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October-November 2020 Design Competition

October-November 2020 Design Competition

This competition has ended

Thanks to all competitors and congratulations to the winners!

Welcome to the October 2020 Finale 3D Virtual Pyromusical Design Competition! The competition is open to all Finale 3D users. To participate, you will need an active Finale 3D license. If you don’t have an active license, you may request a free promotional license to participate in the competition. Please carefully review the competition rules below and submit your completed show on or before November 6, 2020 (NOW November 30, 2020). Following the submission deadline, shows will be judged by a panel of fireworks experts from around the world, good luck!

Questions? Need a Finale 3D license? Email:

Long exposure images from the July 2020 Finale 3D Design Competition.

Competition Objective

To create a realistic, emotionally-impactful and inspiring pyromusical display, artfully choreographed to a custom-themed music soundtrack and featuring a broad range of high-quality lifelike pyrotechnic effects.

Overall Competition Awards

Rank Finale 3D Pro Finale Pyro Points Finale 3D Hobbyist Finale Pyro Points
Grand Prize $500 +100 $250 +100
Second Place $250 +50 $125 +50
Third Place $125 +25 $75 +25
All participants will earn +75 Finale Pyro Points for entering the competition.


Win $1,000 credit toward COBRA gear of your choice!

To enter, design your show following the overall competition rules and do these 4 things:

    • Address your show for the COBRA firing system
      • ‘Addressing’ menu > ‘Address Show…’
    • Create a setup report
      • ‘File’ menu > ‘Reports’ > ‘Special reports’ > ‘Setup By Position’
    • Create setup labels
      • ‘File’ menu > Labels > option of your choice
    • Make a list of COBRA gear to most cost effectively shoot your show
COBRA Logo_trophy

Ultratec Prize

Win $200 of Ultratec branded apparel!

To be eligible for the Ultratec prize, design and submit your show following the competitions rules. One winner will be chosen by random drawing at the end of the competition. Prize package includes (subject to size/stock availability): Roots 73 jacket, Vantage jacket, sweatshirt, long sleeve shirt, water bottle, and swag bag.

Checkout the full line of Ultratec products in Finale 3D.

Supplier catalogs, like the Ultratec catalog, are an excellent resource, but you are not required to use Ultratec products to win the Ultratec prize.

How to Participate

Show Checklist

Review this checklist before submitting your show.

    • Show has a title and description/synopsis
    • Length is between 5 and 6 minutes
    • Show includes 2 minutes & 15 seconds of music from the song list
    • Show has no multi-shot cakes and no shells over 10″
    • Show is within budget – does not exceed 100,000 points
    • Effects and overall design are realistic

Hobbyist Category:

    • (Optional) scenery such as background images, landscape and water

Pro Category:

    • Show has at least 1 model
    • (Optional) Google Maps imagery
    • (Optional) scenery such as background images, landscape and water

Competition Rules


All shows must be submitted by November 6, 2020 (NOW November 30, 2020). Competitors are strongly encouraged to submit shows before the deadline. Shows submitted at least five days before the deadline will be checked for errors and competitors will have the opportunity to make corrections before judging begins. Shows with errors that violate competition rules will be ineligible for judging and prizes.

Show Title & Description

Each show must include a title and a short description. There is no specific length requirement for the show description, it should simply be of sufficient length to introduce the show and give the audience some insight into the theme and design concept. For example, a show description could be a few sentences.

Show Duration

Shows must have a total length of 5 to 6 minutes.

Firing Positions

There are no restrictions on the number of firing positions.

Scenery & Camera Animation

Pro Users:

Finale 3D Pro users must use at least 1 model and may also use Google Maps imagery, if desired. Effects may be fired from model(s) but it is not required.

Hobbyist Users:

3D models and Google Maps imagery are not supported in Finale 3D Hobbyist and therefore are not required. However, Hobbyist users are encouraged to leverage available scenery features including background images, landscape and water.

All competitors are encouraged to use camera animation.

Music Soundtrack Selection

The total duration of each show must be between 5 and 6 minutes. Shows must include at least 2:15 (2 minutes & 15 seconds) of ‘required music’. The ‘required music’ shall consist of one or more songs from the list below. Songs may be edited as desired. The final music soundtrack may also include other songs/music chosen by the competitor. The ‘required music’ may be placed anywhere within the final music soundtrack. The ‘required music’ can be a continuous 2:15 (2 minutes & 15 seconds) segment, or split into separate segments featured in different parts of the soundtrack.

Artist Song Title YouTube Link
Alan Parsons Project Sirius
Gargantuan Music Fearless
Audiomachine Reaching
Ivan Torrent Human Legacy
Immediate Music Protectors of Truth
Armin van Buuren Ping Pong
Santana Vive La Vida
Jess Glynne & Jax Jones One Touch
Harry Styles Sign of the Times
Lady Gaga & Ariana Grande Rain On Me
Ava Max Kings & Queens
Martin Garrix feat. Bonn High On Life
Shakira Hips Don’t Lie ft. Wyclef Jean
Akira Miyagawa Matsuken Samba II
Café Tacuba Volver a Comenzar

Effect Selection

        • Effects must be realistic (i.e. effects must be achievable in the real world)
        • There is no limitation to the diversity of effects
        • Effects may be created for the competition or selected from any collection including supplier catalogs, company inventories, ‘my effects’, etc.
        • Custom effect simulations are permitted
        • The maximum shell size is 10″ (250mm)
        • Multi-shot cakes are prohibited

Virtual Budget

Each show will be subject to a maximum virtual budget of 100,000 points. Competitors may elect to use less than the maximum budget. The cost of each effect will be determined by its size. The table below provides examples of some common effects and their respective cost:

Example 1: 25mm (1″) 5 Shot Roman Candle. 25 points per each 25mm (1″) shot X 5 shots = 125 points

Example 2: 50mm (2″) 10 Shot Roman Candle. 50 points per each 50mm (2″) shot X 10 shots = 500 points

Product Description Size Price (Virtual Points)
Single Shot (Mine or Comet) 25mm (1″) 25
Single Shot (Comet with Mine ) 25mm (1″) 25
Single Shot (Mine or Comet) 50mm (2″) 50
8 Shot Roman Candle 25mm (1″) 200
8 Shot Roman Candle 50mm (2″) 400
Shell 50mm (2″) 50
Shell 75mm (3″) 75
Shell 100mm (4″) 100
Shell 125mm (5″) 125
Shell 150mm (6″) 150
Shell 200mm (8″) 200
Shell 250mm (10″) 250
Flame Shot (all patterns) 5
1s Ground Effects (gerbs, strobe flash pots) 5
30s Ground Effects (gerbs, strobe pots) 30
60s Ground Effects (gerbs, strobe pots) 60

Additional Rules

        • The effects and overall design of the show must be realistic. In other words, it must be possible to produce the show in the real world.
        • To preserve the anonymity of each competitor, identifying marks visible within the show are prohibited.

Judging Criteria

Category Description Percentage
Overall Impact What was the overall impression of the show?
Was the show interesting, engaging, compelling, moving?
Design / Script Did the design include a variety of firing patterns?
Was the show creative, containing new or innovative elements?
Use of products Did the show contain a variety of high-quality effects?
Were the effects realistic?
Did the size and volume of effects fit the music soundtrack?
How was the use of color? Were the colors coordinated and complimentary with scenes?
Music score Did the soundtrack help to convey the theme of the show?
Was the soundtrack editing well executed? Were the transitions natural and seamless?
Did the soundtrack include multiple tempos such as slow/fast, calm/energetic?
Scenery How did the show fit within the scenery or location?
Did the show make use of at least 1 model (Pro)? Google Maps imagery (Pro)?
Background images, landscape features, water (Hobbyist/Pro)?
Title/Theme & Description Did the show include a title or theme?
Did the show include a description or synopsis?
Was the theme evident and well depicted in the show?

Judging Panel

Shows will be judged by the following panel of fireworks experts. The identities of competitors will not be shared with the judging panel to promote impartiality during the judging process.

Name Bio
Jorge Márquez, México Fundador y Director Artístico de Lux Pirotecnia, S.A. de C.V. con más de 30 años de experiencia diseñando espectáculos piromusicales.
Dirk Enders, Germany Fireworks expert and Finale 3D consultant.
Drew Espenshade, United States Professional fireworks designer and VP of Sales & Marketing at Finale Fireworks.
Martin Hildeberg, Sweden Pyromusical designer, owner and co-founder of Göteborgs Fyrverkeri Fabrik, an internationally recognized award-winning fireworks display company.
Simon Harding, UK Sirotechnics Fireworks Ltd – Fireworks importer, European Firework Distributor, Internationally awarded Pyromusical Designer and Display Company
Stephen Pelkey, United States CEO and Artistic Director for Atlas PyroVision Entertainment based in Jaffrey, New Hampshire and the winner of multiple international fireworks competitions including L’International des Feux Loto-Québec in Montreal.


By participating in the competition, entrants agree to allow Finale Fireworks to use submitted content, in whole or in part, for training, demonstration, marketing and other purposes. Further, competitors’ names, company names (if applicable), and the submitted show videos will be made available publicly on YouTube and shared on other online platforms.