The NewGrounds Annual Tournament of Animation is a yearly competition of animation ability and quality using any animation medium. The contest is currently held on NewGrounds and is organized by Munchy Media. The goal of NATA is to encourage creativity in its most original form, while also helping animators to exercise their strengths with time limits, competitors, and completely original content creation.
The competition pits animators against each other through scored Rounds where the animators have a certain amount of time to complete their entry. Entries are scored by a panel of five judges in five categories:
Points from each judge tally up to a total of 20 possible points. With five judges, the total points possible for an entry will be 100 Points. The highest total point value in any given matchup will be the winner and move on to the next round. Prizes each year are determined by donations through the animation community as well as sponsorship companies such as Adobe, Munchy Media, and NewGrounds. To date, over $13,000 in prizes have been awarded, with popularity growing every year.
The NewGrounds Annual Tournament of Animation hosts all content on the NATA Website (ngtournament.com). Announcements, rules, FAQ, and general community involvement takes place on the NewGrounds Forum (newgrounds.com/bbs). Submissions are uploaded and submitted via the NewGrounds Portal.
Prizes will be awarded according to a participant's progression through the tournament. Cash prizes are divided for passing each round as follows:
- Open Round: $20
- Novice Round: + $50 ($70 total)
- Intermediate Round: + $100 ($170 total)
- Pro Round: + $200 ($370 total)
- Final Round: + 780 ($1150 total)
The 2014 Tournament, beginning on May 3rd, will consist of one Open Round and three Scored Rounds. Anyone can enter by submitting an animation that adheres to the announced Theme and Deadline, which are announced on the NewGrounds Forum. All entries must be created and submitted within the given time frame. Submissions can be made by uploading to the NewGrounds portal and tagging their entry appropriately (ie. "NATA14").
Once all of the Open Round entries have been received, each judge selects their favored entries in descending order. Higher ranking entries on each judge's list will receive more points than lower ranking entries. Points decided in this manner are then tallied together from all judges, and the top 24 scoring entrants will be accepted into the Novice Round.
The Novice Round begins the Tournament. Entrants accepted into the tournament will be arranged into 12 Brackets of 3 contestants each (for a total of 36 Contestants), facing off in free-for-all matchups of three. The highest judged score of each set will move on to the subsequent round, proceding to the Intermediate Round, Pro Round, and Final Round. The winner of the Final Round is declared the Champion of Animation for that year's contest.