Composer for Team Spontaneous Combustion and various indie projects, AIM organizer.
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Annette @Random-storykeeper

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AIM 2024: Starting April 19th!

Posted by Random-storykeeper - 1 month ago

Composers, it is time to dive into the Art Portal and put our inspirations into music as the 11th Art-Inspired Music Contest is starting next month!

The Art-Inspired Music Contest (AIM) is a yearly competition that runs on Newgrounds. Composers pick a piece of art from the Newgrounds Art Portal and create a track inspired by that work of art. A panel of judges evaluate the submissions and the winning 20 entries (top 3 + 17 runner-ups) are included in a compilation album on the Art-Inspired Music Bandcamp!

The submissions period for AIM 2024 will be open from April 19th and close on June 17th. Times will be in PST, but the official start of the contest will be determined by the posting of the submissions thread (to be done in the Audio Forums. A link will also be shared at the top of this news post!).

Right now, this is a time to start thinking about what art you may want to use as inspiration for your entry, but DO NOT start working on your entry until the submissions thread is posted.

This is also a time to start considering if you'd like to be a part of the judging panel for this year's compo or contribute some prizes.

Judges and Prizes

We are currently looking for users to help judge the submissions and contribute prizes for the compo.


We normally have 3 judges per compo (plus me), but I would love to have a couple more judges on hand this year if possible.

Judges will be responsible for listening to and evaluating all approved entries during the submissions period to help determine the winners. The official judging period starts once the submissions period ends (June 17), but you can also start listening to the entries as they come in.


We are looking for some prize donations or suggestions. Something along the lines of a cash pool, product keys, etc.


The rules of the contest will be shared with the submissions thread. You can see a list of last year's rules here if you want to have an idea of what they will be like. Most of these rules, if not all, should still be the same, but there will most likely be some adjustments in regards to the Art Portal now allowing multiple images to be uploaded under one link.

I haven't completely decided how to handle this yet. Previously, multiple art inspirations for one entry were not allowed and I think I would like to keep it so that only one art link can be used as inspiration per entry. The same art can be used for multiple different submissions, but a submission cannot have more than one inspiration. This is mainly for judging purposes in which "Art Relevance" is a scoring factor and part of having a higher score, imo, is how much inspiration one can draw from a specific piece of art. If more than one inspiration (for the purposes of this contest) were allowed for one entry, it would create issues in regards to composers picking and choosing elements from multiple pieces of art to use as inspiration for their one track. Of course outside of the compo, this is not a bad thing at all, but for the purposes of AIM, it just muddies things a little too much.

The main challenge with the multiple images on one art link is that there doesn't seem to be a way to share a specific image within that art link - it always defaults to the first image. The other challenge is when comics are used as inspiration. In the past, a single page would often be presented as an inspiration (which in of itself has multiple pictures within their panels) - but I'm not sure if I would want to encourage or allow an entire comic to become the inspiration, as I see comics being a bit more like videos, with a sequential sort of narrative and I would preferably like to stick to stills or a fixed scene with some light/simple animation.

I'm currently considering the following options:

  1. Disallow any multi-image inspirations to be used for AIM.
  2. Allow multi-image inspirations to be used for AIM, but not allow multi-page comics. For art with multiple images, the first image that loads when viewing the art link would be considered the inspiration that is judged.

I'll have to think more about this and will likely update this post as I have or hear more thoughts on this matter.


If you have any general questions or feedback regarding AIM, feel free to share in the comments below. Thanks and hope to see you participate!




can the inspiration be a looping gif?

Yes, looping GIFs are okay to use.

I'm gonna see if an illustration catches my eye in the art portal, if not, I wouldn't mind helping out with the judging this year as well :)

I’m in, no questions asked. I’ll see what I can can cook up that’s inspired by the art portal, of course once the submission thread is posted.

I cant wait, so excited to participate in this for the first time!

In the AIM 2023 rules list, rule 4 states "No pre-recorded lyrics from vocal packs either."

just wanted to know what you mean by this exactly, I can understand not wanting people to use long ass acapella tracks throughout the majority of a song, but does this also exclude short vocal chops?

You can't drag and drop a vocal line and compose accompaniment behind it. However, chopping up vocals and rearranging them in your own creative way is fine, as long as they're also within the Newgrounds Audio Portal guidelines: https://www.newgrounds.com/wiki/help-information/terms-of-use/audio-guidelines

Hey You Guys! The Games Tab Is Blue! The Movies Tab Is Red! The Audio Tab Is Green! The Art Tab Is Pink! And The Portal Tab Is Purple!

Not entering, but I wanna ask a few things so the competitors have a better idea of what's what:

1. Can it be an FNF style thing (i.e. something you'd throw into an FNF mod)?

2. Can it be a remix of another thing?

more prolly to come.

There have been some FNF-style tracks submitted to the compo in previous years. This is a compo for original works, so remixes are not allowed. Composing in the style of a different game OST is fine as long as the composition is still your original work, i.e. not a remix, mashup, cover, arrangement, etc.

oh yeah interesting

can we use one specific image from a gallary or a strip n stuff like that?

Right now, the main challenge is that it is does not seem to be possible to link to the specific image within a single page. For the purposes of judging, I am currently leaning towards allowing multiple images from one art link (galleries and such) and such submissions must specify which image they would like to be judged on in relation to the Art Relevance category. If a Newgrounds Art Portal link is shared to an artwork with multiple images in a gallery, then only the main image (top, largest) will be used for judging by default.

This is not 100% confirmed yet, so do review the rules once the submissions thread is live.

Oh I am so down to participate in this.

Yes! I missed out last year and was upset for so long about it, but this time I'm here, I've improved, and I'm ready for another year of AIM. This has usually been a highligt each year for me, and this year will be no different. :) Also, good luck to everyone participating! :D

Edit: I need to ask, as I didn't see it on the 2023 thread - we're still allowed to submit up to 2 tracks, right?

Yes, you will still be able to submit 2 entries.

So exciting! I hope I am able to join again this year, it's always a blast! :D

I may have to try my musical hand at this. I hereby approve all my work in the portal to be used as well.

This is my favorite audio event on NG. I will definitely try to participate this year. I’m excited to see what everyone comes up with!

woah... i'm gonna do something, maybe...

hope someone uses one of my (very few) art as inspiration :P

hmm sounds interesting. ill try and make something

im interested, posting a comment so i dont 4get hopefully lol

am i allowed to use my own art? just incase i dont find anything good :P (even though i already found one "good" thing)

You can't find anything good in the entirety of the Art Portal? Using your own art as inspiration often reflects poorly on the composer and may influence judging in a negative manner. In the past, it has been allowed, but highly discouraged.

I am sort of a newbie here. (I was on here yonks ago when i was doing Flash animations.)
Anywho, sounds like a lot of fun and would be well up for it. " but DO NOT start working on your entry until the submissions thread is posted." When and where will that be? April 19th ? Here? Do I choose ANY art? Do I have to get the artists permission? Sorry it I do not understand.

The thread will be posted on the Audio Forums (https://www.newgrounds.com/bbs/forum/13) and should be titled something along the lines of "AIM 2024 Submissions Thread". April 19th is the start date but it will be in relation to the PDT time zone (and officially determined by me posting the submissions thread). You shouldn't be starting to work on your piece of music until that thread is posted. The thread will also be linked in this news post once the compo starts. I'll mention the Audio forum in the news post for clarification.

You can select any art that is uploaded to the Newgrounds Art Portal and is not A rated. If you're just being musically inspired by the art, you do not need to get permission from the artist, but it's a good idea to always try and reach out to the artist as most would probably love to know that their work has inspired someone to compose a track. However, if you are planning to actually use the art to promote your music, i.e. saving and using it as an album cover or as a visual for a video, etc. then you SHOULD be getting permission from the artist.

Wait, does the music have to be inspired by an art that’s frontpaged, or just any form art

It can be any art submitted to the Art Portal (https://www.newgrounds.com/art) as long as it's not A rated.

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