I think the thing I’ve found most valuable about the anim challenges is the change to experiment and try stuff out. As a blender newbie I was looking for something to try out hooks on and there was an anim challenge that fit the bill!
Over the last two years whenever I’ve wanted to try to learn something new, I’ve turned to the current anim challenge. Beacuse of it I’ve learned UV Mapping; Environment based reflections; Sequence Editing; Particle fire and Space Ship Exhaust; Nesting Particles; Sound Effects Editing; Rigging and Keyframing Bones; Action editing; Shape Keys. Damn - I’d never’ve got the hang of Blender at all if not for these little projects.
Now their popularity is starting to fade. The latest challenge only has had 4 participants and 23 votes cast (Compate this to the still picture challenges! - latest:53 votes for 6 entries !)
I would encourage all blendererers to check the animation contests out. Try things and experiment. Ask how to do things. Surprise yourselves.
These contests usually run 2 weeks before voting begins and they’re not looking for Toy Story - just some creative thinking and people having a go.
Seconded! There’s nothing like a challenge to make you learn just one new thing. No one’s going to ban you from Blenderartists if your animation isn’t commerical quality.
In most cases you don’t need audio effects and most times you can enter an OpenGL (playblast) render so you don’t have to wait hours for the thing to render. The finished project doesn’t need to be more than a few seconds long so two weeks production time should be okay for most simple concepts.
As Ammusionist says, it’s about bringing an idea to life.
One other consideration, for those who’ve avoided entering before: it’s a challenge more than a competition. The challenge is personal - to prove to yourself what you can do - or find out what you can’t. The voting adds interest but since there’s no cash prizes, the challenge is really the important thing.
Shhhh, I was just trying to make myself feel better about the fact I didn’t win ALL the comps I entered
… and when I did win and chose a topic everyone said “Geez, didn’t we just do this same topic a couple of months ago?” Some could even remember the comp number!!! Choosing the topic isn’t all it’s cracked up to be