Sony Pictures Imageworks awards $50,000 in scholarships

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Mumbai: Sony Pictures Imageworks president Tim Sarnoff announced its second annual scholarship winners, presented this year to four students currently enrolled at academic institutions affiliated with IPAX, Imageworks and Sony Pictures Animation’s Professional Academic Excellence program.

The IPAX scholarship top prize winner is Luis Rodrigo Huerta of Texas A&M. Through the IPAX scholarship fund, Luis will receive tuition money towards his master’s degree at Texas A&M in visualization and the online character animation courses, he is taking through Animation Mentor.

"This is an exciting and unexpected turn of events for us to see a student’s work benefit from attending two IPAX schools concurrently. It is the best of both worlds and a true vision of collaboration in education to produce outstanding talent", said Imageworks Training & Artist Development Executive Director and the IPAX program head Sande Scoredos. "Texas A&M Visualization Lab Chair Tim McLaughlin and Animation Mentor founder Bobby Beck are both to be commended for their excellent contribution and are extremely proud of Rodrigo and this IPAX award."

The other scholarship recipients are Jorge Garcia, a character animator from Ringling College of Art & Design, Rogelio Olguin from The School of Visual Arts submitted outstanding examples of painting and lighting, and Christian Haniszewski, also from the School of Visual Arts demonstrated a keen aptitude for character modelling and rigging.

Each scholarship winner is currently enrolled full-time at their IPAX member school and is pursuing the goal of a professional career in animation, visual effects, or technology. Scholarships are solely merit based. The selection committee, consisting of Imageworks visual effects and animation supervisors, producers, executives and recruiters, carefully reviewed each essay, reel and portfolio, looking for the very best use of digital technology and a passion and understanding of visual effects and animation. A record number of applicants submitted this year and the four recipients represent exceptional work of the highest standards.

"The competition this year was amazing. The work submitted was truly outstanding and the winners represent the best of the best — these are students who we want to track and keep in touch with before, during and after graduation. Our intent is to see these talented students enter the exciting world of animation and visual effects and we hope these artists will want to work at Imageworks and Sony Pictures Animation," said Imagework animation production and artist development senior vice president Barry Weiss.
"We are very excited to see Jim McCampbell at Ringling and Bobby S. Beck at Animation Mentor continue with their great animation programs and it is especially rewarding to see two of our newest IPAX members receive awards; School of Visual Arts and Texas A&M," he further added.

The IPAX program was created in 2005, under the leadership of Scoredos, with the intent to educate faculty and structure curricula at leading academic institutions in an effort to develop future talent who will contribute to the overall growth of the visual effects and animation industry.