CG Whiz Judge Lee Danskin: Tips for the Amateur Category

CG Whiz Judge Lee Danskin: Tips for the Amateur Category

CG Whiz 2011 has been open for entries for over a week now, and we’re already seeing lots of great work coming in. We know a lot of you will be hard at work on your showreels, so to give you some insight into what the judges will be looking for in the amateur category, we caught up with Lee Danskin, our Training Director and a CG Whiz judge since the competition started two years ago.

What will we be looking for from amateur entries?
Originality will be the main driver here. People need to get away from the usual cars and aliens approach and show us something that really stays front of mind. What matters most is good attention to base artistic skills, good proportions on models, accuracy and attention to detail. An entry that includes all this will catch the eye.

In previous years a lot of entries have been generalist, rather than specialised VFX or compositing, for example. What would you say to someone who isn’t sure what their specialism should be?
If you’re unsure of what your specialism is then the best thing to do is enter work that shows off your skills in the best light. We’re more interested at this stage in the amateur entries that show a person’s artistic take on the subject. If you win, we can help finesse your skills and find your niche!

What’s the most common mistake CG Whiz entries make?
People seem to think quantity is more important than quality. We get quite a few long pieces of dubious quality, that don’t have any real attention to detail or show off very artistic skills. It’s much better to concentrate your efforts in a shorter piece: remember, we want to see your talents as a CG artist, not a director.

Do you expect the standard of entries to be higher than last year?
As the competition keeps growing in size and people become more aware of it, the more diverse the entry pool becomes. This will only drive the quality up as each person tries to improve on what they've seen before.

Are amateurs getting better as the technology available becomes more accessible (i.e. more readily available, cheaper)?
Technology does not make an artist! The fact that you can hit 3 buttons and you get a generic image does not make you an artist. This is the mistake a lot of people starting out in CG believe. Knowing the technology, the software, is important, but what’s more important is having the vision and the talent to visualise an image, be able to recreate it and make it believable. That’s the real skill behind CG, and what we’re really looking for.

Thanks Lee! We’ll be looking at what people thinking about entering the professionals’ competition need to be aware of very soon. If you have any comments or questions for Lee, do let us know.


1 Comments Isabelle Duarte

Posted by
Isabelle Duarte
Fri 21 Oct 2011: 2:23pm

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  • Prantik:

    Nice Article. I might try putting up some work!

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