Animation Competition – Panicked

Sorry for the wait – but we have our winners!

Without further ado, they are:

1st place – Szabolcs Siklosi

2nd place – RJ Torralba

3rd place – Charles Spencer

First, congratulations to the winners, as well as to all who entered! There were some really well executed and original shots submitted (seriously, really really good stuff), and it was so hard to choose. And the fact that all the winning shots are CG is merely coincidental. There were some great shots spread across the 2D/3D spectrum. So nice to see. Thanks everyone for your enthusiasm and your hard work!

Now, let me take a moment to explain the reasoning behind these choices. First, this was no so much a contest about how clever or how detailed each scene could be. The goal was a very specific one – create a shot that communicated the most convincing feeling of “panic”, our emotion of choice for this first contest. While there were a great number of really well animated ideas, the shots that really stood out were the ones that were not only entertaining but also the most convincing and believable. The ones that created the best feeling of empathy (whether dramatic or funny) made their way to the top of the list, and ultimately led to our winners.

Szabolcs Siklosi’s very funny and hysterically cartoony shot (our first place winner) hits so many right notes. Not only is the style really well executed and entertaining, it manages to employ really complex and physical blocking while making it seem like a very simple and clear idea – a single idea: terrified panic. The cartooned spacing, gratuitous smears and zippy paths of motion are really clean and the poses very appealing. And, most importantly, totally readable emotion from the very beginning. Very fun shot.

RJ Torralba’s shot (our second place winner) totally allows the audience to empathize with the character as easily as if we were experiencing the feeling ourselves. We can so readily put ourselves in her situation and imagine all sorts of stories about what might be causing her the intense anxiety that eventually leads to panic. The only critique is that the end of the shot only briefly nips at the edges of “panic”. I see it, I feel it, and I would have loved to have seen more. But that is also a good quality – leaving your audience with a strong feeling at the very end of a shot like this. It leaves just the right impression, and it’s wonderfully animated from end to end. Really excellent.

Charles Spencer’s shot (our third place winner) tells the audience exactly what they need to know and feel immediately. Not tons of animation, but the setting is clear, the mood is clear, and the overall attitude of the character is clear. While the only critique on this is that I would have cut out the last acting beat (where she turns her head and shivers). But the opening and middle two beats, where she clearly hears something and begins to panic, hits it right on the nose. Simple, believable, spontaneous panic. The intense graphics of the eyes make it so the audience can almost hear the simple dialog in her head. Really an almost perfect exercise in simplicity. Nicely done.

I look forward to connecting with the winners and setting them up with their prizes. The live critique that our first place winner receives as a prize will be posted here on SplineBomb for your viewing pleasure as soon as it has been done. And, we would love to do this again! Hopefully we can find a way to make it even more participatory, allowing everyone to see the entries and voice some opinions. Cuz you know, we may all sit in our dark little chambers plugging away at the minutiae of our craft, but it is ultimately a communal effort. Feedback is your best friend, so let’s make more places to find it.

Thanks again for participating, everyone! See you for the next one!


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Animation Competition SplineBomb

SplineBomb is pleased to announce it’s very own Animation Competition:

Express An Emotion: ‘Panicked’

I was chatting to Ken Fountain (also a SplineBomb follower) about this idea the other day. He was really excited about it and decided to co-sponsor the competition. Ken Fountain is one of the feature film industry’s more well known animators and animation instructors. Recently with DreamWorks, Ken worked on such films including Kung Fu Panda 2, Megamind and Shrek Forever After.

Ken Fountain

The competition is open to anyone, whether you’re a student or working in the industry. What we’ll be looking for is great Acting Choices and strong Body Mechanics…. Looking forward to the submissions, enjoy!

Here are the contest guidelines:

Animate a character in a specific emotional state. They could be building to this state or coming down from it, but the main “point” of the shot should be to express the one emotion.

  • The emotion of choice for this first contest is ‘Panicked’.
  • Your shot should be no longer than 6 seconds (144 frames).
  • Your shot should contain only one character of your choice.
  • Shot dimensions to be 640×480 pixels.
  • Deadline: 31st July
  • Submit a QuickTime movie file no larger than 4M to with the subject ‘Panicked Comp
  • Name your file as follows: ‘’
  • No music should be added to the shots
  • Any medium is excepted
  • Fancy lighting and rendering not required. Just great animation “



The Prizes:

store_ABT_300 store_BBF_300 store_LS_300

(Based on the feedback we will determine how often to run the event)

There are 34 comments

Add yours
  1. DavidJNelson

    Love this! I’m excited! Is this a month long thing? I noticed the deadline is the end of the month, but you are posting this a few days before July? Will it typically be 4 weeks? or will it vary?

  2. SplineBomb

    Hi David,

    If the feedback is positive, we will run this every month. I posted the competition a few days before to give you all a head start for the first one, and we were too excited not to announce it! :) (The deadline is end of next month though, 31st July.)

  3. Alfredo Contreras

    hey i may be too late to join in this time, specially since i am going out of town next week, but if you have another one next month i am totally game. can we see the entries somewhere? I just found this site

  4. rocio

    hi, my animation has 14 MB, how can I convert it to 4 MB? sorry for my english, i’m from another country

  5. SplineBomb

    Hey Rocio,

    You have to use QuickTime Pro to re export the movie file. If you don’t have Quicktime Pro, maybe you can try zip it and upload it on Google Drive, box etc… and send me a link to download the movie.

    If none of these work for you, try and send me your file and i will change the size for you.

  6. rovio

    hey, i’ve just made the compression of my animation but i’ve already sent it before the compression…. is there a problem if i sent the compression?

  7. Yuri Perrini

    Hey guys!
    Great idea for this contest. I love the focus on acting performance as opposed the lipsync stuff or the light/model/enviroment/story appeal. I also really love the keep it short thing about this contest. Unluckily i onfly found out about it few days ago, and i had not the chance to partecipate.
    When would the august competition be posted? And where?
    Thanks for the moment, and have a nice sunday!

  8. SplineBomb

    Hi Yuri, Thanks for the nice comment! This weekend has been a bit crazy but we will try and announce the next competition in the next few days… on the blog, FB etc..

  9. SplineBomb

    Hey, really sorry…. we’re running a little late!!! had to move house and now im away for a few days. as soon as im back i will upload all the entries and get more organised for next time!!

  10. Fatih


    Will this be a monthly thing with a new challenge each month and if so do we have one for august?


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