Archive for the ‘Awards’ Category

Sheridan Hosts the 2010 Ontario Colleges Marketing Awards with help from Animation and Interactive Multimedia (IMM) Volunteers

December 7, 2010

The three-screen setting for the OMCA Quiz Bowl

The Sheridan Faculty of Business was responsible for hosting the 2010 Ontario Colleges Marketing Awards.  Keith Barnwell approached Animation and snagged Professor David Quesnelle but realized that he wanted interactivity with an animated co-host for the Quiz Bowl.  They were led to Sheridan Interactive Multimedia and found Professor, Dan Zen (me).

Dan Zen thought to use his animating to sounds in Flash skills to make the idol mouth, eyebrows and arms animate to the voice of an unseen actor (David) behind the curtains.  Yes… very wizard of oz – prompting facebook status lines, “I am off to be the wizard”.

Osci head animates to voice at the OCMA Quiz Bowl

The Quiz Bowl was amazing!  14 teams of four students each in an energetic round robin trivia showdown!  The teams were made up of mixed Ontario College students in Business and Marketing.  What energy in the crowd with fans all dressed up and chanting and energized by vases of candy!  See the Flickr pictures here:  Perhaps view as a slideshow.

Peggy (Questions), Keith, Dan Zen, & David

Keith, David and Dan worked hard for a few months (356 emails) creating the tools and screens to operate the Quizbowl.  Dan Zen built the tools in Flash with characters from David and direction from Keith:

  • Main Screen: Osci talking Idol Head and score board
  • Scorekeeper Tool: remotely connected to the main screen to change the scores
  • Team Screens: two team screens with bobble head Hollywood mascots and questions, answers, timer and trivia
  • Team Tool: brought mascots on and off stage, operated round robin questions and timers

Keith was the Master of Ceremonies, David was the man behind the curtain with Osci, Charlene was the scorekeeper, Dan Zen operated two computers each with dual monitors to coordinate the team screens and Joanna, a volunteer from IMM, helped keep Dan  on track.

“I felt like I was a VJ mixing sounds and videos for a crowd of ravers!  We had a curtained off booth with all this equipment and the crowd was so into the game and teams!  Wow – what an experience!” recounts Dan Zen.

Osci and the Host had banter going all the time bringing up the score board and tucking it away – commenting on scores and team mascots – like Maryln Monroe made him melt…  Dan Zen would bring teams on and off and handle questions and timers as follows:

  • Mascots are dimmed and bobble heads stopped as the question is read
  • If a team buzzes in before the question is fully read, they get a 30 second timer
  • If they get it wrong, the question is fully read and the other side gets a 15 second timer
  • If they first team gets it right, they wave flags and the timer gets put away
  • If the question is completely read initially then the question is shown on both screens and both teams have 15 seconds to buzz in
  • There are 10 questions per game and dozens of games over 4 or 5 rounds with tie breakers and extra questions
  • Teams have to go in and out on their own screens and trivia is synced across two screens

These requirements made for quite the complex tools and operations but with the right hotkeys and menus, the event went almost flawlessly.  There was a time when the question was flashed before it was read, the question was read and judges judged both teams had an opportunity to read it.  There was also a contested question reading that resulted in a rematch including extra questions.  The system handled this perfectly and it was a very proud moment to have planned so well.

Team Screen for OCMA Quiz Bowl

Here are links to the tools with the Team Screen just set to animate randomly.  The tools need to be run together in slightly special ways to work fully.

  • Main Screen: SCREEN STATES:  P – peek,  Z – nothing,  X – idol,  C – score,  V – idol & score, SPACE – toggle idol, 0-9 – volume (0 is off 9 is most sensitive),  left / right – head tilt  down – look down, up – head reset to normal,  \ – head spin.
  • ScoreKeeper Tool – (sample will not actually change the score)
  • Team Screen – need to run the Team Tool in another browser to operate Team Screen
  • Team Tool – run with the Team Screen to control the characters and questions

OCMA Quiz Bowl Team Tool

All in all, it was a wonderful experience using interactive multimedia for a presentation show like this.  It was very successful.

The skills needed to make applications like this are learned in the Sheridan one-year post grad program, Interactive Multimedia.  Sheridan also has a number of excellent animation and business/marketing programs.  It should be noted that Sheridan swept the Marketing Awards held the following night.


JAM3MEDIA Wins Best in Show (Waterlife), a Gold and a couple Bronzes at the Digital Marketing Awards and an ADCC Award for Happy Planet Shot

November 16, 2009


JAM3MEDIA have done it again winning Best in Show for the National Film Board’s Waterlife site, Golds and a couple Bronzes at the Digital Marketing Awards and an ADCC award for Happy Planet Shots.  Have a look at their blog for what they’ve been up to –


JAM3MEDIA was created by Adrian, Mark and Pablo, grads of the Sheridan Interactive Multimedia.  Dennis, Salpy, and Nick are also IMM grads at Jam 3 – excellent talent!


Our focus is delivering incredible interactive work by combining the interactive directors, motionographers and sound designers with Jam3media’s elite team of developers and designers. The excitement is palpable, since the worlds of commercial and interactive production are set on a collision course set to be dominated by creative teams that will harmonize two formerly distinct industries into one.

Digital Marketing awards
Innovation, excellence, leadership. It’s what the Digital Marketing Awards are all about. Produced by Marketing magazine, the DMA’s represent the best of interactive marketing in Canada. The Awards are judged exclusively by the industry with the mandate to inspire many but reward few. Those few are chosen for their creativity and for leveraging the interactive environment to its full potential.

The Advertising & Design Club of Canada is a non-profit, non-political group dedicated to encouraging excellence in Canadian advertising and design. The Club’s overall goals are simply these: to inspire creativity, to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas, to forge a sense of community and integrity among advertising and design professionals.

Sheridan Interactive Multimedia Grad Featured as Design Student of the Month on Microsoft UX Connection Blog

May 20, 2009

Salpy Kelian - Design Student of the Month

Salpy Kelian has been featured as the Design Student of the month on the Microsoft Canada User Experience Connection blog.  Salpy is a graduate of the 2009 Sheridan Interactive Multimedia program with an excellent blend of coding and usability skills.  Yay Salpy!  And thank you to Qixing over at Microsoft for the feature 😉

Sheridan Interactive Work at the Ontario Premier’s Innovation Awards

April 20, 2009


Gesture interactive works developed by two groups of Sheridan Interactive Multimedia students are being displayed at the Ontario Premier’s Innovation Awards ceremony on May 15th at MaRS in Toronto.

The work will be projected on the floor and walls of the reception area and features gesture technology from Gesture Tek.  People will wave to interact with elements of our innovations. In one of the features, the names of the guests will be read from QR Code readers and placed on shapes such as atoms and wind. The letters of the name will then animate to gestures.


The projects are two of the Sheridan Interactive Multimedia one year post grad program’s client projects where the students work in groups with live clients. Another group is working with Infusion to create prototypes for multitouch tables like Microsoft Surface. Spy Films in Toronto is also working with a group to create an interactive video installation for their walls during their 15th anniversary of their famed Media Agency Party.


The Premier’s Innovation Awards was created to recognize and reward Ontario’s top researchers and innovators that are successfully turning global challenges into the next generation of jobs for the province.


There are three categories of Premier’s Innovation Awards:

The Premier’s Catalyst Awards help build a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in Ontario by recognizing excellence and leadership in innovation.

The Premier’s Discovery Awards celebrates the research excellence of Ontario’s most accomplished researchers.

The third category, the Premier’s Summit Award is administered by MaRS. This Award provides research support to a small number of outstanding medical researchers, helping attract them to or retain them in Ontario and enabling them to significantly expand their research programs.

Sheridan Professor, Dan Zen, wins Educator of the Year at the 2008 Canadian New Media Awards

November 21, 2008

Canadian New Media Awards - Dan Zen Educator of the Year

Canadian New Media Awards - Dan Zen Educator of the Year

Sheridan Professor, Dan Zen, was awarded the Educator of the Year at the 2008 Canadian New Media Awards in Toronto. Professor Zen has introduced pioneering curriculum in interactive surfaces, gesture technology, social Web applications, mobile tilt techniques and unique Adobe Flash code to hundreds of learners.

“As an Inventor, inventing ways to educate through creative curriculum has been an exciting challenge. It is an honour to help advance our culture and work with such dedicated students. Thank you to the CNMA and our industry for the recognition.” – Dan Zen.

Dan Zen with Presenter Sarah Diamond

Dan Zen with Presenter Sarah Diamond

Zen became Professor and Coordinator of Curriculum for the Sheridan Interactive Multimedia one-year post-grad program in Oakville Ontario in 2002 directly after being awarded the CNMA Programmer of the Year fortuitously presented by the Sheridan Director of Marketing.

“Our Interactive Multimedia Program’s blend of practical and creative design and development has helped graduates find rewarding careers in important positions of leading cultural companies such as CHUM, TVO, the Globe, ROM, and many of the hot agencies in Canada. Graduates are building sites and features for the Olympics, social networks and movie franchises.” explains Zen. “In the information age, these are the coolest jobs you can get and we need more talent! We encourage artists, designers, illustrators, animators, engineers, programmers, graduates of communication or marketing to consider this exciting career”.

Zen also teaches in Web technologies with the School of Applied Computing and Engineering Sciences and in gaming with the joint Sheridan / University of Toronto Cultural Communication and Information Technology Program. Additionally, Zen creates for his site of over 80 games and gadgets found at

About the Sheridan Interactive Multimedia Post Grad Program

The Sheridan Interactive Multimedia Program was formed in 1996 to educate learners in designing and building digital environments in which people can communicate and create content. This includes games and puzzles; tools and applications; artistic and experimental work; and simulations for education and entertainment. More information about the Program can be found at – please view the blog and Facebook links.

Interactive Crowd at CiRCA Night Club in Toronto

Interactive Crowd at CiRCA Night Club in Toronto

About the Canadian New Media Awards
The Canadian New Media Awards (CNMA) were established in 1999 to promote and celebrate excellence within the digital interactive industry. The Awards recognize the accomplishments and outstanding contributions made by Canadians working in this sector. Judges from across the country select 43 finalists and 14 winners from hundreds of entries. Each year, hundreds of business and new media professionals from across Canada gather to honour the country’s top talent, services and products at the Gala Awards Ceremony in November. For further information, visit

Sheridan Interactive Multimedia Grad Part of Online Journalism Award Winning Site for Globe and Mail

September 22, 2008

Sheridan Interactive Multimedia 2007 Grad, Alisa Mamak, and her team at the have just won an Online Journalism Award for Investigative, Large Site:

For the Talking to the Taliban site:

Congratulations Alisa!

Awards and Jobs, Jobs and Awards for Sheridan Grads

May 29, 2007


Sheridan Graduate, Ryan Andal, Accepts CNMA Award

Ryan Andal, Sheridan Interactive Multimedia 2005, won the 2007 Canadian New Media Awards Programmer of the Year for sites like Evan Jones (2003) and team at Xenophile won for Excellence in Cross Platform for ReGenisis. Congratulations to both grads.


We had several runner-ups as well such as Corby Simpson for Programmer and Mark Shu and team at MGT Communications for the Bata Shoe Museum’s site for Excellence in Culture, Lifestyle Arts. MGT has just hired another of our grads and indeed the recent grads have been getting great positions at places like Dashboard working with clients like Axe, etc.


Now in their 7th year, the Canadian New Media Awards continues to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of individuals and companies in the Canadian new media industry. At the show was a wonderful mix of artists, designers, educators, coders, business and marketing representatives, etc. It was a very friendly atmosphere prompted in part by the Nerds Night Out theme. There was even a whole table full of penny candies with little take out baskets. Cameras were flashing all around – it was a perfect gala event in the luxurious Art Deco Karlu!

Sheridan was proud to present our work with Video Motion Capture. The exciting grad work (see our Interactive Interactive post) was shown by volunteers, Jeff Talon and Kim Cullion – thank you! And a special feature was created by Professor Dan Zen (Canadian New Media Awards Programmer of the Year 2002) to show digital Nerd signs above the guests as they walked by the Web cam. This was then projected so their nerd status was clearly seen by all at the reception.


Our Sheridan Interactive Multimedia one year post grad college program in Oakville, Canada has a mandate to train designers, programmers and managers in all three of these disciplines with an overall push towards creativity in the little understood area of interactive content. Skills are learned to handle graphics, text, animation, audio and video using leading and most current software. We will be using Adobe CS3 and ActionScript 3.0. Data for communication is handled with different databases and server languages like SQL Server, MySQL, PHP and C# in .NET. We also explore emerging technologies like mobile, DVD, video as input and interactive walls.

We are currently accepting applicants for the September term – please pass along this post to all whom may be interested.

Video Motion Input Prototypes to be Shown at Canadian New Media Awards

May 9, 2007

The video motion cursor work of our Sheridan Interactive Multimedia grads will be shown at the Canadian New Media Awards in Toronto at the Carlu on May 28, 2007.

The video motion cursor class which turns video motion in a Web cam into cursor movement was written by professor Dan Zen in Flash AS2.0 It turns successive frames of the video into bitmaps and then uses the difference filter with the aid of blurring to reduce video noise, thresholding to one color and drawing a rectangle around that color to capture the area of motion. A cursor is then placed at the top middle of the rectangle when central motion is detected and at the top outer edges of the rectangle when peripheral motion is detected. This placement is adjusted proportionally to accommodate arm and hand motion and place the cursor at the finger.

The students have used the VideoMotion class to create a variety of pioneering prototypes in motion input multimedia. Examples are:

  • Running from a swarm of bees that follow you
  • Waving the hand to play notes on a music staff
  • Controlling a magic wand to spring effects out of a hat
  • Using your lips to activate a translation e-learning application
  • Jumping to knock coins into a box in a Mario game
  • Flying a butterfly through a magical land
  • Simulating fire and wind to fly hot air balloons

Special thanks to FITC and Grant Skinner for techniques probably around since our founder David Rokeby and who knows before that…

An introduction sample the video motion cursor class in action can be seen on this sample page. Please leave a comment on this post if you would like access to the Flash VideoMotion class.


Click for Sample Video Motion Demonstration sample by Dan Zen.

Sheridan Interactive Multimedia Helps out at FITC – Flash & Design Festival in Toronto

April 28, 2007

Sheridan Interactive Multimedia had fifteen volunteers in the FITC Flash and Design Festival in Toronto Canada – one of the largest festivals of its kind in the world. Volunteers made many industry contacts and did an excellent job helping with registration, photography, stage management and more!

Sheridan Interactive Multimedia Volunteers at FITC Festival

Sheridan Interactive Multimedia Volunteers at FITC 2007

Even Jones, Sheridan Interactive Multimedia 2003 Graduate coordinated the prestigious Awards show with over 20 categories and is seen below in an interview with media. Also below are Amy Allcock, 2004 IMM grad, and Lorraine Spiess, IMM Advisory Member, presenting the first ever Flash Goddess Award.

Evan Jones, Amy Allcock, Lorraine Spiess - Sheridan Involvement at FITC

Evan Jones, Amy Allcock and Lorraine Spiess at the FITC Awards Show

Professor, Dan Zen, attended the festival, “It is always nice to continue relationships with Flash friends from around the world – and add a few more… I’ll leave a comment on the blog entry when my pictures are in. The festival is invaluable in preparing curriculum. In that regard, the focus was on ActionScript 3, Flex, Apollo and the new CS3 suite from Adobe. Very impressive as well was PaperVision3D‘s full 3D in Flash which will be incorporated into the curriculum for 2007/2008″.

The one year post grad Sheridan Interactive Multimedia is currently accepting applicants at, please let anyone interested know and perhaps you will be interested as well. Students learn to create interactive multimedia beyond navigation allowing people to create content and communicate with one another.

FITC is a festival for new media designers and developers to learn the latest in interactive techniques and technologies primarily focused on Flash and how to apply them to their own work. More than 70-plus internationally acclaimed speakers from the new media industry shared their knowledge in technical, creative and business areas. There were parties, awards, exhibits, etc. For more information visit

CNMA & FITC Awards

February 16, 2007

Hi all,

There are two Canadian Award Shows coming up – here they are below. Please consider making a nomination!



Please spread the word to your students….

We’ve opened our four ‘Best Canadian’ categories (student, designer, developer, and studio) to a nomination process, instead of a submission process. What this means is that now anyone can nominate (for free) anyone to these four categories. Our other Categories are only $40 CDN to enter your URL in up to 3 categories. So be sure to nominate and also to submit!




Now in our 7th year, the Canadian New Media Awards continues to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of individuals and companies in the Canadian new media industry.

Visit the CNMA web site to nominate your colleagues, friends and even yourself for any of the 15 categories: 7 product categories and 8 individual and company categories.

A nomination form and full explanation of each of the award categories is now available at the Canadian New Media Awards Web site located at:

Nominations close March 2nd, 2007 at 5:00 PM EST, so submit a nomination today!

Even if you don’t submit a nomination, be sure to spread the word. The more people who hear about the Awards, the more we can raise the profile of all our finalists and winners, including possibly you!

Thanks and good luck!
*NEW* Product Award:


Tannis Wengel
Canadian New Media Awards

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