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New Education Group

Real Test of Character: Light And Dark reveals talented animation students

14 Aug 2018

Now in its fifth year, Light and Dark is the country’s largest character design competition for Year 11, 12 and 13 students. Presented by Animation College in conjunction with Yoobee School of Design, entrants use their artistic talents to create a character portraying two opposite emotions – excitement and fear, happiness and sadness, love and despair, or serenity and rage. Judged by some of the country’s top creatives, contestants will be marked on expression, character pose, and “wow” factor.

This year, over 300 entries were received in a mix of traditional and digital art, and with a great array of prizes on offer including a scholarship, competition was fierce. Overall, the judges were impressed with the diversity of the entries, the composition of the images and the stories that the two images collectively conveyed.

And this year’s winner of Light and Dark 2018 is Tamilla Muedinova, year 13 from Glendowie College (Glendowie, Auckland).  The judges commented on Tamilla’s use of texture, colours and style, as well as the attention to detail which made this entry the judge’s favourite character animation technique.  The judges really liked the narrative tie-in, even though they both worked really well as singular pieces.  The two images together made the images all the more “not just beautifully executed expressions, but a wow factor with the story connection, giving extra life to the emotions”.

Other comments included, “Very nice style, nice colour palette, great expression and great poses. Tamilla’s design and character showed clearly the emotions she had chosen to capture. Poses are on point and the composition of anatomy is great.  Judges encourage Tamilla to keep doing what she’s doing as clearly she is very talented.”

 Second place went to Isabel Li, year 12 from Macleans College (Bucklands Beach, Auckland).  The commented on the composition of both images, and in particular how strong and framed the expressions in the faces were and this added to the strength of the emotions. There was also lots of details which gave elements of backstory to the character.

Third place went to Kyla Radley, year 13 from Papanui High School (Papanui, Christchurch). The judges mentioned the great poses and nice renderings. They also loved the cartoony style, expression and the line of action of such an engaging character.  The poses gave energy to the character and the humour really elevated the images.

These lucky secondary students have won some great prizes.  The winner receives a scholarship for the Bachelor of Animation degree programme, which can be undertaken at Animation College’s Auckland Central campus or Yoobee School of Design’s Wellington campus. They’ll also win loads of vouchers, subscriptions and prize packs from competition sponsors. Second and third place winners will walk away with a bunch of cool prizes too, courtesy of Light and Dark’s primary sponsors – Adobe, Wacom, Gordon Harris, Playtech and Arkham City Comics.

Two other students, Ngawai Samson of Te Kura Correspondence School and Jerome Morris
Otumoetai College in Tauranga, were also acknowledged in the Highly Commended category for their exceptional entries.

On the judging panel were:

  • Dean Stolpmann – Animation Lecturer at Animation College Auckland City campus
  • Campbell Farquhar – Head of Post Production at Cine Cino
  • Tina Scopazzini – Head of Faculty – Multimedia at Yoobee School of Design’s Auckland campus.

Tina Scopazzini said, “Being one of the Light and Dark Competition judges was not an easy job. Those guys are extremely talented and the quality of work I saw was beyond what I expected from high school students. They were all different in style and techniques and I was amazed by the results. Participants did a very good job on capturing expressions, which for most we were able to recognize at a glance without having it written on the actual artwork.

“I just cannot wait to see what those young talented artists will create in the future, as I am sure the work I saw was driven by passion and willingness to succeed in what hopefully one day will become their dream job.”

To find out more go to: www.lightanddark.nz