The annual UK Schools Computer Animation Competition which is presented by The School of Computer Science at The University of Manchester is back for 2016 and sees the competition head into its 9th consecutive year.
Students from across the UK, aged 7-19, are encouraged to get enthusiastic about Computer Science and the many ways in which computers can be used creatively; and by entering the competition they can win a number of prizes including laptops, iPads, iPods, games consoles, and vouchers.
The competition opened for entries back in September with 409 schools signing up already, and with the closing date of 18th March approaching it’s time for those with an interest to get their skates on and submit their animations.
Entry to Animation 16 is free and all that’s required from candidates is that they create an original key-frame computer animation which is to be no more than one minute in length. The only catch being that the entrants have to use eligible software from a list that includes Flash, Scratch, Autodesk Maya, and Serif DrawPlus. The competition is open to individuals and small teams and the prizes will be awarded by age category, from KS2 right through to KS5.
A full list of eligible software packages can be found by following this link. You will also find a full breakdown of the rules and regulations of the competition here, including frequently asked questions.
Last years’ competition received over 820 entries from 127 schools across the whole of the UK, with 42 prizes awarded and certificates of entry given to every participant. Winners included Priorities, by Michael Paler from Arnewood Academy, whose KS5 individual entry focused on how children can be distracted when it comes to prioritising certain tasks. His video shows how a young boy chose to prioritise reaching level 100 on a computer game over completing his maths homework. The animation featured some fantastically realistic sounds and demonstrated how the use of simple graphics could convey a message effectively and concisely.
One of the KS2 Highly Commended winners included an animation by Joe Blackburn from St Gregory’s Catholic Primary School, entitled Voyage to the Moon. Joe’s video and more past winning entries can be viewed on YouTube.
Animations for this years’ competition can be on any subject, as long as it has been inspired by material from the taught curriculum; it can tell a story, explain or demonstrate something, with the only limit being the student’s imagination!
Animations on the theme of ‘keeping safe online’ can win prizes in a special eSafety category which is sponsored by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT. More information can be found here.
The Animation 16 website is also providing some top tips for competition entrants including having proper title screens at the start of the animation, opting to include credits, using sound, and ensuring any music that is used is done so legally (using royalty-free music will prevent any copyright issues or infringements).
Teachers can register online to be posted a free A2-sized colour poster for their school, and Maya and Max software can be downloaded for free in Autodesk’s Design The Future Scheme. Click here to be directed to the site.
The winners of Animation 16 will be announced at the Awards Ceremony on 12th July which will be held at the National Media Museum in Bradford.
To register and enter this years’ competition just visit www.animation16.cs.manchester.ac.uk