View Full Version : Animation Challenge: Suggestions for non-audio topics

06 June 2008, 01:04 AM
Hey animators :)

I have some free time to get a few things started. I'd like to add some more non-audio topics so I'm opening up this thread so people can throw some ideas in. So please add something that you think would be a good topic with some interesting acting in mind. I'll throw out an idea.

Trying to solve a HARD math problem.

Would the character write numbers in the air? Get frustrated from mistyping on the calculator? Furiously write on a chalkboard or quietly ponder?

Let's try to think of more until the end of the month. Starting July I'd like to get a challenge up.

06 June 2008, 02:00 AM
Maybe doing like a Hulk Clap or a hulk smash in honor of the new movie

Climbing up a flag pole or gym rope

A goalie blocking a free kick o r maybe getting scared and jumping out of the way

Or a guy shooting a free kick and possibly missing the ball entirely Charlie brown style

Jumping out of plane and deploying a parachute

I think all of those would be fun

06 June 2008, 02:45 AM
Feeding a baby.
Just finished using the toilet.
Mowing the lawn.
Building a house of cards.
Trying to start a fire, through any means.

06 June 2008, 10:05 AM
Running into someone else
Falling asleep
The task of animating something
Trying to mimic an unknown lifeform/animal
The realization that humans can't fly after jumping off a cliff
A fan supporting his team
Eating hot soup

06 June 2008, 08:04 PM
How about:

waiting around and having his/her emotions change from happy to sad (stood up on a date?)
getting caught doing something you shouldnt be doing (cookie jar)
trying to reach something up high (glass in kitchen)
reaction to drinking coffee/energy drink (caffeine rush)
diving into a pool with or without water (excluding Maya fluids)
hiting a homerun
jetpack failure/defective
winning lottery ticket
expectant father
so what do you guys think ?? :curious:

06 June 2008, 10:15 PM
may be he is pulling a rope and a bug is annoying at the same time and destructs him...
he is waiting out side the loo and get is closed from the long time....

Stephen Vyas
06 June 2008, 04:17 AM
Monster Vs. Hero

06 June 2008, 04:45 PM
from all the ideas posted, I really like :

1. Jumping out of plane and deploying a parachute
2. Building a house of cards
3. Trying to start a fire, through any means.
4. A fan supporting his team
5. winning lottery ticket

06 June 2008, 10:44 PM
I kida like the jetpack failure idea. I think would be alot of fun

06 June 2008, 06:00 AM
- Problems with a vending machine
- A fly on the soup
- trying to catch a slippery soap :D
- delivering mail (brave dog included :D)
- trying to open a can that cant open :D
- Failure on the atomic reactor (much Simpson hahaha, but is a nice idea :D)
- Baseball manager, seeing how his team is beaten
- Baseball manager arguing with the umpire :D
- Olympic actions : 110 meter hurdles, javelin throw, discus, pole vault, etc, etc. :D

06 June 2008, 08:54 PM
Looking up from reading, directly at the camera, and wondering who the heck these "people" in the camera are and what they're doing in your own home, or how they got there.

Stephen Vyas
06 June 2008, 05:57 PM
A MMA or Wrestling Move
I know there's a huge fan base for both, so the contest should warrent a bit of attention.

07 July 2008, 10:24 AM
The animation challenges on this forum are so inconsistent,maybe someone else should do them.

07 July 2008, 11:42 AM
So far, Ron did a great job. don't worry, he is distributing some of the stuff. after a small transition phase everything will be up and running again.

07 July 2008, 01:13 AM
The animation challenges on this forum are so inconsistent,maybe someone else should do them.

Yes, I know they've been inconsistent. Though I've seen it consistently absent before these unofficial challenges started. :p I've had a number of things in my plate that's taken my time away from starting the challenges. I've recently moved to a new place and don't have my computer set up at all for instance. I can't run these challenges alone anymore.

I've sent some PMs to some who have volunteered and need to respond to a couple of them with their questions.

07 July 2008, 03:32 PM
I was looking again through the uplift/aliens challenge and I think part of what works really well there is the vague concept.

As artists half of the fun is comming up with the idea. IMHO, the animation challenges would be a lot more inventive and intersting if the challenge itself wasnt so direct.

People may not want to animate "the math problem" or "parachute man", as these are just too specific.

Personally, I want to come up with the idea for my own animation myself, as thats the main thing that that makes putting in all the time worth while.

What about a general theme, and letting the animators do their thing?

Stuff mentioned that sort of fits so far:

- to mimic animal behavior/locomotion
- Monster VS hero


- Conversational acting (emotion animators pick whatever line THEY want)
- Physical Motion dynamics (running/jumping/collisions --> proper physics)
- Realistic VS cartoony mechanics
- Simple, no arms/legs (eg: the ball with a tail a la Animation Mentor)

Or it could be as simple as pickign a main catergory, Sci-fi, Sports etc..

07 July 2008, 05:41 AM
Havnt read all of the suggestion so i might be repeating something... but here is what i got:

- Walking into a glass door(real clean one so it looks like there is nothing there)
- Eating something that falls in bad taste
- Standing on a bus/subway(yay secondary motions!)
- Getting frustrated about something
- Love at first sight
- American football tackle

My suggestions!

07 July 2008, 09:02 AM
As artists half of the fun is comming up with the idea. IMHO, the animation challenges would be a lot more inventive and intersting if the challenge itself wasnt so direct.

People may not want to animate "the math problem" or "parachute man", as these are just too specific.

Personally, I want to come up with the idea for my own animation myself, as thats the main thing that that makes putting in all the time worth while.

The problem I see with that kind of "challenge" is that it is much harder to judge on a vague theme. With a challenge being "direct" it is easier to compare the work done.

Then, this kind of challenge is closer to a real world assignment and the challenge is to master it although we never animated a sea crab for example.

And with tasks like "solving a math problem" you still have the artistic freedom to animate it like you would. There is no description that the character has to be this or that or any backgroud provided for it. So, the way you solve the task still lies in your artistic skills and your decisions.

Bottom line, the challenge HAS a vague theme and then you need to jump in and bring the characters to life with all your artistic capabilities.


07 July 2008, 03:19 AM
I think keeping the topic vague makes the most sense, otherwise all the entries will potentially look the same!

A good challenge says how people will be judged before hand, so people know what their getting into and so that the challenge itself is not vague. Anyways that kind of stuff can be figured out once there is a topic.

my favorite ideas so far though are things which might be called, moments of great realization. Ideas like, walking into a glass door, solving a math problem, or jumping off a cliff and realizing you can't fly, fit into this. I think a challenge like that could allow for some strong looking work, and still allow for some artistic creativity. The manner in which people approach the moment would be up too them, and I think the characters could be theirs as well. I donít know what kind of time constraints these challenges normally have but if its short, the challenge should be with textureless environments, characters and minimal props only, and no teams.(but im sure those details can be worked out later)

But I also thought that
the failed soda pop machine could be a good one. And maybe something with lip-synching would be good for my portfolio as well, so I throw in for that too.

07 July 2008, 07:14 AM
I appreciate the feedback on having broader, less specific topics. They're good challenges to do but I would still like to include specific topics/actions.

One of my goals is to have people ready/exercise their skills for real world assignments. Heck regardless of the topic, DOING a challenge is already putting your skills to use.

Doing a fairly vague topic might be good though, it'll add more ideas to what animations there could be. Though I wouldn't go as vague as just saying "happy emotion", but I might say "animate a happy dog". But if I may show you how much vague scene is for the topic "solving a hard math problem"...

Did I say the character was human? It could be a multi-arm alien that can scratch it's head, rub it's chin, while holding a calculator, pencil, and paper.

Where is this character? Is he underwater or outer space or falling from the sky?

Is he being distracted from anything else? Maybe he's on the phone while trying to solve the problem? Or maybe he's trying to solve the math problem because his life is depending on it with someone holding a gun to his head?

The topic is specific yes, but you still have so much creative freedom in who/where/when/how/why this topic is happening. You might also view audio clips as being specific topics because some things are fixed and you can't do anything to change it, like the words or mood of the speaker. If you hear a gunshot or a bell falling on the character, everyone will need to animate accordingly. You might have a different camera angle or type of gun, but EVERYONE will include a gun into the scene.

I hope that we'll find topics with the right balance of broad and specific details. I know some artists who don't want to be given too specific details because it cuts off their creativity, but I also know others who can't deal with vague details (I'm in this category) and they end up asking a lot of questions to get somewhere specific just to get an idea of what to do.

Well I should get to bed... should get to bed, but probably stay up a bit longer :p

I'll add these suggestions to the list, bring up a short mini challenge. A very simple non-audio topic, something that can be done in about 2 weeks and see where the next month will take us.

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