Media Communication Senior Wins Two Platinum Awards for Digital Effects

By Kathy Bruner Published: Nov 21, 2011

Bill Parker

Taylor University film production student Bill Parker won two Platinum Pixie awards for his work in digital effects. The Pixie Awards is a competition focusing on effects, motion, graphics and animation. Parker’s project featured a Clone Trooper from the film Star Wars.

Parker said he had spent last summer integrating photorealistic computer-generated (CG) objects into live action footage. “Using Autodesk's 3DS Max software, I was able to animate the character using motion capture files and my own animations from scratch to bring the Clone Trooper to life.” The next step was for Parker to light the Clone Trooper to match the lighting from the footage he had shot. Parker used Adobe After Effects software to combine the Clone Trooper with live action.

“It’s great to get recognition for something I do in my free time. This is specifically what I want to do--visual effects. Being able to take real footage and compile it with something CG is really exciting.”

This is not the first time that Parker has gained attention for his digital effects work. In 2009, his production “Star Wars vs. Star Trek” was highlighted in news media as far away as Sydney, Australia, demonstrating the sophistication that is now possible in visual effects using relatively low-cost software. Parker’s clip has received more than half a million hits on YouTube and has generated several freelance work offers for Parker.

“We’re so proud of Bill being recognized by this award competition. Bill’s effects expertise makes him a great asset to every team he’s worked on in Taylor’s film and media production program,” said Kathy Bruner, assistant professor of media communication.