No more Autodesk Visualization Award?

Posted by a teacher in the general forum:

"Autodesk will retire both the Visualization Award and the Inventor Award in order to introduce the Excellence in Design Award (with expanded software options)."

Can anyone confirm this? I wonder what it means? Will there be one contest and teams can use whatever Autodesk product they want (Inventor, 3ds Max, Maya) to create their entries?

I hope we find out some details before the Kickoff.

It’s on Bill’s Blog. No idea what it means for animation.

I know it’s complete blasphemy to my fellow animators but I truly hopes this brings legitimacy to the use of the program.
I always felt the animation competition was completely separate from what the team was doing and thus was hardly relevant to FIRST. Hopefully they will do something that actually ties into what goes on with the design process and presentation about what the team is actually doing. I truly hope that’s what FIRST has in mind.

I believe that this means using AutoCAD and related 3d Modeling software to show how effective the software can be…

I really can’t guess more than that, but I starting to get excited for the new portions of the 2010 game manual that will come out. :smiley:

DISCLAIMER: This is only an opinion, please don’t go spouting anything I say off as a sort of fact.

I am guessing they mean to allow submissions of CAD models from Pro/Engineer and Solidworks to be eligible for the new award.

[/edit] see this post [/edit]

I’m not sure about Solidworks or ProEngineer because it seems that Autodesk is pulling out all the stops in allowing most of their engineering software to be available for FIRST. I believe that because we’re now allowed so much more Autodesk software, we may be limited to what is on FirstBase

As for visualization, it seems quite sad, but it seems that there will still be something for animations (not necessarily the people who do CAD) to do. Why would Autodesk give Maya and 3ds Max when they wont be useful? I guess they are only 6 month licences…but to use the software only for Safety Animation would be a waste. Hopefully Autodesk has another animation contest (besides CAD) that can let animations continue to produce animations.

Maybe Autodesk will post a design challenge and allow teams to use whatever Autodesk software they want (3ds Max, Maya, Inventor, Autocad, Revit, etc.) to create their entry. I assume all these programs will be available free to FRC teams.

If you have a strong animation team you’ll use Max or Maya. If you have a strong CAD group you’ll use Inventor or Autocad. Or (and I’ll bet this is what Autodesk is hoping for) the sub teams will work together on a project, the way professional engineering & marketing groups work together.

It might be a good idea to learn a little more about how CAD & visualization software can work together. Or more importantly, how the CAD & visualization sub-teams can work together.

But I’m just guessing here. Autodesk will be posting more “hints” as we get closer to the Kickoff.

This isn’t the first time this has happened…

Well this is interesting. I would love to see the details and hear the reasoning behind this one. It sounds as though they are trying to emphasize more on the “Inventor” portion of the old Autodesk awards and do away with the actual animation of it all, or maybe they will make it geared towards still 3D modeling and animation of your robot. If any of what I just said makes sense.


Or maybe we should wait for details before flying off the handle? Yes BB said there would be a restructuring but that was all. Wait until the Awards section comes out and THEN make a call for the reasoning.

Well, at least the wording is a little different this time around. To retire an award shows a respect for the historic aspects of it with regard to previous competitions. That’s always nice.

Autodesk will retire both the Visualization Award and the Inventor Award in order to introduce the Excellence in Design Award (with expanded software options).

It sounds to me like they are putting more emphasis on CAE (Computer Aided Engioneering) than what we have seen as classical animation. It is very possible to animate your robot designs using Inventor. I used the capability a couple of times to show robot concepts.

It sounds like this new competition is focused more on designing the robot you want and figuring out how to make it work before you start building.


If it weren’t for the Autodesk Visualization award I would have never found my passion. :mad:

This is just…ugh!..ANGER!!!

Easy Chicken Little, the sky may not be falling. :-). It looks like teams will still be able to use an array of Autodesk software, including 3DSMax. How these teams use it, and what they use it for, is certainly likely to change some here, but I’m sure we’ll still be able to help students “find their passions” - we’re a resourceful bunch, aren’t we? Let’s stay tuned and see where this goes.

Agreed. I think we all just need to wait and see what’s going on.


Ignoring the big red text because it just irritates me to have someone make a post using text THAT irritating despite the fact that we currently know next to nothing. If you credit Autodesk Visualization for helping you find your passion why do you need to have a major company tell you what you can and cannot do. If Autodesk removes the award no one says you have to stop doing animations. Heck, talk to your regional coordinator, it may not be an official award but I am sure that they would be willing to show animations when possible. Go back to team voting on the submissions. No one is stopping you from doing it it just makes a little more work (ok a lot) to give an award.

And also, chill out until we know something more. As a former animator myself I am mildly bothered by this but I have a feeling that it will all work out.

I disagree with the whole “let’s wait and see” mentality. Let’s make it known, now, in a polite and professional fashion that the AVA was an important part of FIRST for many people. Maybe it’s still around in some form, who knows? But if we let FIRST know it’s value NOW, it will help encourage FIRST and Autodesk to continue to keep the award around in their plans and hopefully help it be a part of the upcoming Awards section of the manual.
If it still exists, they may roll their eyes at us and continue. If it doesn’t, they’ll take notice with time still left to change it.

I was a member of a team where the animation took a very prominant role. It was one of the largest, if not the largest, group of students working on an individual sub-team/project year after year. It was a source of team pride, a powerful promotional tool, and an additional avenue of learning about aspects not directly related to engineering/the robot (such as storyboards, film composition, computer networking, etc.) that wouldn’t have been opened if not for the format of the competition. If it changes, even if 3ds max is still incorporated, it may lose a great deal of the other ANIMATION related qualities. Maybe those aren’t important to some of you, but to many in FIRST, they are critical. There’s a difference between learning to make a 3d model and learning to make a 30-second short film.

Sean, I agree that AVA is a very important part of FIRST. It does attract a group we might not otherwise inspire and it does show students there are different opportunities. I will never say that it is not important or should be eliminated. Nor will I ever tell a student that they should stop working on an animation (even if there is no award) because we need them to build something. It sucks to hear a mentor say that what you are working hard on is something “no one really cares about”. I imagine it would suck much harder to hear FIRST come out and say that but I highly doubt that is what they are going to do.

I say we should let FIRST explain their change before we fly off the handle. Expressing a concern about this topic is great, it shows enthusiasm and passion, neither of which are a bad thing when expressed respectfully. Making posts in all caps with a half dozen exclamation points after each sentence is flying off the handle. It does not show passion or enthusiasm it shows ignorance and immaturity. Now, are the concerns voiced valid? I worry they are. This does not mean that we should assume that FIRST is removing our beloved competition. FIRST has usually been pretty good about improvements (they try to be at least). I trust FIRST because they do have a good cause and some brilliant people helping them towards that cause. I am not saying don’t express concern, nor am I saying not to question the great and mighty FIRST. Just relax a bit, we know very little about this right now and for all we know it could be a really awesome change.

I would like to have a clearer understanding of the reasoning behind the retirement of the awards. Further, I would like to have an understanding of why the AVA has not been able to gain a strong foothold in the FRC competition yet it has continued to make an impact on teams and on individuals.

We don’t have enough information or know enough about the new award to be able to understand how this will impact the absence of the other two awards. To defend the AVA, at this point, would be to do so without knowing what’s coming up in 2010. If we were to begin some form of writing campaign in defense of the AVA, it would, indeed, have to be done mindfully in a professional and polite fashion.

Although there is quite a bit of overlap, Inventor & Autocad are primarily design tools, 3ds Max & Maya are visualization tools.

Maybe the challenge this year will be to design some type device or product (that will help humanity of course), and create a commercial to “market” it. You could do it all in 3ds Max, or if you had a strong CAD team, they could be more involved in the design while the visualization team was working on a creative marketing ideas. Of course both teams would have to work well together to have a chance at winning.

Hmmm… very different teams with diverse skill sets learning how to work together to deliver a winning product? Sounds like they’re preparing you for life in the “real world”. For example check out this Prius ad. I’m sure CAD software was used to design the car and a creative visualization team was hired to develop the commercial.

But I’m just speculating. Looking forward to the next clue from Autodesk.