The Rookies 2018 winners have been announced
The coveted international student awards for film, animation, games, virtual reality, motion graphics and 3D visualisation has announced the victors after almost 10,000 entries
with the Rookies receiving a total of 9,971 digital projects created by 2,914 students from more than 87 countries worldwide, choosing this year’s winners for the Autodesk-sponsored awards was no small task. “it always seems so cliche to keep saying that the quality and standard of entries keeps getting better, but it simply keeps happening,” says co-founder of the Rookies, Andrew mcdonald.
the judging panel was tasked with picking a winner for the following: Feature Animation, Digital illustration, Visual effects, Game Development, Virtual Reality, 3D motion Graphics, Architectural Visualisation, Product Visualisation, Film of the year, and Game of the year.
“it was really eye opening to see the variety of artists around the world,” says this year’s Feature Animation winner Alvaro Zabala, discussing what he has learnt from the experience. “every one of them had a different approach to each project and i realised that one method is not necessarily better than the other.”
the deserved win is sure to boost Zabala towards his goal of becoming a character artist in the film or videogames industry and eventually towards sculpting his own characters and creatures.
winner in the Visual effects category, Asad manzoor, has also learnt a valuable lesson from the experience, “i’ve learned to not be precious about my work. i’d often spend so much time on one piece that before i’d know it, a month would go by, and i’d have nothing to show for it. setting strict personal deadlines and releasing shots even if i didn’t love them forced me to grow faster.” For manzoor, the win has cemented his love of seeing a project through from beginning to end. “i’d probably enjoy being a CG generalist or a concept artist, pretty much any role that allows for as much creative freedom as possible,” he adds.
there’s no doubt that taking the first tentative steps into the 3D industry can be a daunting time, as winner of the Game Development category Peyton Varney admits, “it’s exciting and scary. i think any career involving art can be hard because, at least for me, my art is an expression of who i am and a part of me that i am sharing with the world. the realisation for Varney has been that even after his
we are still constantly blown away with the quality and diversity of new talent Alwyn Hunt, co-founder of The Rookies
time as a Rookie comes to an end, he’ll never stop learning, “it takes a lot of time and dedication to constantly improve your skills as an artist. this never stops either, the industry is full of amazing talent and people with far more experience than me.
“i am not really scared by that, it just makes me excited to learn more and keep growing.”
each of this year’s winners were selected by a panel of industry talent that includes John Howe (famous for illustrating JRR tolkien’s fantasy world), Pavani Boddapati (CG supervisor, weta Digital), Rob Coleman (head of animation, Animal Logic) and 60 other equally respected industry veterans. the panel scored entries based on creative skills, technical skills, presentation, variety of skills, complexity, raw talent and employment potential.
A trawl through this year’s winners and entries will reveal a vast array of styles and skill sets, running the entire gamut of 3D and digital art. For Rookies co-founder Alwyn Hunt the sheer volume of high quality work makes the annual selection of winners an increasingly difficult task, “People are genuinely shocked when they discover how amazing the student work is these days. even after all these years we are still constantly blown away with the quality and diversity of new talent.”
Asad Manzoor cites Zdzisław Beksinski, Guillermo del Toro, Phil Hale, Junji Ito and HR Giger as huge inspirations on his work
Peyton Varney aims to capture moments in his work, with sights, sounds and smells of the outdoors often helping him to generate ideas
Alvaro Zabala believes that his work is a reflection of the cinema and classical art that influences him