Blender Swag Prizes?

Hey all! As some of you may know, I administer the biweekly animation challenge. One of the things I’ve been thinking about to generate more interest is handing out prizes for the winners. The prize would be something really basic, like a decal or sticker or pin or something with the Blender logo or some such thing.

So, a few questions about that:

  1. Is there a source for stuff like this? I’m definitely not thinking about CafePress, since they can be expensive–I’m really just looking for cool but cheap trinkets, preferably if there’s already stuff in stock (i.e. can be bulk ordered/doesn’t have to get created one by one).

  2. Is it possible to submit a proposal to get a micro-grant from the Blender Foundation for this? Something to cover, say, a bulk order of decals and defray the cost of postage to send prizes to winners? I figured this might be a unique marketing thing for them to try, plus it builds the ranks of users who are playing with cutting-edge stuff.

  3. Do you think the BF might be interested in donating some of their T-shirts and/or caps for something like this? Donated prizes could get sent straight from the source to the winner. Given that the T-shirts are supposed to raise money for the foundation, this seems pretty unlikely, but I’d be interested to know if someone thinks that it is actually possible.

  4. If not the BF, is there another grant-giving source people might recommend? If it matters, I’m a U.S. citizen (i.e. no point in me applying for National Film Board of Canada grants, etc.)

Of course, I’m open to all ideas for prizes, especially any that don’t involve cash. And if this is just utter madness, feel free to let me know.

Thoughts?

Cool, I have Notepad open and am busy writing you a PM, so now I can just C&P it here. Isn’t it great how life works?

One of the things I’ve been thinking about to generate more interest

Would it be possible for you to write something about how dummies like myself would go about putting a rendered animation into a file that’s acceptable to post for viewing. I have wanted for a long time to enter the Anim Challenge but, in spite of reading all your tips in various threads about Codecs and compression etc I’m still unable to get something down to a small enough size for upload/download and of good enough quality. Some I can’t even open, but that’s because I don’t know enough about codecs and where to put them so WMP or DivEx can find them.

For me it’s not a matter of swag, I just can’t “get it done” beyond the rendering stage.

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