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2022 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 2022 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:
Fast Forward – Transportation!!

We are currently experiencing unprecedented transportation issues: Ships are backed up in ports and can’t unload their cargo, There aren’t enough truckers or trucks to make deliveries, Rail capacity is overwhelmed, etc.

2021 challenge: Create a transportation solution of the future to solve an everyday problem.

That can be anything you want:
>> Lightning fast autonomous robotic deliveries from factory direct to consumer
>> Safe High Speed transportation,
>> Propose a way to get cargo containers off of ships so they don’t have to dock
>> etc.

What you choose isn’t nearly as important as how you use your Digital Animation skills to show your innovative concept.

>> Animations that use the theme and provide a positive inspiring message will be prioritized over animations that don’t.
>> Animations that use Humor tend to do better


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.


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 using:
    • Format: H.264 codec in mp4 file
    • Resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels (720p) minimum.
    • Frame Rate: 24 frames per second.
    • File Name: “Teamxxxx” (e.g. “Team0116.mp4”).
  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.
    Submission deadline has passed.
  7. ** DEADLINE**
    All submissions and uploads must be completed by 11:59 p.m. ET on Thursday, Jan 27, 2021. Any entries after this deadline will not be judged. Winners will be announced in 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 past winners and submissions!

2021 Winner (Team 8592 ) – – All 2021 Submissions

Screen Capture from 2021 Winner Team 8592

2020 Winner (Team 1317 ) – – All 2020 Submissions

Screen Capture from the 2020 Winner Team 1317

2019 Winner (Team 846) – – All 2019 Submissions

Screen Capture from the 2019 Winner Team 846

2018 Winner (Team 1317) – – All 2018 Submissions

Screen Capture from 2018 Winner: Team 1317

2017 Winner (Team 1317) – – All 2017 Submissions

Screen Capture from the 2017 Winner – Team 1317