Animation Ideals

Ok here’s my golden question for all of you…

In an ideal animation, what do you think should be in your animation as far as objectwise if you really want to have a good chance of winning? robot and field, robot only, field only(however you do that), or neither the field or robot

I’m not really trying to influence people a whole lot here but the thing is, most of the time i see the same thing over and over again. People showing the robot and the field. You know there’s not much taste to that. Especially, since this year the quality of the animation’s value has increased by 10 points. I’m thinking you know, if you have the robot and/or the field in the animation, all it’s telling me is that you entered FIRST just to build a robot and go to a competition you know. That’s not what FIRST is all about!

The main thing FIRST is about is bringing people together to accomplish something! Your animation should be able to get beyond just the robot! There’s so much more you can do!

I voted neither I wish to change it to robot only becuse it is a very key part of what should be in the animation.

Well, as of now, it looks like we have some very conclusive data. Hahaha. I voted for both robot and field.

this topic always comes up every year… and it never had any impact on final animations

yes, do I wish the animaion had very few shots of the robot and field, but in reality it is just very easy to do. We also have to remember that animation is a small operation on about 75% of the teams that actualy compete in the animation category. That’s why the really good teams are usually a little bit more creative. But face it, the robot on the field is what FIRST means to alot of teams.

Topics like these are understandable because we are all sick of seeing the same thing, but just remember, if you’re sick of seeing the same thing, then change it yourself and be different. It’ll be alot harder than you think.

Or will it? Not when we almost have our animation done right now! :smiley:

Agreed, it is easier for many teams when they have a very well developed idea, but for many teams they start when the game is revealed. I didn’t say it was impossible (our animation last year proved that with 5 different environments) but I said it was difficult. Wokring ahead in the summer is always a smart idea and I woudl reccomend it to anyone.

I think the storyboard is most important in the animation. Like, if you can use the robot and the field creatively to show some aspect of FIRST then it doesn’t really matter in the end. Its great when there’s a story in there. I think those are some of the best and memorable animations.

But I was looking over some animations a while ago, and last years winner had a really simple animation. It was basically shots of a bot on a black background with words and some video (they did have a really cool sounding narrator, which I always find neat), so there’s really no one way to go.

Generally, i feel that animation doesn’t get the recognition it deserves in FIRST. Last year at the regionals I went to, the judging was done on a tiny TV screen in the pits. You couldn’t hear anything, and the whole affair was very distracting…

I totally agree, a lot of people think that building the robot and making it run is the hardest and most difficult thing to do, but the animation is really harder because for one thing, we have to pretty much do everything the build team has to do, with the robot or not, and then we have to tell a story and make it good, which with the professional software we use can make things extremely difficult.

Creativity is a big thing… have fun with it, make it enjoyable for others to watch :slight_smile: that’s what we’re going with this year anyways…

That’s exactly what I’m saying! Too bad you didn’t vote no robot!

Another good question would be what can you put into your animation to prevent you from winning?

What I mean by this is “what has been so overdone that it will not get you very many creativity points?” Honestly, I’m getting tired of space and explosions. So many teams have a space scene including spaceships, explosions, and sometimes even aliens. Thats great if you can do it technically well, but it just lacks the creativity that FIRST teams should try for.

I admit that Team 116 did a space scene two years ago. It went like this: Space ship is seen in space. Space ship crash lands (cue explosion). Robot exists and enters a field on Mars (cue banjo music). If you look in your DVD from two years ago you will see it. It’s rather amusing and I sugest you watch it just to hear the music.

For Rookie teams it can be forgiven, but if your team has an animation group that has some experience, try to go for something more technically difficult that shows some creativity (just my opinion about the space scenes).

Or you can all follow this script:

(See two students building robot)
(See space ship fly by - camera zooms in and you see two aliens)
(See mars)
(See explosion)

Sorry to seem sarcastic, it just seems that these space scenes are just so cliche.

What else have you all seen done repetitively?

I agree but how many have a space animation that looks like a SNAPSHOT? or a MOVIE CLIP? We do!

Although this is my first year doing this (only one doing animation for the team) I already have a pretty creative idea this year (no space scenes) but I did notice from watching the DVD of animations, a lot of them were pretty repetive, and some that just didn’t make any sense at all :confused:

I think that a lot of teams need to focus not on making a super-cool SFX but rather being able to tell a story clearly and quickly in 30-sec. 30-sec may sound like a short time, but seriously think about what you can fit in 30-sec. I know that I have a lot of ideas (If any of you play Americas Army, think HQ Raid :yikes: ) and I hope to finally get this pengiun finshed and rigged!

Geez feed me an idea, I’m far from a director/producer and our team has NO IDEAS of what to do.

I remember watching animations from a couple of years ago and they all showed the game (or at least most of them did) and IT WAS SO BORING! They all looked the same and there is only so many different ways you can featuire the game. after a while I was truly glad that I wasn’t watching from a building in a high office because I could not be held reesponsible for my actions.
I would rather try for something different than just showing the game. To me the teamwork process is much more important thatn the game itself.

I think I can completely understand now what everyone is saying about animations being boring. Yes, alot do feature the robot and field, but just remember you can’t expect everyone to be creative. Its hard for many teams to learn the program and then come up with cool ideas for their animation in time. Some of the previous posts are a little selfish. It seems that everyone wants to be entertained by every animation. Realize that everyone has to start somewhere and most of these attempts will be quite similar to each other. Part of this deals with the contest guidelines that make it quite easy to make an animation with just a field.

Be patient, because in about 5 years having a robot in an animation will be a rarity. I think this whole animation thing is about 2-3 years from being a MAIN part of FIRST, not just an alternative award. Until then, lets stop talking baout how bored we are with other peoples products and start talking about how creative our own are.

All I’m saying is that FIRST pushes students. It pushes teams to be original and creative for in so many ways and in so aspects! Subsystem design, website design, chairmans award, Inventor, visualization! ALL OF THESE PUSH CREATIVITY!

Of course it is hard. Of course teams may find it hard to come up for original ideas. But to just fall back on cliches while saying “well we can’t come up with something great in the time given to us” is almost a cop out when so many other teams so such creativity in every aspect of their team.

The “I” in F.I.R.S.T. stands for INSPIRATION. So teams, BE INSPIRED! Be inspired by the creativity that only a High School student can show.

well, I know that this year we are trying to stay away from the whole robot/field idea. Last year, we had only the robot (only briefly), and it worked very well (:D), so we are trying something that is similarly non-robot-oriented this year

I have no problems with teams using the field / robot in their animation, just as long as it’s not the only thing that happens… because that’s just not creative at all. Like this year, we will probably show the robot on the field for a few seconds doing some of its best things, but it’s definately not going to be focused on that.

If you need ideas, maybe watching the entire kickoff again will help. I know it helped me…

I remember our rookie year, me and my tech teacher drew up a storyboard for our animation that I thought was really impressive/innovative. Basically it start off with the robot being constructed, you flipped a switch and it spun tire leaving a smoke trail off the school, followed it down a road and onto the highway, it burst through 2 swinging doors into the arena, hits a ramp into the field, throws some balls in the goals, and then you see it spin tire again, and on the field it left something like “Team 870, Coming To a Zone Zeal near you!”.

That is an example of an animation that i’m sure everyone would like to see. Unfortunately we had to scrap this idea, since I was the only one doing the animation, and had to concentrate more on building the actual robot then animation. It was a good idea though :smiley: