TWO aspiring computer games artists have won recognition at a national event dedicated to those looking to make their mark in next generation gaming.

Daniel Harris and Kai Du, who both finished studying BA (hons) computer games art at Teesside University in May, were ‘highly commended’ in the Next-Gen Gaming Student of the Year category at this year’s CG Student Awards.

The CG Student Awards are the most prestigious awards dedicated to students who are studying for careers in visual effects and animation, particularly in next generation gaming.

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Daniel and Kai, both 21, took inspiration from Electronic Arts’ ‘Dead Space’ franchise and Naughty Dog’s ‘The Last of Us’ and used the advanced CryENGINE game engine to create their own textured environments for next generation games, using real-time rendering and physically-based texturing.

After being placed in the highly commended class, the talented pair have both won licences for the Substance design software from developers Allegorithmic, plus 12 months free web hosting from Siteground.

Additionally, Daniel, originally from Southampton, has secured a placement at a top games studio.

He said: “I decided to come to Teesside after visiting for an open day. The course had everything I wanted and I liked the look of the university and the facilities available.”

Kai, originally from London, is moving on to a year-long internship at The Creative Assembly in Horsham, which produces titles such as ‘Total War’ and ‘Viking: Battle for Asgard’.

Kai said: “Our time at Teesside has given us a realistic idea of what the industry is like and we’ve been able to get lots of feedback on our work, which has helped me to develop the fundamental art skills I will need in my career.”

Dave Cockburn, senior lecturer in games art, said: “I’m thrilled that Daniel and Kai have received such prestigious recognition.

“The industry is going through some exciting changes at the moment with the start of a new generation of consoles and games. The opportunities they have won with their hard work and dedication should be the start of a terrific career in the games industry for each of them.”