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Congratulations to the winners of the inaugural GridMarkets 2017 Student Scholarship Competition:

Ben Nelson (Brigham Young University) and Alireza Bidar (Savannah College of Art and Design).  

Ben and Alireza are awarded 3,000 GridMarkets credits, $USD500 in tuition assistance, a Houdini Indie license (thanks to SideFX), social media promotion via a Featured Artist article and access to GridMarkets Houdini Expert mentorship. Ben, the Grand Prize winner, will also receive a full SIGGRAPH-LA 2017 pass (thanks to Sohonet).

The scholarship judges were challenged to pick among the many fine submissions of 90 second videos created with Houdini. Thanks to all the students who put their heart and soul into this effort. You are all deserving of sincere congratulations for your efforts.

We greatly appreciate all the sponsors who have made the scholarship program a success; special thanks to SideFX, Sohonet and Judgify - makers of the popular cloud-based judging management solution which simplified and streamlined the submission and judging process.

We would also like to acknowledge the participating schools: BYU and SCAD. Both schools provided thoughtful leadership and suggestions which solidified the mission and vision for this scholarship program - to better ensure its future success and longevity.

Finally, we would like to thank our industry judges. Their job was challenged by the many quality student submissions. Our judges included: Ben Andersen (FX TD), Jordi Barés (Creative Director), Phill Mayer (FX artist), Jeff Ranasinghe (VFX/CG supervisor) Youxi Woo (FX Supervisor), Deborah Fowler (SCAD Professor), Seth Holladay (BYU Professor), Eric Guaglione (Animation Supervisor), Ken Rudman (Chief Marketing Officer), Manuel Casasola (Creative Director), and Rob Stauffer (Senior Production Consultant).

Given the success and participation in the 2017 scholarship, we are looking forward to next year’s competition and will be announcing details soon. If you are interested to learn more, drop us line at

scholarship details
Scholarship Goals

Scholarship Details

  1. Remove barriers to encourage ambitious and talented students

  2. Prepare students for their transition to professional life

  3. Promote the top global VFX/animation schools

  1. Student support, mentorship and industry promotion,

  2. $3000 GridMarkets rendering credits for the academic year,

  3. Houdini Indie license.

Sample Benefits

  1. enrolled in a participating university

  2. establish a GridMarkets account (see www/

  3. submit original work before the submission deadline relevant to your school (see "How to Submit")

Judging Criteria
  1. Aesthetics (visual interest and appeal; effectiveness of artistic communication)

  2. Technical Merits (level of innovation and precision)

  3. Breakdown (clarity of intent and goal; Description allows for the reproduction of your work)

Key Dates

Key dates for the 2016-2017 academic year follow:

  • 2017Mar02 - submission portal opens

  • 2017Jun04 - submission portal closes

  • 2017Jul01 - award winner announce

Participating Universities

participating universities

The participating universities for the 2016-2017 academic year are:

Savannah College
Brigham Young University

If your University is interested in participating in the program or if questions, write to us at

Participating Sponsors

SideFX Logo

SideFX - For thirty years, SideFX has been providing artists with procedural 3D animation and visual effects tools designed to create the highest-quality cinematic results. We are passionate about what our customers do because our roots are in production, both as artists and as pioneering technical innovators.

Judgify logo

Judgify - an online judging system designed to empower awards organizers around the world to setup awards and competitions with ease.

Sohonet logo

SohoNet - Connecting Media & Entertainment

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