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Autodesk Congratulates 2007 Autodesk Masters Award Recipients

Autodesk Inc. has announced the recipients of this year's Autodesk Masters awards. 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 2007 Autodesk Masters were announced yesterday at Autodesk's SIGGRAPH User Group meeting.

The 3ds Max and Maya users honored as this year's Autodesk Masters were:

Autodesk 3ds Max* Allan McKay, visual effects animator and director of Catastrophic FX: In addition to his work on well-known films and game titles, McKay has given much back to the 3ds Max community -- writing, teaching, and releasing several Autodesk training products.* Donald Chen, 3ds Max technical director and chief modeler artist at Beijing Sheung Tak Jiabao Digital Technology Co.: Committed to research and development for computer graphics technology and art, Chen has helped to popularize the latest digital technologies, and has provided professional guidance to many universities, museums, websites, and industry journals. * Gary M. Davis, owner of visualZ, LLC: Davis teaches at the Planet Digital training center and FXPhD, and is the only training specialist in the world with combined certification for Autodesk 3ds Max, Autodesk Combustion, and Autodesk Toxik software. Davis has also contributed to Autodesk courseware and written for various popular trade magazines. * Jeff Hanna, senior technical artist at Volition: With more than 12 years of experience in the game industry, Hanna has contributed to numerous PC online game titles. He has also partnered with various companies and community sites to promote technical art and develop 3D tools and tutorials.* Marek Denko, senior digital artist at ImageFX: Born in the small town of Hlinik nad Hronom,Slovakia, Denko diligently taught himself how to use 3ds Max, without the aid of the Internet, video tutorials, or courseware. Today, his mastery of the software lets his artistic ability and imagination shine through in all of his work.

Autodesk Maya* Colin Penty, senior technical artist at Electronic Arts: Penty is a proficient Maya artist with impressive experience in the game industry. Throughout his career, Penty has enthusiastically mentored his peers, as well as his students at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. * Greg Brentin, supervising technical director at DreamWorks Animation SKG: Throughout his career, Brentin has always maintained close ties to the Maya software. He designed the Maya referencing-based pipeline for several DreamWorks films, and has worked with the Maya development team to extend the software's file referencing system, DAG and DG tracking tools, and scene modularity.* Lee Danskin, deputy head of 3D at Moving Picture Company: Danskin has worked in the visual effects industry for 16 years, starting his career at Alias. He was instrumental in the establishment of the 3D department at Smoke & Mirrors and has since become a mainstay of the U.K. visual effects community.* Marc-Andre Guindon, founder of NeoReel: A part of the 3D community since 1997, Guindon has established complex pipelines and developed numerous plug-ins and tools, such as Animation Layers for Maya. He has also led master classes for Alias and Autodesk, and authored a number of books in the Learning Maya series. * Rudy Grossman: Grossman's diverse skill set and in-depth knowledge of Maya for models, creatures, technical animation, lighting, and motion capture have been applied to numerous captivating blockbuster films. He has also led several Maya master classes, discussing topics from modeling and API plug-ins to rigging and skin simulations.

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 and makes the final selection. For more information about the new Autodesk Masters and how to nominate a 3ds Max or Maya artist for this award, visit: www.the-area.com/masters

The Autodesk Masters program, formally known as Maya Masters, was founded by Alias in 2001. With 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.

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