Tancho comes out tops in the inaugural animation challenge, which saw keen competition with 57 entries from seven countries in the region, proving there is an abundance of talent waiting to be tapped.

The team from City University of Hong Kong won the won the inaugural Autodesk Panorama Animation Champion Award for their film Tancho, which depicts how a Tancho crane turns into a Tancho fish. Tancho is the Japanese term for the red spot which appears on the heads of both the crane and fish. “The Tancho bird symbolises your true self, Tancho fish symbolises your superego. The film explores randomness and unconsciousness, and its opinion is that the superego dominates in our lives,” said filmmakers Oscar Sheikh and Sin Yu Tsang from Hong Kong. The Autodesk Panorama Animation Challenge is a creativity and skillsbased contest for students within Asia Pacifi c who use Autodesk software to create animation. The awards recognize creativity, originality, motion, technical excellence and overall design. Panorama received 57 entries across seven countries in Asia – Hong Kong, China, Australia, India, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore. Eleven student teams were shortlisted to compete at the Panorama Animation Bootcamp held at the Hong Kong Cyberport from 11 to 14 December 2009. Teams were then trained under the mentorship of industry professionals from Lucasfilm Animation Singapore, Imagi Studio, Rhythm & Hues Studio and Rising Sun Pictures; who shared their knowledge on how to use Autodesk applications to fine-tune the animated projects the teams submitted during the qualifying stages of the competition. The team from Swinburne University of Technology (Australia) won the prize for The Best V-Blog Award. Richard Osellame, Danny Masalkovski and Steven Donnet won for their V-blog, Tweet Revenge about a sports car owner battling the neighbourhood birds. The Best Teamwork Award went to the team from Ateneo de Naga University (Philippines) with a digital animation entry entitled Maskara. The team comprised of Alejandro Karlo Zapanta, Albert B. Brisenio and James Jerome Raneses. “We are thankful for the opportunity that was given to us by joining Panorama 2009 Asia Pacific Animation Challenge,” says Zapanta of the Philippine Team. “We were given the arena to demonstrate our talent in digital animation and also represent the Philippines in this competition,” he added. The team from Singapore Polytechnic, comprising Grace Ng Siew Mei, Owen Lim and Bavani Naidu, took home the Best Rookie Award for their original animated production titled, Alice. “Panorama was a fantastic opportunity for us to learn from the best in the media and entertainment industry and from our fellow competitors,” said the Singapore Polytechnic Team. “We are excited to take our new skills home and apply them in school, and hopefully also pursue careers in animation and design.” Representatives from Autodesk and industry mentors were generally positive about the standard of entries for Panorama across the region and the winning animated productions delivered by the 11 student finalist teams. “We were very impressed by the high standard of the audition submissions for Panorama across the region, and by how the 11 student finalist teams were able to deliver winning animated productions under the mentorship of industry professionals and Autodesk customers,” said Gary Quek, country manager, Autodesk Singapore & Brunei. “With this competition, we have achieved our objectives of inspiring and grooming young digital artists, and providing them with opportunities to acquire the skills and industry exposure they need to excel.” “It is exciting to see the creativity of today’s students come to life through sophisticated and innovative designs,” said Tom Joseph, Autodesk director, Asia Pacific education programs. “The Panorama – Asia Pacific Animation Challenge and Bootcamp is just one of the programmes we are undertaking to challenge students to put their imagination and passion into action through design and 3D Animation. It also demonstrates Autodesk’s support for the next generation of design professionals.” Benjamin Huber of Lucasfilm Animation said, “One of the hardest things for studios globally, particularly in this region where the industry is still relatively young, is finding talent that can immediately be productive without too much additional training.” He added that events like Panorama could contribute to raising the design skills of students and their awareness of industry standards. The event was jointly organized with the Mayan Hong Kong User Group, and sponsored by Cyberport IncuTrain Centre, Hong Kong Cyberport, Malaysia’s Multimedia Development Corporation and Animax.

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