See Santhosh Koneru's atmospheric sci-fi short, along with the other award-winning student work created at Gnomon during the Summer 2016 term.
Gnomon regularly features amazing student artwork in its Best of Term lists. Some of it even goes on to win top international awards. But rarely does
that work include a complete full-CG cinematic trailer of a quality that most
professional artists would be proud of. Yet
that's precisely the feat that
Santhosh Koneru has achieved with The Legion, his Grand Prize-winning entry in the Summer 2016 Best of Term awards.
The atmospheric 30-second short – it's a must-watch if you're a fan of the aesthetic of movies like Prometheus – shows an alien warrior striding out of an underground base to be confronted with a hovering spaceship. The ship was created by fellow Gnomon students Devon Chiu, Ashley Stegon and Shauna Klebesadel; Nathan Huang contributed the smoke effects, and James Reynolds and Peter Tobolsky also collaborated on the project. You can see a making-of at the end of the video below.
Santhosh, who already has worked for BBC Worldwide and commercials specialists Electric Theatre Collective on his resume, says that he likes accepting a challenge that intimidates him. “In the end, it is more rewarding [because of] the confidence you gain from overcoming the intimidation,” he says.
The sci-fi theme continues
through several of the other Best of Term awards, with Aaron Corbin taking the
Creature Design prize with his concept image of an alien and
Akin Adekile carrying off Hard Surface
Modeling – Character for his model of a soldier droid.
Brett Shields won the Hard Surface Modeling – Vehicle category
with a detailed 3D spacecraft, based on a concept by
Justin Fields, while Omer Gurkan won the Compositing category
for a futuristic – and photorealistic –
Gorilla Man, Lev
Hakobyan's winning entry in the Texturing and Shading category, is no less
futuristic – although considerably less grime-free. (Think of Winston from
crossed with your local auto mechanic, and you're pretty much there.) The model
is based on a concept image by
You can see a similar aesthetic
Tussle, Adam Waldman's winning entry
in the Character Animation category. Created in Source Filmmaker, the short
shows Alyx from
Half-Life 2 coming off on top in a round of robot boxing.
Danilo Paulo, the winner of the
Environment – Games category, also employs a real-time toolset – in this case,
Unreal Engine 4 – for his steampunk-style
Dragon Door scene. You can see still renders, including lighting variations, in
In contrast, João Baptista
references not dragons but demons with his winning model from the Character –
Games category, recreating the Demon Hunter from
Diablo III from
Blizzard Entertainment's concept art. You can
see wireframes on ArtStation.
Other figurative modeling awards went to David Olson for a Cthulhoid creature based on a concept by Christopher Burdett, and to David Tyler Young for his beautiful Phantom of the Opera character, based on a concept image by Celine Kim.
A similar mood prevails in
Entrance To The Manor,
the winner of the Lighting prize. Again, this warmly nostalgic scene is a faithful
3D recreation of a 2D concept image: in this case, one created by concept
The remaining awards covered
excellence in environment work, with Stefan Kang winning the Environment Design
category for this
Sardar Jaf the Environment Interior – 3D
category for this
abandoned diner, and
Voon Jiat Lim the Environment Exterior –
3D category for this
nocturnal ocean scene.
The water is simulated in Houdini and
Maya's Bifrost toolset, and the fog generated in V-Ray.
Congratulations to all of the Best of Term Summer 2016 winners, several of whom already have jobs at leading studios. Among them, Allan Bernardo is working for practical effects legends Legacy Effects, Adam Waldman for VR specialists Survios, David Tyler Young for Star Citizen developer Cloud Imperium Games, while Brett Shields is Lead Artist at concept art collective Ironklad Studios. We can't imagine that it will take the others long to follow in their footsteps once they graduate.
See all of Gnomon's Best of Term award-winning student art work
Discover more amazing work by Gnomon students in our online gallery
Find out how Best of Term winners went on to become international award-winners
Browse Gnomon's training courses, covering every field of digital art
Founded in 1997, Gnomon has trained thousands of students and professionals for careers in the entertainment industry.Find out more