2018 HPC Kung Fu-NCHC 3D Animation Challenge - National Taiwan University of Arts Wins Top Prize  


Under the guidance of the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Ministry of Culture, the "2018 HPC Kung Fu - NCHC 3D Animation Challenge", jointly organized by the National Center for High-performance Computing (NCHC) under the National Applied Research Laboratories (NARLabs) and the Export Processing Zone Administration, the Ministry of Economic Affairs, was entering its seventh session this year, and the competition continued to break past previous records. A total of 77 teams, 252 people signed up for the same competition, and final selection was conducted on 9/10, in which, the National Taiwan University of Arts took top honors, second and third places respectively. "Benu and Gai" was crowned champion and won the prize of NT$300,000, "A Moving Day" and "Grey Pigeon Transmission" ranked second and third places, receiving NT$200,000 and NT$100,000 respectively.


Vice Minister Yu-Han Tsou of Ministry of Science and Technology (left) awards the champion prize to the winner of the National Taiwan University of Arts

HPC Kung Fu Competition is the only competition in Taiwan to set up special effects awards. This year, the special effects group entitled break and crack, the Student Group was awarded a Nova Award and the Social Group was awarded an Outstanding Award, which were won by the Bo-Han Su's "Bouncingball” and Chenh-Hsuan Li’s "Broken Eclipse” respectively. The winners of this year's challenge were also awarded internships at the relevant companies, and their works would be broadcast in the Supercomputing Conference.

Cross-ministerial departments will support to promote the upgrading of Taiwan's digital content industry with technology 

 In order to enhance the efficiency of the integration of technology with the humanities, the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Ministry of Culture have cooperated in the implementation of the “Online to Offline Technology and Humanistic Computing Platform Project”. This inter-ministerial flagship project mainly aims at accelerating the research and development of technology applications that inject cultural elements. The Ministry of Science and Technology and NCHC, National Applied Research Laboratories, would set up a new generation of Render Farm and worked together with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Ministry of Culture to foster future talents in the field of cultural science and technology innovation. 

Inspiring cultural-based creativity with new rendering platform 

 To provide integrated development in the fields of science and technology, art and culture in Taiwan, NCHC, National Applied Research Laboratories, had completed a new online-to-offline real-time rendering platform in April this year, which enhanced the efficiency of image computing by more than eight times. In order to provide a higher quality and more efficient computing and technology research/development platform for domestic industries, research institutes, and to help all circles to challenge higher precision, analyze the digital content of virtual reality, we had independently developed the GPU remote accelerated rendering environment as well as the Point Cloud Digital Modeling Reduction System. 

At the same time, this platform is technically connected to the cloud rendering classroom built by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Taiwan high-end digital model library developed by the Ministry of Culture to support the cultivation of high-value-creating talents in the innovative entertainment industry and to promote the digital model value-added application of the local architecture. The number of contestants who attended this challenge used the new rendering platform were more than twice as much as in the past, and 4K high-quality works also doubled the quantity. In the future, excellent creators will continue to be encouraged to use Render Farms and Taiwan high-end digital model to allow creative imagination to be unrestrained and to promote Taiwan’s creative energy and local characteristics to the international community. 

Masters' sharing inspires students; Talent matching enhances their combat power 

 Final teams selected for the "2018 HPC Kung Fu - NCHC 3D Animation Challenge" covered the indicated schools in the north, center and south regions of Taiwan that deeply cultivated animation and visual education. In order to achieve the masters tutoring effects, two education trainings were conducted in addition to the competition. NCHC, National Applied Research Laboratories, also took the opportunity to invite Miss Andrea Pun, an animator from DreamWorks SKG, serving as an international master to share her works on animation and trends in the world animation industry, and invite Professor Deng of Kun Shan University, who has long involved in the vision and animation, to talk with students. 

The exclusive interview and sharing of the two speakers brought numerous inspiration to the students at the scene. Through sharing and exchange, NCHC, National Applied Research Laboratories, can thus enhance the trend acumen of the government-industry-university-institute circles in the animation industry, and thereby help the domestic industry to promote integration with international standards.


Talent Matching Conference is held before the award ceremony

In order to foster the innovative entertainment industry, the Ministry of Economic Affairs specially organizes a talent matching conference before the awards ceremony, inviting a number of content-focusing manufacturers to interview the elite teams participating in the competition. This will enable the high-value-creating talents to connect seamlessly with the industry. The competition teams may take this opportunity to gain technical and industry experience. The companies can also learn the attitude and personality of students outside of the field of technology through face-to-face selection and the best options for talents. In this year's challenge, from the implementation of the project, competition organization, training activities and talent matching conference, it has seen the fruitful results of the government in nurturing high-value-creating talents. 

Looking at 3D animation national challenge held in this year, the competition is only one of the important links. The most important thing is to cultivate more high-value-creating talents in the industry-university connection. In view of the current industrial trends, more advanced technologies, such as AR/VR, will also be included in future competitions, and it is expected that through the continuation of the 3D animation challenge, the strengthening of the incubator programs, it will develop a different vision for Taiwan in the digital content industry.