View Full Version : animation session rules

04 April 2006, 08:46 AM
basically put down your ideas on rules. or weather you think the old ones are ok.

these are the old ones:

Rules: You have one month to finish the animation. Other then that anything goes in this session.

You will need to submit the following milestones:

- Planning thumbnails

- Blocking

- Revision

- Final

- Final submission needs to be quicktime sorenson or WMP cinepak encoded 640 x 480 movie file. Prior submissions can be of lower res to minimize file size.

04 April 2006, 08:49 AM
personally i reckon ignore the milestones as posting them takes time you could be spending animating. anyone agree up to you guys really i happy doing both just think its better to keep it simple.

04 April 2006, 09:43 AM
hmmm, i reckon something in between. i agree, too many milestones can cramp your style, take up time, but i do think what might be nice is a simple story board. this way people get an idea what you are doing, once the story board is done, you can then focus on making a polished animation. so basically 2 steps:

planning, ideas, concepts, and sorting out generally what you'll do, presented as a story board

final piece, in the specified formats

i think this will be important for 2 reasons, firstly it will stop people floundering around, changing ideas, getting discouraged etc, which is something i frequently do, and learning how to storyboard/plan, a bit of drawing practice etc, is always a good thing to have under your belt.

one other thing, while it wouldn't be a rule, is to make clear that the animation doesn't have to have perfect materials, lighting, or even be rendered, that the focus should stay on the actual animation, how well it portrays the story, etc.

and i had a quick look-see at the 10secondclub website, and i have to say, i'm not so sure about the whole animating to a fixed sound clip and in essence fixed timeline. while it does help with my earlier point of focussing on animation, it also really stifles (i feel) the creativity and flexibility. it makes for fairer judging etc, but it's not like we're competing for medals here ;) but in that same vein, keeping the topic quite specific, for example; man jumping out of a window. that way you would be free to built up WHY he's jumping out the window, but also a good yard stick for judging, how well does he land etc. also, the storyboarding will keep the whole process more logical, easy to follow, and give another way for judging to be fair, how well did he stick to the story board? how much did he have to "fudge" the animation to make it work?

well, that's my 2cents.

actually, it was more like 36cents.

bah, you get the idea

04 April 2006, 09:58 AM
yeah i think your right, the reason the 10 second club do what they do is that its about creating a real situation as an animator would be required to do in a company like pixar or disney. like the director assins you the shot and you have to create the performance no matter what it is. the good thing about it is that it forces animators to think about the acting rather than the tecnical side of things.
i definatly agree that the focus is purely on animation and that posting a story board or series of thumbs to explain where its going is a good idea, after all this forum is about the learning process and about people supporting each other and helping them out with a spot of direction when they need it.

the ideas thread ( is the place to put any ideas these can be about anything i just think that 15 seconds of animation in a month will be higher quality than people rushing to make an epic. some of the best creations in the world come from limits besides we have to have some coz it would just be a wip section is we didn't.

anyway hope to see some cool ideas coming in.

04 April 2006, 11:40 AM
Now I'm starting to agree with you on the 15 seconds thing, Dalmanna. There will definitely be some folks who try to outdo themselves, planning out something too long, and finally not finishing in time. That would suck in general to see a whole bunch of unfinished animations.

I say yes to the storyboard/thumbs idea. Don't think showing all phases is necessary though (blocking/revision/etc.)

04 April 2006, 11:48 AM
the storyboard is pretty essential as people can tell if it can be done in the time frame.

the other thing is that if people are finishing to a quality level the work can be used on a reel. so i won't seem like time wasted.

04 April 2006, 11:59 AM
i've been thinking, but can't decide, how the tpoics should be handled. what you said makes extremely good sence, that sound clips are good in that they are related to what you might get handed in industry, but again so might scripts, storyboards etc, and also, if these challenges could potentially be used for showreels, which i think is a fabulous idea, then it also needs to be flexible enough that the animator get's to express themselves through it and for it to be original.... as far as i can tell, how the topics are given will be fundamental to both the success of this, and the usefulness to participants.... sorry that i haven't got any answers/suggestions, but it's something that's concerned me

EDIT: d'oh, i robably should have put all this in the idea's thread. anyway, after reading around a bit, how's about this: proposed ideas include the type,theme,storyboard, or soundclip, that way it'll always be different, and the 'people' can choose what they'd rather do. styles could either be rotated, or perhaps a poll each month for the topic/style etc for the following month? maybe the previous months winner could choose as a reward?

04 April 2006, 12:03 PM
i totally agree dangermouse, theres no rush to get this up and running, i wanna make sure that when we do it's somthing that will benefit the animators doing it. i'm gonna spend some time today throwing around ideas of how to pull this off and then i'll stick em up later to see what you guys think.

04 April 2006, 12:37 PM
Dangermouse, Good idea to do a poll to decide the coming month's theme.

I just hope more CGTalkers will start contributing to this thread! It'll be kinda boring if there's only 3 of us doing this every month!

04 April 2006, 01:03 PM
i agree, we def need more people, but things take time, i'm commited to this, so a little patience will go a long way i'm sure.

one thing, would it be sensible do you think to open this up to 2d artists as well?i ask because i've got a 2d animator friend, apparently they can whack out a line test (sketchy kind of animation, but still clear and accurate) reasonably quickly. it would make judging and critiquing harder though. hmm, i think i've talked myself out of the idea already ;)

anyway, back on topic, each month:
thread to vote for last months winner
1 thread per entry
thread to vote for next months topic (randomly pick a handful from the suggestions thread)

of course, just a suggestion, i'm holding out for dalmanna's thoughts, he said he was gonna give it some serious thought. i really think this forum could be quite a major hub, i get the general feeling animations are a somewhat neglected area of cgsociety. plenty of animation threads, but very few threads containing actual animations.

anyway, it's so damned late here i'm tired and rambling, so i'll be back tomorow.

WAY off topic: i'm trying to come up with a good artists alias, i don't like danger mouse, i've never had a nickname, and i'm stumped....

04 April 2006, 01:11 PM
I'm trying to come up with a good artists alias, i don't like danger mouse, i've never had a nickname, and i'm stumped....

Why not Dangermousedanger? :applause:

But seriously, I agree this could be a success if we can get enough people to get involved. If we offer a variety of challenge types (animate to audio/theme/music) I think we could be more attractive than places that limit the contest to only dialogue.

I think it would be cool to limit it only to 3D artists. Obviously I have nothing against 2D artists, except that I just lost to one in the 10secondclub's march contest ( Argh. :argh:

04 April 2006, 03:10 PM
Alright guys :wavey: I’ve given this a bit of thought whilst working today this is what I came up with;

Animation in any medium as to be honest animation is animation doesn’t matter how its done. It may seem like 2d has an advantage coz it quicker but no one really has an advantage in either medium because with 2d you have to make model sheets first and do character designs before any animation can take place and in 3d you can just use box rigs or a free one off the web. For example the low man rig of generi rig is fine.

The animators choose the style. Basically only the subject each month is chosen for you. An example of this is; if the subject was to ‘show a loss’ then it could be interpreted as someone who has lost their keys or someone who has lost a family member or something completely different, the choice would be yours. In terms of how it is carried out, the one with the person who has lost their keys could be animated to music whereas the one with the death of a family member could be a dialogue scene. Again it’s the animator’s discretion.

Subject’s wouldn’t always be ‘show a loss’ type stuff it could be like jump out a window (to use I believe danger mouse’s example.) it important that the story is the animators own it’s just the subject that has to be incorporated some how. This gives the animator a certain amount of freedom without have everyone doing as they please all willy nilly. It has to be graded around something :p

Finally the animation has a deadline of one month so if we say that every animation should be approximately 15 seconds long it will give people time to produce a quality animation and allow them to finish it on time (hopefully) important to note that 15 seconds is not a hard fast rule as in you will not get penalized for going over or being slightly bellow. The most important thing about these challenges is that people are given the chance to produce something at a high standard, which can either be used as just a practice or finished up with a pretty render to stick on a reel.

These are just a bunch of ideas their still up for discussion so feel free to add or fix anything. So most importantly what do you guy’s think. My main concern is that we all learn to be better animators so i'm open to anything that'll help us do that.:D

04 April 2006, 03:24 PM
Sounds good to me. Freedom is good. We could use this as a base for starting, and go tweaking the rules as we go.

I'm just anxious to start one! What do you say if we go ahead and post a new thread with a poll asking folks to vote on the contest that would start on 1 May? That would give us a month to get votes in and to 'advertise' the challenge around a bit.

Or am I a little too anxious? Maybe we should hammer things out more first?

04 April 2006, 03:25 PM
also, I'm still voting for all 3D animation, no 2D...just so that the playing field is a little more level.

04 April 2006, 03:28 PM
Sounds good to me. Freedom is good. We could use this as a base for starting, and go tweaking the rules as we go.

I'm just anxious to start one! What do you say if we go ahead and post a new thread with a poll asking folks to vote on the contest that would start on 1 May? That would give us a month to get votes in and to 'advertise' the challenge around a bit.

Or am I a little too anxious? Maybe we should hammer things out more first?

yeah 1st of may is cool, gives us some time to shout about it in the general disscusion thread.

as for only 3d thats cool if you wanna do it that way, i was just gonna chop and change and do a bit of both like one month 3d next one 2d just to stay in touch with both. though this could be my love of glen keanes work wanting to creep out.:p

04 April 2006, 03:31 PM
cool. Whatever you decide is good with me. So let's move over to the idea thread to get the ideas to present in the poll worked out?

04 April 2006, 03:33 PM
sure thing post away:beer:

Chris Bacon
04 April 2006, 10:42 AM
This is cool..I didnt take advantage of it when it was last on...It'll be nice to do this especial considerig I'll have finnished uni by a cool way of building up my reel...

04 April 2006, 10:45 AM
thats what we're aiming for reel quality work but just a practice is cool too

04 April 2006, 10:50 AM
Good to have you Vivec. Feel free to add ideas for the animation themes we'll use over here. (

04 April 2006, 02:07 PM
I'll just chime in and say I like the ~15 second rule...I'm assuming we'd target 24FPS, maybe that should be a rule, so it would roughly be ~360 frame animation.

Also, if Quicktime is acceptable, I personally favor the H.264 over Sorenson as it gives pretty darn good compression. I'd maybe target 1MB data rate, which would yield between ~1-2MB clips.

Of course I don't think that it must be in that format. I think there should be an option for something else.

640x480 is certainly nice too, but I am kinda liking 480x360 as a good compromise between being too tiny at 320x240, and taking up more space at 640x480.

just some added thoughts,


04 April 2006, 03:11 PM
Well, at the moment it looks like we are favoring allowing any kind of digital animation -- which includes scanned drawings, or stop motion, or whatever. Since we are considering allowing different styles of animation, then I don't think dictating frames-per-second is necessary. The animation will look okay at the fps the artist chose, or it won't.

I like the 640x480 idea because details should still be very visible... But, fluffybunny's idea of 480x360 isn't bad either. I think that does hit a nice compromise.

I absolutely agree that formats are important. I would recommend the following for consideration:Quicktime -- can you use different codecs? I'm not overly familiar with QT, but at home have never had a problem viewing .MOV files and have been really happy about that.

Windows Media -- I've used WMV for compression and have been very happy with the results. The files are small, and as far as I've been able to tell viewable by anyone with Windows Media Player who tried to look at them. You can use different settings, we should identify what we expect for animation videos in our challenges.

Flash -- this is a very common animation file type, and should be allowed. We need to decide what version player needs to be targeted when the SWF file is for use in these animation challenges.

Once we've agreed on formats, I think putting together an overview, or tutorial, on properly encoding animations for these challenges would be a useful tool.

Other useful tools would include animation resources. A good starting place for these resources is the animation forums here on CGTalk:

This forum seems to have a lot of discussion on 3D techniques, but there is also discussion of 2D animation as well. Good stuff.

In the past it looks like the animations were not hosted here on CGTalk. So, where can they be hosted? There are a lot of free options out there, and I have a large chunk of webspace where I would be willing to host animations for others. Any other thoughts on this?

Finally, what kind of information should be included with each entry? My suggestions are:Time to finish (in days, weeks, or hours if you are REALLY fast)

Software used (all packages)
Encoding information (you never know when this is useful information)

Keeping sample parts of work as you progress is a good idea, too. I'm sure a lot of great walk throughs could be written up, and having these partial steps available will only make these kinds of write-ups easier to do. Not that a howto is required, but some people like to contribute them.

04 April 2006, 03:21 PM
In the past it looks like the animations were not hosted here on CGTalk. So, where can they be hosted? There are a lot of free options out there, and I have a large chunk of webspace where I would be willing to host animations for others. Any other thoughts on this?

this would be cool,if you didn't mind doing it then everyone could get everything from the same place.

your idea about encoding tuts is sweet too, if you know anyone who's a bit of an encoding pro then by all means get em on board (goes for anyone)

i reckon quicktime/ or flash are the way to go coz everyone can get hold of the players free.

04 April 2006, 04:25 AM
Count me in for this! :thumbsup:

As far as rules go, not too fussed. I agree there should be more flexibility with milestones than before. Everyone has their own way of working. Maybe it should just be a rule to post your own "personal" milestones, i.e. storyboards, blocking poses, and major iterations of the scene file if that's how you work. Or reference video if you act it out etc.

04 April 2006, 05:05 AM
I like the 640x480 idea because details should still be very visible... But, fluffybunny's idea of 480x360 isn't bad either. I think that does hit a nice compromise.

hehe, can't claim that as my idea really....tis the resolution we're presently using in AM.

Regarding H.264 in QT, it does require the latest version of QT to play, but since it's pretty easy to grab, it shouldn't be an issue. Encoding this does require QT pro as far as I know.

There's also the super compressed avi that the 10 second club uses, would it be thievery to steal their procedure? it's not divX, but I forget what it is.

One other idea that pops to mind is frame counters? They're sure nice...should they be required?
I agree that 24FPS doesn't need to be mandatory, I only suggested it cause it's a good general target.

just keeping the ideas flowing :)


04 April 2006, 05:22 AM
I have the worst memory EVER, but i have some vague recollection of cgsociety planning on hosting anims soon? or was that for portfolios... anyway, i don't make much use of my current hosting, i'd be happy to mirror on a monthly rotation or something.

I've got an idea to help thing move along in a more solid structured fashion, feel free to shoot me down if it's dumb ;) assign jobs/positions. put someone in charge of rules, someone in charge of topics, someone in charge of setting up voting threads, etc. i'll use the rules as an example, that way if one person is in charge of the rules, they set up the rules based on whats been loosely agreed upon, then if changes are required, they can pm'ed and organised by woevers in charge. any of that make any sense? i'm not a natural born leader by any stretch of the imagination, but i'm totally happy if anyone wants me to take care of an aspect of all this

just yet another 2cents of mine ;)

04 April 2006, 07:07 AM
Hey about adding some polls to help decide some of these issues? Maybe one on movie size (I personally like 480x360),etc.

Dangermousedanger, I agree with you that one person should be in charge of this,or various people assigned to specific parts. Dalmanna, did you want to continue running the show on this?

Another avatar change for you, eh?

04 April 2006, 12:43 PM
ok, made a poll titles a bit messy coz i thought you had to write poll but apparently it does it for you:D go vote here (

as for sorting out jobs i don't mind doing the poll and setting the challenge and stuff as long as it's cool with everyone else.

and yes the ryu avatar was getting old so earthworm jim stepped in:bounce:

04 April 2006, 11:18 AM
hey guys just pm'd Roberto to see if he's interested and he wanted to know the rules so i sent him this (below) is this ok with everyone? and did i leave somthing out

hey again,

these are the rules we've come up with so far, if you think somethings wrong point it out and we'll change it. the reason for only quicktime format hand in is because you can get quicktime on any OS and the player is free.

"participants will need to submit the following land marks:

Explanation of idea
thumbnail sketches
final animation in quicktime format with a res of 480x360

animations must be completed in one month"

04 April 2006, 04:50 PM
I think that accepting multiple formats would allow the challenges to be open to the widest number of participants. Not that all formats can be accepted, but having a few options should keep things flexible enough.

Here are links to software for viewing different file formats:

WMV - Windows Media

MOV - Quicktime
SWF - Flash
Once we have the rules finalized I think they should be posted as the first entry in a sticky thread. Also, they should be updated as any changes are made to the general rules for the animation challenges.

04 April 2006, 05:41 PM
Easy there guys. The new animation sessions are coming as soon as the animation hosting comes up from the good folks at cg society.

I am sorry but the rules I set will not be changed , 2d IS allowed and you are still supposed to submit your milestones. That is to avoid people not showing anything until they "think" they are done with it. the point is to encourage peer critic every step of the way.

There are a couple of really cool topics coming for the sessions.

04 April 2006, 11:45 PM
Sounds great, Sheep. Will the hosting be part of CGPortfolio or something separate?

04 April 2006, 06:02 AM
Yup at cgportfolio.

The problem with the old sessions was everyone needed to find their hosting and most didnt , and most hostings did not survive the front page plugs during the end of the sessions. This way it will be much easier for everyone and will encourage more people to enter too :thumbsup:

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