The 10th Annual Rookie Awards is a big contest with loads of categories that you can enter, and lots of different options for teams and individuals. To help you better understand the contest, here are our most commonly asked questions so you don't have to worry about asking them.


1. Who can enter the Rookie Awards?

The Rookie Awards 2020 is open to both students and self-taught digital artists.

Important: If you have more than 12 months professional experience in any related field that puts you at a distinct advantage over emerging artists, you will not be eligible to enter.

2. Does my work need to have been created recently?

The date work was created only relates to people entering Film of the Year and Game of the Year categories. Entries into these categories must not have been released prior to June 2019.

For all other categories such as Rookie of the Year, all work is permitted regardless of creation date. The judges want to see all your best work, so if you have a project from many years ago that you are proud of make sure to share it.

3. Are you able to enter multiple categories?

Yes, you are able to enter multiple categories eg: 3D Animation + Visual Effects. However, it's highly recommended to only enter categories that relate to your work otherwise you run the risk of getting a lower score from the judges as your content may not relate at all to the category.

4. Is there a design brief for the contest?

No, there is not a design brief for any of the contest categories. The goal is to share all your best work that relates to the category you choose to enter. For example, if you want to enter Rookie of the Year - Visual Effects, you should create an entry that shows all your best visual effects work. Think of the contest like a job interview. You want to share your best work that relates to the category.

5. Is the 3D Animation category only for animators?

No. We get this one a lot and it simply comes down to terminology. When we refer to 3D Animation we mean stylised 3D projects similar to what you'd expect from a Pixar or Dreamworks movie.

Do not confuse the term '3D Animation' with the discipline of keyframe animation. Entries to the 3D Animation category should include content specifically created for feature animated films/shorts. The key is that all elements should be full CG - environments, characters, set, props, animation and effects.

If you are an animator, don't assume that you must enter the 3D Animation category. Submit your work to the industry that relates to your style of work eg: Visual Effects, 3D Animation, Game Development.

6. Can I use submit fanart, models, textures, rigs created by other artists as part of my entry?

Absolutely. It's actually recommended in many cases. Using concept art as reference, models for your digital set, and even pre-made rigs for your animation performances are all acceptable.

The key here is to clearly credit the other artists. It's up to you to make sure you explain what you did on your project and if other artists contributed in any way. Not crediting other artists correctly could result in disqualification.

7. My film is on the Film Festival circuit, can it be shared privately?

We understand that some people have their work submitted to other contests and film festivals and they require privacy. We have you covered with this for our contest. When you embed a Vimeo video, there is a Password input field available to enter your private password. When you input a password, two things happen:

  • your entry displays a password required video to the public. The public will not have this code, so they can't watch it.
  • the judges will have access to see the password and use it to watch your video.

Tip: Make sure to include any teaser videos or images that will help get the community excited about your project.

8. Is it worth participating if I don't want to win a Studio Internship?

100%. Studio Internships are only a small part of the contest. These categories are not compulsory, so if you are not interested in a Studio Internship simply don't select it during your application process.

9. Which category should I submit my 3D character art to?

Most people consider their 3D character art as Concept Art. However this is not the case with the contest. Concept Art is targeted towards 2D artists and illustrators. So, if your character art is for games, enter Game Development. If it's for blockbuster films, enter it in Visual Effects and so on.

3D character artists can enter the Concept Art category, but make sure your 3D work isn't the primary focus of the art. It should be a supporting element eg: 'I use 3d to help block out perspective, or help pose my characters and even add a few complex 3d details and that's it, the rest is 2D."

The key here is that your work should not be 100% rendered if you want to enter Concept Art - this rendered work needs to be over in industry specific categories like Game Development, Visual Effects, 3D Animation.

10. What is The Draft, and how do I get selected for it?

The Draft is a live list of top entries. It gets updated similar to how The Draft works in sport leagues like football. As more judges review entries the list adjusts accordingly. Due to this, it's often the case where people will be added to The Draft and also drop off as time progresses. But don't be surprised if you bump straight back on again at any moment.

11. Can I submit more than one project per entry?

100%. It's also recommended. When creating an entry, you can include a single project - some winners have even done this is previous years. However, it's recommended to share multiple projects as part of your entry as it shows diveristy, a wider range of skills and provides more opportunities to impress the judges.

12. Can I enter multiple categories?

Yes, you can enter multiple categories. For example, you can submit 3 entries to the following 3 categories:

  • Rookie of the Year - 3D Animation
  • Rookie of the Year - Visual Effects
  • Film of the Year - Visual Effects

Based on the above example. It makes sense to create two different entries for the Rookie of the Year categories. 3D Animation and Visual Effects use similar techniques, but the style and technical skills are quite different so it's advisable to split your entry into two. It's also a good idea to create a seperate entry for Film of the Year to focus on your film as a whole and not confuse it with all your other work.

13. Can I submit an entry across multiple categories?

Yes, during the application process you can select multiple categories that you want your entry page submitted to. The best use case is someone who wants to enter Rookie of the Year - Visual Effects but also wants to be considered for a Studio Internship. In this case it makes sense to create a single entry of your best visual effects work and submit it to both Visual Effects and Studio Internship categories.

14. Can I submit team work to the contest?

Teams are eligible to enter Film of the Year and Game of the Year categories. IF Please nominate one team member to create your entry. During the application process you can add collaborators that will be credited as part of the team.

You can also submit team work to individual based categories such as Rookie of the Year, with one condition. You can share your team work, but make sure to explicitly explain exactly what you did on the project and don't take credit for others work.


Didn't have your question answered here? You might find the answer over at our Support Desk or Discord Channel. If all else fails, please use the live chat located bottom-right of every contest page.

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