The BFX student competition, now in its fifth year, is designed to give computer visualisation and animation students direct exposure to cutting-edge industry practices and production. The competition showcases student skills to supervisors, producers and artists from major VFX companies such as Framestore, Double Negative, MPC and Outpost VFX.
Teams of students from Bournemouth University, Arts University Bournemouth, Ulster University Belfast, University of South Wales, Northumbria University and Falmouth University competed by creating visual effects shorts for four different charities.
The charities themselves were chosen with thanks to BFX Competition sponsor Kingston Smith, who have ran a Creative Vision Award to pick the charities which are then afforded the opportunity to work with the students, and receive an animated brand film estimated to be worth £150,000.
Peter Truckel, Director of the VFX Hub, said, “We’re grateful of the support of Kingston Smith, who have partnered with us in running this competition for a number of years now, as well as the mentors, from companies as wide ranging as MPC, Framestore and Aardman, who have given up their free time to offer advice and support to our competitors as they begin their careers in visual effects with this competition.”
Sofronis Efstathiou, Director of the BFX Festival, said, “The BFX Competition is a chance for some of the best young animators and visual effects artists to come together and create something special for one of our charities. In previous years, we’ve been so impressed with their work, as have the mentors, with some of the competitors going on to land jobs at top visual effects companies.”
Ting Loh, a Falmouth University student and member of Team Egg, winners of the Best Film award for Rethink Mental Illness, said: “Mental illness is quite a touchy subject, so we are trying to make sure that we don’t make the audience misunderstand what we are trying to do, and make it really simple and show that there is this support group here to help you.”
BU team Mark's Angels won the BFX Mentors Best Film, as well as awards in Best Cinematography, Best Rendering/Shading and Best Environment. Director Gregorio Malara, said: “The problem with having a team full of animation or art students is that everyone comes up with good ideas and it’s hard to pick which ones you aren’t going to work with because you can see the benefits of all of them.
“We only had one character, which made the character modelling aspect simple, but we also had lots of environments to transition through. I think we’ve come up with some clever solutions. Jake, our Environment Modeller, came up with a way to populate the environments really quickly which was really smart, so we only had to model four buildings and we had 16. “
Best Visual Development - Mark’s Angels
Best Lighting - Mark’s Angels
Best Character - The Revenge of the Tiff
Best Character Animation - Ctrl+G
Best Environment - Mark’s Angels
Best Compositing - Exotic Butters
Best Cinematography - Mark’s Angels
Best Rendering/Shading - Mark’s Angels
Best VFX/Simulation - Render Farmers
Best Rigging - Render Farmers
Best Film – Access All Areas - The Revenge of the Tiff
Best Film – Book Aid International - DICE
Best Film – DEMAND - Exotic Butters
Best Film – Rethink Mental Illness - Egg
The BFX Mentors Best Film - Mark’s Angels
The BFX Family Weekend, a two-day drop in event aimed at visual effects and games enthusiasts between the ages of 8-18 years, is taking place 6-7 October, with tickets available for purchase at https://www.bfxfestival.com/