Oregon's Animation Magic

6 Films From New Portland Animators

By John Rosman (OPB)
Portland, Oregon April 24, 2017 5:30 p.m.

In the world of Portland animation, it’s easy to focus on the big names in the entertainment industry: LAIKA, Will Vinton or Dark Horse.

But "Draems," which screened during Design Week Portland, showcased a small group of artists who produce animation for different types of Portland brand ambassadors, like Wieden + Kennedy or Nike.


"I've met a lot of illustrators and UX designers and people who do websites," said event curator and motion artist Jamal Qutub. He also runs Portland's After Effects user group, AEPDX. "They may be really good animators but their full-time job is something else."

The event brought together different user groups from throughout the city — including 3D (3DPDX) and visual effects (VFX/PDX) — to showcase Portland's eclectic motion design community. It's a collection of artists using modern tools like Adobe After Effects, Blender or Cinema 4D, to tell animated stories.

For "Draems," each animator picked a different dream symbol and created a new, 1-2 minute inspired animation. From there, viewers were transported to a 1980s VHS world, danced with and inside the body of a mythical animal and witnessed a moon exploding.

Watch all 22 videos in the program, DRAEMS. 

We asked Qutub to choose six films which showcase the diversity and scope of the event. Here's what he said about his picks:

"Transplant" by PMurphy & Meg Hunt

[video: transplant,left,58fe5a0d04e92f020b911cf1]

"I enjoyed the many layers to this piece and it's fun to discover the hidden faces amongst the compositions. Created by two local illustrators who have recently stepped into the world of animation, it's very rich in imaginative style and detail."

"MASK" by Mode Adjust

[video: mask,left,58fe5aaaa34204021ca5cd06]

"This was a fun, tongue-in-cheek piece that captures the '80s computer graphics style and gives it an updated modern flair. I enjoyed the mix of live action and animation."


"Rhythm Repeat" by Carlos Enciso & Daniel Moreno

[video: rythm-repeat,left,58fe59ada3420402046de90e]

"I really love the bold use of color. A great example of 3-D animation in a 2-D style to help create depth."

"The Boy and The Moon" by Cindy Sullivan

[video: boy-and-the-moon,left,58fe59d604e92f021f554801]

"I enjoyed the hand created look of this piece and it also had a great narrative feel."

"They Mostly Come at Night" by MacGregor Campbell

"I like the tight integration of animation and sound. The flocking system was also pretty dynamic and helped the piece feel very organic." (MacGregor Campbell is OPB's senior visual producer.)

"The Biology of Dreams" by Minimal Massive (Brian Smith & Blain Klitzke)

[video: the-biology-of-dreams,left,58fe593ba342040210b0db26]

"This is top-shelf 3-D animation. I love the photo-real quality of the render and the epic soundtrack."