AEAF 2014 Entries Show VFX & Animation from Around the World

Category: AEAF News
Published on Thursday, 20 February 2014 Written by Sean

The Australian Effects and Animation Festival has already
received a number of excellent entries in several categories, from local artists
and from teams around the world.

AEAF 2014 Entries Show VFX & Animation from Around the World

The Australian Effects and Animation Festival has already received a number of excellent entries in several categories, from local artists and from teams around the world. The descriptions below show some of the skill and inspiration behind a few of them, and most can be viewed in the AEAF Online Festival.

In animator Ben Noonan’s short film ‘Sunny Side Up’, he expresses the idea that beauty is always present. Once it is realized it can be fleeting, but will return. To do this, he has confined his work exclusively to After Effects, Photoshop, Illustrator and Final Cut Pro. Geometric outlines of elements and characters were drawn in Illustrator and then taken to Photoshop as layered files to colour, texture and treat. This was then imported into After Effects for animation and final colour treatment.

“The 3D elements were constructed entirely in After Effects 2.5D space, Including an umbrella, park bench and bird, adding distortion filters to curve lines. I used a huge number of expressions to link objects. Particularly useful was linking the camera from the main composite to the umbrella sub composite. This enabled me to texture the umbrella separately while maintaining the 2.5D attributes in the main comp and meant I only had to animate one camera,” Ben said.

“I used the puppet tool in After Effects to animate the girl and added random turbulent noise distortion filters to the characters hair and clothing, giving the impression of wind. The natural elements including rain and leaves were created with Trapcode Particular and pre-rendered, custom particles.

“I am attracted to organic traditional animation but can't put pen to paper to save myself. A lot of the work I do uses a mix of frame rates to give it a hand crafted atheistic. All elements were animated in 6 to 12 frame sub compositions and camera moves were done in the master comp at 24 frames. I like the juxtaposition of this and feel it gives polish but retains authenticity in the digital realm. Final treatment was to add film grain, vignette and compound blur. Using a simple grey scale matte for the blur to graduate, rather than feathering the edges with transparency, gives a photo realistic, filmic flavour. This real camera blur can be render intensive but well worth the effort.

'Sausage' is an animated narrative film made by Robert Grieves, a character driven film had a budget of zero and a production crew of just one, except for the soundtrack. With a three year storytelling journey aiming to create a convincing handcrafted world using digital techniques to streamline the process.

When he started developing 'Sausage' he spent time watching and analysing 1950s animation, especially the early industrial or corporate films of that era. “Compared to corporate films of today, I was finding some of the most inventive, creative and inspiring work I’d ever seen,” he said. “Over the past few years I’ve explored every mid century reference out there, but these still excite me as much as anything.”


The character animation was also developed for this project with a blend of puppet techniques, animated vector shapes and traditional keyframing, mostly starting out on Wacom Cintiq tablet. The distinctive texture aesthetic mostly relies on found textures from, and other textures his friends shared with him. The film has now qualified for the 2015 Oscars, and he said that the two key factors to this success were "expert advice and a deep rooted stubbornness to never give in".

‘Need for Skid’ comes from France, created by director Fabian Vantroys with VFX artist Alexandre Zabei-Vorota as the titles and opening sequence for a television show on a rally driver. They used Autodesk 3ds Max,  Sitni Sati FumeFX and Adobe After Effects. Fabian said, “We needed to give the project a mood of mystery and action, and created the smoke as a character to reinforce the visual strength of the driver’s ride.”

‘The Trophy’ is an intriguing entry by student Lucas Bilek University of South Wales in the UK, and a team of animators. The animation, lights and environments are beautiful, created with Maya, Mudbox, Photoshop, After Effects, Nuke and Mental Ray. These tools are extended with the team’s Python scripting and Eclipse, and supported by an NVIDIA graphics card.  The students developed the project as a game cinematic and trailer in full CG animation, following a man attempting to steal a golden egg from a cave. However, he has not he expected that there might already be someone there waiting for him – in this case, an exotic quadruped.

‘The Gallant Captain’ is an animated short film from the Lampshade Collective in Melbourne, based on an illustrated children’s book by Graeme Base called ‘The Legend of the Golden Snail’ about a little boy called Will who sails into unknown waters with his Cat, a ship in a bottle and a vivid imagination to live up to the memory of his father, a sailor lost at sea. It has been produced as a full 3D animation in Maya, composited in Fusion and rendered in Renderman.


The AEAF Awards is an international competition and screening, now in its 18th year with entries from around the world. The awards are given for creative a technical excellence in the use of visual effects and animation in the creation of screened work.

The judging criteria include -
the technical skill, artistry and quality of the visual effects and animation
their appropriateness within the project as a whole
their contribution to storytelling.

The AEAF Awards 2014 are currently open for entries in the following categories -
Commercials Animation - Commercials VFX - Feature Films Animation - Feature Films VFX - Web Viral - Titles, Idents & Stings - Short Film - Music Video - TV Series - Flash  Animation - Student - Games Cinematics - Education & Training.  Find the 2014 Entry Form here.