Rookie Awards 2021 is hosted at:

Important Terminology

The contest is not called The Rookies or The Rookies Awards. The correct terminology is "I'm a judge for the Rookie Awards 2021!"

When sharing content online, please make sure to use the right terminology. There is often confusion based on our legacy which we would like to prevent.

The Rookies: This is the company name. It is also the name of our website.
Rookie Awards: This is the contest that you are a judge on.

Social Media & Hashtags

Facebook: therookiesco
Twitter: therookiesco
Instagram: therookiesco
YouTube: therookiesco
LinkedIn: therookiesco

This is the official hashtag for the Rookie Awards 2021. To help us track engagement, please remember to include this in any posts or announcements.

Key Dates

As a judge we will need your help to select the finalist’s for each category. These are the dates that you should put in your calendar.

March 7 - June 1

Lead Judging (Submissions Open): Eligible entrants are asked to create an entry page and upload their best work for the judges to review. During this time Lead Judges help select finalists for each category.

June 30

Finalists Announced: Finalists are the top entries in each category as selected by the judging panel. Categories can have anywhere between 10-40 finalists depending on their size and complexity.

July 1 - 8

Finalist Judging: At this point our judging panel is asked to review all the finalists for each category. Once reviewed, the judges nominate their Top 5 entrants. This data is used to help us determine the overall winners.

July 16, 2021

Winners Announced: Category winners are announced and publicly shared. At this point sponsors are required to help send out prizes and arrange Internship details. Our team will be on hand to make sure you are fully aware of the next steps and what is needed.

Lead Judges: During March we see a small initial spike of entries being submitted, so it’s great to have everyone on the site getting comfortable with the process.

Lead Judges: We get the majority of our entries during the last two weeks leading up to the closing date. On the last two days before entries close we get a huge spike so it’s great to have hands on deck then.


Rookie of the Year

Categories open to individual artists to showcase their skills.
2D Animation, 3D Animation, Visual Effects, Concept Art, Game Development, Immersive Media, Motion Graphics, Product Design, Architectural Visualization.

Film of the Year

Team based and speciality categories for extra opportunities.
2D Animation, 3D Animation, Visual Effects.

Game of the Year

Team based and speciality categories for extra opportunities.
Immersive Media, Mobile, PC & Console


Additional categories open to younger audience and schools.
Young Guns, School of the Year

Account Setup

All judges are invite only to industry experts. We will send you your login details from there you can then generate a new password.

Once you've logged in there will be a dropdown menu under your avatar (top right) with a link to your judges dashboard. Click on 'Judge' to access your dashboard.

Contest won't show up until they are in the different states of judging, so don't be alarmed if you don't see anything to begin with.

If you would like to update your profile picture or personal bio then go into 'Profile Settings'.

Judge Types

We have 2 different types of judge for all contests at The Rookies. It's completely up to you about how involved you are.

Don't worry if your schedule changes and you can't honour your judging commitment. Any support you can offer via social media and being a Rookies Ambassador is equally appreciated.

Lead Judge (High involvement)

These judges are responsible for reviewing all entrants across all contest categories. These judges help us shortlist and select all finalists for each category.

Finalist Judge (Minimal involvement)

These judges are invited on for a shorter period of time once Finalists have been selected. These judges are ask to select their Top 5 finalists only.

How to Review Entries

To start judging, please follow these steps to visit your dashboard and select a contest to start reviewing and scoring entries.

Open your Judge Dashboard. On this page you will see a list of all the Contests that you have been associated with.

The table will include relevant information about the contest and let you know what the status is. There is also a column which has some emojis. These indicate how you are going compared to other judges. Select a contest name and get going!

How to add a Score

This video will run you through the process of reviewing and scoring entries as a Lead Judge.

Pending Reviews

This tab is where all the judging takes place. On the left column you will see a single contest entry. On the right column, you will see the judging panel which includes the following fields:

  • Score - Provide a score from 0.5 - 10.
  • Badge - If you come across an amazing entry, please feel empowered to awards a badge eg: Excellence Award.
  • Internal note - Notes are an optional field. So only use this if they will help your process.
  • Submit - Commit your review to the system.
  • Skip - Move to the next entry and drop current one to bottom of list.
  • Report an Entry - Notify admin about an entry

Make sure to report any entries that include professional work, have inappropriate content or are clearly not meant to be in the category you are reviewing.

Previously Reviewed

This tab will show a list of all entries that you have judged. Every time you add a score to an entry it will move here. This tab will show you all your scores and also allow you to edit an existing score.

Notes Added

This tab shows entries that you have included a note with. These notes are internal notes for your viewing only. Use notes for entries that you'd like to come back to, or include comments to backup your initial thought. Notes are not a required field. So only use this if they will help your process.

Tips & Advice

Industry Readiness
When judging for big contests like the Rookie Awards, keep in mind that we are trying to find the artist who is the most employable based on creative skills, technical skills and presentation. The question you should be asking yourself is "Would I hire this person?".

Use full range of the star system.
Our voting algorithm is smart enough to handle dealing with heavy voters and light voters, but it's helpful for yourself to use the full range. So please make sure to score entries from 0.5 all the way to 10.

General mindset for scores
Everyone will have a slightly different way to review entrants, but as I guide I try to group entrants into 3 buckets to get started.

8 - 10: Impressive demonstration of 3 or more skills. Great creative and technical knowledge. Solid presentation. I would consider interviewing for an entry level role.
4 - 7: Starting to demonstrate some good skills. Shows potential and a good range of core capabilities but not enough examples of high quality work to consider hiring just yet.
< 4: Skills not developed. Some good knowledge and definitely on the right track, but very early in their training.

Obligations - Social Media

As a judge, we would love it if you'd help share announcements during the course of the contests. To help make it easy for you, here is a schedule that lists out some of the key milestones. Each announcement below links to an official image you can use as part of your posts. You can also download them all directly from here.

Tip: Please make sure to use the official hashtag #rookieawards2021 with all social media posts. It really helps us reply to comments and build engagement for everyone involved.

10th January - General Announcement
The Rookie Awards starts again in March and we are excited to be a sponsor for 2021. The contest is open to young creatives in visual effects, animation, games, virtual reality, motion graphics and 3d visualisation. There really is no better way to launch your career and start sharing your amazing work online.  #rookieawards2021

24th January - Download Posters
Make sure to grab yourself one of the Annual Rookie Awards posters featuring incredible artwork from last year. We are proud to be a sponsor of this awards and can't wait to see what work is submitted to the judging panel. #rookieawards2021

7th February - Important Dates
Before you do anything else, quickly open up your calendar and drop these dates in for the 10th Annual Rookie Awards. We are proud to support this amazing initiative designed to help encourage aspiring artists to share their creative media skills with the world. #rookieawards2021

February 21st - Official Categories
The official categories have been announced for Rookie Awards. The contest is open to young creatives in visual effects, animation, games, virtual reality, motion graphics and 3d visualisation. There really is no better way to launch your career and start sharing your amazing work online. #rookieawards2021

March 7th - Open for Submissions
The 10th Annual Rookie Awards are open for submissions! The contest is open to young creatives in visual effects, animation, games, virtual reality, motion graphics and 3d visualisation. We are proud to sponsor this contest and can't wait to see the amazing work you have been creating. Entries close June 1st, but don't leave it until the last minute to enter otherwise you might miss out on this incredible opportunity. #rookieawards2021

May 1st - 30 Days to Enter
Time flies when you are trying to create an entry for the Rookie Awards 2021. With only 30 days remaining to get your entry submitted to the judging panel it's time to take things to the next level. We have been amazed at the quality of submissions so far and know there is plenty of amazing work left to come.

If you haven't done so already you can actually start your entry and 'Save as Draft'. This way you can make sure you fully understand what's involved with the submission process. #rookieawards2021

May 23rd - 10 Days to Enter
We hope you don't have too much left to render and that you've allowed enough time to focus on presentation. With only ten days to go we really are down to the wire now. For those of you who are intimidated by all the other amazing entries, don't give up. There are countless success stories from people just like you who previously entered and triggered a career changing chain of reactions. #rookieawards2021

June 30 - Finalists Announced
The finalists for the 10th Annual Rookie Awards have been announced! The suspense has been killing us and we can't believe how incredible the entries are across all categories. To find out if you are a Finalist, head directly to the contest main page right now - TBA #rookieawards2021

July 16 - Winners Announced
The official judging panel for the Annual Rookie Awards have been deliberating intensely behind closed doors for the last month now. As sponsors of the awards we are overwhelmed by the quality and diversity of entries this year. Congratulations to everyone who took a chance, shared their work and got involved with the community. #rookieawards2021

Obligations - Lead Judges

As a Lead Judge we need your help to review entrants based on your area of expertise. For example, if you are a Visual Effects artist, we will assign you to:

  • Rookie of the Year - Visual Effects
  • Film of the Year - Visual Effects
1) Review entrants

The goal of the lead judge team is to help review all entrants that enter the contest. We don't require detailed feedback or anything complicated. What we are trying to do is help sort entrants into a rough order of talent.

2) Nominate Top 5

Once finalists have been announced, you will be asked to nominate your Top 5 entries in order of preference. At this point you are also able to add some feedback and general comments to share if time permits.

Obligations - Finalist Judges

As a Finals Judge we need your help to review finalists based on the categories you have nominated.

1) Review Finalists

All the heavy lifting has been done by the Lead Judges in terms of selecting finalists for each category. For each category that you are assigned you will see a list of finalists. The first step of judging is to add a score for each entrant in order to help you create a preliminary sorting order.

2) Nominate Top 5

Once you provided each entrant with a score, you will then be asked to select your Top 5 entries. Based on your previous scores, you will be presented with a page listing all entries from highest to lowest score. This will help you review and lock in your final selection. At this point you can also add some public comments to share with entrants.

Press Kit


Social Media Posts

Official Judge
Official categories
Important dates for your calendar
March 7th - Open for Submissions


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How do I find the categories I am judging?

The quickest way to find your category in the Rookies Awards 2021 is to visit your dashboard:

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