2024 Winter Best of Term Winners Announced

Manav Gala - Effects - Pyro - GRAND PRIZE WINNER
Manav Gala - Effects - Pyro - GRAND PRIZE WINNER

Gnomon is thrilled to announce the winners of our Winter 2024 Best of Term (BOT) competition, showcasing the exceptional talent, commitment, and creativity of our students.

This competition recognizes the outstanding work produced by students across our full-time programs and individual courses, both online and on-campus. The latest submissions feature work across multiple disciplines including character animation, visual effects, environment design, and traditional sculpting.

Congrats to our grand prize winner Manav Gala, who won “Best of Term – Effects – Pyro" with his remarkable FX shot! Manav created this piece in Gnomon’s Houdini 1 course with instructor Klaus Seitschek. While the course is traditionally centered around environments, Klaus encouraged Manav to explore new directions and challenge himself.

“My favorite aspect in this piece is definitely the feeling of scale, which delivered the ‘grandness’ of the shot,” Manav shared. “Getting the scale of every aspect in the scene to feel right was also one of the bigger challenges, especially tweaking the speed of the flames and smoke.” 

Manav provided insight into the classroom setting and the day-to-day process of completing his phenomenal project.  

“My instructor, Klaus Seitschek, helped me develop the foundations of this shot regarding the composition, timing and scale over the course of the term, and Andrew Thompson’s keen eye for detail helped me develop the final look in compositing,” Manav said. “While most of the scene was built and assembled in 3D, a major part of the final look was created during compositing. If I had to make a rough guess, I’d say I spent 50% of my time just compositing, carefully dialing in the look of every element.” 

Given the high quality of submissions, Gnomon Founder and President Alex Alvarez sought input from filmmaker and instructor Miguel Ortega and Director of Education Max Dayan in choosing winners. 

“Manav's project stood out because it had the look and feel of a final, polished shot, one that you could easily envision in a film or cinematic production,” Miguel shared with us. “The compelling story, strong composition, and exceptional VFX work all contributed to its success. I love that Manav's project represents a complete shot, taken from concept to final execution. This demonstrates a mastery of the entire VFX process. As a VFX employer, this signals to me that the artist is ready to be integrated into a film production pipeline and can see a project through to completion.” 

“This term, the competition was fierce in multiple categories. The winner showed a high level of creativity, polish, and presentation and the work speaks for itself,” Max shared. “It would be disingenuous not to give a huge shoutout to all the students who competed. The work that didn’t win was amazing and much of it will be promoted on Gnomon’s social media channels. I wish there could have been 40 winners; there were so many deserving artworks.” 

Congratulations to all Winter 2024 Best of Term winners! Follow Gnomon for more artwork and insights into the creative process. Explore the full list of winners on our Best of Term page. 


Grand Prize Winner

Manav Gala
Effects - Pyro


Manav Gala - Effects - Pyro - GRAND PRIZE WINNER 
Kyle Martin - Animation for Games 
Kyle Martin - Character - Games 
Ngan Hoang - Character - Hardsurface  
Xingchen Yi - Character - Realism 
Daniel Wi - Character - Stylized 
Céline Molière - Character Animation 
Diego Lee - Creature Modeling 
Arnav Yadav - Effects Demolition 
Ada Vychopnova - Effects Liquid Sim 
Nathan Vandevoort - Effects - Weather 
Jensn Trevino - Environment - Exterior 
Yanely Villanueva - Environment - Interior 
Tanat (Nat) Boonyapanachoti - Environment - Natural 
Mari Kirakosyan - Environment - Stylized 
Pruthvi Prajapati - Lighting and Rendering 
PoHsuan Lin - Rigging 
Griffin Gotts-Alvarez - Sculpture 
Maggie Chang - Texturing and Shading 
Conlen Breheny & Gabriel Martinez - Tool Development 

Follow Gnomon on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter for more student work.

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