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Autodesk Announces Recipients Of Masters Awards

Autodesk congratulates the recipients of this year's Autodesk Masters awards: Paul Neale, Dario Passariello, Andrea Maiolo and Piyush Patel. Through this annual program, Autodesk recognizes exceptional Autodesk 3ds Max and Autodesk Maya software artists and technical specialists whose work and dedication have significantly contributed to the advancement of computer graphics. The 2008 Autodesk Masters were announced Tuesday on Autodesk's AREA community website.

Autodesk 3ds Max Masters 2008

Paul Neale: Paul Neale, CEO and founder of PEN Productions Inc., has taught 3D animation at various leading Canadian colleges for more than 10 years. At PEN Productions, Neale excels as a Max script tools developer, technical director and rigging specialist for clients worldwide. He has also provided 3ds Max training to the effects staff at Walt Disney Canada, where he worked for almost two years. Neale is widely known for his support of the 3ds Max community through teaching, public speaking, production and the creation of training DVDs.

Dario Passariello: Dario Passariello lives and works in Palermo, Italy. Since 1999, he has been a trainer in 3D special effects, compositing and rendering using 3ds Max, mental ray, Autodesk Combustion and Autodesk Cleaner software. Passariello is currently a trainer at the Associazione Nationale Famiglie Emigrati (ANFE) in Regional Sicily for courses funded by the European Social Fund (ESF). He is an active participant in the 3D community via the Web -- writing a blog, creating tutorials and participating in forums to mentor aspiring 3D artists.

Autodesk Maya Masters 2008

Andrea Maiolo: Andrea Maiolo joined Industrial Light & Magic in June of 2001 as character technical director on STAR WARS EPISODE II: ATTACK OF THE CLONES. His other credits include: TRANSFORMERS, EVAN ALMIGHTY, ERAGON, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN'S CHEST, THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE, STAR WARS: EPISODE III -- REVENGE OF THE SITH, VAN HELSING, HULK, MEN IN BLACK II and FINAL FANTASY: THE SPIRITS WITHIN. Maiolo is credited as being a unique member of the computer graphics industry for both his contributions to the 3D community, and his technical developments, which have made a great impact on the way digital artists carry out their craft.

Piyush Patel: Piyush Patel has taught the principles of computer graphics, animation, and visual effects for over a decade. As a tenured professor at Northern Oklahoma College, Patel founded and developed the curriculum for a Computer Animation and Multimedia program, and conducted research on alternative methods of learning. He has also authored and assisted in the creation of nine college textbooks, and has produced more than 30 interactive training titles. Patel has received wide recognition for his work in educating artists and advancing digital art in Oklahoma. He is currently the CEO of Digital-Tutors, an organization that offers online training to millions of artists at top companies, government agencies, academic institutions, and studios around the globe.

The Autodesk Masters program, formerly known as Maya Masters, was founded by Alias in 2001. After Autodesk's acquisition of Alias in 2006, it was expanded to include 3ds Max artists and renamed Autodesk Masters. The program recognizes artists' outstanding achievements using the 3ds Max and Maya 3D modeling, animation and rendering software products. Artists that receive the Autodesk Masters award must have pushed the technical and aesthetic boundaries of computer graphics, and furthered the field through mentoring or technical contributions to the industry.

Each year, the members of the 3D animation community are invited to nominate their peers for this award. Later, the community is asked to vote for the Autodesk Masters from the nominated list. A panel of independent judges adjudicates the votes. For more information about the new Autodesk Masters and how to nominate a 3ds Max or Maya artist for this award, visit: http://area.autodesk.com/masters.

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