2017 Industry Awards Highlights: Gnomon Alumni Successes

Posted August 21st, 2017 by Gnomon School — Category: Alumni — 0 Comments

Disney's Zootopia was one of the big successes at this year's VFX and animation industry awards. Find out which Gnomon alumni worked on the movie below

Disney's Zootopia was one of the big successes at this year's VFX and animation industry awards. Find out which Gnomon alumni worked on the movie below

Gnomon graduates: shortlisted for VES Awards; work on Oscar, Annie and D.I.C.E. Award-winning movies and games; create award-winning CG software; and more!

Three alumni nominated for Visual Effects Society Awards. Seven who worked on Oscar and Annie Award-winning movies. Six who worked on a D.I.C.E. Award-winning game straight out of school. It's a result that any training institution could be proud of – yet that's only part of the list of visual effects, games and animation industry awards in which Gnomon graduates have featured throughout 2017. And on top of that, they even took home a software development award at South by Southwest.

Discover how Gnomon graduates helped Uncharted 4 win Game of the Year

Three Gnomon graduates were shortlisted at the 15th Visual Effects Society Awards, held in Beverly Hills in February, 2017. Walt Disney Animation Studios Look Development Artist Nikki Mull, who studied at Gnomon between 2010 and 2012, was nominated for Outstanding Animated Performance in an Animated Feature for her work on Maui in Moana, while 2011 graduate Jay Machado and 2015 graduate Matt Puchala, both working at Industrial Light & Magic, were shortlisted in the modeling and effects categories for their work on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Both Moana and Rogue One went on to reach the shortlist of this year's BAFTA and Academy Awards, in the animated feature and visual effects categories respectively. Other Gnomon alumni who worked on Rogue One include Jorik Dozy, Digital Matte Painter at ILM, and his former colleague Erik Halsey, now Senior Character Artist at Electronic Arts; and Ben Perkins, Technical Director at Whiskytree.

Nikki Mull's 2012 student reel. Nikki is just one of the Gnomon graduates who went on to work on Disney's Moana, for which she was shortlisted for a 2017 VES Award.

The Gnomon graduates behind Oscar and Annie Award-winner Zootopia

At least eight other Gnomon graduates working at Disney also contributed to Moana, but the studio's biggest success in this year's awards season was undoubtedly Zootopia, which won both the Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film, along with no fewer than six Annie Awards. Gnomon graduates who worked on the movie include animator Alberto Abril, look development artists Tyler Bolyard and Sara Cembalisty, modelers SuZan Kim and Chika Saito, lighting artist Diana Zeng, and Character Modeling Supervisor Dylan Ekren, many of whom took part in the school's recent free event on the making of Zootopia.

Success for Gnomon projects at the D.I.C.E. and SXSW Interactive Awards

In the video game industry, one of the biggest award-winners of the past year has been Uncharted 4: A Thief's Legacy, which won the VES Award for Outstanding Visual Effects in a Real-Time Project, along with four separate categories at the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences' 2017 D.I.C.E. Awards. Here, the standard of Gnomon's training was so high that Naughty Dog reversed its policy of not hiring artists straight out of school, recruiting nine Gnomon graduates for Uncharted 4.

Model-encryption tool D3CRYPT3D, co-developed by Gnomon graduate Dosa Kim, was a winner at SWSW Interactive's 2017 awards, alongside Google's Tilt Brush.

Gnomon also featured at SXSW Interactive, the technology industry's showcase at the legendary South by Southwest group of festivals. Padeca, a startup co-founded by Gnomon alumnus Dosa Kim, won the Privacy & Security category of the show's Interactive Design Awards for its innovative new tool D3CRYPT3D. The software aims to combat piracy by enabling artists to encrypt their 3D models and alerting them to unauthorized uses. Find out how it works in this article on CG Channel.

Gnomon alumni at The Rookies

The Rookies is an international awards initiative for young designers, creators, innovators, and artists, created to discover and showcase outstanding talent emerging from higher education facilities and help launch them into careers at the world’s top studios. This year, alum Allan Bernardo scooped Rookie of the Year in the Animation category, while student Lanli Su took first place in the Rookie of the Year – Photography prize. Additionally, student Willow Paquette won the gaming internship at Monolith prize. “The quality of all entries were astonishing,” one of the judges commented. “It was a really hard choice to find those finalists, but deciding out of those high-quality artists who should be the best was not an easy task. All of them can be very proud and I’m sure sooner or later I will see their work on a big screen.”

The Ningyo by Miguel Ortega and Tran Ma

This year also saw the unveiling of Gnomon alum Miguel Ortega’s 30-minute original short film, The Ningyo, at private events and festivals around the world. Focusing on genre festivals, The Ningyo has successfully made it to the official selections of the HollyShorts Film Festival, FilmQuest, Something Wicked Film Festival, Cordoba Film Festival, SciFi Film Festival, Unreal Film Festival, Genre Blast, Steampunk Film Festival, Phoenix Comicon Film Festival, and many more. The film was awarded the judge and audience winner at the Miami Film Festival, won Best Narrative Film at the Underexposed Film Festival, and Best Fantasy Short at the Underground Film Festival. Additionally, The Ningyo scooped the Best Cinematography Award from the Hollyshorts.

Created by Gnomon alum Miguel Ortega and his partner and Production Designer Tran Ma, The Ningyo explores the legend and search of a mythical Japanese creature

Stay tuned for more success stories from Gnomon’s talented alumni.

Read more

Discover how Gnomon graduates helped Uncharted 4 win Game of the Year
See award-winning art work from recent Gnomon alumni
Browse Gnomon's current range of CG training programs


About Gnomon

Founded in 1997, Gnomon has trained thousands of students and professionals for careers in the entertainment industry. Find out more