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Kiwi designer wins global Raygun Shootout competition

Media Release
26 November 2010

Kiwi designer wins global Raygun Shootout competition

New Zealand digital artist Denham Kelly, and Californian information systems manager Mark Rose, have been named the winners of the global Raygun Shootout competition announced at the annual Blender conference in Amsterdam.

The competition, created by Intergrid New Zealand and powered by the Microsoft Azure platform, asked entrants from 72 countries around the world to design a raygun capable of 'destroying 7/9ths of an African elephant in two blinks of an eye'. The competition had two categories - one for those using Blender's open source 3D software and one for those using commercial software.

The prize includes a trip to Weta Workshop in Wellington, New Zealand, to meet Greg Broadmore (creator of Dr. Grordbort's) and Weta co-founder, Richard Taylor.

Commercial software winner Denham Kelly is an Auckland based freelance digital artist who says he was completely blown away when he found out about his win.

"I feel like Charlie Bucket from Willy Wonka, Greg Broadmore is a huge inspiration to me and to win the opportunity visit Weta Workshop and meet Greg in person is unbelievable."

"My design was inspired by the rifles and pistols designed by Greg Broadmore and also by the Steampunk style. It took me about three weeks to complete and I had no idea my design would be so well received.

Blender software winner Mark Rose is based in Santa Clara, California and was at home watching via live stream when he was announced as the winner at the Blender conference.

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"I was completely flabbergasted with the win. It was fantastic to realise that the late nights and hard work had paid off. I am really excited to visit New Zealand, not to mention the opportunity to meet Greg Broadmore and Richard Taylor."

"My inspiration came from the word 'ostentatious' in the challenge request. I thought about what Lord Cockswain, Greg Broadmore's chief buffoon, might like while on the hunt and I came up with the brandy in the front grip, the humidor in the cheek rest and the removable lighter in the Vulcan's Fury reactor."

Greg Broadmore, concept designer, Weta Workshop and judge says the competition attracted an astonishing number of entries.

"The competition started strong and just got stronger. There is an amazingly diverse selection of beautiful modelling, clever and inventive design and real creativity shining through. This made it very difficult for me as a judge, as each day I thought I had made my final decision I would notice something else."

Andy Gordon, Platform Strategy Manager at Microsoft New Zealand says this competition was a great opportunity to highlight what technology enables designers to do.

"Rendering services such as those delivered via the Greenbutton software allows designers to render high quality images using supercomputer processing power at a fraction of the time it would usually take them, not to mention it is exceptionally cost efficient. This technology in particular is supported by the Microsoft Azure platform and demonstrates how to maximise the power of cloud computing. This is the future of digital design and has the potential to transform industries that rely on computer assisted design."

For more information, entries and pictures visit http://www.raygunshootout.com/
For more information about Microsoft Azure visit http://www.microsoft.com/azure

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realise their full potential.

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