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APSU students’ video about the 24 Hours Animation Contest goes viral on TikTok


Austin Peay State University - APSUClarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University (APSU) animation students made it as finalists in a 24 Hours Animation Contest then earned more than 2 million views on a behind-the-scenes TikTok video.

A screen capture from the team's 24 hours video. (APSU)

A screen capture from the team’s 24 hours video. (APSU)

The students met Friday, October 2nd, and had 24 hours to create their animated short based on a surprise theme announced at that time.

This year’s theme was “pandemic.” The contest had over 1,000 participants from 64 schools and 10 countries with a total submission of 188 films.

In the contest, teams work from their home school and submit a YouTube link to their films before the deadline. The entries are judged by industry artists. Seven teams of five people were awarded prizes from industry sponsors that have included ToonBoom, Animation Magazine, Wacom, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, Disney Animation, DreamWorks and Blue Sky.

The team of five Austin Peay State University students – Shirley Layer, Paul Gibson, Freddy Batts, Jeremy Vega, Arianna Banta – worked throughout the day and night with a professor delivering dinner and breakfast. They uploaded the video with seconds to spare.

A screen capture from the team's 24 hours video. (APSU)

A screen capture from the team’s 24 hours video. (APSU)

Layer – president of the Clarksville Animation Club – shared a behind-the-scenes video about the contest on TikTok. The video has more than 2 million views.

“That evening after the contest I uploaded it to TikTok, and the views started climbing,” Layer said. “Last I checked it was at 2 million views with incredible support and well wishes from many of the viewers.”


Creating the Contest Video 

Prior experience in the competition helped the team with creating their video. The team knew that they would have a 3D background with 2D characters. They chose to stick with a theme of nature that included small animals.

“It took us about six hours to fully flesh the story, the desert would be our environment, a large storm would be our conflict, and the fennec fox, who are adorable by the way, would be our main characters,” Layer said.

By focusing on COVID-19 Coronavirus and its impact on their lives, the team members decided to apply what they believe the outcome will look like.

“The dry desert for the fennec foxes was their normal day-to-day life, which represents our own lives before COVID,” Layer said. “Storms are very rare in the desert, especially large ones with significant rainfall which can be very dangerous, and thus that came to symbolize the virus. ”



“The fennec fox family is forced to ‘quarantine’ in their den while the terrified babies cuddle up to their mom, but once they’ve ‘weathered the storm’ they’re surprised to find a lush, green, beautiful vista with greater hope for tomorrow,” stated Layer.

To view the final competition video, click here.


To learn more 




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