LOS ANGELES, Aug. 5, 1997 — Softimage Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft Corp., today announced at SIGGRAPH ’97 the second annual “Hippest Test on Planet 3D” international animation contest for members of the Softimage® Education Program (SEP). Created to cultivate and showcase exceptional student talent, the first contest with Digital Equipment Corp. last year drew more than 200 entries from students around the world in only four months. This year, the contest adds a new sponsor, Intergraph Computer Systems, and also increases the total prize value to $83,000, grants an internship position with Softimage, and provides added opportunities for students to demonstrate their capabilities to world-class content producers in the film, video and electronic game industries.
“The student animation contest is an important element of our education program and our commitment to growing the industry,” said Moshe Lichtman, president of Softimage. “Last year’s contest was extremely successful, with over 200 submissions. The high stakes and visibility inspired fantastic work from the students, and the exposure benefits everyone in the industry. We are delighted to have Digital and Intergraph participate in this important effort and are committed to helping students grow and excel professionally.”
“Digital is pleased to be a continuing sponsor of the 1998 Softimage Student Animation Contest,” said Ron Locklin, vice president of visual computing, Digital Equipment Corp. “By recognizing and rewarding those students who achieve artistic excellence with Softimage 3D, Digital is able to help these students obtain access to professional tools such as our Alpha Personal Workstation and our PowerStorm graphics products.”
“The pool of new talent is amazing! The Softimage Student Animation Contest is a really cool way for new creative talent to be recognized and rewarded,” said Jeff Edson, vice president, digital media division, Intergraph Computer Systems. “Intergraph will continue to support the education community, and this is a great way to do it – everyone wins!”
Judging Process Provides Exposure
With a panel of top industry talent judging the contest, all students who enter the contest are provided with a unique opportunity to showcase their work. Based on clearly defined criteria, this panel will select the 1998 winners from 60 finalists selected by Softimage. Winning entries will be eligible for inclusion in numerous high-profile demo reels, publications and Web sites. All entries will be viewed by Odyssey Computing Inc. and may be selected for inclusion in its upcoming “Mind’s Eye” video.
“We really enjoyed the opportunity to be involved with Softimage in last year’s contest,” said Steven Churchill, president of Odyssey. “We received dozens of creative entries of high quality and appeal. So far, we have showcased four of these entries in our new video called “Computer Animation Showcase,” and additional entries will appear in our next “Mind’s Eye” video. We can hardly wait to see what will be submitted for the 1998 contest!”
“We were extremely impressed with the professional quality of the pieces submitted in last year’s Softimage student animation contest,” said Daniel Robichaud, digital effects supervisor for Digital Domain, member of the panel of judges for the 1997 contest. “With such talent and dedication, I have no doubts that this new generation of digital artists will make their marks in the ever-challenging computer graphics industry.”
To encourage students to push the envelope of creativity, contestants have the opportunity to enter their work in three animation categories: Artistic Expression, Character Animation and Most Innovative Use of the Tools.
Artistic Expression. Entries will be judged on the overall impression conveyed by an environment and the objects within it. Contestants should focus on how the objects, animation, textures, lighting and rendering work together to create style and mood and to communicate the overall concept of the piece.
Character Animation. Contestants may enter one or more simple or complex characters. Judging will be based on emotions, expressions and behavior of a character or characters as conveyed through movement, design and appearance.
Most Innovative Use of the Tools. Focusing on the creation process more than the final product, winners in this category will demonstrate effective, efficient, creative and innovative uses of Softimage tools. Scenes should convey a complete, advanced knowledge of the tools, as well as other elements involved in production, such as programming or games technology.
To qualify for entry, students must be enrolled at an eligible educational institution that is a Softimage Education Program (SEP) member. The SEP is part of an ongoing effort by Softimage to enhance education by providing opportunities for student animators to excel in their careers in computer graphics.
Legal jurisdictions allowed to participate in the contest are the United States, France, Germany, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec.
The deadline for submissions in the worldwide contest is April 30, 1998. Guidelines for the 1998 Softimage Student Animation Contest are available on the Softimage Web site, http://www.softimage.com/ . Requests for contest rules and entry forms can be made by e-mail to email@example.com or by phone at (800) 576-3846 in the United States and Canada or at (818) 365-1359 internationally.
Prizes for the 1998 Contest
Participants from Japan, due to jurisdiction restrictions, are eligible to win at the following levels:
Winners of the contest will be notified by July 15, 1998, and prizes will be shipped after receipt of a signed affidavit of eligibility from the winner.
Founded in 1986, Softimage develops software for media-rich applications including video, film, interactive games and CD-ROM applications. Products include Softimage 3D (high-end animation), Softimage Eddie (compositing) and Toonz (2-D cel animation). Additional information about Softimage and Microsoft can be found via the Internet at http://www.softimage.com/ and http://www.microsoft.com/ , respectively.
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