Enter the Trojan Horse Golden Ticket Challenge

2017 Golden Ticket Challenge winner Te Hu with the theme, THU Clans.

I’ve been a regular attendee at Trojan Horse Was a Unicorn for a few years now. Formerly in Portugal, THU is landing in Malta this year, and the location looks stunning.

What’s exciting is, you can enter the Golden Ticket Challenge art competition to get there yourself. There are two categories – student and professional – and winners will receive a ticket to THU, flights to Malta and 5-star accommodation. The first placed student also receives a Wacom mobile pro and a Lenovo mobile workstation.

So, what do you have to do?

To enter, you need to create a piece of artwork on a set theme, ‘Land of Wonder’, which is inspired by the new Malta location.

Submissions opened on May 14th and run until July 9th. Winners are announced on ArtStation – which is partnering with THU on the Golden Ticket Challenge – July 16th.

What are you waiting for – find out more here: www.trojan-unicorn.com/main-event/golden-ticket

Oh, and how good does THU look already? On the VFX front, some of the speakers include ILM’s Hal Hickel, Black Panther vfx supe Geoffrey Baumann, DD’s Matthew Butler, vfx Leslie Ekker and more. And then there’s production designer Alex McDowell, director Jorge Gutierrez, and concept designer Ian McCaig. Seriously, amazing people.

THU takes place September 24-29, 2018 in Valletta, Malta.

Retro vfx: Godzilla is 20!

Patrick Tatopoulos 6th scale Godzilla upper torso. Destruction of miniature jetty with Godzilla head. Photo by Isabella Vosmikova, © 1998 Tristar Pictures.

In vfxblog’s ‘Man-in-suit, miniatures, mechanics and modern CG: looking back at 20 years since Godzilla’, we chat to visual effects supervisor Volker Engel about this massive 1998 release and its use of practical, miniature, animatronics, puppet and CGI effects – all at once. The Q&A has some fun new facts about the teaser trailer for the film, and about how a whole bunch of shots were done, including one of my favourites, the fisherman running along that pier. You can check it all out at this dedicated link:


Willow is 30!


It’s very nearly the 30th anniversary of Ron Howard’s Willow, a huge effects film full of practical fx, miniatures, optical composites, matte paintings…and digital morphing. This was ILM’s big breakthrough into 2D image manipulation. I recently wrote about for VFX Voice magazine, and you can check out that article here.