2014 Animation Award Winners:

Technical Excellence Animation Award Winner: Team 250
Creative Excellence Animation Award Winner: Team 20

This is what the awards even look like: (now to get them to the respective teams)

2014 Animation Technical Excellence Award

Animation Prompt

“Depict a mythology from a civilization on a fictional planet.”
This is an intentionally nebulous and rather open prompt, which should enable considerable creativity. If you are not sure how to start, consider basing your animation from another story or create a civilization/planet and then pair a story to it to start generating ideas.


Animation Award

The Underground Society of Animators (USA)

2014 USA Award for Excellence in Animation

Official Rules

Version 1.1

This award is sponsored by FIRST Team 116/Epsilon Delta with support from many other teams in the FIRST community. We strive to encourage students to enjoy animation and cultivate skills in design and creation of animation including, but not limited to, storytelling, creativity, use of computer software, and an understanding of different techniques and forms of animation. This event is open to all FRC and FTC teams.

1.0 About The “USA AEA”

Originally, this award shared Team 116′s name, for lack of any other ideas. However, this award is the culmination of many different teams’ efforts, not just Epsilon Delta and we felt that the name should reflect that. Thus, we christened this award the “Underground Society of Animators Award for Excellence in Animation.” It’s quirky and fun, it’s perfect for the FIRST community.

2.0 The Challenge

“Depict a mythology from a civilization on a fictional planet.”
This is an intentionally nebulous and rather open prompt, which should enable considerable creativity. If you are not sure how to start, consider basing your animation from another story or create a civilization/planet and then pair a story to it to start generating ideas.

3.0 Judging

This award will be judged at the national level. We recognize that technical skill and creative design are two distinctive characteristics of an animation, and therefore we honor both aspects through two separate awards. The technical award will be judged by a panel of professional animators and film-makers, while the design award will be judged by those within the FIRST animation community.
The panel of judges will be mindful of the creative aspect of each animation but will focus more on technical execution. The FIRST community is expected to act similarly, focusing primarily on design while being mindful of technique. Both parties should use these criteria as guidelines for judging:
  1. Mastery of Animation
    • Quality of Animation
    • Complexity and Presentation of Images
    • Expertise in Medium
  2. Ingenuity
    • Originality of ideas
    • Effectiveness and efficiency in execution
  3. Clarity
    • Comprehensibility and organization of ideas within the animation
    • Pacing
  4. Artistry
    • Aesthetic Appeal
    • Implementation of Artistic Elements
    • Use of Medium

4.0 Submission Requirements

The following requirements must be met for an animation to be submitted to the judges and displayed for other teams to watch and elect.
  1. An animation may be submitted by any registered FRC or FTC team.
  2. The submitted animation must be no more than 60 seconds.
    • It must be relevant to the Challenge presented (see Section 2.0).
    • 60 seconds is only an upper limit. Teams may submit an animation of any length up to that limit, and the duration will have no impact on how the animation is scored.
  3. Animations must be submitted as QuickTime files, with:
    • Animations must use the MPEG-4 or H.264 codec.
    • The animation must have a minimum resolution of at least 1280 x 720 pixels.
    • The animation must be recorded at 30 frames per second.
    • The submitted file must have a name in “teamxxx” format (e.g. “Team0116.mov”).
  4. Title Screen
    • The animation must begin with a title screen displayed for a 5-second duration followed by a one-second black slate, leading into the primary work.
    • The title screen display not be included in the total duration limit.
    • The title screen must include your team number, team name, school/organization, title of the animation, and animation duration.
  5. Thumbnail
    • In addition to the animation file, please submit a single JPEG image of one scene that represents the animation.
  6. Summary of Animation
    • Please provide a brief (one or two paragraph – no more) description of your mythology, the planet that you have created, and any “back story” that would be appropriate.
    • If there is any special information that you would like the judges to know regarding the technical creation of the animation (special tools or techniques you used, particular problems overcome, etc.), they may be briefly included in the summary.
  7. Tools
    • All forms of animation are accepted, ranging from computer-generated animations created with tools such as Autodesk 3ds Max, Lightwave, Maya, etc. to two dimensional frame animation. Even hand-drawn cel animation and claymation is permitted.
    • The submitted animations may be generated and/or compiled through the use of any animation tools, editing packages, and/or illustration systems.
    • No live footage or images featuring living objects can be included.
  8. The animation may not include any copyrighted material that the team does not own or that has not been properly licensed for this use.
    • This restriction includes music, voices, and images, among other media.
    • If discovered, the offending animation will be immediately disqualified from the competition.
    • If the team possesses a license or document giving explicit permission from the copyright owner, then they may use the material.
    • In the case of the previous bullet, the team must be able to produce the necessary documents if requested.
    • Free, public domain, and/or open source license materials may be used, but the appropriate license must be documented and appropriate credit must be cited for the source of the material.
    • Our aim is to provide as much protection to teams as possible, so please bear with us in this regard.

5.0 Optional Submission Items


At the option of the team, additional information may be submitted to provide more background for the judges. This material is not required, but is recommended.
  1. Storyboard
    • The storyboard should be submitted as a single JPEG image of any size that depicts the overall flow of the intended story.
    • The storyboard may be originally drawn on paper and scanned in, or sourced from computer-generated image(s).
  2. Credits
    • Follows a one-second black slate at the end of the animation.
    • Will not be included in the total duration limitation of the animation.

6.0 Submission Process

Last year, teams ran into difficulties in uploading large video files to the USA Competition Server in a timely manner. To prevent last-minute problems, submission for 2014 is structured into a two-step process.
  • First, upload your video to YouTube. Make sure that it is set for “Public” visibility.
  • Then head over to our submission page to provide the additional information described in Section 4.0 and Section 5.0, and provide the URL of your YouTube submission.
  • Following the successful completion of Steps 1 and 2, please submit a full-resolution copy of your animation file to us at team116animationaward@gmail.com via YouSendIt or a similar large file transfer capability.

7.0 Deadline

All submissions must be completed by 11:59pm EST on Saturday, March 15, 2014. Any entries submitted after this deadline will not be judged.

8.0 Resources

Thanks to Autodesk for providing the following material:

  1. Resources for M&E Students: http://area.autodesk.com/students
  2. Resources for M&E Educators: http://area.autodesk.com/educators
  3. Character creation in Sketchbook and Maya: http://area.autodesk.com/blogs/edu
  4. Autodesk Smoke for Macs: http://usa.autodesk.com/smoke-for-mac/
  5. Useful Links for Animation, CAD, and Graphics, compiled by Clayton from Team 2367: http://www.sfhsrobotics.com/acg/resources/

9.0 Contact Us

If there are any questions, please feel free to contact us at team116animationaward@gmail.com. Check back frequently for updates or check our twitter account @ED_aniaward.