Talented University of Hertfordshire students win Rookie Awards

A still from Bygone, which won first place for Film of the Year VFX. Picture: University of Hertford

A still from Bygone, which won first place for Film of the Year VFX. Picture: University of Hertfordshire - Credit: University of Hertfordshire

Creative animation, visual effects and game design students from Hatfield’s University of Hertfordshire have won prestigious international awards.

Two teams from the uni’s award-winning School of Creative Arts won at the prestigious ‘Rookies’, the industry-leading international awards for digital artists.

Third year students from the Hatfield-based institution were awarded first place.

One team won Game of the Year PC and Console for their game cinematic Uplink, which follows an engineer and his companion on a mission.

Another picked up first place for Film of the Year VFX for Bygone, a film following a lone explorer mourning the loss of his family on a distant planet.

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There was further recognition for a team of second year students.

They received the Film of the Year VFX People’s Choice Award for their short film about a lizard that turns into a dragon, while third year student William Medcalf was highly commended in the Rookie of the Year VFX category.

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There were several more nominations for University of Hertfordshire students, all of whom study Games Art and Design or 3D Animation and Visual Effects courses at the School of Creative Arts.

Laith Shewayish was part of the winning team for Game of the Year PC and Console.

The third year student said: “We honestly couldn’t believe it when the awards first came through – we couldn’t have asked for a better result!

“Everyone involved on this project worked so incredibly hard to make it the best it could be, in spite of the setbacks we and everyone around us faced this year, and we’re very thankful to have been able to work with so many talented, dedicated people that we couldn’t have done this without.”

This is the fourth time in five years that University of Hertfordshire students have received the top prize for Game of the Year PC and Console.

Last year the university was ranked best in the world for ‘Console and PC – Production Excellence’ and received recognition in a number of other categories.

Phil Healey, Dean of the School of Creative Arts, said: “We are extremely proud of our students, who have all demonstrated outstanding creativity, dedication and hard work.

“We are delighted to see their exceptional projects rewarded with international recognition from an industry leading organisation like the Rookies.

“We congratulate our students on their success, and look forward to following their future careers.”

The University of Hertfordshire is recognised as one of the best in the world for digital creative courses.

The Rookies are voted for by leading players in the industry and are the major awards for students wanting to break into the field.

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