designboom met david o’reilly, who spoke at the super ani/motion conference and pecha kucha night in kuala lumpur. for those who might not be familiar with his work, david o’reilly was born in 1985 in kilkenny, ireland. he is a film director and artist based in berlin, germany. his work is regarded as amongst the most groundbreaking in contemporary 3D animation. in his presentation he explained that he was self-taught in sketching and drawing and later disconnected from what he has learned. rather than having a style his aim is to find methods. 



‘please say something’ by david o’reilly



often he develops basic models and then cut away what he does not need. his is ‘basically the quickest way to make basic 3D animation’, o’reilly says.


‘please say something’ or ‘P.S.S’ is a 10 minute short concerning a troubled relationship between a cat and mouse set in the distant future. the final film was completed in january 2009 and contains 23 episodes, each which is exactly 25 seconds long. aside from the cartoon d’or and several other awards, the film was also prized with the golden bear for best short at the 09 berlinale. he was the youngest winner and the only animated film to win this title since pixar’s first short film. in 2010 it was given a distinction of cultural significance by the german ratings agency FBW.



‘octocat adventures’ by david o’reilly



‘octocat adventure: octocat searches for his parents’ was made in 2008 and released in 5 parts on youtube. david created ‘octocat adventure’ under the pseudonym ‘randy peters’, who was a 9 year old kid from chicago. however, ‘randy’ said he was 13, so youtube wouldn’t delete his account. the first episode had a relatively large explosion of traffic, with 100k views in the first 2 days. soon after, the series slowly generated a dedicated fanbase who started producing elaborate interpretations and fanart.

animator david o'reilly at kuala lumpur design week 2010
david o’reilly showing fanart at the kuala lumpur conference 2010
image © designboom

animator david o'reilly at kuala lumpur design week 2010
more fanart
image © designboom



‘RGB XYZ’ was made between 2004 and 2008, and was originally put online in 5 parts at under the name chuck clint III. it was first unveiled as at his pictoplasma talk in 2007 and was officially premiered at the 2008 berlinale. he won a special mention ‘for a very contemporary gesture in animation with a wonderful nasty sense of humour’. it also won ‘best animation’ at the 2008 curtas vila do conde in portugal. to view ‘RGB XYZ’ animation, see here.


‘black lake’ is a personal project done by oreilly in collaboration with jon klassen for an exhibition called ‘if you could collaborate’. as it is intended for an exhibition, audiences are meant to view this video on a continuous loop.


‘black lake’ by david o’reilly in collaboration with jon klassen

animator david o'reilly at kuala lumpur design week 2010
david speaking at pecha kucha in KL, organized by british council.

animator david o'reilly at kuala lumpur design week 2010
david o’reilly next to niko stumpo in the bus that takes us to the conference
portrait © designboom