Animation student Vladimir Mokhov wins Ubisoft NXT Showcase for Animation
Earlier in May, 3rd Year Sheridan animation student Vladimir Mokhov won first place at the first Ubisoft NXT Showcase for Animation. The NXT Showcase is an annual competition designed to put a spotlight on local art and game development student talent ready to kick-start their careers in the industry. In its third year, the competition welcomed student submissions from 10 post-secondary schools in Ontario. Animation was a new discipline added to the showcase this year. The winners of the Modeller and Animation Apprenticeships will spend three months working with the some of the industry’s top talent, contributing to games being created at the studio. With 83 Ontario art and animation students competing for the coveted NXT Showcase Apprenticeship awards, Vladimir Mokhov won a highly-sought after apprenticeship with Ubisoft Toronto, a Microsoft Surface Book, and a Ubisoft Toronto prize pack. This year, in addition to the 1st place winners, Ubisoft Toronto offered apprenticeships to the second and third place winners in each of the categories. Jennifer Luu, also a 3rd year animation student at Sheridan, placed 2nd in the same category.
For the competition, Ubisoft provided a audio files and asked entrants to create and develop an animation based off of what they heard. Below is Vladimir’s submission, created using the 3D animation software, Blender:
I approached my submission by first making an animatic and planning out the camera cuts and staging to the audio clip. I did this with rough thumbnails in photoshop, then edited them together in premiere. I then figured out my layout and planned out my poses by gathering reference and acting everything out myself. I put everything together in Blender, and developed it by going through it in multiple passes. With every pass, I tweaked certain things and defined the movement more. I worked on adding arcs, reworking my timing and spacing to add weight, added overlap to add fluidity, and squash and stretch to make it more alive. Facial animation and lip sync came last…I feel very honoured to receive the award, as I admire the level of quality Ubisoft puts into the animation of their games.
A panel of Ubisoft Toronto team members served as judges for this year’s competition, with an additional judge representing Microsoft Canada. The artwork from the finalists will remain on display at Ubisoft Toronto in the studio’s public gallery space.
More of Vladimir’s work can be seen on his Youtube channel:
Videos courtesy of Vladimir Mokhov.