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‘Silhouette’ Takes Home Autodesk-Sponsored Student Project VES Award

The tech giant continues to support students and educators, providing skills, hands-on experiences, and credentials via free software; company tools were used by winning ArtFX School of Digital Arts student filmmakers and nominees for Outstanding Visual Effects in a Student Project recognized at last night’s 22nd annual Visual Effects Society ceremony. 

At the Visual Effects Society's 22nd annual VES Awards, held last night in Beverly Hills, California, ArtFX School of Digital Arts student filmmakers took home the award for “Outstanding Visual Effects in a Student Project” for the film Silhouette. For the 16th consecutive year, Autodesk has sponsored the award recognizing up-and-coming filmmakers.

“I’m inspired by the depth and breadth of student talent we’re seeing in this year’s thoughtful storytelling, character development, and visual effects,” said Autodesk’s director of Media & Entertainment marketing Leona Frank. “It’s an incredibly talented and creative group of artists entering the field. Congratulations to this year’s winners across categories and thank you to the VES for providing a forum for their recognition.”

The artists behind Silhouette include students Alexis Lafuente, Antoni Nicolaï, Chloé Stricher, Elliot Dreuille, Baptiste Gueusquin, and Marc Forest. 

In the short film, Claire is the young protagonist, isolated and living alone in a big city. As her loneliness takes hold, Claire’s body gradually disappears from the rainy streets of the futuristic metropolis.

Students tapped Autodesk Maya to model assets, rigging, and animation, with the open source mGear plug-in for Maya playing a crucial role in the rigging workflow. To simulate crowds in the city, captured footage was interpolated using EbSynth, an AI-powered tool that enables the transformation of live-action by painting over a single frame.

Silhouette wasn’t the only short film at the VES Awards to leverage Autodesk technology in its creation. Other nominees in this year’s student project category include:

  • Au 8éme Jour, a vibrant reflection on the world and its creatures, showcases how quickly balance is disrupted. The film is beautifully rendered with the tactile look of animals and sets fabricated out of cloth, thread, quilt, and yarn. Camels migrate across a blanket desert, birds fly through skies of intermingling yarn, and orangutans walk in fields of colorful flowers. The modeling, rigging, and animation were completed in Autodesk Maya and rendered in Autodesk Arnold. Nominees for Au 8éme Jour include Flavie Carin, Agathe Sénéchal, Alicia Massez, and Elise Debruyne from Piktura in France.
  • L’Animal Sauce Ail takes place in a small village where a charming cast of characters hunt, consume, and overexploit natural resources and creatures. This abuse eventually leads to an inevitable environmental downward spiral. The lighthearted short with an important message is created using Autodesk Maya for asset modeling, rigging, and animation and rendered in Autodesk Arnold. Nominees include Aurélien Duchez, Ysaline Debut, Diane Mazella, and Camille Rostan from Rubika Animation in France.
  • Loup y es-tu? tells the melancholy tale of Mischa, a young girl living on the outskirts of Moscow who fabricates a fabulous violin out of papier-mâché. She plays for the monsters who live in her apartment, but the less they listen to her, the more the wolf prowls near her. Filmmakers created the paper-textured handmade look world with Autodesk Maya for set dressing, lighting, and shading and Autodesk Arnold for final render. Nominees are Célina Lebon, Louise Laurent, Emma Fessart, and Annouck François also from Rubika Animation in France.

VES Awards nominees for 25 categories, including Autodesk’s sponsored “Outstanding Visual Effects in a Student Project” category, were selected by VES members from 25 countries at 39 in-person and virtual events worldwide during a 36-hour continuous process. The judging protocol included a review of each submission, including “Before and Afters” by three different panels.

A complete list of winners is available here.

Autodesk supports students and educators by providing the skills, hands-on experiences, and credentials via free software, including Autodesk Maya, Autodesk 3ds Max, Autodesk Flame, and Autodesk Arnold. Get more information here.

Source: Autodesk

Debbie Diamond Sarto's picture

Debbie Diamond Sarto is news editor at Animation World Network.