Los Angeles/Ludwigsburg -- The diploma film Natalis, which was created at the Institute of Animation, Visual Effects and Digital Postproduction  at the Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg  and directed by Daniel Brkovic and Jan-Marcel Kuehn, received a VES Award in the category “Outstanding Visual Effects in a Student Project” at last night’s ceremony.
The 11th annual VES Awards are the second most important international award ceremonies next to the Oscars that honor outstanding achievements in Visual Effects. Natalis was one of four nominated student projects -- two of which were also created at the Institute of Animation: Sascha Geddert's Globosome and Rollin' Safari by Kyra Buschor, Anna Habermehl and Constantin Paeplow.
Director Daniel Brkovic, who has gained work experience at renowned VFX companies such as Pixomondo, Studio Soi and Framestore, complementing his Filmakademie studies, explains the creative process: “Felix Mertikat had the original idea for Natalis. He was so great to allow us to use it as the basis for our diploma film. We had to develop a solid pipeline as well as individual workflows and plugins to realize the project. With Motion Capturing, Facial Capturing and Muscle Rigs we entered yet unknown territory. We are overjoyed to win this VES Award and would like to thank our team and the Institute of Animation -- without its support the realization of this project would not have been possible.”
Natalis tells the story of EA, half woman, half machine, that walks through the native forest. She discovers a strange plant with cocoon-like leaves. Inside this cocoon floats a human embryo. As she touches the plant, EA experiences a vision: The embryo has transformed into ENKI, an insatiable monster that destroys the entire world. EA struggles to break free of the plant.
In addition to directors Daniel Brkovic and Jan-Marcel Kuehn and producer Philipp Wolff, the film Natalis features work by Technical Directors Tom Ferstl, David Kirchner and Karsten Wagenknecht as well as further students from the Institute. The detailed credits (including all contributing students) are found on the website of the Institute of Animation in the section Student Projects .
Watch the trailer and a making-of featurette, below:
Source: Institute of Animation, Visual Effects and Digital Postproduction at the Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg