April – Reel Review 2020!

It’s that time again! A necessary ingredient for survival in this industry, and a sometimes fickle Portland job market, is a current (and sharp) demo reel. There’s no time like the present; and in this case the timing is perfect by design, as we’re officially one month out from our upcoming Job Mixer III. This year’s Demo Reel Review will not only put some glide in your stride as you cruise the job mixer floor, but also put you in the running for an excellent batch of prizes.

New to the Reel Review is a format change – this year’s review is purely digital, rather than the screening events we’ve had in the past. However, the 3 category winners will screen in all their glory at our next SIGGRAPH Animation Fest screening (tentatively April 23), on the big screen at OMSI – Covid19 schedule changes dependent. We’ll also post a follow up that announces the winners and a playlist of links here for all to see.

This year’s judges are a gaggle of top VFX brass from our beloved local major league studio, LAIKA: Compositing Supervisor Sara Ireland, Lead Compositor Michael Cordova, and Lighting Lead Joe Strasser. SIGGRAPH Chair J Bills will round things out, watching over the Motion Design category. That’s a lot of experience brought to the table! It probably goes without saying, but the feedback should be pure gold.

Entrants will submit materials via the google form at this link:


Reels should be YouTube or Vimeo links, or a download (dropbox, google drive, box, etc) link to a video file. Video files should be 720p or 1080p, and preferably an mp4. H264 or ProRes LT QuickTimes (.mov) are also acceptable. Please indicate which category you are submitting to – those that are multi-talented will need to choose based on their strongest skill.

Deadline for submissions is EXTENDED to a date TBA in April. It will be worth the wait – stay tuned!

Prizes are as follows:

VFX Category: A license of the newly released (and awesome) VFX Suite for After Effects, from Red Giant. This includes tools like Supercomp, Primatte, King Pin, and the Spot Clone Tracker. Also, a license of Neat Video for either Nuke/Resolve (OFX) or AE. Neat Video is the defacto standard for noise reduction and prepping bluescreen/greenscreen plates for stable edges when keying. A must have tool! To round things out, a Red Giant T-shirt.

Motion Design Category: A 1 year license of the coveted collection of looks and tools that comprise Red Giant Universe. Also a Red Giant T-shirt.

3D Category: A 1 year license of Substance Painter Indie goes to the 3D category winner. Level up your textures+materials like never before!

Note that everyone has a chance to win, and that previous winners of our Reel Reviews were not always the most senior artist with the most jaw dropping work. Often times, the winners show a certain heart and soul, and vault ahead of the pack based on presentation and flavor. Do the best with what you have. All winners, in addition to the software prizes, will also receive a “Reelie,” the 3d printed desk prize of each annual SIGGRAPH Demo Reel Review.

Best of luck to all!

Special thanks to Red Giant, Neat Video, and Substance/Adobe for sponsoring this event.