Visual Arts and Advertising

3-D Visualization and Animation

The world of 3D is rapidly expanding, and career opportunities exist in a wide range of fields – including architecture, games, product and industrial design, civil engineering, and film and television animation. This contest allows students to step into a real world 3D production environment where creative output must be accomplished within specific timeframes, resources and design constraints. This is a two-person team event and includes a preliminary written exam. Contestants must produce high quality images and an animated short subject using 3D computerized images. Students are evaluated on their technical knowledge, production skills and creative abilities – including visual development and storyboarding. They will also have the opportunity to interface with and get feedback from high-profile judges with successful careers in 3D visualization  and animation.

Advertising Design

Tests technical skills and creative aptitude just as though contestants worked for an ad agency. In addition to a written test, competitors will re-create a given advertisement on the computer. Competitors are judged on their accuracy, proficiency with industry standard software and ability to meet the given deadline. Contestants also compete in a creative portion of the competition. The creative portion involves the application of creative thinking and development of a design problem. Layout, drawing and illustration skills are used, as well as their ability to create vibrant, effective designs using the computer.

Graphic Communications

Contestant will participate in a seven part contest which includes the following segments in alphabetical order: DIGITAL WORKFLOW—The student will access file and follow instruction to perform preflight operations to make corrections and review overall quality of the file; ELECTRONIC PREPRESS—The student will create a file with InDesign on an Apple Computer and following instructions will create a file that matches a provided sample; FINISHING—The student will prepare and operate a paper cutter, following instruction cut paper to specifications, prepare table top folder for various folding exercises and a short written test; OFFSET PRESS OPERATIONS—The student will prepare the press, install plate, make ready to print, and print two colors on a preprinted two color sheet; ORAL PROFESSIONAL ASSESSMENT—The student will participate in an interview exercise; PRODUCTION PLANNING—The student will solve production problems relating to paper, ink and production; and, TECHNICAL KNOWLEDGE TEST—The student will complete a general technical knowledge test.


Contestants demonstrate their ability to use digital SLR's, image editing software (Adobe Photoshop) and professional studio lighting. Students perform on-site photography, portrait studio lighting & posing, process and print digital photos and submit two 11x14 or 16x20 mounted & matted photographs in advance of the contest to be judged and displayed at the competition. Contestants are evaluated on their mastery of entry-level job skills.

Pin Design

Students present their state-winning pin along with their artwork and participate in an oral presentation regarding all aspects of their creation of the design. He/she will explain how the pin represents the state, its unique qualities and why another SkillsUSA student or adult member would want to wear it.

Web Design

Teams will complete a series of challenges focusing on website usability and accessibility, with at least one challenge related to scripting. Each challenge must be documented, clearly demonstrating the skills as outlined in the SkillsUSA Championships Technical Standards 2011–12.