Award Winners

The Computer Animation Festival Jury selected two award winners from 726 entries for exemplary use of computer-generated imagery and animation, and compelling storytelling. For the past two years, the Best in Show recipient has been a nominee for an Academy Award.

SIGGRAPH 2006 Computer Animation Festival award winners:

One Rat Short (Best of Show)
Alex Weil
Charlex, Inc.
USA

A gripping film that follows a New York City rat from his gritty world to the interior of a futuristic laboratory. Along this journey, our main character discovers love, danger, and his fate.

"This piece immediately stood out to the jury for many reasons," said Terrence Masson, Computer Animation Festival Chair. "The film's emotional tone, cinematography, and technical realization all melded wonderfully into a simple yet touching short film. Repeatedly, the two lead characters transfixed our gaze with extreme close-ups, and we instantly wondered what they were thinking. Our ability to clearly empathize with the main characters' desires is one of the film's single greatest achievements."

Thoughts From the Artist:
"Inspired by the melancholic and innocent spirit of "The Red Balloon," the original goal of the film was to grow the company's CG department. However, it quickly grew into so much more. The scenes take place in two worlds. One is gritty and so dark that the viewer needs to peer into the screen to make out the images. In contrast, the second world is sterile, white, and so brightly lit that the viewer feels the need to turn away from the screen. One of our goals was to keep the scenes as real as possible by using camera work that provided a 'hand-held' feel to keep behind the action so the scenes did not seem staged. Further, perhaps our most important goal was to create a simple, yet riveting piece that was full of heart."

Sketch: The Making of "One Rat Short"


458nm (Special Jury Honors)
Jan Bitzer, Ilija Brunck, Tom Weber
Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg
Germany

The romantic story of two mechanical snails that find each other under the moonlight.

"The initial submitted artist's description in no way prepared us for the stunning impact of this film," commented Masson. "The grace, beauty, and power conveyed with such humble subjects are only more appreciated upon multiple viewings. Intricate details and subtle animation build layer upon layer of simple elegance."

Thoughts From the Artists:
"It was pivotal to recognize that the difficulty of the project lay in identifying a piece that would creatively and technically satisfy and challenge three people. Because we jointly identified this aspect early, we remained focused and motivated throughout the process. From the beginning, we were fascinated by the beauty and impression of snails moving and 'kissing' each other. After much discussion, we decided to adopt this as our focus for the next four months. From this concept, we were able to develop the components that we wanted: strong images, a dark mood, and music as a central role in the film. Our desire was to have the music not just support the images, but dance with the images. We wanted the music to play the same role as the images. Neither could be without the other. These components had a very strong influence on our working process."

Sketch: The Making of "458nm"