DAVE School Graduates Shine at VES Awards: 12 Contributed to Winning Projects, 1 Takes Home Award

Digital Animation & Visual Effects (DAVE) School graduates are making waves in the entertainment industry, as evidenced by the 21st Visual Effects Society (VES) Awards. The VES Awards ceremony recognized some of the most innovative projects and talented individuals in the visual effects industry.

Avatar: The Way of Water, directed by James Cameron, was one of the big winners of the night. The film picked up a total of 9 VES awards, including the prestigious ‘Outstanding Created Environment in a Photoreal Feature‘ award, won by DAVE School grad Justin Stockton for his work on the reef scene. Also impressive is that 10 DAVE School graduates contributed to the film’s success!

Here are the names of the talented DAVE School alumni who worked on Avatar: The Way of Water:

  • David Rohloff – lab artist: Lightstorm Entertainment
  • Dean Lewandowski – environment supervisor: Weta FX
  • Daniel Burrows – Environment Artist
  • Dustin Hayes – Element QC Lead
  • Cody Hernandez – lab artist: Lightstorm Entertainment
  • Motoki Nishii – environment supervisor: Weta FX
  • Justin Stockton – lead layout td: Weta FX
  • Aine Graham – Animator
  • Yael Majors – compositing supervisor
  • Patrick Peterson – CG Supervisor

The popular video game The Last of Us Part I also won a VES award for ‘Outstanding Visual Effects in a Real-Time Project‘. Two DAVE School graduates worked on the game:

  • Cheick Kamagate – Animator
  • Moe Ftouni – Animator

At the DAVE School, we are incredibly proud of our graduates and their accomplishments. It’s amazing to see our alumni make their mark in the entertainment industry and create stunning visual effects that bring stories to life on the big screen. Congratulations to all of the DAVE School graduates who contributed to the success of Avatar: The Way of Water and The Last of Us Part I. We can’t wait to see what they accomplish next!

About the VES Awards

The VES Awards recognize outstanding visual effects and innovation in film, television, animation, commercials, and video games worldwide and the artists who bring the work to life.

Visual Effects Production Diploma Program

The Visual Effects Production program gives students a broad range of skills that allow them to pursue jobs in the computer graphics industry, including feature film and television effects, game art, print advertising, architectural visualization, and military simulation.

About The DAVE School

The DAVE School was founded on June 8, 2000, by two Industry executives looking to create #CareerReady artists with a practical animation school. Today, The DAVE School offers specialized training in Visual Effects and Game Production with extensive practice under industry-level supervision.

Located on the backlot of Universal Studios Florida®, The DAVE School has an 18,000 square foot facility that includes learning and interactive labs, a dedicated Virtual and Real-Time production stage, a Vicon motion capture system, 3D printing, and VR/AR labs, and secure student access 7 days a week.

NUC University (NUC) is an accredited institution and a member of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) www.msche.org. NUC’s NUC University – IBC Technical Division (NUC-IBC), NUC University – Florida Technical College (NUC-FTC), and The Digital Animation & Visual Effects School (The DAVE School) is included in this accreditation. NUC’s accreditation status is Accreditation Reaffirmed. The Commission’s most recent action on the institution’s accreditation status on 2019 was to reaffirm accreditation. MSCHE is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA)