MDS named No 1 in the world

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Auckland’s Media Design School has been ranked as the world’s top tertiary provider for both Graphic Design and Photography by a panel of internationally renowned judges, beating 479 other schools from 77 countries for these top honours.

Formerly known as the CG Student Awards, The Rookies aims to “…discover and showcase the outstanding talent emerging from higher education facilities and help launch them into careers at the world’s top studios.”

The judging panel included global industry veterans from Weta Digital; Framestore; Double Negative; Hell Studios; Thornberg & Forester; Sony Imageworks; and Pixar.

Of the nine international finalists for The Rookies Graphic Designer of the Year, two of the students selected were third year MDS Bachelor of Media Design students. Sherylene Chan was awarded the runner-up and Bailey Hancox was awarded Highly Commended for her digital portfolio.

Graphic Design Lecturer Jim Murray says that this result is a reflection of the high calibre of the students selected to undertake Media Design School’s Bachelor of Media Design.

“This result represents a significant achievement for the school, our students and the Bachelor of Media Design programme alike,” says Murray.

“By introducing our students to project-based learning and live briefs from their very first day at Media Design School, they are able to produce works that appeal to the global design community. We are exceptionally proud of Sherylene and Bailey’s achievements.”

Two recent graduates of Media Design School’s Bachelor of Art and Design degree, Brock Ennion and Phillip Chang, were selected as finalists in The Rookies Photographer of the Year category.

Landscape photographer Phillip Chang, who is currently working as an Assistant Technical Director at Weta Digital, took out the Rookie of the Year award in Photography.

Associate Lecturer Rafael Bonatto, who teaches all of the degree’s photography components, says that in their first year of the Bachelor of Art and Design degree, students are introduced to essential photography principles that they utilise throughout their degrees.

“These fundamental photography concepts are applied to the student’s 3D work, where they are constantly improving their photography skills as they are in total control of their cameras, lighting, and composition,”

“This enables them to visually communicate a story, which is the most important aspect of photography,” says Bonatto.

“Phillip was a very dedicated student who constantly strove to improve his photography skills in and out of the classroom. We are thrilled to see his hard work pay off.”

Media Design School’s award-winning third year Bachelor of Art and Design student short film Escargore, also fared well, winning the Runner Up prize in The Rookie’s Animated Film of the Year category.

What’s more, Karl Davis, a recent Bachelor of Art and Design graduate, was awarded one of the three Oceania Internship opportunities on offer.

Last year, the then-CG Student Awards ranked Media Design School among the top three schools in the world to provide VFX/Animation and Game Development qualifications, making it one of the best tertiary providers in its field globally.

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