About the Judges    

Paul Huston - Senior Digital Matte Artist - Industrial Light & Magic

Paul Huston joined Industrial Light & Magic for the first "Star Wars" film doing work as a story board artist and modelmaker. Since then he has worked at ILM as a modelmaker, cameraman and visual effects art director. He has worked extensively with the ILM matte department throughout his career and has played an integral role in the transition from traditional matte to digital matte painting.

As a senior digital matte artist, he supervises the work of other matte artists. Huston has earned two Emmy Nominations and an Emmy Award for Highest Achievement in Visual Effects as a digital matte artist for "The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles"; and in 1993 won an Association of Independent Commercial Producers/Museum of Modern Art (AICP/MOMA) Production Design Award for his work on British Petroleum's "Elevator".

In addition to all the "Star Wars" and "Indiana Jones" movies, Paul's Art can be seen is such movies as "Captain America: The Winter Soldier", "Noah", "Pacific Rim", "Star Trek Into Darkness", "The Avengers", "The Great Gatsby", "Star Treck", "Ironman", the 3 last "Pirates of the Caribbean", "War of the Worlds", "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban", "Gangs of New York", "Jurassic Park" and many, many more...

In 2003 he received the Visual Effects Society - Best Matte Painting in a Theatrical Motion Picture Award for his work on StarWars Episode II : Attack of the Clones.

  What Paul says about our products  

I'm very happy to have discovered VUE. It has proven to be a very valuable tool in my environment creation work process. There isn't currently any other single package that provides a comparable wide range of features and ease of use.
I highly recommend it to my fellow artists!


Scott Brisbane - Lead Matte Painter - Weta Digital

Scott Brisbane graduated from USC's School of Cinema-TV with a Bach. in Cinematography. He then studied matte painting at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and was hired shortly there after as a Digital Matte Artist at Matte World Digital.

While at MWD, Scott created concepts and final matte paintings for numerous projects including "The Alamo", "The Last Samurai", "Catwoman", and the Imax film "Greece: Secrets of the Past".

Scott joined Dreamworks Animation in 2005. His credits as a matte painter there include "Over the Hedge", "Flushed Away", and "Shrek the Third". He was then promoted to Lead Matte Painter on "Kung Fu Panda", supervising a team of 15 artists. This was the first film at the studio in which VUE was used extensively to create the environments for over 700 shots in the film.

In 2008, Scott has served as the Matte Painting Supervisor at Dreamworks Animation for the studios first stereoscopic movie, "Monsters vs. Aliens". This film allowed the matte department the opportunity to push the boundaries of digital environments in 3D. Under Scott's supervision, the team of 10 artists delivered hundreds of shots with environments ranging from foreground San Francisco buildings and distant city views to dimensional aerial cloudscapes.

Just after completing work on "Monsters vs. Aliens", Scott left Dreamworks animation to work at Rhythm and Hues Studios on "Land of the Lost", "The Wolfman" and "The Cabin in the Woods".

In July 2009, Scott left the USA to move to New Zealand. He joined the Matte Painting Department at Weta Digital where he acted as Senior Matte Painter on James Cameron's "Avatar" and for which his team won a VES Award for "Outstanding Matte Paintings in a Feature Motion Picture".

Scott came back to Dreamworks Animation end of 2009, where he has supervized the matte painting department on "The Croods", "How to Train Your Dragon 2", "Kung Fu Panda 3".

In April of 2015, Scott flew back to New Zealand, to join Weta Digital again, where he has worked on blockbuster movies such as "The BFG", "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" and "War for the Planet of the Apes".

You can read an exclusive interview with Scott, we did a few years back in our Spotlight section.

  What Scott says about our products  

VUE is one of the most artist friendly tools I've ever used. It has become an essential package in my workflow for environment creation. In fact, as more and more stereo films enter production, I see VUE becoming an extremely helpful tool in creating those imagined worlds dimensionally.


Eran Dinur - VFX Supervisor - Brainstorm Digital

Eran's career in visual effects started with a fascination for creating 3D natural scenery. Through his early works he became well known as a VUE expert and innovator. He then joined ILM Singapore where he created visual effects for films such as "Iron Man", "Star Trek", "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen", "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull", and "Terminator Salvation".

After moving to New York, Eran worked at Framestore NY on "Salt" and "Clash of the Titans", and then Joined Brainstorm Digital, where he has been senior VFX supervisor since 2011. In this capacity Eran won a Primetime Emmy Award ("Outstanding Special Visual Effects in a Supporting role", Boardwalk Empire), and two Visual Effects Society Awards ("Outstanding Compositing" and "Outstanding Modeling in a Broadcast Program", Boardwalk Empire).

Eran has been leading the Brainstorm team on numerous film and TV projects, including "The Wolf of Wall Street", "Boardwalk Empire", "Cafe Society", "The Lost City of Z", "Triple Nine", "The Men Who Built America", "Sons of Liberty", "Delivery Man", "The Heat", and "The Immigrant".

Eran is passionate about teaching, learning and sharing knowledge. He is an adjunct professor at the School of Visual Arts, has created several online courses at fxphd, and presented at various international conferences such as Siggraph, NAB, Fesmak and Mundos Digitales.

In April 2017, Eran released "The Filmmaker's Guide to Visual Effects - The Art and Techniques of VFX for Directors, Producers, Editors and Cinematographers" which offers a practical, detailed guide to visual effects for non-VFX specialists working in film and television.

  What Eran says about our products  

VUE has always been an inspirational program. You tweak a few parameters, move a few sliders - and suddenly, a surprising shape of terrain, a certain atmospheric quality, or a particular formation of plants launches your creativity into a new artistic adventure.

On the other hand, each new version of VUE comes with more precision tools that enhance its controlled use in demanding project-driven environments.

It is this, the fact that it combines the unexpected with the practical, that makes VUE, in my opinion, such a unique and exciting piece of software.


Olivier Pron - Supervising Art Director, Head of Art Department - Method Studios

Olivier recently journeyed from Method London to lead the Los Angeles team and further develop and expand Method's creative services as Supervising Art Director and Head of the Art Department.

Olivier specialize in pre-production work and focuses his expertise on digital matte painting, environment and conceptual work for feature film and commercial projects.

With credits on high-profile visual effects films, including the "Harry Potter" series, "Avengers: Infinity War," "Iron Man 3" and "Cloud Atlas." Award winning artist, Olivier was honored for his work on "Guardians of the Galaxy" at the Art Directors Guild 19th Annual Excellence in Production Design Awards in 2015.

Olivier joined Method London at the studio's inception in 2010, where he was one of four artists who developed the studio's presence in the London visual effects market.

Prior to joining Method, he held senior level positions at MPC and Framestore in London and BUF Compagnie in France. Early on in his career, Olivier worked in photography with Maurice Coriat and helped set up exhibitions for Henri-Cartier Bresson

  What Olivier says about our products  
  VUE and PlantFactory are helping us be more creative and productive across the entire workflow for our productions, regardless the tools we currently use.  

Jean-Denis Coindre - Lead Digital Matte-Painting - Universal Pictures - Illumination Mac Guff

Jean Denis Coindre is Lead Digital Matte Painting at Universal Pictures - Illumination Mac Guff since 2011. Before that he has worked in other facilities such as MPC, Duran Duboi, Cube Creative, One More to name a few.

His portfolio includes Animation movies such as "The Secret Life of Pets", "Minions", the three "Despicable Me", "The Lorax" and more, and he has also worked on feature films such as "Sherlock-Holmes 2 : A Game of Shadows", "Asterix at the Olympic Games", or "Micmacs".

Jean-Denis studied 2D and 3D in various design schools, including Supinfocom, one of the French's top graphic schools. His passion for technology lead him to create Artwork-VFX, his own training center for image professionals in Bordeaux (France).

You can read an exclusive interview with Jean-Denis, we did a few years back in our Spotlight section.

  What Jean-Denis says about our products  

No other software can create natural environments in full 3D as quickly and fluidly as VUE does! It's a very versatile and impressive piece of software. It would be totally insane to even try doing what VUE does in any other tool such as 3ds Max or Maya!


Justin Gladis - Matte Painting Lead - Blue Sky Studios

Justin strongly believes that small teams can make very big contributions. Since joining Blue Sky in 2008, he has worked on their entire portoflio of films and shorts with The Peanuts Movie and Ice Age: Collision Course being particular favorites.

Leveraging off of a generalist background, Justin is able to contribute 3d environments & assets, environment matte paintings, volumetric clouds, look-dev, and compositing.

Beyond his role as an individual artist, he leads teams of matte painters, lighter/compositors, and generalists in his current position as a Lead at Blue Sky Studios.

Justin is very interested in blurring the borders of 2D and 3D design to solve creative problems.

Reading weird fiction, photography, doodling, HBO, traveling, and consuming copious amounts of espresso all contribute heavily to his happiness and sanity.

  What Justin says about our products  
  VUE has become a vital cog in the matte painting toolkit for a wide variety of tasks, from getting a nice procedural base texture to paint-over to rendering volumetric clouds for flying sequences and even as a modeling tool for set extensions. Recently, I've used it as a renderer to explore different atmospheric options for a development project, it really is a very versatile package.  

Ethan Ayer - Matte Painter - Respawn Entertainment

With a background in painting and years of experience working in the fine art world, Ethan now works as a Matte Painter and Vista Artist in the Games Industry. He has recently contributed to such AAA titles as Titanfall 2 and The Order: 1886.

Ethan previously worked at VFX studios for films and commercials including Method Studios, Hammerhead Productions, the Moving Picture Company (MPC), the Mill, Look Effects, Ingenuity Engine, Stargate Studios to name a few, and also remotely for various independent film projects.

Ethan is capable of setting up 3D projections , texturing, modeling, terrain, and creating game assets.

His commercial enterprise is balanced by his passion for hiking into the Sierras at any given opportunity with his camera. He often returns from his trips with great reference photos to inspire his professional work.

  What Ethan says about our products  
  VUE is great at populating instances on terrain, especially populating vegetation through EcoSystems. It is very convenient to set up a scene where you have total control of the lighting over a heavily vegetated landscape as opposed to finding the right photo reference. VUE is also pretty compatible with Autodesk Maya, which is my primary 3D software package for modeling and scene layout.  

Alex Alvarez - Founder/President of Gnomon School of Visual Effects, Games + Animation

Alex is the Founder and President of the Gnomon School of Visual Effects, Games + Animation, as well as the Gnomon Workshop and the Gnomon Gallery. After attending the Art Center College of Design and the University of Pennsylvania, Alex worked as an Applications Engineer for Alias|Wavefront.

Alex has since dedicated the last 20 years to educating students and professional artists around the world. He has been published in industry magazines, websites, and books, in addition to teaching classes at several major trade conferences as well as on the Gnomon campus.

Alex continues to work on personal and professional projects, including creating over 30 instructional DVDs. He has also worked on blockbuster films such as "Avatar", "Star Trek", "Green Lantern", "Super 8", and "Prometheus" as a creature development artist.

Sofronis Efstathiou - BFX Competition & Festival Director - Bournemouth University

Before becoming Principal Lecturer at the National Centre for Computer Animation, Sofronis worked in the Film and Games industry on projects such as "Happy Feet", "300" and "Fable 2", training artists and production staff on projects that would go on to win an Oscar, a BAFTA and a Games BAFTA.

Currently, Sofronis is the BFX Festival Director, attracting presentations and masterclasses from some of the best VFX, animation and Games studios found in the world today: bfxfestival.com.

Franck Petitta - Founder and CEO - Ecole Georges Méliès

After a training as companion stonemason and a degree course in the Fine Arts of Paris (sculpture and stone cutting), Frank PETITTA founded Ecole Georges Méliès in 1999, within the Castle (Chateau) of Georges Méliès, where this father of the cinematographic art finished his life.

In 2008, Frank PETITTA led an European project (FEDER) which allowed construction of a new 3000m2 building, which opened in September 2014.

Thanks to his experience, in 2014 he started the Athanor, a place of exchange dedicated to the cultural and creative industries. Athanor brings together 3 complementary axis: the Villa Méliès (artists in residence), Incub ' Méliès (Business incubator) and Lab ' Méliès (innovative pedagogical laboratory).

Ecole Georges Méliès counts more than 250 students mean to become real Artisans of Image.

  What Franck says about our products  

E-on software's VUE and PlantFactory enable us to teach our students new skills in environment and vegetation design, and the software is easier to use and less expensive than other software solutions. Students and professors have already found VUE and PlantFactory to be highly useful tools in their projects and education. Both packages allow all our Image Craftsmen the ability to realize more ambitious projects than never before!


Jim Thacker - Editor - CG Channel

Jim Thacker is editor of CG industry news site CG Channel, and a contributing editor to the blogs for leading online art community ArtStation and Gnomon - School of Visual Effects, Games and Animation. He was previously editor of 3D World magazine for seven years.

He has acted as development editor for titles published by Focal Press and Design Studio Press, and worked with 3DTotal on its Digital Art Masters series of tutorial-based art books.

He has lectured on the subject of 3D and visual effects at venues ranging from the UK's National Portrait Gallery to the Norwegian Film Institute.

  What Jim says about our products  

I'm always impressed with the quality of work being created with the e-on software's products, and the talent of its user community.


Manny Fragelus - Founder and Program Director of CGMA and CGworkshops, CG Society

Manny Fragelus is founder and program director of CGMA and CGworkshops. Besides leading the academic direction for both schools Manny is also the host of the popular webinar series "Industry Sessions" for CGSociety's CGS-tv.

This series give participants the opportunity to interact directly with some of the best artists in the industry. Ranging from the entire character art team from Naughty Dog to a panel with some of the best FX artists from Blizzard, MPC and ILM.

Manny has over 17 years of experience working in the games, films and animation industry. His recent job was modeling lead at Dreamworks Feature Animation for the last 11 years.

Daniel Wade - Product Manager - Artstation.com

Daniel Wade is the Product Marketing Manager at ArtStation.com leading ArtStation Challenges, ArtStation Jobs and industry outreach for the media & entertainment artist community.

Prior to that he was the Publisher of Ballistic Publishing for eight years producing the EXPOSÉ, d'artiste, EXOTIQUE and Art of the Game series of art books. He also evangelized the first generation of digital artists as Editor of Design Graphics magazine.

  What Daniel says about our products  
  We published many outstanding VUE-created submissions for the EXPOSÉ and the d'artiste Matte Painting series at Ballistic Publishing  

Carrie Mok - Editor - 3D Artist Magazine

Carrie is Editor of 3D Artist magazine, one of the top publications in the world for CG tutorials, behind-the-scenes access on the tools and technology behind the biggest movies and games, and industry insight.

She has been working on the magazine since 2015, interviewing key industry figures in VFX from ILM, MPC, The Mill, Double Negative and more, and bringing the spotlight to the inspiring art and techniques of professional artists.