I’ve been looking for a specific set of rules for the animation competition, and I haven’t found much. Is the only constant constraint year to year really to make sure you use 3d animation software?

FYI, there’s already another thread going concerning rules for the 2013 animation competition (as far as I know not posted yet). Making sure you use “a 3D animation software” is not actually the constraint. The competition is sponsored by Autodesk and they generally require that teams make use of the Autodesk software (e.g. 3DS Max, Maya) that is provided freely to the teams for the competition. You do not usually have to restrict yourself to only 3D software. Last year, our team was a finalist and we used some traditional 2D hand-drawn, pencil-on-paper animation ALONG WITH our 3D animation ( ) and I saw another team brilliantly combine live video with their 3D animation ( ).

Usually, there are other constraints such as time length, music rights, story theme, technical specs, etc., so it’s best to watch for complete set of rules when they are available.

You don’t really have enough information before the rules are posted to begin your project but I would advise using the “waiting time” to continue learning all you can about animation and the tools used to create it. Also, experiment and have fun.


There’s no guarantee the 2013 rules will be similar, but here are the 2012 rules:

Key points are:

  • You must use Autodesk software (3ds Max, Maya or Softimage)
  • 30 seconds or less, not including title screen or credits
  • 1280 x 720 resolution, 24 frames per second
  • File must be H.264 or MPEG4 QuickTime format
  • They have very specific title screen and file naming specs.
  • You also have to create and upload a storyboard and a still frame JPG

Ideally Autodesk will post the new rules the same day as the Kickoff (Jan. 5) but they might be a few days late.