> Why is it that the IRTC animation comp always seems so under-entered but the
> stills typically has loads of entries?
I can think of a lot of reasons that have very little to do with the
* Animation is hard. Good animation is harder.
* POV doesn't have a GUI for animation.
* POV doesn't render MPEG files automatically.
* More models have to be made, for multiple scenes.
* Models have to be articulated for animation, or they break in nasty ways.
* Animation needs a story with a beginning, middle and end.
* Render times are much higher, because you need 24 frames for one second.
* There aren't many free animation programs.
* Animation programs have a large learning curve.
* It's hard to compete against professional animation packages.
Now, John VanSickle scored all the animation rounds last year using "pure"
POV-Ray, even against Markus Altendorff's excellent animations, which used
Maxxon 3D. So take three with a grain of salt.
On the other hand, there were a number of submissions I was surprised to
find didn't even make Honorable Mention:
- Leroy Whetstone/October-January 2006
- M.A.c.v./October-January 2006
- Nimish Ajmani/July-October 2006
So why didn't these get Honorable Mentions? It's because the scoring doesn't
actually follow the above guidelines. The Animation Rules page says the
competition is "run by and for amateurs with cheap tools":
> The competition is not about winning. You do not have to be a professional,
> or even any good! Experts are welcome, but the contest is run by and for
> amateurs with cheap tools. Those lucky enough to have more impressive skills
> and equipment are asked to share their wisdom, but we are more impressed by
> someone who can be creative with what they have, than someone who has
Finding the actual guidelines is a bit difficult:
- They aren't on the Animation Rules page
- They aren't on the Animation Voting Rules page
- They aren't on the Animation FAQ page
Instead, it's buried in the Stills FAQ page, and specifically references
IMAGES, not animation (emphasis added):
> [5.1] How are the winners selected?
> By a vote among the other entrants and IRTC Panel Judges. Once the ratings
> are in for all the IMAGES, each IMAGE has an "overall" rating calculated, as
> the mean of its artistic, technical, and concept ratings. The three IMAGES
> with the highest overall ratings are selected as the first, second, and third
> place winners.
> [5.2] What is Honorable Mention?
> Sometimes one or more IMAGES have higher ratings in one or two categories
> than some or all of the winners. To honor such IMAGES we developed the
> "Honorable Mention" designation. We select the three IMAGES which had the
> highest rating in a single category, exclusive of winners and other Honorably
> Mentioned IMAGES. An IMAGE designated for Honorable Mention may or may not
> receive a prize, depending on availability and the discretion of the IRTC
All the submissions I referenced are on low-submission rounds, and the pages
say "Due to low turnout this round, no Honorable Mentions were awarded."
I've read through the rules, and I'm not sure where the "low turnout" rule
It's particularly ironic in that prize winning submissions actually benefit
from less submissions, but "amateur" submissions suffer.
Animations can also score in:
> Notable for: [ ]Texture [ ]Lighting [ ]Modelling [ ]Composition [ ]Originality
These are the same as the Still Images - no animation-specific scoring (such
as lipsync, etc.). If these are factored into scores, I don't see it
Anyway, my suspicion is that the scoring system actually ends up
discouraging "amateurs with cheap tools". A POV-Ray user might get extra
points in the "Technical" category, but how about a user of Art of
Illusion, Anim8or, or Blender? What if (like John VanSickle and his
LionSnake modeler) you've actually written your own modeler or animator?
Should you get extra points for that?
Making Honorable Mention a bit easier to get into might help (i.e. adding a
"cheap tool" or "newbie" bonus), but that's awfully subjective.
Anyway, these can be factors in discouraging someone who submitted from
submitting again. But I'm guessing the biggest barrier to people submitting
animations in the first place is still my first point: Animation is Hard.
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