Tag Archives: Design Week

Annual Design Week Animation Challenge + Demo Reel Review – DRAEMS @ Ziba 4/24


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Spring is in the air, and it means it’s almost that time again!  Our annual Design Week blowout is live, and the ticket link now active.

This year’s animation challenge is yet another brainchild of Jamal Qutub – DRAEMS.   Take a closer look, think of our favorite motion design tool After Effects and I’m sure you’ll make the draemy connection.  Details on the theme or to get signed up as a participant are over at aepdx.org

This year’s demo reel review promises to be our best yet and there’s no better time to polish up your reel and enter it to be reviewed by our expert panel of judges, not only for golden feedback but also great prizes.

This year’s judges include (in no particular order):
Saira and Nicholas Weigel, power couple extraordinaire.  She the Head of Motion at W+K and he a Creative Director primarily at his company !hatKe!
Joel Stewart, Creative Director at his own Foil
Daniel Short, Compositor at large and reigning champion of last year’s Reel Review VFX category
Michael Miller, Owner/Operator/VFX Supervisor at 9iFX

This year’s MC is Motion Designer Jarrod Allen.

Prizes include:
VFX – a license of Blackmagic Design Fusion Studio + a copy of Neat Video’s denoise plugin (a must have!)
3D – a 1 year license of  SideFX Houdini Indie 16
Motion – a license of Red Giant Magic Bullet Suite
All category winners receive a 3 month subscription to Lynda/LinkedIn Learning.
1 Audience winner, voted live, will receive a 1 year subscription.
…and more to come!

To enter the demo reel review, submit your information here.  Please, only fresh reels from the last year.

This year’s reel review will be kept on a strict program schedule so we can’t guarantee all reels will be screened or commented on, but we guarantee a silent email of judge feedback on any/all reels submitted.  You must be PDX-metro based to enter.  You do not need to be present to win.

VFX/PDX + AEPDX + 3DPDX present
Animation Challenge (DRAEMS) + Reel Review 2017
Ziba Design (Auditorium)
810 NW Marshall St
Portland, OR 97209
April 24, 2017  – 6:30/doors to 9:30pm

Get your tickets now before this sells out!

Sponsored by  / Ziba / Toolfarm / Adobe / 3DV
Side FX / Blackmagic Design / Neat Video / Red Giant
(poster design by Jamal Qutub)

Another Design Week Down – Reel Review ’16 Results!


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packed house

Wrapping up another fun and inspirational Design Week, I wanted to take a moment to recognize and thank all involved with our annual Animation Challenge and Demo Reel Review event.  First and foremost, thanks to Jamal Qutub of AEPDX fame for organizing the Alphabest section of the evening and doing plenty of animation himself in addition to all of the arrangements, walk throughs, coordinating, designing web pages and posters, and other selfless donated time.

I’d like to thank Sarah Bills and the crew (Shawn and Dave) at the Artists Repertory Theatre, the venue.  We can’t blow up a spot without having a spot to blow up, and it’s hard to argue with perfection, from your 25′ projector screen, well staffed & stocked cash bar, and perfect seating for our near capacity crowd of 200.

Finally, I need to thank the judges for the Reel Review.  Dawn Macleod, Brian Smith, and Blain Klitzke could not have been more spot on and helpful.  Thanks to the brothers Macey at 3DV who helped with our projection needs and provided sponsorship support, as did 52 Ltd, OMSI, and Scopic.

With a hefty thanks out of the way, let’s next give props to our winners!

Head on over to the AEPDX tumblr to relive the magic that was Alphabest, complete with links to watch (most of) the animations again at your leisure.  Such creativity on display and every year the animation challenge takes a jump forward by leaps and bounds.

The Reel Review also continues to progress each year as we review and refine the process and judging.  You all have been keeping very, very busy and saying this year’s pack of reels was inspirational is an understatement.

Our overall winner was motion designer Chip Webster, who’s stellar reel can be viewed here.  Chip takes home the entire Trapcode Suite courtesy of Red Giant, plus a year of training from Lynda.com

Our category winners also won big on the night.  Daniel Short, a Compositor fresh on the Portland scene from NYC, won a copy of Blackmagic Design’s Fusion Studio + the fantastic Neat Video noise reduction plugin by wowing us with this reel.  The 3d category winner saw Ramiro Gomez blew us away with a character rigging clinic built into in his reel, which was an education to say the least and not something I’d ever really seen before.  Ramiro takes home a copy of SideFX Houdini Indie 15 for his effort.  Honorable mention to character artist Felipe Mirez for his “demo reel UI” that serves as a great way to identify what roles he plays in each project – you can see that here.  Last but not least, the motion category winner (2nd to Chip, the overall winner) was McKay Marshall, who takes home the license of the new Trapcode Tao plugin for his awesome reel of precision motion design.

Overall an incredible night, and one we look forward to repeating each April as Design Week (in it’s new time slot) rolls around each year.  Next year, I promise to take more photos!  Keep those reels sharp, Portland!

Local VFX Industry is Making a Splash at Design Week Portland 2016


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Portland VFX Industry is Making a splash at Design Week Portland 2016

Design Week Portland is back, and bigger than ever before. This annual occurrence offers hundreds of ways to connect with creative professionals in the Portland metro area – from candle makers, to wood workers, to creative agencies. The event lasts an entire week and is comprised of open houses, cocktail parties, panel events, and more. The community is invited to learn about multiple creative disciplines by visiting studios, engaging in conversation, viewing work samples, and gaining a sense of what goes into the creative process.

“Design Week Portland traverses every discipline, creating important moments of overlap that stoke the flames of innovation and impact,” said festival director Tsilli Pines, who views creative work as a cultural and economic resource for Portland. “The festival exists to galvanize the creative community and aims to fuel the city’s rise as an important design center.”

Visual effects artists of all disciplines will find this year’s edition particularly interesting, as DWP2016 marks the highest number of visual effects related events in the history of the festival.  With open houses occurring at VFX studios around the city, as well as a number of other related events, there will be plenty to do that week. Here’s a brief run-down of all the VFX happenings this year at Design Week:


Monday April 18th

Local VFX Industry is Making a splash at Design Week Portland 2016Reel Review + Alphabest

Come see a showcase of local talent as their reels are projected and reviewed for all to see. Whether you’re an artist yourself, a creative director, or a casual viewer, the talent on display, as well as the constructive feedback being dished out, is sure to please!

Schedule for the night – Alphabest screening, Reel Review, Alphabest screening encore.
Monday, April 18th, 6:30-10:00pm
Artist Repertory Theatre
1515 SW Morrison
Cost: $10

Click here for more information about this event, and to RSVP


Wednesday April 20th

9iFX Open HouseLocal VFX Industry is Making a splash at Design Week Portland 2016

9iFX is a VFX/Animation studio located on the SE waterfront near OMSI. They specialize in high-end visual effects and motion graphics for film, TV, big brands, live event visuals, and music videos. They’ve collaborated with corporate clients like Nike, Intel, and Puma; TV and broadcast networks ESPN, the SyFy Channel, and MTV; and a number of independent feature length films and music videos. Their open house will feature retro video games, snacks, beer, and an impressive cheese plate.

Wednesday, April 20th, 4:00-7:00pm
211 SE Madison ST #23
Cost: Free

Click here for more information about 9iFX, this event, and to RSVP


Bent Design Lab Open HouseLocal VFX Industry is Making a splash at Design Week Portland 2016

Bent Design Lab is a newly launched brand from the creative folks at Bent Image Lab. Bent is a long- time pillar in the film industry in Portland, and this latest venture is already producing stunning projects. Their headquarters is located on Division St. in SE Portland. They’ll have a gallery of work samples projected on a 25’ screen and a dance party starting at 7pm.

Wednesday, April 20th, 4:00-??
2729 SE Division St.
Cost: Free

Click here for more information about Bent, this event, and to RSVP


Thursday April 21st

Local VFX Industry is Making a splash at Design Week Portland 2016Wacom Experience Center Open House

Vancouver-based tech company, Wacom, is making inroads into downtown with their new experience center. Wacom is the leader in digital drawing hardware and the company behind industry tools, like the renowned Cintiq and the ever-useful Intuos. Their new space in The Pearl aims to become the living room for Portland’s creative community. Their open house will feature an exhibition of local artists and product testing, as well as some snacks and local brews.

Thursday, April 21st, 4:00-7:00pm
1455 NW Irving St.
Cost: Free

Click here for more information about Wacom, this event, and to RSVP


Friday April 22nd

Local VFX Industry is Making a splash at Design Week Portland 2016Hinge Digital Open House

Hinge Digital is an award-winning production-studio-gone-creative-agency based in SW Portland. Their specialties include live action, animation, and visual effects, and they have worked with big brands like Bayer, Amazon, and Microsoft. Their open house will feature facility tours, snacks, drinks, and friendly conversation.

Friday April 22nd, 4:00-7:00pm
740 SW 21st Ave
Cost: Free

Click here for more information about Hinge Digital, this event, and to RSVP


Know about any other VFX related events happening during Design Week? Tell us about them in the comments!



Reel Review + Alphabest – Monday, Apr 18th @ ART


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As visual artists, the demo reel is our sole calling card and still (after all these years) seemingly our only means of making an impression on those who might hire our services.  A few of us have been at it so long that we’re beginning to craft a new form of narrative out of our stacks of demo reel footage that weave past projects into something that’s hard to categorize – part experimental video, part music vid.  Younger artists just getting into the game also have inventive ways of showing off their early work to try to elevate themselves to the top of the demo reel pile at area studios.

Very happy to say, after the wildly successful demo reel event at Disjecta 2 years ago (I know, time flies!), it’s high time we wind it up again.  Watch some reels…   talk some shop…   inspiration!

Motion graphic artists and designers.  Animators.  3D artists.  VFX artists.  All ya’ll.  I’m calling you out.  The countdown is on to submit your reel.  Hit us with your latest and greatest.

Submission guidelines:   Please render your reel as an h264 .mp4 file, at 1920×1080, using the Vimeo preset in most editing apps – more details here.  We will be presenting this in Keynote so please conform to these specs.  Deliver via Vimeo, Dropbox, GDrive, FTP or other download link of some kind using this form.  Please submit your reel before April 11th.

From your submissions we’ll program the night’s playlist, pack the house, and have a panel of industry experts on hand to offer up feedback as each reel screens.  We’ll have prizes for each category winner (motion graphics, 3D, VFX), as well as a vote for audience favorite.  Prizes include:
Motion graphics:  Trapcode Tao         3d:  SideFX Houdini           VFX:  Blackmagic Fusion
All category winners also receive a 3 month subscription to Lynda.com
Overall Winner receives the entire Trapcode Suite ($1000 value) from Red Giant + 1 year of Lynda.com training.  Score!

Also on the docket is the invitational collaborative animation screening of the Alphabest project, showcasing some of the best animation talent in the area.  A potent double bill as everyone steps out for Design Week – this will be amazing and clearly a can’t miss night.

Tickets are $10, available here
Spread the word!

Schedule for the night – Alphabest screening, Reel Review, Alphabest screening encore.
Monday, April 18th, 6:30-10:00pm
Artist Repertory Theatre
1515 SW Morrison

Thanks to sponsors:
Scopic / 3DV / 52 Ltd / Red Giant Software / Blackmagic Design / SideFX / Artist Repertory Theatre / OMSI / Neat Video

Jamal Qutub of AEPDX on the poster design.