Austin Peay students to compete in international 24 Hours Animation Contest
(Posted Oct. 3, 2019)
Ten Austin Peay students will muster all they’ve learned from the university’s emerging animation program when they test their skills in an international 24-hour movie-making contest Oct. 4-5.
The 24 Hours Animation Contest for Students tasks students with creating a 30-second animated film from scratch. Before the 24 hours is up, the teams must submit a YouTube link of their completed film to a panel of industry professionals.
“It’s so fulfilling to go from nothing to a completed animation with a completed story in 24 hours,” said animation and computer science senior Peyton VanHook, who will serve as leader of one of the two five-member teams.
The task is large, said the other team lead, animation junior Claire Layne. Animators need to create 24 high-level drawings for each second of a two-dimensional film. That’s at least 720 drawings for a 30-second film, not including coming up with the story concept and polishing the product.
“It definitely takes every second,” VanHook said. “It’s always fun trying to balance what you want it to be against the amount of time you actually have to get it done.”
And that comes with little (or no) sleep and working through the dawn.
“You think, ‘I’ve stayed up for 24 hours before, it shouldn’t be a big deal,’” said Scott Raymond, an associate professor of animation in APSU’s Art + Design department. “But trying to do it in this very focused way with this deadline looming, it’s a pretty intense 24 hours.”
Austin Peay's 2018 24 Hours Animation Contest Submission
‘Mimics’ crunch time in professional animation
This year is the third time Austin Peay State University students have participated in the October contest, which starts Friday night, when organizers unveil the year’s theme during a livestreamed video.
“Every year there’s the same trajectory of excitement and momentum,” Raymond said. “In the middle of the night, you start seeing how much there is to do and how much time is left and there’s a bit of a lull. Then by morning, everybody starts to rally again. But those last two hours are rough.”
The contest parallels life as a professional animator, especially the days leading up to a project deadline, he said.
“It really mimics a little bit of when you’re in a studio setting and you’re in crunch time and you need to get a shot out by Friday,” Raymond said. “You’ll do what you have to do, pull the crazy 80-hour workweeks to get things done.”
‘You see them become a mini-studio’
The contest also reinforces teamwork, he said.
“You realize, ‘We’re all in it together,’” Raymond said. “Animation tends to be a solo adventure, but that’s not indicative of how it is in the real world. In the real world, you’re part of a team and you can’t do it all.”
During the 24 Hours Animation Contest, “you can see (the students) become a mini-studio,” he added.
Austin Peay’s teams will take on two mediums of animation. Layne’s team will create a film using two-dimensional (hand-drawn) animation. VanHook’s team will use three-dimensional (computer-generated) animation.
“The 2D animation is something I’ve always felt more confident about because I’ve drawn all my life,” Layne said.
Animation industry supports, judges contest
Last year, 219 teams from 49 colleges and nine countries submitted films to the contest. The films are judged on such criteria as storytelling, art direction and creativity.
The contest awards five teams with prizes from industry sponsors. This year’s sponsors include DreamWorks Animation, the Cartoon Network, Blue Sky Studios and Sony Pictures Animation. The contest is an event by Animation Educators Forum, a subset of the animation industry group ASIFA-Hollywood.
Last year’s judges included Delia Gosman, a story artist who worked on such movies as “Rango,” “Storks” and “Smallfoot” and John Musker, an animation director who worked on such movies as “Moana,” “The Little Mermaid” and “Aladdin.”
Catelyn DaSilva, Jonathan Bruns, Nicholas Stiers and Jeremy Vega are on Layne's team.
To learn more
- For more information about the 24 Hours Animation Contest for Students, visit facebook.com/groups/24hourscontest.
- For more information about Art + Design at Austin Peay, go to apsu.edu/art-design.
- To see a sample of videos created for the contest last year, click here.
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