The challenge is to create a 50-drone animation lasting a maximum of five minutes using Blender animation software. You can make any shapes and use any colors, as long as the animation complies with the guidelines. The more creative – the better.
All you need is an idea and we will make it fly!
The 50 drone show will be filmed and distributed to international media and social platforms in December 2020
Submit your animation and its video by November 30 to be published and judged!
The Top 3 animations will receive prizes and international recognition.
The winning animation will be performed as a live drone show!
The 50 drone show will be filmed and distributed to international media and social platforms in December 2020.
Register to participate!
Submit your animation and its video by November 30 to be published and judged!
Ready to upload your animation?
How to Enter
CREATE YOUR CHOREGRAPHY Animation for a drone show should consist of a take-off formation, static and/or dynamic scenes and a landing formation
SUBMIT YOUR ENTRY Bring your concept to life for the judges by submitting your animation and video of the animation by November 30! Learn here how to submit →
Alexey is the CoFounder& CTO of SPH Engineering, a practicing engineer and innovator with a strong focus on industrial solutions to integrate drones, UgCS software, and diverse sensors (GPR, echo sounder, magnetometer, methane, laser/radar altimeters). His key goal is to provide surveyors, archaeologists, and inspection services with powerful tools for efficient work. Alexey's professional track record includes expeditions to Greenland to find missing US WW2 aircraft with GPR, an expedition with Inca archaeological survey, and much more.
Blender Institute / Brazil
Dalai is Development Coordinator at Blender. He first joined the company in 2008, working on projects ranging from stereoscopy to walking navigation. He has used Blender professionally for drones, fulldome, VR, architecture and science visualization.
Swiss Drone Show AG / Switzerland
Marc previously worked for a major telecommunications company in Switzerland in the area of software development and operation of complex platforms. Today, he is responsible for the innovation department of a major Swiss telecommunications company. Two years ago, he founded the Swiss Drone Show AG, together with four co-founders, and currently works as Vice President and CTO.
NorthstarFireworks Inc. / Canada
Patrice is a 33-year veteran of the international pyrotechnics industry. He is the Co-owner and Technical Director of Northstar Fireworks Inc. and is the former Vice-chairman of the Canadian Pyrotechnic Council. His specialty is in Pyro musical Design, Show Production and Drone Light Shows. Most recently, Patrice served as the Technical Director of the 2017, 2018 and 2019 editions of the Philippines International Pyro Musical Competition. He has also worked at Ocean Park, Sea World, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Anaheim Disneyland, the Shanghai Special Olympics, and the Asian Games. In addition, Patrice featured on the National Geographic channel's "Inside Hong Kong's Big Bang". His work twice set Guinness World Records: as designer and technical director of the 84th birthday of His Highness the King of Thailand in 2011, and as producer of the largest fireworks show ever in 2017. After spending years abroad performing international shows, Patrice finally returned home to Canada to Join Northstar Fireworks.
Base Motion / Latvia
Armands is a producer and director with 20 years of experience in the media industry. Over the last two years, he and his animation company BaseMotion, have designed countless drone shows that have been integrated into many outdoor events all over the world.
Swarming Drones / Australia
Bill has been a licensed drone pilot for over eight years in Australia, the US and the UK. He has worked with swarming drone systems since 2016, given drone talks at universities and also runs a drone license course in Australia.
WaterGush Inc / Mexico
Antonio is Co-Founder and CTO at WaterGush Inc, holder of a MSc in Robotics from Universidad Panamericana and an ECLA graduate from Columbia University. He is also the Founder and Head of cloud-based drone animation show operator WGDrones.com.
Janis RozentAls Riga Art School / Latvia
Martins is a veteran Blender user, giving courses on the software at schools and universities. He also creates high quality tools and addons for Blender, specializing in lighting and materials.
DRONE ME / Latvia
Drone Me Is an ambitious player in show drone market with an aim to become a global leader in providing show drone technology and animation services.
The winners of the competition will be determined by an international jury.
FIRST PRIZE The winner will be awarded: + iPhone 12 + Drone Show Software training (worth 12'000 EUR) + international recognition + real drone flight video of the created animation
THIRD PRIZE will be awarded: + Drone Show Software training (worth 12'000 EUR) + international recognition
SECOND PRIZE will be awarded: + Apple Watch 6 + Drone Show Software training (worth 12'000 EUR) + international recognition
How to create a drone show choreography?
Animation Template and Plugin for BLENDER
No previous experience with drone show choreography? No problem! Download the 50 drone animation template which include the take-off and landing formation to add to your animation for submission. Use the specially created plugin to check your animation for velocity and collision avoidance.
The number of drone shows performed during New Year's celebrations is growing rapidly. Get inspired by checking-out shows from around the world!
How to make a drone show
Terms & Conditions
The animation should be created in Blender software and submitted as a .blend file.
A video preview of the animation running from start to finish should be recorded and uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo. This link should be provided together with the animation file.
All animations will be checked using DroneShowSoftware software-in-the-loop (SITL) drones in a simulated drone show.
All submitted animations will be evaluated by an international jury.
There are two criteria for an animation to be eligible for winning: must be made in accordance with all requirements and be submitted before the deadline (23:59 UTC+3, November 30, 2020) together with a video preview.
All animations will be evaluated on a scale of 1-10 by members of the jury. The top three animations will be chosen based on the number of points they are awarded.
The prize for first place will be delivered to the winner. The winners of the Drone Show Software training can apply for the online course at any time over a period of one year.
The winning animation will be performed and filmed by the Drone Show Software team in December 2020. Video of the show will be published on DroneShowSoftware.com and the company's social media channels, with reference to the creator.
All submitted animations will be owned by SPH Engineering.
SPH Engineering, BaseMotion, their employees and international jury members cannot participate in the competition.
Participants should consent to publication of their animations and all materials using the animation, with reference to the creator.
The winner will be selected by the jury evaluating all animations according to the following criteria: 1. Technical correctness of the animation (0-10)
Does the animation meet all the requirements?
Takeoff and landing formations 50 drones
Not exceeding 5 minutes etc.
Does it pass velocity and collision tests?
2. Artistic value (0-10)
Is the animation original?
What new ideas does it bring to the table?
Does it involve elements previously not seen in drone shows?
3. Following the theme (0-10)
Does the animation follow / fit the "Winter Holidays / New Year" theme?
4. Visual impact (0-10)
Does the animation leave a lasting impression on the viewer?
How dynamic is it?
How impressive is the use of color?
Each participant will have two attempts to correct any errors highlighted by the jury.
The animation should be created using the the free and open source 3D creation suite Blender and submitted as a .blend file together with a video preview of the animation as a YouTube link.
Each drone should be represented by a sphere with a radius of 0.3-0.4m. Spheres should be named in the following way: Sphere_0, Sphere_1 or similar, as long as they have the same prefix and numbering system.
The animation should contain 50 spheres in total, each representing a drone.
In the animation coordinate system, the Z axis should face upwards.
The animation should use 24 frames per second (FPS).
During the animation, drone speeds should not exceed 3m/s and distances should not be closer than 2.5m.
The animation should have the same starting and ending formation in which the drones should be placed in a rectangular 2x25 grid on the ground (Z=0) with a distance of 3m between them.
Drone positions at the start and end should be identical.
During the animation, the drones should not go below Z=0 and their altitude should not exceed 100 meters (Z=100).
Animation length should not exceed five minutes between starting and ending frames.
Real drones will be equipped with LED modules. Animation should contain not only movement but also color changes. The color is set by changing the sphere material color.
SPH Engineering has developed a plugin for Blender which allows creators to check animations for collisions and velocity. It should be used to ensure that there are no collision and speed warnings (threshold for collisions - 2.49m, threshold for speed - 3m/s). The plugin will be sent to registred participants.
Drone Show Software is developed by SPH Engineering - the world's premier software developer and integration services provider for unmanned systems.