Visual Effects Society Student Winner Uses Autodesk Software to Bring Inspiration Alive

Autodesk Maya Software Helps Student Create Compelling Film about the Environment

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. — (BUSINESS WIRE) — April 6, 2010 — In an effort to inspire and equip students to create film projects that exceed their goals, Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK), a world leader in 2D and 3D design, engineering and entertainment software, sponsored the Visual Effects Society (VES) Second annual award for “Outstanding Visual Effects in a Student Project”. Autodesk sponsored the annual competition to provide students with experience and software to help succeed in their careers.

The winning project was a film by Thilo Ewers entitled “ They Will Come to Town,” which received the honor at the 8th Annual VES Awards held recently in Los Angeles. Other award recipients included Academy Award® winners James Cameron with the VES Lifetime Achievement Award and Dr. Ed Catmull, President, Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios, with the George Méliès Award for Pioneering.

Ewers began his winning project, which was inspired by a photo of the Brooklyn Bridge, by adding in some shadows to add depth, but he felt there was a deeper message to share. Utilizing Autodesk Maya 3D modeling, animation, visual effects and compositing software, Ewers set to work creating a project that had deeper meaning about the environment and global warming. With the help of a colleague, Ewers learned how to use Maya while he was creating the project. Ewers studied at the Filmakademie in Ludwigsburg, Baden-Württemberg Germany, and now works at Pixomondo in Santa Monica, California.

“Winning this award is such an honor,” Ewers said. “Creating this piece allowed me to expand my skill set and learn how to use valuable new technology, while gaining first-hand insight into film production. As I grow in my career I am committed to making films that not only push the technology boundaries, but that also have meaning. I want the films I work on to have an impact on the viewer so they walk away inspired.”

Autodesk provides students and educators with the tools and resources necessary to help students to be equipped and trained in their careers. Autodesk’s online Education Community, which has more than one million members, provides students and professors with free copies of software, Autodesk MasterClasses and resources, in addition to its student licensing program, which is how Ewers obtained his copy of Maya.

“Seeing students create inspirational, meaningful projects such as Thilo’s is encouraging and further validates our support for this program,” Joe Astroth, PhD, Autodesk Chief Education Officer said. “We are thrilled to learn that Thilo became proficient in Maya at the same time he was developing his project. Seeing his piece demonstrates the important role films play in our lives, and how the generation of students today will create work that impacts and inspires filmmaking in the future.”

About the Visual Effects Society

The Visual Effects Society is a professional, honorary group, dedicated to advancing the arts, sciences, and applications of visual effects and to upholding the highest uniform standards and procedures for the visual effects profession. The VES is the entertainment industry’s only official organization representing the extended community of visual effects practitioners including supervisors, artists, producers, technology developers, educators and studio executives.

Autodesk Education Initiatives

Autodesk supports students and educators by providing design software, innovative programs and other resources designed to inspire the next generation of professionals. By supporting educators to advance design education and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills, Autodesk is helping prepare students for future academic and career success. Autodesk supports schools and institutions of higher learning worldwide through substantial discounts, subscriptions, grant programs, training, curriculum development and community resources. For more information about Autodesk education programs and solutions, visit

About Autodesk

Autodesk, Inc., is a world leader in 2D and 3D design, engineering and entertainment software for the manufacturing, building and construction, and media and entertainment markets. Since its introduction of AutoCAD software in 1982, Autodesk continues to develop the broadest portfolio of state-of-the-art software to help customers experience their ideas digitally before they are built. Fortune 100 companies -- as well as the last 15 Academy Award winners for Best Visual Effects -- use Autodesk software tools to design, visualize and simulate their ideas to save time and money, enhance quality and foster innovation for competitive advantage. For additional information about Autodesk, visit

Autodesk, AutoCAD and Maya are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries. Academy Award is a registered trademark of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. All other brand names, product names or trademarks belong to their respective holders. Autodesk reserves the right to alter product and services offerings, and specifications and pricing at any time without notice, and is not responsible for typographical or graphical errors that may appear in this document.

© 2010 Autodesk, Inc. All rights reserved.



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