Conference 5–9 August 2012
Exhibition 7–9 August 2012
Los Angeles Convention Center

Computer Animation Festival

Submission Deadline

Monday, 9 April 2012
22:00 UTC/GMT

Acceptance notifications for the Computer Animation Festival will be released on or before Friday, 25 May.

In 2012, SIGGRAPH's Computer Animation Festival celebrates its 39th year as the world's most innovative exploration of computer-generated animation and visual effects. This four-day, international event is a glimpse into the most talented technical and artistic minds of our industry. It showcases everything from student films to blockbuster visual effects!

All entries must be uploaded by 9 April 2012 (22:00 UTC/GMT). Only finished works will be considered for inclusion, and all submissions must be uploaded at final resolution.

Submission Categories

The festival accepts submissions in 10 distinct categories:

1. Computer Animation Shorts
All forms of animated short pieces that contain a significant percentage of computer-generated imagery and/or digital production and are not specifically suited to one of the other nine submission categories. This includes independent shorts, character animation, sponsored creative explorations, narrative and experimental works, opening sequences, game cinematics, selections and/or montages of animated television series, machinima, and new-media formats. Shorts of any length may be submitted, but the Computer Animation Festival reserves the right to show only excerpts of selected works at the jury's discretion.

2. Music Videos
Commissioned and/or independent works that use any combination of computer animation, digital effects, and live action to illustrate, enhance, and/or complement a musical creation.

3. TV and Web Commercials
Advertisements created entirely or partially with computer animation and/or digital effects. Also promotional spots, broadcast bumpers and graphics, and public service announcements.

4. Visualizations and Simulations
Computer animations created to explain, analyze, or visualize information for applications including scientific research, architecture, engineering, systems simulations, education, and documentary projects.

5. Student Projects
Computer-animated works of all kinds produced to satisfy a school, coursework, and/or graduation requirement. Entries in this category qualify for Best Student Project Award consideration. The Computer Animation Festival requests that all student works be submitted under this category, regardless of genre.

6. Animated Feature Films
Selections and/or montages of computer animation created for animated feature films.

7. Visual Effects for Short Films and TV Programs
Selections and/or montages of visual effects created for short live-action films and/or for television programs.

8. Visual Effects for Live-Action Feature Films
Selections and/or montages of visual effects created for live-action feature films.

9. Real-Time Animation
Game, web, and mobile animations that are rendered in the same amount of time that it takes to play them back. Real-time technology demos are also encouraged! Real-time technology demos should be submitted to Real-Time Live!

10. Miscellaneous
Computer animations that do not fit in any of the above categories, including technology showcases, previz, and other cool stuff that hasn't been invented yet.

The Computer Animation Festival reserves the right to place entries in the category that is most appropriate. Stereo 3D work will be considered and can be entered in any of the above categories.

Computer Animation Festival Jury & Subcommittee


To qualify for the SIGGRAPH 2012 Computer Animation Festival Competition Section, each submission must:

  • Be a complete, finished work.
  • Have been completed after 1 January 2011.
  • Include a significant percentage or inventive use of computer-generated imagery and/or digital production.
  • Be uploaded at final resolution at time of entry.
  • Be submitted in the appropriate category. (Student works must be entered in the Student Projects category.)

The Computer Animation Festival reserves the right to place submissions in a different category if deemed appropriate by the festival committee and/or jury. Shorts of any length may be submitted, but the Computer Animation Festival reserves the right to show only excerpts of selected works at the jury’s discretion. SIGGRAPH 2012 Computer Animation Festival policy requires that the total time for end titles and credits together is no longer than seven seconds.

To enter your work in the Computer Animation Festival:

1. Complete the SIGGRAPH 2012 Computer Animation Festival Films online submission form (one form per entry) by 9 April 2012, 22:00 UTC/GMT. You may edit or correct the information included with your form as many times as needed before the submission deadline. Each entry will be assigned a Submission ID number by the online submission system.

Submitters must complete the Submission and Authorization Agreement by the 9 April deadline for the entry to be considered. You are encouraged to review the Agreement before beginning your submission.

Important: All descriptions, captions, and notes to the jury must be in English. If your first language is not English and you need some help, please consider the English Review Service.

2. Upload three representative still images from the submitted work. Each image must be 1K pixel resolution or higher. JPGs saved at the highest quality possible are preferred.

3. Upload a movie file for the jury to evaluate your work. You must upload your project only once, and at final resolution. High-definition submissions are strongly encouraged. Submission spec guidelines are:

The Computer Animation festival requires each submission to include a slate with the following information:

HD Slate

SD Slate

Computer Animation Festival Submission ID number

Project title (must match project title on submission form)

Frame rate

Pixel resolution

Compression codec

Duration from first frame to last frame (minutes:seconds:frames), not including slate and black slug

Audio configuration (for example, stereo 5.1)

The above information should be presented in the following order: five seconds slate, five seconds black, submission start, two seconds black. Exactly two seconds before the first frame of the work and after the last frame of the work there should be an audio and visual 2-pop cue.

00:59:50:00 – 00:59:54:59
Submission Slate (5 seconds)

00:59:55:00 - 00:59:59:59
Black (5 seconds)

2-pop (visual & audio)

Submission piece begins

After last frame of submission:

Tail 2-pop (visual & audio)

Computer Animation Festival High-Definition (HD) Submission Format Basic Submission Guidelines

Accepted Video Codecs:
Apple ProRes 422


Accepted Video Resolutions:

1080p (1920x1080p) Preferred

1080i (1920x1080i)

720p (1280x720p)

Both pillar boxing and letter boxing are OK.

Accepted Frame Rate:

23.98 fps (Preferred)

24 fps
25 fps

60i (59.94i) fps

Accepted Audio Configurations:
Stereo (Lt-Rt 2-channel mix)

NOTE: 5.1 (MUST ALSO INCLUDE a stereo L-R downmix)

Accepted Audio Compressions
Format should be 10-bit linear PCM or 16-bit PCM for each channel
Audio Rate: 48 kHz  

Advanced HD Submission Guidelines
5.1 (MUST ALSO INCLUDE a stereo L-R downmix)  

The channel assignment for clips with 5.1 should be as follows:

1 -- left 

2 -- right 

3 -- center

4 -- LFE

5 -- left surround

6 -- right surround

7 -- left stereo mix

8 -- right stereo mix


Stereo with the following channel assignments: 

1 – Left stereo mix

2 – Right stereo mix

Accepted Color Space: 
Rec 709

If you are unable to provide an HD file, please submit your standard-definition project as follows:

Computer Animation Festival Standard-Definition (SD) Submission Format Basic Submission Guidelines

Accepted Video Codec:
Apple ProRes 422 Preferred
H264 (must provide bitrate)

Accepted Video Resolutions:

NTSC submissions:

640x480 or 720x540 SQUARE PIXELS


PAL submissions:

720x540 or 768x576 SQUARE PIXELS


Both pillar boxing and letter boxing are OK.

Accepted Frame Rates:

29.97i (NTSC)
50i (PAL)

Audio Rate: 48.000 kHz

Advanced SD Submission Guidelines
Accepted Audio Compressions:

5.1 (MUST ALSO INCLUDE a stereo L-R downmix)

1 -- left

2 -- right

3 -- center

4 -- LFE

5 -- left surround

6 -- right surround

7 -- left stereo mix

8 -- right stereo mix


Stereo with the following channel assignments:  

1 – Left stereo mix

2 – Right stereo mix 

Format should be 10-bit linear PCM for each channel.

Accepted Color Space: Rec 601

Computer Animation Festival Stereo 3D Technical Requirements

Stereo 3D clips must conform to the following specs:

Current screen size and Cinema server will accommodate up to 2048x01080 DCP raster sizes. Acceptable aspect ratios include 1.78 (1920x1080), 1.85 (1998x1080), or 2.39 (2048x858) aspect ratios.

Frame rate
24.00 or 48.00 fps ONLY

File format
JPEG2000 DCP or Separate RE/LE ProRes/DNX Quicktimes for 3D only. If you are unable to create a Stereo 3D DCP, please see below for separate QuickTime submission specs.

Unencrypted preferred. If encrypted is necessary, please contact the Computer Animation Festival Technical Director for server serials and time ranges.

Sound: Either 5.1 or A Stereo L-R downmix with labeled channels is required. The channel assignment for clipswith 5.1 should be:

1 -- left

2 -- right

3 -- center

4 -- LFE

5 -- left surround

6 -- right surround


1 -- left stereo mix

2 -- right stereo mix

Audio Rate: 48 kHz, and sound format should be 10-bit linear PCM for each channel. Framerate MUST BE 24 or 48 fps.

Alternative Stereo 3D Format: Quicktime Discrete Eye Submissions

Required for each set of eyes:
1920x1080 (1.78), 1998x1080 (1.85), 2048x858 (2.40) QuickTimes
Apple ProRes 422 or DNX discrete eye QuickTimes
Label each QuickTime clearly with the eye it contains
Audio must be embedded in QuickTime file
Accepted Color Space: REC-709 (64-940 range) preferred. If you submit in another color space, please let us know what you are providing.

Only frame rates of 24 fps are acceptable.

Uploading Files
If you have problems uploading your files to the SIGGRAPH 2012 online submission system, the cause could be that your server is behind a "firewall", subject to a system that is proxying https connections. Please ask your IT department if they can disable the https proxy so you can complete your submission. If you have any questions about uploading files, please review the Computer Animation Festival Frequently Asked Questions (tab above). If you do not find the answer to your question there, feel free to contact the Computer Animation Festival Technical Director. We will be happy to help.

Non-native English speakers may use the English Review Service to help improve the text of submissions. Please note that this process takes time, so plan far ahead.

All submitters must complete the Submission and Authorization Agreement (formerly the Acceptance Agreement) before the submission deadline. Incomplete submissions will not be reviewed or accepted.

Educator’s Resources Submission option. Those submitting content to a SIGGRAPH conference have the option of donating materials of educational value to ACM SIGGRAPH online resources for the benefit of the education community. Learn more

Festival Juries

All submitted entries are evaluated by two juries of individuals from the technical, creative, and production communities. The list of jurors will be available here in late May after the selection process is complete. A Pre-Selection Jury views and ranks the entries submitted in each of the categories. Pre-selected submissions move on to the Festival Jury. The Festival Jury is composed of eight jurors (plus two alternate jurors) who review and rank the entries that passed the pre-selection process.

Submitters will be informed by email of the status of their submissions only after the Festival Jury makes its final decisions. All participants will be notified of their status no later than 18 May 2012. The Festival Jury selects the recipients of the Best in Show Award, the Jury Award, and the Best Student Project Award.


All Computer Animation Festival Competition Section entrants will be notified by email of the status of their submission(s) on or before 18 May 2012. Each year, we have far more submitted pieces than we can accept, and we are not able to accept many deserving pieces.

If Your Work is Accepted

The period of time between the Computer Animation Festival Final Jury and the SIGGRAPH 2012 conference is very short, and many things happen in that time. If your work is selected, you will be expected to reply promptly to any request for information or clarification from the Computer Animation Festival Committee. It is unlikely that we will need to contact you regarding your work after your notification, but please plan to be available via email during the first two weeks of May, in case a need arises.

Preparation of Final Movie

Entrants are required to submit their completed work at full-resolution (HD is strongly preferred) at the time of entry. Unlike previous years, the SIGGRAPH 2012 Computer Animation Festival does not require accepted films to be uploaded a second time.

Contributor and Presenter Recognition

If you wish to attend SIGGRAPH 2012, registration and travel costs are at your own expense. See the SIGGRAPH 2012 Recognition Policy for a summary of what you will receive if your work is accepted by SIGGRAPH 2012.

The Computer Animation Festival online submission system is available from 20 February 2012 through 9 April 2012.

20 February Computer Animation Festival submission begins.

9 April Computer Animation Festival submission period closes, 22:00 UTC/GMT.

18 May Computer Animation Festival submitters notified of festival status.

5-9 August SIGGRAPH 2012, Los Angeles

I have submitted my work to the most recent SIGGRAPH and SIGGRAPH Asia Computer Animation Festivals. Is it OK if I submit the same work to the SIGGRAPH 2012 Computer Animation Festival?
Yes. You can submit the same work to SIGGRAPH 2012, as long as it was completed on 1 January 2011, or later. We are independent festivals with separate juries and acceptance procedures.

Do submissions have to be 3D animations?
Absolutely not. We generally feature works where the computer was essential to the creation of the work, but there is no specific requirement that it be 3D. All forms of computer animation are eligible including, but not limited to: 3D computer animation, 2D animation, visual effects and live action, real-time videogame play, visualizations, and digitally manipulated imagery and video. If you have computer-generated work within a larger piece, we request that you call our attention specifically to the portion where the computer was heavily used.

How many works can I submit to the SIGGRAPH 2012 Computer Animation Festival?
There is no limit. You may submit as many as you like. Make sure that you complete a separate submission form for each work.

Is there a submission fee for submitting to the SIGGRAPH 2012 Computer Animation Festival?
No. You only need to complete the online submission process.

Can I submit the same piece to both the Computer Animation Festival and to Talks or the Art Gallery?
You are welcome to submit animations to the Computer Animation Festival, and to submit related presentations to Talks, and to submit related artwork to the Art Gallery. Each submission requires a separate online form, however. The Computer Animation Festival film submissions should all be movies that can be viewed. If your piece requires interactivity, or if it requires an accompanying presentation to be understood, please consider one of the other programs.

I have an art animation (abstract or experimental). Should I submit it to the Art Gallery or to the Computer Animation Festival?
All animation submissions should be submitted to the Computer Animation Festival.

Where do I send my submission materials?
All works must be submitted via the SIGGRAPH 2012 online submission system. The online submission process allows submitters easy access to the online submission system, eliminates time-consuming shipping and mailing, and provides an efficient procedure for reviewing submitted work. 

Can I enter my work through Withoutabox?
The Computer Animation Festival does not accept submissions through Withoutabox.  All works must be submitted via the SIGGRAPH 2012 online submission system.

When is the submission deadline for the Computer Animation Festival?
Online submission forms must be completed no later than 9 April 2012, 22:00 UTC/GMT.  Submissions received after the deadlines will not be reviewed. A complete entry includes an electronically signed Submission and Authorization Agreement, available for review in advance here.  There are no exceptions, so please make sure that all submissions are completed before the deadlines.

I will not have my work finished by the submission deadline. Is it possible for me to submit "work in progress" for reviewing?
No.  The SIGGRAPH 2012 Computer Animation Festival reviews only finished projects.  The file you upload at the time of entry is the file that will be shown at SIGGRAPH 2012, if your work is accepted.

We are an art school, and we are planning to submit several student works as one submission. Is this OK?
No. Each piece must be uploaded separately to the online submission system along with its own completed and signed submission form. Each piece is judged on its own merit.

I’m a student, and my work fits into a more specific category.  Where should I enter it?
All student work should be submitted under the Student Projects category, regardless of the project’s genre or type.

What file formats are acceptable for submission?
HD files are strongly preferred.

What criteria will the jury use to select works?
Jurors are expected to select the highest quality works from among those submitted. We give special consideration to pieces produced by students, and to pieces rendered in real time, and we may consider the technical aspects of the piece as well; however, our primary criterion is to select the pieces we feel will form the strongest show.

What is the difference between the juried program and the curated program?
The juried program presents work selected by the jury that represents the best computer-generated film and video in the world. The curated program is used to round out the program by inviting special presentations of pieces on chosen topics.

Why must the credits be no more than seven seconds?
To maintain the pace of the program for the sake of our attendees, SIGGRAPH 2012 Computer Animation Festival policy requires that all credits sections for accepted entries must be seven seconds or less.

My animation makes use of commercially recorded music. Is that OK?
You are responsible for securing the necessary permissions and licenses for audio material that is contained in your work. If your music was not created originally for your film or video, or if you are using another person's music, you must obtain the necessary permissions or required licenses. We will not purchase these rights for you.  Please review the Submission and Authorization Agreement for details regarding required rights.

If my work is selected for the Computer Animation Festival, will SIGGRAPH 2012 pay for my accommodation and travel expenses?
No. You are responsible for your accommodation and travel expenses. For details, please refer to the Presenter Recognition Policy.

Why are your technical requirements so specific?
The technical requirements this year are very specific to make the submission process more streamlined for you. The submission process, similar to last year, utilizes SOHO Net's digital transfer services. We have carefully selected codecs and resolution formats that are easily accessible to all, offer the highest quality with the least amount of data loss, while offering a much more streamlined post and DI process. This ensures that the material you send us, if accepted, will look amazing on the big screen!

Where can I find information on the DNxHD codec?
More information regarding Avid's open source codec is available here.