The 2017 Animation Challenge

‘Spooky Dance Party’


October 25th 2017


“Spooky Dance party!”

Animate a single spooky character busting out a funky dace, in a looped animation. You are limited to ONE character, but the choice of character is your own, it can be a skeleton, a jack-o-lantern, a vampire, a quadruped, beast, or slime. It can be an existing spooky-type character, or one of your own design, as long as it’s ONE character and the rest of the rules are followed – a monster with two heads counts as one character. I’d encourage you to work with an original design however, and not someone else’s IP. Also feel free to dress them up in a funky dance outfit!


Submit by deadline, Wednesday, October 25th
Max 1 entry per person
No sexually explicit, gratuitously violent or inappropriate material


Check out this video at 8:54 for a list of animation program suggestions (both free and paid), I’d add that flash is now called animate CC, and OpenToonz is added it the list of free animation apps. You’re welcome to use ANY animation program, desktop or mobile is fine, as long at all of the rules and following specifications for the challenge are followed, such as framerate, aspect ratio, background color etc.


Animate at 30FPS, you can use doubles or tweens, you can use duplicated or tweaked frames, but just make sure that the timeline plays and renders at 30FPS. The length of the dance must be looped from either frame 60, or frame 120.

Think of it like this: The character you animate will be dancing to a music track of 120 BPM – when animating at 30 frames per second, the ‘down’ beats of the song will be at every 15 frames. Therefore, your entry must be a dance loop of the duration of either ONE or TWO bars of music – ONE BAR going like so: 1, 2, 3, 4 (animated over 59 frames and looped infinitely from frame 60) or: 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4 (animated over 119 frames and looped infinitely from frame 120). That means your entry will either be a total of TWO or FOUR seconds of looped animation. The choice is yours, if you want to be more ambitious with less time or try animation for the first time, the first option may be best, if you want to make a big impression and alternate the dance step over a longer timeframe, the latter may be the way you go.


Your video must be a 16:9 ratio stage, with your character central to the video frame, they mustn’t at any point touch or go past the top, bottom, or sides of the video frame. You MAY have a very light shadow under the character if you want them to feel more tangible, but keep it subtle. Your character may move around slightly in the frame, but must always return to their central position when the loop repeats.

The entire background must be FILLED with one of the following FLAT colors shown here, namely:

#df4f8d – Pink
#e8912d – Orange
#e4d741 – Yellow
#81cb40 – Green
#3fcca4 – Turquoise
#2f76c6 – Blue
#6842e6 – Purple
#ad43e6 – Mauve

You can convert the above Hex color codes into RGB using this tool:

your background MUST be 100% filled with one of the above 8 flat colors. No white or black backgrounds, no environments of any kind.

You may NOT include props or objects around the stage, except for things included in your characters costume or design such as a hat or cane for example. You may NOT have more than one character in the scene. You may NOT add a gradient or any details to the background, only the flat colors previously shown may be used and must fill the entire background, and you may not add lighting effects or overlays.


The final video you produce may loop your animated character a number of times but the final video mustn’t be longer than one minute in length, and must not have any opening title or closing, no text or visuals, NOTHING other than the animation you are submitting. Audio doesn’t matter, you can either have or not have any audio you wish.

You must upload your final video you as a PUBLIC video. Your render must be minimally 1280×720 resolution, recommended 1920×1080. In the title of your video, you must include either the full word “COTMBEGINNER”, or “COTMOPEN”, all one word, at the beginning of your video title – depending on which category you want to enter.


PLEASE NOTE: You may only submit ONE email with your submission, anyone who sends more than ONE email will be automatically disqualified. This email address is NOT for asking questions or making requests, and anything other than a single submission laid out as I’ll explain next, will be disqualified and not read.

To submit your entry, send ONE email to [email protected], from the email address you primarily use, and include in the beginning of the subject line the full word “COTMBEGINNER”, or “COTMOPEN”, along with the title of your animation, and your name.

In the content of your email include the following points laid out as follows, with a new line for each point: Your full name, the name you wish to be credited as (you may use an alias, if you want to use your full name just write “as above”. Your age, software used, the link to your entry, and lastly, a short description of what you made highlighting anything noteworthy from a technical or creative standpoint.

                    DO NOT ATTACH A VIDEO FILE TO YOUR EMAIL! Just link to the public YouTube video as shown.

When you’ve filled all that out, click send – but make sure it’s 100% accurate as anyone who sends more than ONE email will be automatically disqualified.


Entries will be judged on the following factors

  • Quality, technical execution of the animation
  • Creativity and originality concept
  • Ambition of the animated motion and techniques demonstrated


Open Category 1st PRIZE:
– A Wacom Mobile Studio Pro (13″) Tablet
– An item of your choice from the Shop
– A front page feature on
– 1 Year Supporter Status on

Open Category Runner-Up:
– A Medium Wacom Intuos Pro Paper Edition Tablet
– A signed copy of the art book ’21 Draw – The Illustrator’s Guidebook’
– A Stillman & Birn Epsilon 9×12 Sketchbook
– An item of your choice from the Shop

Open Category Finalists:
Jazza’s Animation Foundation from the Shop
Eligible for the ‘Community Prize’

The Community Prize:
– A Medium Wacom Intuos Pro Tablet
(Winner chosen via poll by community votes)

Beginner Category 1st PRIZE:
– A Small Intuos Draw Tablet
– A signed Copy of my new book, Draw with Jazza Creating Characters
– A Stillman & Birn Epsilon 5.5×8.5 Sketchbook
– An item of your choice from the Shop
– 1 Year Supporter Status on

Beginner Category Runner-Up:
Jazza’s Animation Foundation from the Shop

When submitting an artwork to the challenge of the month by following the competition specifications and entry guidelines, participants acknowledge that they have read and agreed to the terms and conditions.


Most entries will be showcased in the announcement video as thanks for your participation. Please do not send me emails or PM’s linking to your entry, I WILL FIND IT if you tag as instructed and upload by the deadline!

Built by Jazza Studios and Lochie Axon