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Film Academy Ludwigsburg - Innovation Prize for animation research project

The Institute of Animation, Visual Effects and Digital Postproduction, Filmakademie, Baden- Wuerttemberg has been distinguished with the Innovation Prize 2006 from the Federal Film Funding BKM presented by the Minister for Cultural and Media Affairs, Bernd Neumann. During the award ceremony for the German film script prize and innovation prize, which took place in the Film and Television Academy (HFF) in Potsdam, Professor Thomas Haegele, Head of the Institute of Animation, was awarded a prize of 25.000 Euro.

The Institute of Animation from Ludwigsburg’s Filmakademie was distinguished for the research project "Artificial Actors", promoted by the Future Offensive III, State of Baden-Wuerttemberg. In a research group led by project manager Volker Helzle, software for the convincing face animation of virtual actors as well as innovative aids for animated film and computer games were developed. This resulted in a toolset transferable to different faces which can then be directly refined by the user. The toolset is available free of charge on the internet. Since the software was made available, over 1,800 users have registered, amongst them many international companies from the film and entertainment industry.

Since 2002, the innovation prize distinguishes promising ideas and new creative beginnings which will strengthen the film industry and improve the efficiency and development of film. With this prize, work and projects which were not considered in the prize categories of the Federal Film Funding BKM, but nevertheless play an important role in cultural film work innovation, are recognised.
The Institute of Animation, Filmakademie, Baden-Wuerttemberg under the direction of Professor Thomas Haegele, is one of the international avant-garde players within 3D-Animation. Students from Ludwigsburg belong to the winners in the most important international animation festivals. Graduates from the institute score with their comprehensive training in Europe and the USA. They then go on to work in large national and international effect and postproduction companies and are involved in first class productions like ”The Polar Express, ”Pirates of the Carribean 2” or the new Harry Potter. A qualification as Technical Director as well as the new course Realtime & Games takes into consideration the ever increasing demands.

The research team led by project manager, Volker Helzle, consisted of artists and engineers. During the development of first prototypes, the Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg structure proved itself to be particularly helpful: for example, post graduates studying Technical Director could test the new animation software and tools in their course and diploma films and judge its practicality. The new research project from the Institute of Animation has already started. Under the title "Dynamic Realtime Animation", interactive animation that is available immediately, like computer games, is being


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