BREAKING — The Rookies today announced the winners for the Rookie Awards 2021 - the world's most prestigious competition for aspiring design and media entertainment artists.

The Rookie Awards 2021 received over 4000 entries from aspiring digital artists around the world. The winners represent the very best aspiring digital artists as selected by the judging panel which include some of the most influential and respected experts in their creative and technical fields.

The winners have been selected by scoring each entrant based on criteria including creative skills, technical skills, presentation, variety of skills, complexity, raw talent, and employment potential. As always, the results have been extremely close with only a few points difference between the majority of nominees.

“It always seems so cliche to keep saying the quality of entries is better each year, but it's happened again. The quality of work submitted to the contest is truly inspiring” said The Rookies co-founder Andrew McDonald.

As always, a special shout out to our incredible list of sponsors. Trust us when we say that this event and these opportunities would not be possible without their support. We are fortunate to have two major sponsors this year - Autodesk and Unreal Engine. It means the world to us that they continue to support the Rookie Awards after all these years and help our industries as a whole.

To all our other sponsors, your support means no less and we are honored to have your support again this year. Thank you! Foundry, Substance by Adobe, NVIDIA, Dell Technologies, Chaos Group, Unity, Wacom, Weta Digital, Ninja Theory, BVN REAL, Adobe, Important Looking Pirates, Flipped Normals, SideFX, 3D World, Unreal Engine, Maxon, Browzwear, Sketchfab, Kilograph, Sini Software, BINYAN, Outpost VFX, Marvelous Designer, Dr Reel's, Crystal Dynamics, On Animation Studio, Marmoset, Teradici, IO Interactive, INDG, 2G Studio, Goodbye Kansas

Last, but not least, we would like to thank our brilliant judges who contributed their time and knowledge to help deliberate and ultimately select the winners which was no mean feat.

So without further ado, please follow the links below to view the winners for each of the following categories:

Rookie of the Year - Winners

2D Animation, 3D Animation, Visual Effects, Concept Art, Game Development, Immersive Media, 3D Motion Graphics, Product Design, Architectural Visualisation.

Film of the Year - Winners

2D Animation, 3D Animation, Visual Effects.

Game of the Year - Winners

PC & Console, Immersive Media, Mobile.

Career Opportunities - Winners

Weta Digital, Epic Games, Ninja Theory, BVN REAL, Outpost VFX, Binyan Studios, IO Interactive, ON Animation, 2G Studio, INDG, Important Looking Pirates, Kilograph, Browzwear, Goodbye Kansas Studios.

Specialty - Winners

Young Guns, *School of the Year

*Winners of this category are calculated based on the performance of entries submitted to Rookie of the Year Categories. These results will be announced August, 2021.


Some of our favorite comments from judges

2021 entries have reached another level! Almost every finalist of this year could have won last year contest! So impressive. Congratulation to all participants.
Pierre Maheut - Head of Strategic Initiatives and Partnerships, 3D & Immersive at Adobe

So many amazing games out there, congrats to all of the entrants! They all look to be very lovely games to play through. So much team effort to put together these games.
David Luong - Senior Cinematic Artist II at Blizzard

These students just get better and better every year! its amazing to see so many schools helping elevate this industry.
Ash Thundercliffe - Senior Artist at Infinity Ward

The quality of the entries at the finalist level was amazing. I am truly impressed at how much some young people are putting into VFX learning and artistry.
Helen Paul - Senior Lighting Artist at Weta Digital


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