This award, sponsored by AutomationDirect, celebrates the art of digital animation and its close relationship to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics).
The 2023 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 – Charged Up!
2023 challenge: Create a “Charged Up” solution of the future to solve an everyday problem.
Reference: 2023 Submission Guidelines
2023 Winner: Team 836: The RoboBees
Judge Comments: Really great work telling a story through a cohesive visual style with fun characters, colors, and textures. The whole project felt very polished, and we were especially impressed by the shot compositions and camera movements. We’d recommend learning how to bake lighting and shadows in environments as occasionally we’d see the real time AO/lighting fade on edges in the fast camera moves. Overall fantastic work!
Special Thanks to Theory Studios for doing the Judging again this year! Theory is an international team of animators and special effects artists.
This year, we would also like to recognize our 2nd and 3rd placed teams:
2nd: Team 3341, Option 16
Absolutely stunning visual style! We were impressed with the expressive line work, figure drawing, and beautiful color palette. We’d recommend working towards smoothing out and making the character motions more natural.
3rd: Team 1197, TorBots
We loved the expressive robot character, the cohesive story, and the beautiful transitions between shots all set to custom music. Really well done on this one! We’d recommend adding more visual contrast in some scenes for visual interest – especially in the middle where it feels mostly gray.
The judges asked us to pass the following comments along for some of their favorite animations because they all started where you are and remember how much they valued constructive critique along the wat (these are team number order, not ranking order
Team 867: We loved the really cool concept with the phone characters – and the attention to detail making the teacher an old Nokia was hilarious. We were also a big fan of the mixed media style. We’d recommend working towards smoothing out some of the more stiff character movements and working on making some of the shot transitions feel a bit less abrupt.
Team 2583: Great work on the shot composition and layout! Also great attention to detail – we loved how the color temperature appropriately changed throughout the different times of day. Also, great work with the lively squash and stretch on the robot. We would’ve loved to see a voice recording as opposed to the text line, and we’d recommend working towards smoothing out some of the character movements!
Team 6004: We loved the funny infomercial style for this one – great writing! We were also impressed with the movement of the fox character – the follow-through wiggle you gave the robot really gave it some charm. We’d recommend working towards making some of the intro text more read-able and cutting down on the amount of the animation occupied by just text.
Team 6647: Fantastic work with the stunning visuals! We’re huge fans of the expressive painterly style and attention to detail, and the character designs were great! We’d recommend working towards making some of the movements less stiff and adding some secondary motion to make the characters feel more alive.
Team 8005: Really great cohesive visual style with cute characters and solid compositions! We’d suggest playing around with the visual contrast to make the subjects stand out more and working towards smoothing out some of the character motions.
Team 8248: Fantastic job with the camera work, compositions, lighting, and funny story! (We loved the “NOT AGAIN” line at the end). We were also impressed by the effects (like the smoke at 0:17) We’d recommend working on making the visual style more cohesive between all of the elements and working towards making the character’s movement more natural.
Team 8717: This one was hilarious! The compositions were easily read, and the comedic timing was spot on. Well done! Even though it’s part of the humor, we’d recommend working towards a more cohesive style for all of the characters.
Past Winners and Animations
2023 Winner (Team 836) — All 2023 Submissions
2022 Winner ( Team8334) – – All 2022 Submissions
2021 Winner ( Team8592 ) – – All 2021 Submissions
2020 Winner (Team 1317 ) – – All 2020 Submission
2019 Winner (Team 846) – – All 2019 Submissions
2018 Winner (Team 1317) – – All 2018 Submissions