Competition FAQ's

If you can’t find the answers you are looking for in our Frequently Asked Questions, please email the BFX competition team at competition@bfxfestival.com

When is the BFX Competition?

The competition takes place from Monday 9th July until Friday 24th August 2018, in Bournemouth.

How much does is cost?

BFX is free to enter and each successful participant will receive a stipend towards their living expenses,  as well as rent-free accommodation for the duration of the competition.  Applicants are advised to ensure that they have made all other necessary financial arrangements for the seven-week event independently, prior to the start of the competition.

How long is the competition?

Seven weeks from start to finish

Where will I stay?

All participants will be provided with free accommodation provided by Bournemouth University. Accommodation will also include a kitchen so you can prepare your own food.

Who can apply to BFX Competition?

To be eligible to apply to enter the Competition, you must be over 18 years old and:

  • Currently undertaking graduate or postgraduate studies at a UK University, Arts Institute or College of Further Education or be graduating in 2018 or
  • Have graduated from a UK University, Arts Institute or College of Further Education within the last two years; and
  • Have had no more than 8 months’ full time relevant work experience within the last three years and not be currently employed in the VFX, Animation or games/interactive entertainment industries. Internships or placements undertaken during study will not be construed as “relevant work experience”.

What do you consider a valid team?

Application for entry for the Competition will be in teams of 5, and teams shall be made up as follows:

  1. In a team of 5 at least 3 members must be currently undertaking graduate or postgraduate studies at a UK University or Arts Institute.
  2. The remaining team members may either have graduated from a UK University, Arts Institute or College of Further Education within the last two years or be studying at a College of Further Education or be any combination.
  3. For more information, please read the Terms and Conditions on the application Form.

How do I apply?

Applications open on January 2nd 2018.

What is the deadline?

Thursday 28th February 2018 12pm (noon). You can submit your files earlier if you wish.

If I am an overseas student can I still apply?

Yes, overseas students can apply if they are currently studying at a UK institution;  or have recently graduated from one in the last two years. You must have an appropriate UK VISA during the competition.

How do I form a team?

It is up to each group to form prior to applying- so you could look to team up with other students or recent graduates from your current College or University, form groups from online discussion forums, or from existing groups of friends.

Does my Team need to be formed from a single institution?

No, teams can be formed across institutions, year groups and graduates.

What if I don’t have a team?

You can find other potential group members on our Facebook group

I am no longer a student, but graduated recently;  can I still apply?

Yes – you can still apply, but there are some conditions.

  1. In a team of 5 at least 3 members must be currently undertaking graduate or postgraduate studies at a UK University or Arts Institute.
  2. The remaining team members may either have graduated from a UK University, Arts Institute or College of Further Education within the last two years or be studying at a College of Further Education or be any combination.
  3. Have had no more than 8 months’ full time relevant work experience within the last three years and not be currently employed in the VFX, Animation or games/interactive entertainment industries. Internships or placements undertaken during study will not be construed as “relevant work experience”.

If I am a 3rd year student now, and will no longer be studying at the University when the competition starts, am I considered a graduate?

If you are currently studying (UG or PG) at the time of application (25 May) then you are considered a current student. In other words, if you graduate between 25 May and 10 July 2018, this will not affect your eligibility to enter the competition as a student.

I competed in last years BFX, can I reapply for this years competition?

The entire team you competed with can not  apply unfortunately. However, competitors from the team are free to form other teams and apply again (either as a pair or as individuals). There are conditions though – in a team of 5 students you can only have 2 previous BFX Competitor.

I submitted an application last year but I was not short listed. Can I apply for this years competition.

Yes of course. There are no restrictions in place that would stop you from entering the competition.

Can multiple team members share the same role i.e. two of the 5 members are animators etc?

Yes – you can have multiple people doing the same role.  It of course depends on the type of shots you are proposing and how you will be facilitating this within the team.  You may also have a member of the team who can do multiple roles – so a technical artist or technical director.  This is also allowed.

If  our team is successfully given a place in the competition can we start building a variety of assets before arriving for the competition?

No, although there are some items which are permitted. In order to ensure a level playing field we ask that teams only develop and construct assets during the 7 week competition. The exceptions are Stop-Motion armatures which can be manufactured or bought prior to the competition start.  However, this is does not stop teams from developing the designs of their characters or environments   Neither does it stop them from experimenting with similar assets prior to arriving. So for example, lets say you choose the ‘Sinbad’ Brief and choose to use a 3D pipeline to construct the shot – You would not be able to arrive on campus and use Sinbad assets which had been modelled, textured, rigged and ready to be animated. However – prior to arriving at Bournemouth, there is nothing stopping you from looking at a number processes and techniques pertinent to creating such an asset. Please remember – its likely that the industry mentors will ask the team to revisit designs, assets and shots; so it is anticipated that the team will need to make changes from their proposal at some stage.

Will all the team members need to be present for the interview if successfully shortlisted?

No, but we would appreciate if as many as possible were present   The interview is a 20 minute event that allows us to meet the team, see if you are still interested in the competition and answer any questions you may have.  The interviews may be in person, or done remotely using Skype/conference call.

Is there a limit to how many teams can apply from a single University?

No, multiple teams can apply from a single University; and multiple teams could be successful.

What facilities and software will I have access to?

All participants will have access to a full suite of industry-standard software including Maya, Nuke, Softimage, Houdini, 3D Studio Max, ZBrush, Mari, MotionBuilder, Mudbox, Adobe Creative Suite, PFTrack, Mental Ray, Mantra, Renderman, Realflow, Maxwell and a variety of plugins. Each participant will also have 24-hour access to industry-standard workstations in the prestigious NCCA  and the use of Bournemouth University’s filming and acquisition equipment. Further benefits include access to Bournemouth University’s Green Screen studio and Motion Capture facility.

Can I bring my own hardware and software?

Unfortunately no, BFX needs to ensure all resources are legitimate and that the students have adequate IT cover.  In order for this to occur; we need to use whatever systems are deployed by the University.

What exposure can I expect?

The competition entries will be judged by an independent panel of industry experts, with the awards ceremony forming the centrepiece of the BFX festival in October 2018.  All participants will benefit from taking part in a prestigious competition, with their work being seen by a leading industry figures, as well as featured on the charities media channels. Some films have also been screened on Television and been part of conferences such as SIGGRAPH and FMX.

What contact will I have with industry?

All participants will have access to regular critiques, mentoring and training from our industrial partners (called the Industrial Assembly).  In 2016 / 2017 teams were mentored and judged by experts from  Framestore, Double Negative, The Mill, MPC, Animal Logic, PsyOp, Realise Studios, Hibbert Ralph Animation, ILM London, ToonBoom, Chaos Group, Outpost VFX, Glassworks and Blue Zoo.

Can I have a summer job at the same time?

Unfortunately, the reality is probably no. Competitors are required to work a minimum of 35 hours per week. Team members will only be allowed to participate in paid work outside the Competition with the written approval of the Competition Organisers and his or her team mates.

Is there a list of Hardware and Software I will have access to during the competition?

Below is a list of what you can access during the competition. The OS is Windows only.

The list is continually updating, so please check regularly. Any updates will be communicated via the Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/groups/bfxcompetition/ Also, if you don’t see a particular software or plugin you would like to use, let us know and we will try and get it for you. No guarantees though!

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Software

 OS

  • Microsoft Windows 7 64-bit

3D

  • Houdini 13
  • Maya 2017
  • Realflow
  • MotionBuilder 2017
  • zBrush 4.7
  • Mudbox 2017
  • Mari 3.5

2D

  • Nuke X
  • ToonBoom
  • After Effects
  • Adobe Creative Cloud
  • MatchMover 2012
  • PF Track

Renderers

  • Renderman
  • Maxwell 4.0
  • Mantra
  • V-ray 3.8
  • Qube Renderfarm

Programming/Scripting

  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2008
  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2010

Plugins

  • PF Track
  • GoZ (Maya and Softimage)

Misc

  • Large selection of digital cameras and lenses
  • Studio location / lights
  • Green screen studio plus relevant equipment
  • Sound studio
  • Wacom tablets
  • Shotgun
  • Stop motion