Category Archives: Archived Events

2015 West Michigan Creative Congress! Calling all Delegates!

On Friday, May 8, 2015, from 6-9 pm, the SEMAFX Network, Ferris State University, Dart Frog Creative and others come together for the Third Annual West Michigan Creative Congress, in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The “Creative Congress” calls together “delegates” from all corners of our creative “Nation,” to discuss, network, brainstorm, discover new resources and explore new business opportunities.  Just like our Founding Fathers, we must come together and Declare our Independence from tired, old ideas and continually re-invent our “Creative Nation.” We enjoy the liberty to create, express our ideas, and pursue success, by forming a more perfect union of imaginative, creative citizens!

The first SEMAFX Network Creative Congress was in 2006.  Today, in West Michigan, the Creative Congress is fast becoming an important date on the Grand Rapids annual creative calendar. So register now and join us for a fun evening of networking, learning, brainstorming, sharing and dreaming.

This event gets bigger every year.  And on May 8th, we expect a big crowd of enthusiastic artists, educators, professionals and hobbyists from a wide spectrum of interests and industries.  The Congress features four key components:

Networking with wildly creative people!  Connect, collaborate, brainstorm and more!

The Sideshow Trade Show, where you can see new tech, new tricks, and meet cool creatives and learn about their businesses, services and products.

Our “Infamous Door Prize Raffle”- we have some fun, cool goodies to give away.

So if you’re interested in:  animation, visual effects, game development, film making, video, music, audio, architecture, sculpture, painting, graphic design, Augmented/Virtual Reality, 3D printing, advertising/marketing, creative entrepreneurism or lots of other cool, exciting things, this is your event.

The Creative Congress is graciously hosted by Ferris State University at their 151 Fountain St. digs, (inside GRCC’s ATC Building). Make sure to stop by the Ferris booth to thank them and learn about their nationally ranked (#16) Digital Animation and Game Design Department!


We are always in need of sponsors.  If you would like to support our event and our community, we could use:
Ca$h, which helps pay for catered food, drinks and other incidentals
Swag and goodies to give away in the “Raffle”- to name a few, we can use fun gifts, software, tickets to local events, gift cards to restaurants and stores, wearables or SWAG with your logo on it, books, memberships, training and, well, you name it!   Contact Jacob Pollak at to donate.

Sideshow Trade Show

If you are interested in manning a table:
Tables are free to use, some power can be arranged if needed.  Just reserve as Exhibitor on Eventbrite and do it soon, because space is limited.  If you need something special (like extra space) or want to do something uber cool, let us know and we’ll do our best to accommodate you!   Contact Kyle Bourcier at 989.295.6916 or email him:

Event: The 47th Annual DAFT Michigan Student Film Festival

The 47th Michigan Student Film Festival

The Michigan Student Film Festival is unique in the nation for providing a public venue for the work of students in grades K-12, as well as giving recognition and significant awards to young media artists. DAFT is proud to present The Michigan Student Film Festival, now in its 47th year.

What: The 47th Michigan Student Film Festival
When: 10am – 3pm, Saturday April 25, 2015
Where: The Detroit Film Theatre @ The Detroit Institute of Arts
Eligible: Students Grades K-12
Entry Deadline: CLOSED- March 9, 2015

TechShop Detroit Hosts SEMAFX in March: “Makers Mixer!”

Come join the SEMAFX Network and TechShop Detroit, for a “Makers Mixer” and networking event.  March 18th from 6:30-9:30 pm.  This is our first visit to TechShop in Allen Park.  This is an amazing “maker space” with all the tools and goodies you need to make your vision a reality!

This event will cross-pollinate our SEMAFX skill sets with makers, crafters, inventors, freethinkers and people with crazy cool ideas! This seemed like a perfect match for our SEMAFX gang, with so many overlapping interests… 3D printing comes to mind!

There’s a lot to see here, so come join us to mix, mingle, build your network and get a glimpse of what TechShop is all about.  Please help spread the word, this event is free and open to everyone. See you there.

Please Register and RSVP at:

Jan 28: The Potential of the Unity Engine! with Jim O’Donnell

January 28 · 6:30 PM at Specs Howard School of Media Arts

Member and Guest Speaker Jim O’Donnell will talk about Unity and it’s growing popularity in digital media, visualization, gaming, augmented reality and other relevant uses for SEMAFX members! Jim is also going to show us Google “Cardboard” and it’s fun/cool uses!

We are meeting at Specs Howard on Wednesday, January 28th at 6:30 pm. Park in the main lot and come in the main front doors.  You will see signage to guide you to our specific room.

Don’t forget to participate in the first DOUBLE DOG Dare Ya Challenge for the year!

For January, the DDDYa Challenge is “United”.  So bring anything- a short animation, rendered frame, sketch on a napkin or iPad… anything you want.

We will issue DDDYa’s every meeting, to keep you on your toes!


I am asking for your help. Please help spread the word on this first big event of 2015! Invite your friends, neighbors and anyone, of any age, who is interested in our topics, ranging from art, animation, visual effects, movie magic, augmented reality, game development, web design, film/TV, editing, motion graphics… where does it end!?

We are in a “Building Year!” Did you know SEMAFX has grown to over 185 followers? Yes, it’s true. And we have brought back our Premier membership, which is only $35 for the entire year. SEMAFX Premier Members receive “thousands of untold benefits!”  That includes freebies and discounted stuff, and exclusive raffles of high end software, training and other cool things from our many sponsors! So join today! You can join at meetings, or go here for a link to PayPal, if you’d like to pay online:

About our Guest Speaker:

Jim O’Donnell is a Unity Developer specializing in app development for both Android and iOS mobile devices, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. Jim is a “guru” on technologies such as Oculus Rift, Dive VR, and Google Cardboard. After 17 years in production as a video editor, his interests led him to join the budding industry of mobile app development. While back in college, he became aware of the emergence of Augmented Reality, making it a primary focus for the remainder of his education. He received a BFA from the International Academy of Design & Technology and is currently Director of Emerging Technologies at Jackson Dawson Communications.

FE15 (of the New Era): History Lesson: Looking Back at our Moving Art form, with Steve Stanchfield

February 11th-  Come join us at CCS tonight, to network with a whole new generation of upcoming, talented artists.

And I hope you CCS students will spread the word today, and come join us in the Anderson auditorium (6:30pm).

You may not have heard of SEMAFX!  But we’ve been building our digital arts community for 17 YEARS now… yep, it’s true!  2015 is officially the start of our “New Era”!

We are eager to meet and welcome these remarkable young artists and introduce them to the people and resources in our creative community. (nudge, nudge… hey, these are the kids you’re going to hire someday…)

So tonight at 6:30pm, we will hear Professor Steve Stanchfield, a true authority in the animation field.  Steve will share some of the more interesting moments in animation!

“When going forward, it helps now and then to look behind.”

We are meeting at the Anderson Auditorium, (in the Wendell Ford Building), on the CCS campus. Look for street parking or try the CCS parking ramp. We will have snacks, a raffle and amazing NETWORKING opportunities with crazy talented people of all ages. See you there!

Click here for a Map to CCS

If you want to know more about Cartoon History, check out the Cartoon Research website, where Steve is a contributor:

Professor Steve Stanchfield is an animator, educator and film archivist. He runs Thunderbean Animation, in Ann Arbor, Michigan and has compiled over a dozen archival animation DVD collections devoted to such subjects at Private Snafu, The Little King and the infamous Cubby Bear.

Our first Google Hangout with guest Mark Deridder from Infinity Ward!

Mark Deridder is a SEMAFX alum, now working on the top video games “Call of Duty” at his company Infinity Ward!
Mark is going to call in and discuss his career (so far).  This will be an interesting look at game design from one of our favorite sons!  Please join is IN PERSON at Stage 3 in Warren- or try to join our Hangout online.  You’ll have to contact us at  (or text Scott) to ask to join the hangout.

This is our first attempt at doing a hangout, so help me get this thing going!  If you’ve ever done one, please lend a hand.
Next time will run smoother.  Luckily, Mark is very patient and understanding of me and my attempts to connect people- and this is new to me, but seems like a cool thing to add to our toolbox.

RSVP on our site.

Here is the link to the event:

Holiday party a great success!

Last night we gathered at Stage 3 for a joint Holiday party, celebrating talent, creativity and a shared passion for our community! I was so happy to see so many dear old friends whom I haven’t seen in many years!
The conversations were dripping with ideas, visions and potential! It became obvious that we all share a feeling of destiny.. that our local animation industry is on the verge of something big- mostly because the SEMAFX movers and shakers who hung out in the kitchen last night are willing it so. We have that kind of power… Or at least power of will. We are planning a big 2014, and I encourage you to join SEMAFX on our road to destiny.
Merry Christmas… And we know it’s going to be an amazing New Year!

Ae FX artist sought for local project

Greetings Everyone!

We are in need of a SFX artist who can use after effects to help speed along our 911 Ghost project.  The effects shouldn’t take much time but we need them done asap! I’ve started and have had some success, but I can’t help but thinking there is someone out there who is better than me who could make the effects even better.  I’ve gotten help from a new member who did an awesome job but he is no longer available.     If you are into making demon faces and cracking mirrors in post please don’t hesitate to contact me,     Thanks,  Tonya  Orora Filmmakers  Co-organizer

Creative Community Christmas- Dec 19th, 2013

Come join us at the Creative Community Christmas, hosted by Stage3 in Warren.


The SEMAFX Network is co-hosting, and this will serve as our December meeting.  We’ll have door prizes for our guests, along with a VIP raffle for paid SEMAFX members.

Food, drink, music, fun and more!  Stay tuned for details.

Thursday, Dec. 19


Stage 3 Studios

27500 Donald Ct

Warren, MI

Map to Stage 3

Mudbox at Stage 3 for next SEMAFX Networking Event!- Feb 15th

Our second SEMAFX Network event for 2011 features Rich Mazza from Autodesk as he demonstrates the incredible Mudbox 3D modeling and surfacing tools!  Come see Rich put this powerful software through it’s paces- and meet some of the hottest, talented animators and FX artists from around these parts!

This event will be hosted by Stage 3 Studios in Warren, Michigan (see map).  We’ll open at 6:30 and start sharp at 7pm. Take the elevator to the second floor.  There is no cost for this event- so please invite your friends and peers who are interested in the latest visualization tools and technology.

Stage 3 is located at 27500 Donald Court, Warren, MI.  Look for the SEMAFX Facebook page and rsvp for the event there. “Like” our page too, while you’re there, to keep up with the latest info. Thanks- see you on the 15th!


About The SEMAFX Network

Our full name is The Southeastern Michigan Animation and Visual FX Network- we started in April 1998 and have been the hub for the animation, visual effects and high end visualization industry here in the Detroit area. We’re committed to holding events and activities that give artists the opportunity to gather, share, explore and collaborate in this growing field.  We share tips, tricks, technology and news that enhance our Craft and create new opportunities for those who engage in the process.  Come get engaged!

For more information about The SEMAFX Network- and to volunteer as a host, workshop leader, speaker, snack provider, greeter or to bring other valuable assets- contact Scott Paul Dunham at or on Facebook.