[In the third of a multi-part series of demoscene-related posts on GameSetWatch, following the first set and second set of nominees, AteBit's Paul 'EvilPaul' Grenfell looks at the Scene.org awards for the best demos of the past 12 months.]

In part 3 of this round up we'll take in Best Effects, Best Graphics and Best Direction categories. Note that two of the big guns from this year, Agenda Circling Forth and Happiness is Around the Bend are nominated in all three.

Best Effects

The effects in this category don't need to be technically outstanding but they do have to be either effective or novel. This year's nominees demonstrate a mix of both.

Agenda Circling Forth by Fairlight & CNCD

Agenda quite obviously gets a nomination here for it's impressive GPU powered particle systems. You can read about how this demo was put together on the coder's blog.

Area Unstable by Badsquare

Flash has slowly been gaining traction in the demoscene over the past few years, largely due to the high quality works from Evoflash. Area Unstable has some great effects in it, even if they are not quite as cutting edge as the other modern PC demos in this category. The presentation of the effects is excellent though, and it's quite easy to forget that they are coded in Flash.

Ars Nova by Accept Corp

A great example of how much you can fit into 64k.

Cdak by Quite & Orange

Probably the most straightforward effect to get nominated this year, but the result is an incredible example of what you can do with a single full-screen quad, a well crafted pixel shader and a touch of post-processing. Check out this thread on Pouet for a behind the scenes look at how it was done.

FR-063 Magellan by Farbrausch

In Magellan, Farbrausch have given us an almost oldschool presentation of impressive effects but with a neat storyline to tie it all together. Watch to the very end for probably the most impressive Mandelbulb rendering I've seen.

Happiness is Around the Bend by ASD

Not the most advanced effects on show here, but the layers of polish and the consistency of the whole demo is more than enough to demand a nomination.

Best Graphics

This is a category where outstanding 2D art, 3D modelling, texturing, lighting or shaders can get you a nomination. In practice though, all of the demos here excel in each and every one of these areas.

Agenda Circling Forth by Fairlight & CNCD

Something completely different to start with though, as here both 2D and 3D art sources are combined together and manipulated seamlessly into delicately flowing particles.

Finally Inside by Still

Intricate 3D detail in the scenes here, mixed with some over-the-top but fitting post-processing effects.

FR-043 Rove by Farbrausch

A beautifully rendered snowscape and a set of stunning effects here. The transformation from night to day is particularly nice.

FR-063 Magellan by Farbrausch

The second nomination for Farbrausch in this category provides us with wonderful space scenes and a great spaceship interior. There's a great sense of scale in the exterior scenes.

Happiness is Around the Bend by ASD

A very solid, and very consistent mix of great 2D and 3D art on show here.

YouShould by Haujobb

Some excellent 2D in here amongst the slick, hi-tech looking 3D work.

Best Direction
This category showcases innovative, fresh or just plain impressive direction. Most of the demos here show both great flow and story telling.

Agenda Circling Forth by Fairlight & CNCD

The constantly moving camera is as fluid as the particles here.

Cdak by Quite & Orange

Stunning direction in this single-scened, 4k demo. The simple audio and the visuals combine for an awe inspiring experience.

Finally Inside by Still

Great pacing here and a strong theme.

FR-043 Rove by Farbrausch

Great camera work and editing.

Happiness is Around the Bend by ASD

Seamless flow from beginning to end. Look at how the pacing changes, through expert mixing of cuts and transitions, as the demo progresses.

YouShould by Haujobb

More great transitions between the distinct scenes here, but the whole thing hangs together well.