About: Need some inspiration? Out of practice with your animation or want to build up your animation reel? Perhaps you just need the motivation that friendly competition brings? Why not take part in one of our five week animation challenges?
Reminders and Updates: Get weekly reminders by subscribing to us on Twitter here. Like our Facebook fan page to get reminded of our new challenges every five weeks.
1) Every fifth week a short theme topic is chosen by the winner of the previous challenge.
2) Only real world objects can be used. This includes clay, foam, wood, plastic or metal-made objects or puppets. Sorry, no CG is allowed unless it is for motion blur, effects (like fire, laser beams etc.) or for things like snow, fog or for editing purposes.
3) The length of the entries can be any length, but keep in mind five weeks is not a lot of time!
4) Entries must be posted in our challenge forums (click here to post your entry now) before the due date. Just sign up for a free account on our home page to post from YouTube or Vimeo.
5) Entries must be created during the month of the challenge. Not before.
Here's an example challenge entry from Jacob Hajda
Animation Capture: What program do you use to animate? Heron Animation is a good (sometimes buggy) free option over here. AnimaShooter JR is another free program located here. We also have two free (older/buggy) options for those on a budget on our site here. For more serious animators we recommend these professional programs. As they saying goes - you get what you pay for!
Lip Sync PC's: For challenges requiring lip sync, use JLipSync (its free) to break your files down into individual frames. To learn how this is done, watch our tutorial here. For capturing audio from YouTube videos on a PC, Audacity (also free) is a great program. A great paid option is Lip Sync Pro. It costs a little but is the most stable and easiest of programs to use on a PC.
Lip Sync Macs: Audacity is a great program for capturing audio from YouTube and other online sources. You need to use it with a program called Soundflower. Soundflower routs your audio back to your computer instead of your speakers (temporarily) so you can capture sounds from videos. You can watch a tutorial online here to get you started. A good paid option for both capture and lip sync (it's built in) is Dragonframe.
Capturing video audio with Firefox: To capture audio from YouTube using the FireFox browser, use a YouTube add-on such as one of these.
Clay Mara Clay Animation Tutorial for Challengers
Winning??: The winner is chosen during our live broadcast based on who our visitors pick on the final week of the challenge. They should try to keep in mind the quality of the puppets, animation, sets and story.
Prizes: Challengers win and can pick any of our video tutorial downloads from our store here. The only video I don't offer is the Foam Latex 101 video because I don't own it. Winners can also choose our e-book Secrets of Clay Animation Revealed 3 as a prize if they would like that over one of our videos.