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 11th July until Friday 26th August 2016, 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 and Arts University Bournemouth.  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 2016; 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 are now open – please see the Apply Now section for full details.

What is the deadline?

Thursday 2nd June 2016 12 pm (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 (2nd June) then you are considered a current student. In other words, if you graduate between 2nd June and 14th July 2016, 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 I pitch a project for both charities?

Yes, this year for the first time we are permitting a team to pitch twice, once for each charity; so you have double the chance of being successful. This year we have space for 8 teams. We are looking for four teams to tackle the Create briefs and four teams to tackle the Refuge briefs. This is however optional, you don’t need to pitch a project for each charity – we are looking for a quality pitch, so please don’t jeopardise your pitch if you have a tight time scale. Check out the pitches from previous years here – http://www.bfxfestival.com/competition/bfx-competition-finalists-2014/ 

Why is so much information needed for the application form?

Entry into the competition is not on a first come, first served basis.  The application form is integral to the process of selection.  This allows the judges to make an informed decision about which teams will be shortlisted for interview and eventually succeed in taking part over the summer.  Its important to remember that the application process is in itself a competition – we need your team to make the best case possible for inclusion.  Part of this process is an initial treatment of the competition briefs.

We don’t expect finished character sheets, or finalised storyboards – but we do want a clear indication of the art and technical direction the team will be taking, and where possible some supporting evidence.  Examples of the team members previous work is also encouraged.  Spend as much time as possible refining this and the likelihood is you will have a better chance of success.  Remember, the judges are looking for teams who are talented, organised and genuinely excited to be part of the competition – try and put yourself in the place of the judge and think about what they are looking for in a team.

So in summary – within your application form try to cover the following -

  • your reason for joining the competition
  • what you hope to achieve creatively and technically within the project (your vision)
  • Within the group, who is assigned to which task (Project leader, layout, Modeller, animator, TD, R&D etc) – describing individual strengths & skills and how this will contribute to overall project
  • how  you would tackle the chosen sequence/shots

A creative and technical treatment, including:

  • Shot breakdown or a preliminary storyboard or URL link to an animatic (very basic)
  • any specific requirements for the sequence to be completed such as camera equipment, Mocap studio, green screen studio, location etc
  • an indication of software, hardware, tools or art assets required.
  • production schedule (gannt chart) including milestones
  • SWOT analysis
  • a description of the preliminary pipeline

Please keep your application form (the .zip you upload) under 50mb. Otherwise the system will not process the application.

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.  Software availability will depend on whether you choose a Linux or Windows based OS platform.  It is also possible to have half the team working in Windows, the other Linux.  Each participant will also have 14-hour access to industry-standard workstations in the prestigious NCCA  and AUB studios and the use of Bournemouth University’s and AUB’s filming and acquisition equipment. Further benefits include access to Bournemouth University’s Green Screen studio and Motion Capture facility as well as AUB’s art studios and RenderFram.

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 2016.  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 2014 and 2015, 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. However it will depend on what OS you opt in for, some software is only available on Windows 7, others on Linux. Teams can choose to either have a complete Linux solution, a complete Windows solution of a mixture of the two.

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!




  • Microsoft Windows 7 64-bit
  • Linux 64 Bit (Redhat or CentOS)


  • Houdini 13 (Linux only)
  • Maya 2015 and 2016 (Linux and Windows)
  • Softimage 2015 (Windows only)
  • Realflow (Linux and Windows)
  • MotionBuilder 2015 (Linux and Windows)
  • zBrush 4.7 (Windows only)
  • Mudbox 2016 (Linux and Windows)
  • Mari 2.5 (Linux and Windows)


  • Nuke X (Linux and Windows)
  • ToonBoom (Windows only)
  • After Effects (Windows only)
  • Adobe Creative Suites 6 (Windows only)
  • MatchMover 2012 (Linux and Windows)
  • PF Track (Linux and Windows)


  • Renderman (Linux and Windows)
  • Mental Ray (Linux and Windows)
  • Maxwell 3.0 (Linux and Windows)
  • Mantra (Linux Only)
  • V-ray 3.0 (Linux and Windows)


  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2008
  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2010


  • PF Track
  • GoZ (Maya and Softimage)


  • Firefox
  • 7zip
  • VLC Media Player
  • Notepad ++
  • Flash Player
  • Quicktime Player
  • Java Runtime


  • Shotgun
  • Microsoft Office 2010
  • Adobe Acrobat Pro (Windows only)
  • Conceptshare


  • Computer hardware
    • HP z420
    • 8GB RAM
    • 8 or 12 cores
    • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti
    • Direct X 11
    • Wacom Tablets
    • Dual Screen set up

2D Animation equipment

  • Animation Station
  • Line Testers
  • A3 printers
  • Consumables
  • Stop Motion areas

Acquisition equipment

  • ASC Minidisc
  • Nikon D50 =01
  • Nikon D50 Digital SLR Camera
  • Canon 400D Digital SLR Camera
  • Canon SLR 50mm Lens f/1.8
  • Canon SLR Electronic Flash
  • WACOM tablets
  • Solid State Media Pack 02
  • Tiffen Filter Set #01
  • Tiffen Flag Set 02
  • Blue Screen [Small]
  • AJA Interface
  • Canon 5D Camera Rig #02 (No Lens)
  • Reflector
  • Tripod
  • Hard Drive
  • MacBook Pro
  • Sony EX3 Camera
  • Tripod
  • Macbook Pro
  • Hard Drive
  • Green Screen
  • Fog Machine
  • DVC30 Kit #12
  • Rain Cover [XL1]
  • Blue Screen [Large]
  • DVC30 Kit
  • Betacam BVW400 Camera Kit
  • Barracuda Poles & Grips
  • Light Probe [Large]
  • Light Probe [Small] #02
  • Light Meter
  • Animation Lighting Kit
  • DVC30 Kit #11
  • Light Probe [Small] #01
  • Light Probe [Medium]
  • Light Probe [Extra Small]
  • Light Probe [Extra Large]
  • Camera Jib
  • Camera Dolly
  • Animation Lighting Bag
  • Nikon Prime Lens Set 01
  • Nikon Prime Lens Set 02
  • Monitor
  • Sound Mixer Kit
  • Dedolight Lighting Kit
  • Tripod [Digital Stills Camera]
  • Light Probe Set
  • Tracking Markers
  • Sony EX3 Camera [EX3 Kit #01]
  • Panasonic SDX900 Kit
  • Mains Power Unit [SDX900]
  • Blue Cloth (for prop usage)
  • Sony EX3 DOF Camera Kit #01
  • Canon XL1 Camera Kit
  • LED Ring Green Screen
  • VR Tripod Head
  • Canon SLR 50mm Lens f/1.4
  • Canon SLR 50mm Lens f/1.4
  • Canon SLR 50mm Lens f/1.4
  • Panasonic 101 Camera & Lens
  • Canon 5D Camera with Lens
  • Sekonic Colour Meter
  • Sekonic Light Meter
  • Canon SLR 15mm Fisheye Lens
  • Sony EX3 DOF Camera Kit
  • Two-Way Radio
  • Canon SLR 70-300mm Lens
  • Canon SLR 75-300mm Lens
  • 19-35mm Lens
  • Super Wide-angle 24mm Fisheye Lens
  • Canon SLR 70-200mm Lens
  • Canon SLR 28mm Lens #01
  • Canon SLR 28mm Lens #02
  • Canon SLR 100mm Lens
  • Canon SLR 85mm Lens
  • Canon SLR 10-24mm Aspherical Lens
  • Canon SLR 15mm Fisheye Lens #01
  • Lens Tele-Converter
  • Canon SLR 28-105mm Lens
  • 8mm Fisheye Lens
  • DSLR Fisheye Lens #03
  • Portable Green / Blue Screen #01
  • DVC30 Kit #07
  • Tie Clip Mic #04
  • Rain Cover [Mini DV]
  • Microphone Desk Stand
  • Fish Pole
  • Canon IXUS 75 Digital Camera
  • GorillaPod Flexible Tripod [Digital Stills]
  • Telephone Recorder
  • Handheld Microphone XLR>Minijack
  • Microphone Floor Stand
  • Wireless Pointer and Memory
  • Video Camera
  • LED Work Light
  • Portable DVD Player
  • Mizar Light (500W)
  • GorillaPod Flexible Tripod [Digital Stills]
  • Onyx MiniDisc #01
  • Apple iPad #04
  • Daylight Bulb Kit #02
  • Wind Machine
  • XDCAM Disc Reader
  • Daylight Bulb Kit #01
  • XBox 360 Kinect Sensor