Animated short, Circuit wins Panorama Asia Pacific design challenge in Malaysia

By ANIMATION XPRES... | 28 February, 2011 - 14:22

Digital animators from left, Yannick Gillain, Shinji Dawson and Felix Telfer proudly display
some of their prize-wining graphics.

Three Institute of Communication Design students have won the prestigious Panorama Asia-Pacific Design Challenge in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The trio, Yannick Gillain, Felix Telfer and Shinji Dawson, all from Wellington, brought home $US1200, a trophy and software from Autodesk, the international software firm which selected them for the international challenge.

Calling themselves the Three Amigos, they created a digital animation short film, called Circuit, which looks humorously at conflicting technologies and man’s desire to constantly upgrade while neglecting the consequences of the technology left behind.

Institute undergraduate programme leader Gray Hodgkinson says the competition was billed as an exclusive premier training, networking event for animation design, engineering and architecture students.

"We have a strong programme that encourages students to work together in teams, but we never expected this to carry them all the way to Kuala Lumpur,” Mr Hodgkinson says. “It was great to be nominated by Autodesk and a bonus to actually win. These students are very talented and work hard, and have had a great launch to their new careers."

Having completed their studies – and due to graduate this year – all three are working for Wellington design company Sauce, whose digital development director, Ray Ruawhare, was impressed by their combined skills. He has hired them on short-term contracts but hopes to find further projects to continue their employment. Mr Ruawhare says he knew there was an element of risk in hiring inexperienced staff but “the presentation the three guys gave to our visual effects supervisor and visual effects leads gave us confidence on many levels”.