Anders Langlands, (left) one of the speakers at AEAF, and Keith Miller from Weta Digital attended the Awards Night to receive a Gold Award for 'War for Planet of the Apes' and Silver for 'The Jungle Book', both in the Feature Film VFX category.
AEAF Awards Announces 2017 Winners
AEAF 2017 was held on 16 August with a full day of top speakers and an Awards event that brought together artists from around the world at the Chauvel Cinema in Sydney. All speakers shared truly fascinating details and valuable tips from their work, and gave insights into their approaches to projects that ranged from commercials to television shows to movies. Their generosity was also inspiring, and the large audience was very appreciative. The speakers this year came from Animal Logic, MPC, Weta Digital, ILM, Iloura, The Sequence Group, Buck and Rotor Studios. See details of the speakers here and watch this space for more details of their presentations - coming soon.
In the evening, AEAF's annual Awards Night took place at the same venue, starting off with a social event, drinks and networking at the Chauvel bar ahead of a screening of the Award winning projects and finalists' work. See all of the winners in each category listed at the end of this article.
Feature Films VFX
Feature Films VFX received the greatest number of entries ever in AEAF's history. The Gold Award went to Weta Digital for 'War for Planet of the Apes', the first award the film has won since its release in July. AEAF is also the first film awards event it has entered.
The Feature Film Silver Award was shared between MPC and Weta Digital for their work on 'The Jungle Book', recognising the creature, environmental and effects work the two teams accomplished for an entirely blue screen production. MPC's photoreal jungle defined the film's world for audiences, and their animals were lead characters in the story, requiring their VFX supervisors to contribute, from the very start, to script and storyboard development and guide the filming on set. Weta Digital accomplished complex work on the monkey population and the creatures' close interaction with the story's hero Mowgli.
Sheldon Stopsack from MPC, AEAF speaker, took home the team's Feature Film VFX Silver Award for 'The Jungle Book' and Special Merit Award for 'Ghost in the Shell'.
Bronze Feature Film winner at AEAF was ILM for 'Kong: Skull Island'. Their work not only added to the scale, complexity and character of Kong compared to earlier iterations in previous 'King Kong' movies but also created the island's fantastic creatures, Kong's massive battles and the helicopter sequences, and enhanced the Skull Island set in Vietnam.
Apart from these winners the AEAF organisers feel extremely honoured to have received 18 other Feature Film VFX entries. This includes the work Weta Digital completed for 'Valerian and The City of a Thousand Planets', also released so recently that it has also not been entered into any other film festivals. Other entries include 'Ghost in the Shell' from MPC, 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them' from Framestore, 'Logan' from Rising Sun Pictures and 'Deepwater Horizon' from Iloura. 'Doctor Strange' sequences were submitted by Luma Pictures, Framestore and ILM. Several of the projects mentioned here received Special Merit Awards.
VFX Supervisor Anders Langlands gave a talk at AEAF on the development of the animation - body motion capture, facial performance capture and keyframing - plus the fur system, environments, water, ecosystem growth and other tools at Weta Digital through the series of the three films in the Planet of the Apes series. More information on this talk, and all others, will follow shortly in another article at Digital Media World.
Jeff Capogreco from ILM Singapore, also a speaker at AEAF, poses with the Feature Film VFX Bronze Award for 'Kong: Skull Island'.
TV Series entries were outstanding. Rodeo FX scooped Gold for their work on environments and water, fire and explosion FX in Season 6 of 'Game of Thrones'. Aerial shots requiring compositing of Rhythm & Hues' dragons over Rodeo's environments and exploding ships looked terrific on the cinema screen at the Awards event. BlueBolt won Silver for their massive CG set extensions of period London in 'Taboo', filling docks and harbours with cargo ships and replacing views along the Thames with matte paintings and historical CG buildings and towers. The Bronze Award went to Screen Scene for the detailed, accurate enhancements and extensions to sets in 'Ripper Street'. After five seasons, Screen Scene's work is now an essential element of this series.
Both Rodeo FX and Screen Scene earned a Special Merit Award for invisible Effects and set extensions in the new drama series 'Black Sails'.
The Commercials categories again received the largest number of entries and some terrific work. In Commercials Animation, the top Gold Award went to MPC for their funny, emotional live action Christmas spot for John Lewis, 'Buster the Boxer', and Passion Pictures won Silver for their 3D animation 'Mega City' for James Wellbeloved. Buck's stylised CG stop motion project 'The Innovator' for Woolmark earned Bronze.
Such close competition between a large number of teams in this category resulted in several Special Merit Awards as well including Gentleman Scholar's 'Mia & Morton' for Dairy Farmers of Canada and the valiant flying 'Ostrich', a heroic photoreal story created at MPC for Samsung. The Domestos Grime Minister from Outpost VFX, Sainsbury's 'The Greatest Gift' by Passion Pictures and 'Cashback Credit Card' for Standard Chartered by Cirkus all received Special Merit as well, plus a serene animation from Psyop, 'La Mer: Part II' for Este Lauder.
Rodeo FX took the TV Series Gold Award for 'Games of Thrones' Season 6.
Commercials VFX brought another long lineup of stellar entries. It is good to see that longer form spots are coming into their own with interesting scripts, high production values and expert VFX. The 'Straw City' PSA, Gold winner, created for the FDA from the Alt.vfx team is a brilliant blend of live action actors in wolf and pig costumes, composited with animal heads showing facial animation that delivers the spot's warning against smoking, all in a city of pigs complete with straw-covered skyscrapers. MPC's Heineken commercial won Silver, features a whirlwind of faultless transitions from a snowy mountain peak, to outer space, to a trendy night club - and lots of other places. The Jose Cuervo spot 'Tomorrow is Overrated' from Electric Theatre Collective, earning Bronze, tells a story of pathos, drama, love and humour under a storm to end all storms.
Special Merit also went to Framestore for perfect compositing of new footage of actor George Clooney into classic movies shot on film, ranging from 'Psycho', inside a car on a dark night, to 'Easy Rider' on a Harley in full sunshine. The Embassy's 'Return of the Snowman' was recognised for its handling of a great story and an army of photoreal snowmen. Fin Design + Effects showed a Hyundai i30 plummeting to earth from the edge of space, driving out unscathed from a mighty cloud of dust combining practical and CG explosions and dirt through an expert VFX pipeline.
Experiences - VR and 360
The VR Experience and 360 Virtual Reality categories have been fun and exciting to feature at AEAF. Since last year, the first time it was included, both have expanded tremendously. Experience The Pulse won Gold for the INFINITI IQ motorshow experience they created for Nissan, really using the opportunity to try new techniques in VR. Framestore's neat Google Daydream project exploring the world of 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them' won Silver, and Traffik took home Bronze for a VR team game played at Clipsal 500 motor races called Shell V-Power Virtual Pitstop.
Live Event brought another collection of beautiful projects, as it did last year with many entries from the Vivid Festival in Sydney. Winning Gold was 'Organic Vibrations' from the Danny Rose Collective, which morphed Sydney's MCA building into new shapes with mesmerising projected 3D motion graphics. Ample Projects picked up Silver for their illuminated jungle animation 'Light For The Wild' projected onto the entrance of Taronga Zoo, and Spinifex Group's 'Audio Creatures' literally brought the Opera House to life with brilliantly coloured organic and mechanical creatures.
Student work is always surprising. Amael Nicolas from Marseilles won the Gold Award for a 2D/3D animated graduation film with a deceptively simple, glowing colour palette and linework as creatures and environments morph and blend over a jazz soundtrack. The Silver Award went to Julz Lane's 'Future Primitive' titles project showing a dark, moody post apocalyptic landscape, and Elizabeth Poole won Bronze for her very creative, illuminated fox that leaps into a live action environment, creating a warm light in a night time scene.
AEFA AWARDS WINNERS 2017
Katie Mackin from Passion Pictures received their team's Silver Commercials Animation Award for 'Mega City'
Feature Film VFX
War for the Planet of the Apes - Weta Digital GOLD
The Jungle Book - Weta Digital SILVER
The Jungle Book - MPC SILVER
Kong: Skull Island - ILM BRONZE
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - Framestore SPECIAL MERIT
Ghost in the Shell - MPC SPECIAL MERIT
Valerian and The City of a Thousand Planets - Weta Digital SPECIAL MERIT
Assassin's Creed - Cinesite
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 - Framestore
Doctor Strange - Framestore
xXx: The Return of Xander Cage - RSP
Logan - RSP
Deepwater Horizon - ILM
Doctor Strange - ILM
Rogue One - ILM
John Wick: Chapter 2 - Iloura
Deepwater Horizon - Iloura
Passengers - MPC
Ghostbusters - MPC
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - Rodeo FX
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 - Weta Digital
Doctor Strange - Luma Pictures
Commercials - Animation
BUCK earned the Commercials Animation Bronze Award for CG stop motion project 'The Innovator'. Gareth O'Brien, left, was also a speaker at AEAF.
John Lewis - Buster the Boxer - MPC GOLD
James Wellbeloved - Mega City - Passion Pictures SILVER
Woolmark - The Innovator - BUCK Design BRONZE
Samsung - Ostrich - MPC SPECIAL MERIT
Domestos - Grime Minister - Outpost VFX SPECIAL MERIT
Mia & Morton Gentleman Scholar SPECIAL MERIT
Standard Chartered Unlimited - Cashback Credit Card - Cirkus SPECIAL MERIT
Sainsbury's - The Greatest Gift - Passion Pictures SPECIAL MERIT
La Mer: Part II - Este Lauder - Psyop SPECIAL MERIT
Mercedes Benz E Class - Ambient Lighting 64 Colours - The Post Bangkok
WandaReignHotel : The Lion - The Post Bangkok
Clipsal 500 - Motorbeast - Resin
Selfridges - Material World - Strange Beast
BBC - Rio Olympics - Passion Pictures
Dior - Light of Stars - Zeppelin Pictures
Betadine - Multiply - Cutting Edge
Cairns Regional Council - Cutting Edge
Aldi - The Amazing Christmas Carrot - Psyop
Fisherman's Friend - Vandal
Sultana Bran - Goldie - Vandal
Murdoch University - Free Your Think - Vandal
El Jimador - Old ID - Bent Image Lab
YP Dine - Living Room - Bent Image Lab
Honda - Utility - Bent Image Lab
Spring Fashion Week - Visual Playground
The All New HINO 500 Series Wide Cab - Redboat
Beyond the Cloud - Dans Digital
Nutella - Food Truck Recipes - Poke The Bear
Slack - The Sequence Group
KFC - Hand Cookin' - BUCK Design
Aperol - The Adventures of Orange - BUCK Design
Myer - Wonderland - Sixty40
FDA - Straw City - Alt.vfx
Toyota C-HR - The Thrill of the Next - Alt.vfx
Commercials - VFX
'Straw City' created by Alt.vfx was Gold winner in the Commercials VFX category.
FDA - Straw City - Alt.vfx GOLD
Heineken Cities - The Trailblazers - MPC SILVER
Jose Cuervo - Tomorrow is Overrated - Electric Theatre Collective BRONZE
Nespresso - Comin' Home - Framestore SPECIAL MERIT
Nissan Rogue - Return of the Snowman - The Embassy SPECIAL MERIT
Hyundai - Fall - Fin Design + Effects SPECIAL MERIT
Ferrero Rocher - Rolling - Rising Sun Pictures SPECIAL MERIT
Cathay Pacific - The Embassy
nbn Business - Engine
Walmart - The Gift - ZERO VFX
Toyota C-HR - The Thrill of the Next - Alt.vfx
Hahn SuperDry - Never Settle - Alt.vfx
Honda Civic - Chase It - Alt.vfx
PEPSI Strong - Momotaro Episode 4 - Alt.vfx
Toyota - The Making of the new Vitz Story - Alt.vfx
Optus - Speed of Bolt (Director's Cut) - Oh Yeah Wow
Toyota C-HR - Crossover the World - Juice
BMW M4 - Factory - Juice
Dell - It’s not Magic - Framestore
Ethanol (E10) Endorser Spot - New Holland Creative
AboutYou - Timelapse - Neverest
Transformers: Forged to Fight - The Sequence Group
Spotlight on Alfred Hitchcock - the funktion
American Express - Meet With and Without - ZSPACE
Landing - Dans Digital
Dreams-on-Logo - Dans Digital
Gift - Dans Digital
Flexit Gym - Wagga Promo - House of Heathen Media
Game of Thrones Season 6 - Rodeo FX GOLD
Taboo - BlueBolt SILVER
Ripper Street series 5 - Screen Scene BRONZE
Black Sails Season 4 - Rodeo FX SPECIAL MERIT
Black Sails - Screen Scene SPECIAL MERIT
The Leftovers: Season 3 - Iloura
Black Mirror: Hated in the Nation - Jellyfish Pictures
Woolfblood Season 5 - Jellyfish Pictures
Hunters - Resin
Education & Infographic
Sam Doust of Latchkey won the Gold Award in Education and Infographics for the elegant, atmospheric project 'The Lounge' featuring the Sydney Opera House.
Sydney Opera House - The Lounge - Latchkey GOLD
Vandal won the Silver Award in Education and Infographics for 'Tetris', created for TEDx Sydney.
TEDx - Tetris - Vandal SILVER
BHP Billiton - Maths is Life - Nick Did This BRONZE
White Pages - Bees - Deloitte Digital
Qantas - Ready for Take Off - Engine
Todd Sampson's Body Hack - Essential Media & Entertainment
Disaster Risk Reduction - Fluffy Cloud Media
Midatech - Lucid Edge
King Living - King Cloud III - Mister
HFC - Motionlab
Virgin - Data Gifting - Vandal
LaTrobe - Cybersecurity - Visual Playground
Transurban Investor Relations Day - Yes Captain
Telehealth - Fluffy Cloud Media
Reggie and Friends - Hackett Films
Semi Permanent Festival 2017 - Framestore GOLD
The team from Cutting Edge took home a Silver Award for their Event Opener made for Macquarire Telecom.
Macquarie Telecom - Cutting Edge SILVER
Scott Geerson at Substance poses with his Bronze Event Opener Award for 'Únconventional'.
TEDx Sydney 2017 - Unconventional - Substance BRONZE
AEAF Festival Titles - Substance
NodeFest 2016 - Yes Captain
Plastic Wax scored two Game Trailer Awards, Gold for 'Evil Within 2' and Silver for 'Civilization 6'.
Evil Within 2 Trailer - Plastic Wax GOLD
Civilization 6 Launch Trailer - Plastic Wax SILVER
Forza NASCAR - Jumbla BRONZE
Star Wars Commander: Rogue One Expansion - The Sequence Group
Transformers: Forged to Fight PAX East 2017 - The Sequence Group
Lines Are Redrawn Trailer - Plastic Wax
League of Legends: Ivern Character Reveal - Jumbla
Blackstone - Jumbla
Forza Apex - Jumbla
Doctor Strange - Luma Pictures
Idents and Stings Broadcast
MTV - On The Go - Engine GOLD
Hackett Films' James Hackett won a Silver Idents & Stings Broadcast Award for their lively DisneyXD animation.
Disney XD - Hackett Films SILVER
SBS' Lunar New Year motion graphic 'Fire Rooster' received the Bronze in Idents & Stings.
SBS Lunar New Year - Fire Rooster - SBS Television BRONZE
Comedy Central - Amuse Yourself - Engine
Organic Vibrations - Danny Rose Collective GOLD
Light For The Wild - Vivid at Taronga 2017 - Ample Projects SILVER
'Audio Creatures' from Vivid Festival's opening night won a Bronze Award for Spinifex Group.
Audio Creatures - Vivid Festival 2017 - Spinifex Group BRONZE
Urban Tree 2.0 - Ample Projects
The Body of the Sea - Danny Rose Collective
A Day in the Light - Danny Rose Collective
Tidal - Hatch
Bosch By Night - 500 Years of Hieronymus Bosch - Mr. Beam
Singapore National Gallery White Night Festival Projection - Spinifex Group
Woolworths Projection Dome - Visual Playground
ANZ Breakpoint - Deloitte Digital
Kool Keith X MF Doom - Super Hero - Aardman Nathan Love GOLD
Aesop Rock - Shrunk - Bent Image Lab SILVER
Hayden James - Just a Lover - SPLINTR BRONZE
Kate Martin - Set My Life to Fire - Oh Yeah Wow
Agent 327: Operation Barbershop - Blender Animation Studio GOLD
Otherhalf - Framestore SILVER
Mirari&Co. won the Bronze Award in Short Film for in-house project 'The Heart of Sky'.
The Heart of Sky - Mirari&Co. BRONZE
Martha the Monster - Goodman Brothers SPECIAL MERIT
Valley of the Kith - Jumbla
Ten to the minus forty three second - Francis, Miyu Productions
Hippocampe - Sauce Curie GOLD
Future Primitive Titles - Julz Lane SILVER
The Fox Lantern - Elizabeth Poole BRONZE
Elizabeth Poole won the Bronze Student Award for her animation project 'The Fox Lantern'.
Stormlight - David Fonti
WAKE - Daniel Braga, Julz Lane
Mutonia Burnout Titles - John Power
Titles/Openers - Feature Film
Doctor Strange main-on-end title sequence - Sarofsky GOLD
The Sequence Group won a Silver Titles Feature Film Award for 'Max Steel' and another Silver in Titles TV for 'Cardinal' Season 1. Luke Bicevskis (centre) and Ian Kirby (right) were speakers at AEAF.
Max Steel - The Sequence Group SILVER
Captain America: Civil War - Sarofsky BRONZE
Titles/Openers - TV
Guiltology Titles - Jellyfish Pictures GOLD
Cardinal Season 1 - The Sequence Group SILVER
Two members from Jumbla collected the team's two Bronze awards for 'Clique' in TV Titles and 'Forza NASCAR' in Game Trailers.
Clique - Jumbla BRONZE
Animal Kingdom main title sequence - Sarofsky
runJDrun - Jeremy Mansford
Deadline Design - New Holland Creative
The Deep - A Stark Production
Suncorp Super Netball - DD8
Hanging With - ZSPACE
Race for the White House - Jellyfish Pictures
Spillover: Ebola, Zika and Beyond - Jellyfish Pictures
I Own Australia's Best Home - Visual Playground
Healthy Homes Intro - Jumbla
ABC News - Lateline Opening Titles - Engine
White Rabbit - Deloitte Digital
TV Series - Children
Sticky Pictures' Stu Connolly and Michael Drake picked up their Gold Award for 'Winston Steinburger & Sir Dudley Ding Dong' in Children's TV Series.
Winston Steinburger & Sir Dudley Ding Dong - Sticky Pictures GOLD
Kazoops - Cheeky Little Media SILVER
The Skinner Boys - Guardians of the Lost Secrets ‘Claw of the Werewolf’- SLR Productions BRONZE
Dogstar - Media World Pictures
Lexi & Lottie - SLR Productions
The Book of Once Upon a Time - ZSPACE
David Hoare, Daragh Casey, Fabio Nardo and Michael Gonzalez from Experience the Pulse pose with their Gold Award, won for the INFINITI IQ Experience project in the VR Experience category.
INFINITI IQ Virtual Reality Experience - Experience The Pulse GOLD
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - Framestore SILVER
The 'Shell V-Power Virtual Pitstop' VR and social media activation earned Bronze for Traffik in VR Experience.
Shell V-Power Virtual Pitstop - Traffik BRONZE
Toyota C-HR VR Experience - Rotor Studios
Battle Test: A Nissan Rogue 360° Experience - ILM GOLD
The Bombing of Darwin - Method Studios SILVER
Rotor Studios' Camry Global Launch earned Gold in the Web Viral category, and their Skyrider Motocoaster ride at Dreamworld Australia earned Bronze in VR Experience.
Skyrider Motocoaster - Dreamworld Australia - Rotor Studios BRONZE
Fantastic Beasts VR - Narrator
The Last Audio Creature in VR - Vivid 2017 - Alt.vfx
Evelyn's Story - Alt.vfx
H&M Flagship Store, Amsterdam - Mr. Beam
Light Festival Ghent - Mr. Beam
BOSE PRO - Mr. Beam
Does It Make A Sound - Poke The Bear
The Journey - Psyop
Hog Rider 360 - Psyop
VR NOIR - Start VR
Westfield 360 - PLaTO Reality
The BFG VR - Weta Digital
The Jungle Book VR - Weta Digital
Pete’s Dragon VR - Weta Digital
360 Marketplace - Emma Furnell
Camry Global Launch - Rotor Studios GOLD
Visual Playground's Emily Harridge poses with their team's Silver Web Viral Award for Cyber Games created for LaTrobe University.
LaTrobe - CyberGames - Visual Playground SILVER
Paper Moose took home a Bronze Award for their Web Viral motion graphic for the Festival of Dangerous Ideas.
Festival of Dangerous Ideas 2016 - Sydney Opera House - Paper Moose BRONZE
Kitchen Warehouse - Jumbla
WWF - Koalas In Crisis - Invisible Artists
Cyber Bullying - Candy Burger
EY. More than you were expecting - In The Thicket
OAIC - Motionlab
Air New Zealand - Mothers Really Shine - Sixty40
Newscorp - A Win for the Environment - Sixty40