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2021 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 2021 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: Quarantine and/or Lockdown!

2021 will continue to present new challenges to FRC teams, but we have never let that stop us in the past, So … this year’s theme “QUARANTINE and or LOCKDOWN” is your chance to share with everyone how you are dealing with it. You can interpret this theme however you wish. It could be about creative ways your team deals with Quarantine/Lockdown restrictions; An anecdote about something funny that happened to your team and how you dealt with it; A funny story about how robots deal with it; How your Team used or could use Robots to work around Quarantine/Lockdown, How you adjusted your outreach to work around Quarantines and or Lockdowns. It’s completely up to you, Use this opportunity to help inspire other teams in these difficult times.

What you choose for a story is not nearly as important as the skill and expertise you use to tell the story. Hint: Animations that use the theme and provide a positive inspiring message will be prioritized over animations 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 from Theory Animation. 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 will be sent to the winner from FIRST.

Screen Capture from the 2020 Winner Team 1317


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.
    • 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 be “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 tools used, a list of public domain sources, and licensed sources in credits.
    Go here to submit your animation: submit – up to 2 GB!
  7. ** DEADLINE**
    All submissions and uploads must be completed by 11:59 p.m. ET on Thursday, Feb 25, 2020. Any entries after this deadline will not be judged. Winners will be announced Mid-March.
  8. Public Viewing – Videos will be published for public viewing approximately one to two weeks 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!

2020 Winner (Team 1317 ) – – All 2020 Submission (112 Videos)

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)