For the past three years, we have held a ‘CG Whiz’ competition, and one of the winners from last year just recently claimed part of his award by beginning a 12 week VFX course here at Escape Studios. We wanted to offer a little insight into what this opportunity means for Daniel, but, before we jump in, here’s a low down on the competition itself.
Last year the competition had two categories, amateur (for students, graduates and hobbyists who don't work in the industry) and young professional (who have up to three years’ experience in the industry). Anyone who fell into these categories was asked to submit a showreel, depending on their experience level. The showreels are then judged by members of Escape Studios, industry sponsors and partners, with the top three from each category getting a prize.
The 1st prize for the young professional category, sponsored by HP, was a 12-month online ZBrush for 3D Artist course from Escape Studios and a HP Pavilion Laptop. For the amateur category, 1st prize was sponsored by The Mill and was a 12-week VFX course at Escape Studios worth £10,000 and a 12-week work placement at The Mill in Los Angeles or London.
Each year that this competition ran, we had hundreds of applicants and were often overwhelmed by the high standard of work submitted. Many submissions were from people self-taught, yet with the drive, passion and determination to succeed in the industry. The competition is a great starting point, as it attracts those who want to entertain and leave people in awe of something they've created.
So, back to the main focus of this blog. The winner of our amateur category, Daniel Danielsson, has just started on his 12 week intensive course and we caught up with him to find out how his experience has been so far. And here's what he had to say;
“It's been a little over seven months since I nabbed the first prize in the amateurs category of the CG Whiz Competition. Now I've moved from Sweden to London, and I'm a couple of weeks into the VFX Production course here with Escape Studios.
Although I have yet to achieve good technical skill in Maya, I'm in quite a comfortable place creatively right now. I know just enough to play around, which is great. Because playing with the software for learning is hard to beat. However, I don't yet have a good grasp of the limitations of this program. Meaning I assume mostly everything to be possible, putting no limit on my imagination."
When we asked Daniel how he feels about the studios and the course, he had the most incredibly heart warming answer, saying “The Studios have already started to feel like home to me, which is probably what they will become more and more, as the class progresses and we get stuck into our individual projects. My idea is to build an old, torn and forgotten Grand Piano, just casually lying about in a back alley or actually preferably a graveyard. I find it hard to believe that in less than 4 weeks this will be possible, but if the course continues the way it has been, I know it will be.”
We wish Daniel and all the other students at Escape the best of luck as they continue with their learning. And to quote something Daniel said which made a lot of us smile as he signed off his blog entry, “I wish you all good topology.”