Autodesk Inspires Tomorrow’s Film Creators

Students From Filmakademie Baden-Wuertemberg School Win Autodesk Sponsored Visual Effects Society Award for Outstanding Visual Effects in a Student Project

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. — (BUSINESS WIRE) — February 9, 2012 — Demonstrating its ongoing commitment to inspiring students of all ages to imagine, design and create a better world, Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) is proud to recognize this year’s winners of the Visual Effects Society’s (VES) award for “Outstanding Visual Effects in a Student Project.”

The winning student project this year is “a.maize” created by Roman Kaelin, Falko Paeper, and Florian Wittmann of Filmakademie Baden-Wuertemberg in Ludwigsburg, Germany. Using Autodesk Softimage software, the students created visually stunning computer animation of larger than life popcorn explosions set in the streets and plazas of Stuttgart. The promotional trailer captures the anticipation and excitement for the industry’s annual FMX conference in Germany. This is the third time in the award’s four-year history that students from Filmakademie Baden-Wuertemberg have won the award.

“We wanted the FMX trailer to showcase how the conference brings people and ideas together, and filling the city of Stuttgart with giant popcorn pieces was a way for us to convey amazement and wonder. We created the popcorn pieces with Softimage and particularly with ICE (the Softimage Interactive Creative Environment),” said Co-Director Roman Kaelin. “Winning the VES Student Award was a complete surprise, and we are honored and very happy.”

Sponsored by Autodesk, the VES “Outstanding Visual Effects in a Student Project” award was created in 2009 as the result of a challenge to the VES by Steven Spielberg to recognize the future of the visual effects industry (see related video). This year, the VES received entries from around the world. Although it was not a requirement for submission, most nominees used Autodesk 3D animation software to create their short films. The list of nominees for the 2012 award were:

  • a.maize – Submitted by Filmakademie, Baden-Wuertemberg. Students: Roman Kaelin, Falko Paeper and Florian Wittmann.
  • Aquatic Bloom - Submitted by School of Visual Arts, New York. Students: Susie Hong and Bokyeong Kim.
  • Defective Detective - Submitted by Ringling College. Students: Avner Geller and Stevie Lewis.
  • Hai Hase - Submitted by Filmakademie, Baden-Wuertemberg. Students: Florian Greth and Julia Reck.
  • Renee the Movie - Submitted by DAVE School. Students: Syrena Edmonds, Zack Heimbegner, Brian Mullen and Nathaniel Skinner.
  • We Miss You - Submitted by Filmakademie, Baden-Wuertemberg. Students: Jann Doeppert, Tonio Freitag, Hanna Maria Heidrich, and Sebastian Nozon.

“The high caliber of the films produced by this year’s nominees is evidence that students from around the world are hungry for opportunities to showcase their skills to the visual effects industry,” said Marc Petit, senior vice president of Autodesk Media & Entertainment. “As one of the leading providers of Digital Entertainment Creation software, Autodesk is proud to provide students with experiences and software to help them succeed in their careers. We congratulate the team from Filmakademie Baden-Wuertemberg and all of this year’s student nominees.”

“Every year the quality and art that we see in our student awards category completely blows our socks off. a.maize is a tremendously exciting work of art that uses the same technology and tools as industry professionals to produce the visual effects," said Jeffrey A. Okun, Chair of the VES.

For more information on the awards and to watch each nominee’s short film, please visit the VES student awards page on AREA, Autodesk’s online community for digital artists.

Autodesk Education Initiatives

Autodesk wants students of all ages to imagine, design and create a better world. By partnering with academic leaders and institutions, Autodesk is helping educators to build skills and engagement, both in and out of the classroom, in order to prepare students for successful careers in architecture, engineering and digital arts. Autodesk offers the technology and learning resources that inspire the next generation of professionals, while providing institutions with educational pricing, training, curricula and community resources. For more information about Autodesk education programs and solutions, visit

About the VES

The Visual Effects Society is a professional, honorary group, dedicated to advancing the arts, sciences and applications of visual effects and to upholding the highest uniform standards and procedures for the visual effects profession. The VES is the entertainment industry’s only official organization representing the extended community of visual effects practitioners including supervisors, artists, producers, technology developers, educators and studio executives. For more about the VES, visit

About Autodesk

Autodesk, Inc., is a leader in 3D design, engineering and entertainment software. Customers across the manufacturing, architecture, building, construction, and media and entertainment industries -- including the last 16 Academy Award winners for Best Visual Effects -- use Autodesk software to design, visualize and simulate their ideas. Since its introduction of AutoCAD software in 1982, Autodesk continues to develop the broadest portfolio of state-of-the-art software for global markets. For additional information about Autodesk, visit .

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