Last week, I had the pleasure of judging the short films produced by the graduating class of 2010, BA in Animation at the University of West England. The top prize up for grabs was our new Self-Directed ZBrush Course, and the top five contenders for the winning spot were (in no particular order):
- Control – Daniel Binns
- Ar Bick Ma Kung – Loh Eugene
- Escape – Sam Munnings
- Perceptual Illusions – Fedias Hadjixenofontos
- Forget Me Not – Lottie Kingslake
I was quite impressed with the talent on display and the quality of the work – which made my job that much more difficult! Each film was judged on the technical quality of the content. I specifically looked at animation, camera movement, use of lighting and shading as well as the overall length, style and story line. I felt it wouldn’t be fair to make a call on the videos’ artistic merits as that's quite subjective.
I also want to point out that I judged the films based on their content and not their suitability as showreels.
It was quite difficult to choose a winner but the film that stood out for me was Escape by Sam Munnings. The film had some fantastic camera work, from dynamic cameras to subtle pull focus, which makes for a great edit.
Sam, if you are out there reading this, I suggest you could improve it by rendering out a slightly larger version on the extreme wide angle shots, apply a lens warp then crop it back to the original size. If you are trying to add a more photographic feel to your shots, then stay away from using extremely wide shots as it will just give you the look of a bad wide CG camera. I'd suggest using a lens shader to give it some distortion instead. The overall length of the video is good, and really seems to suits its purpose. The lighting style was very nice but did appear very harsh in some places and the animation on the skater is a little too staccato and does not have enough fluidity to it.
Overall, Sam’s work has some nice touches throughout and shows a lot of promise. Well done Sam!
To view all the finalists showreels, check out the UWE BA Animation Graduating Class of 2010 website here.