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2020 FIRST Robotics Digital Animation Award

This award, sponsored by AutomationDirect, celebrates the art of digital animation and its close relationship to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics).

The 2020 Digital Animation Award is offered to help encourage students to 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 award is open to all FIRST Robotics Competition teams.

This Year’s Theme: Recharge!

“RECHARGE” – you can interpret this theme however you wish. It could be about how you recharge your team each season, how you recharge your batteries, how FIRST has recharged your school, your life or your community. It’s completely up to you. For this award, what you choose for a story is not nearly as important as the skill and expertise you use to tell the story. Animations that use the theme will be prioritized over videos that don’t.


Judging is purely subjective. We are looking for excellence in animation skills and in the use of animation to tell a story. The Judges will be a diverse panel of Technical Marketing, Visual Effects and Animation experts from around the world. We will be specifically looking for:

  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
    • Use of original 3D models and modeling technique
  3. Clarity
    • Comprehensibility and organization of ideas within the animation
    • Pacing
  4. Artistry
    • Aesthetic Appeal
    • Implementation of Artistic Elements
    • Use of Medium


Official FIRST Trophy presented at a Regional/District event.

Screen capture from the 2019 Winner


The following requirements must be met for an animation to be submitted to the judges and displayed for other teams to watch.

  1. A single animation may be submitted by any registered FIRST Robotics Competition team. Submissions may be 2D, 3D, mixed media, stop motion or anything else you can use to animate a story.
  2. The submitted animation must be no more than 30 seconds long including credits (does not include title screen). Animations more than 30 seconds long will not be judged.
    • It must be relevant to the Challenge presented (see Section 2.0).
    • 30 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 (*.mov) files. Animations must also meet the following requirements:
    • Animations must use the MPEG-4 or H.264 codec.
    • The animation must have a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels (720p).
    • The animation must be recorded at 30 frames per second.
    • The submitted file must have a name in “Teamxxxx” format (e.g. “”).
  4. Title Screen
    • The animation must begin with a title screen displayed for a 2-second duration followed by a one-second black slate, leading into the primary work.
    • The title screen display will not be included in the total duration limit.
    • The title screen must include your team number, team name, school/organization, the title of the animation, and animation duration.
    • The animation must be free of copyright issues. Do not use copyrighted characters, music, or other elements, unless you have the legal right to do so.
    • The animation should be supportive of the FIRST Core Values.
  5. Credits
    • Credits should follow a one-second black slate at the end of the animation.
    • Make sure to include team members, mentors, software used, a list of public domain sources, and licensed sources in credits.
    Send your video to via – up to 2 GB for free and you get a confirmation when we receive/download the video!
  7. ** DEADLINE**
    All submissions and uploads must be completed by 11:59 p.m. ET on Thursday, Jan 23, 2020. Any entries after this deadline will not be judged. Winners will be announced before the first Regional/District events.
  8. Public Viewing – Videos will be published for public viewing approximately one week after the submission deadline. Keep an eye on official FIRST channels as well as unofficial channels such as Chief Delphi for the announcement.

If there are any questions, please feel free to contact us at

Need some inspiration? Check out the winners and submissions from the past!

2019 Winner (Team 846) – – All 2019 Submissions (101 Videos)

2018 Winner (Team 1317) – – All 2018 Submissions (98 Videos)

2017 Winner (Team 1317) – – All 2017 Submissions (103 videos)

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Past entries for the Digital Animation Award
Submissions from our previous years!


By making a submission, the Submitter irrevocably grants to FIRST and FIRST’s designees the right to use any or all of the submission in any and all media for the purpose of describing the submission, describing the Award, and/or otherwise promoting FIRST and FIRST’s programs.