodesk software to design, visualize and simulate their ideas. Since its introduction of AutoCAD software in 1982, Autodesk continues to develop the broadest portfolio of state-of-the-art software for global markets. For additional information about Autodesk, visit

*Free Autodesk software is for personal use for education purposes and is subject to the terms and conditions of the end-user license and services agreement that accompanies download of the software.

Autodesk, AutoCAD, Maya, MotionBuilder, Mudbox and 3ds Max are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries. Academy Award is a registered trademark of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. All other brand names, product names, or trademarks belong to their respective holders. Autodesk is not responsible for typographical or graphical errors that may appear in this document. © 2013 Autodesk, Inc. All rights reserved.

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