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‘Song of a Toad’ wins SIGGRAPH’s ‘Best in Show’

SIGGRAPH 2017 will present the animated, student short film, created by Animationsinstitut alumni Kariem Saleh and Alexandra Stautmeister, with the award at a ceremony at SIGGRAPH in Los Angeles on July 31, 2017.

LUDWIGSBURG, GERMANY -- The student short movie Song of a Toad, created by Animationsinstitut alumni Kariem Saleh (director) and Alexandra Stautmeister (producer), was named “Best in Show” by SIGGRAPH 2017, the world’s most influential conference and exhibition in computer graphics and interactive techniques. SIGGRAPH 2017 will take place in Los Angeles from July 30–August 3, 2017.

The 3D-short film Song of a Toad was Saleh’s and Stautmeister’s diploma project at Filmakademie‘s Animationsinstitut. The movie tells the story of an ugly, fat toad who sits atop the main character Svobodan’s head. Since Svobodan suffers from the presence of the toad, he tries to get rid of it. Through this storyline, the film addresses peoples’ struggle with their own oddities and the desire to fit into a group.

The technically innovative film project benefited from the latest developments of the research department of Animationsinstitut, which were designed as part of the EU funded project Dreamspace. An experimental setup combined a real-time compositing prototype using The Foundry’s Nuke software, with a device that resembles a hand puppet. This device allowed artists to steer the movements of the toad and digitize them. The students were able to iterate various animation layouts within an established compositing workflow.

SIGGRAPH will host an award ceremony on July 31, 2017, at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Apart from Song of a Toad, two other student projects will be screened at the Electronic Theater as part of the SIGGRAPH 2017 Computer Animation Festivals: Elemental by Adrian Meyer (director) and Lena-Carolin Lohfink (producer) as well as Pirate Smooch by Tobias Trebeljahr (director) and Toufik Abdedaim (producer). At the SIGGRAPH VR Village, the audience will be able to experience the co-operative VR game Dream Makers by Dimosthenis Gkantzos (director/producer) and Aleksandra Todorovic (producer), which enables players to create virtual dreams.

Source: Animationsinstitut at Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg