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Winners Announced in the AMD 64 Second Film Contest

John Robson's At a Glance take grand prize By John Virata

John Robson's At a Glance took the grand prize in the AMD inaugural 64 Second Film Contest. Robson's entry was initially judged by online voters as one of the top 28 out of 193 entries from North America. The 28 entries were then pared down to three by the judges of the contest, which included Daniel Gregoire, president and CEO of Halon Entertainment, Dave Chaimson, vice president of Sony Media Software, Dave Hill, vice president of technology for Sony Media Software, and Douglas Spotted Eagle, a Grammy and Emmy award winning musician and digital artist.

The judges then chose At a Glance, which details the power of love at first sight, as the grand prize winner. The 1st place winner went to Alexander Oyler's volo di Icarus, while the 2nd place winner went to Steven  Bastyr's Change.    

Robson, a freelance animator with no formal training, used a Canon Powershot SD400 camera to shoot two actors in front of a green screen. He then used Adobe Photoshop to key out the characters, Maxon Software's Cinema 4D for 3D animation, and Adobe After Effects for 2D animation and compositing of the two characters with a series of animations and still imagery. Robson said he chose to animate several stills of the actors instead of shooting video of them as a stylistic choice.

John Robson's At a Glance

"I always had a curiosity of how visual effects and animation worked, and I figured the best way to understand is to learn how to do it myself," Robson said. "So I bought books and found tutorials online and learned in my free time, and eventually I started getting work, and I ended up discovering an amazing career that I had never planned."

Robson's prize package includes an AMD  Athlon 64 X2 dual-core processor-based digital video/audio Dream System from Voodoo PC, Nero 7 Ultra Edition, and Sony Vegas, Sound Forge 8 and Acid Pro 5. As part of the package, Robson also won an all-expense-paid trip to California, where he will tour the DreamWorks Animation studios.

First place winner Alexander Oyler's volo di Icarus, was created with Adobe After Effects, Photoshop, and Illustrator as well as  Flash and Swift 3D. Oyler spent a year studying digital arts at the Art Institute of Seattle. On an interesting note, Oyler didn't even use a DV camera or a green screen to create his film, but rather relied on a digital camera that had movie capture capability.

Alexander Oyler's  volo di Icarus

"All I had was a cheap little point & shoot still camera that had a 320x240 movie option," Oyler said. "That's what I used to film the live action part of my movie. This however required me to spend more than 8 hours rotoscoping my film's star frame by frame for compositing."

Oyler's film takes on a mythic theme to the notion of waitlessness. He also pointed out the word play that helped him get inspired to make the movie. "I liked the whole play on words around the idea of Waitlessness (Weightlessness). I've always been into mythology and somehow the theme reminded me of the story of Icarus. I guess you throw a space ship, some butterflies, and a little music into the mix and you get my film. That's one of the things I love about motion graphics: the right mix of sound and design and the story begins to take on a life of it's own."

Oyler won an Velocity Micro AMD Athlon 64 X2 dual-core processor-based Dream System, and an editing studio with furniture. Second place winner Steven Bastyr won a Dream System provided by ABS Computer Technologies.

Steven Bastyr's Change

The 64 Second Film Contest ran just more than a month, from October 10 through November 28, 2005. During that time, more than 1500 people registered to enter the contest, of which 193 submitted films. The films, which were hosted on AMD's 64seconds.com website, were forwarded via email more than 1600 times. The contest information was forwarded 2763 times, and the forward through friends link was accessed more than 4300 times. In total, more than 47,000 votes were cast to support the films entered in the contest.

Jennifer Foster of AMD's worldwide marketing consumer program team said that AMD ran the contest in an effort to help educate digital media artists on the benefits an AMD processor would have on their digital media creation endeavors. "We also wanted to make sure that digital content creators could spend less time to create their videos, Foster said. "They can spend less time waiting and more time creating."

For Robson's At a Glance, he conveyed the initial rush of love with that of waitlessness. "There's something very powerful about love at first sight, and the emotional rush that it brings is like being weightless. I wanted to convey through both literal and metaphoric ways how falling in love has made me feel, including the feeling of time standing still, the charm of a lover's voice, the world feeling minute, disregarding material excess, and the inseparable bond between soul mates that blends far beyond any molecular level." For more information, and to see the entries, visit www.64seconds.com.

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John Virata is senior editor of Digital Media Online. You can email him at jvirata@digitalmedianet.com
Related Keywords:amd, 64 second film contest, John Robson, Steven Bastyr, Alexander Oyler

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