4th August 2011

RTDNA Appoints First Digital News Chair

rtnda canadaRTDNA Canada – The Association of Electronic Journalists – continues to change its DNA as it prepares to celebrate its 50thanniversary. Earlier this year the Association changed its name to include digital media and now it announces that Andrew Lundy, Director of Globalnews.ca, has accepted the new role of Digital Chair.

In making the announcement RTDNA Canada President Andy Leblanc says Lundy’s experience “will help shape the future of the Association as it embraces the reality of digital and social media in news gathering and news broadcasting.”

Lundy says he’s “thrilled to be part of the RTDNA’s digital transition. It’s truly an honour to be part of an organization that’s served its members so well for decades, and is embracing the future with open arms.”

“A recent Angus Reid survey shows almost half of Canadians would give up watching TV before giving up surfing the web,” Lundy added. “There’s no doubt digital is here to stay. Online keeps growing in prominence and looks poised to become a major force in the next few years.”

Across Canada, radio and television networks and stations are enhancing their online operations and using social media to engage their audiences in tandem with their broadcast operations. Lundy says “For most conventional media, audiences are not growing, but Canadians aren’t shying away from news; they’re just moving to digital platforms and in numbers that really matter.”

RTDNA looks forward to developing its digital journalism partnership with radio and television news. The Association will be a voice for all platforms. Digital Chair Andrew Lundy and RTDNA President Andy LeBlanc are available for interviews on the many issues confronting Canadian journalism in the age of Twitter-based news.

RTDNA Canada is the voice of electronic journalists and news managers in Canada. The members of RTDNA Canada recognize the responsibility of broadcast and digital journalists to promote and to protect the freedom to report independently about matters of public interest and to present a wide range of expressions, opinions and ideas. The RTDNA Canada Code of Ethics, adopted by the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council, is used to measure fairness and accuracy in the profession.

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4th August 2011

Thinware Media Announces Partnership with Render Rocket

studioCAPThinware Media Ltd., developers of StudioCAP workflow automation and asset management for animation studios, and Render Rocket LLC, an advanced cloud-based rendering services company based in California, have announced a new strategic partnership and technology integration that will enable animation studios to fully automate the process of rendering completely managed via cloud  computing.

StudioCAP (CAP=Computer Aided Production) is a completely new workflow automation and asset management solution for animation studios. Its cloud-based system enables studios to more efficiently store, track, and move 2D and 3D CGI (computer generated image) assets through the creation process without having to install and manage a costly IT infrastructure to do so. Render Rocket is a cloud-based, high-end rendering service that provides professional-grade rendering power on-demand to any 2D or 3D production team regardless of size or location.

Together, StudioCAP and Render Rocket will enable studios to manage their files more effectively, and automatically trigger a render job by simply submitting an image or shot after an artist has completed it. This will immediately package and send all the files to Render Rocket for rendering. Render Rocket will quickly return the files to StudioCAP fully rendered. The entire process not only automates rendering for artists, it alleviates the need for studios to purchase and maintain dedicated file servers and rendering machines, since both StudioCAP and Render Rocket operate in the cloud.

“We are very excited that Ruben and his team are onboard with Thinware Media,” said Mark Rocchio, CEO of Thinware Media Ltd. “Render Rocket is a well-established, easy-to-use rendering solution that works seamlessly with StudioCAP, and this will undoubtedly simplify how our customers take content from concept to final render.”

Ruben Perez, CEO of Render Rocket, added: “StudioCAP is the perfect complement to our cloud-based rendering solution. Now studios of all sizes can create content more efficiently, manage projects and assets more efficiently, and render more efficiently – all within the cloud and without massive capital investment. This partnership has the potential to re-define how all types of media are produced.”

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4th August 2011

Antic Entertainment Launches Platoonz To Kongregate

antic entertainmentLondon Ontario’s Antic Entertainment, whom I had the pleasure of meeting at Casual Connect, has released its latest title to Kongregate. According to the game’s description, Platoonz is an action RPG game in which players build an army base and manage a squad of soldiers. The player’s mission is to recruit, equip and train those soldiers to combat the evil forces of Evil. Platoonz is free to play on the Kongregate platform.


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4th August 2011

Motives in Movement Make a Move to Toronto

Motives In MovementMotives in Movement, the dramatic-content consultancy and providers of the next generation of convergent solutions for animation software developers, has completed its first Proof of Concept with cutting edge French animation company, Dynamixyz. The POC coincides with Motives in Movement founder and Heavy Rain actor Pascal Langlois relocating to Toronto, and he will be attending SIGGRAPH 2011in Vancouver. Dynamixyz will be in Booth 351.

Pascal Langlois

Pascal Langlois

While Motives in Movement still operates from a London base, the recent Dynamixyz POC and relocation of the company founder to Canada demonstrates that it is in countries like Canada and France that leading edge game tech and boundary pushing projects receive significant support. This support is still lacking in the UK games industry and while it is undoubtedly deserved, it is not a reality.

Pascal Langlois explains “The fact is, in France and in Canada, there is a climate of government-level faith in this young industry. It’s founded on a belief that it’s worth investing in, to guarantee being at the heart of its future.”

The Motives in Movement and Dynamixyz relationship started at Gamescom 2010, where the two companies discovered they shared a common and unique approach to animation source material. Instead of using fundamental expressions as a starting point, both companies believe that libraries and animation tools work better with fluid, live performances resulting in the final animation being considerably more believable and engaging than existing systems. The overall process is also radically faster and more efficient.

This collaborative and new wave thinking not only proves that Motives in Movement and Dynamixyz make a good team but also opens up exciting new prospects for both companies.

Dynamixyz is a french company working in the field of high quality 3D facial analysis/synthesis. Distinguished by the French Ministry of Research, Dynamixyz has developed a unique statistical modelling technology making possible to “clone” the expressions and dynamics of a subject. This model can then be used to produce high quality facial animations at low costs. Dynamixyz also develop marker-less performance capture for the entertainment industry.

Dynamixyz and MiM, besides sharing the same point of view on enhancing facial animation, have a really complimentary approach, one providing technology and one providing the necessary high quality content and expertise.

Motives in Movement (MIM) has expertise in both high level traditional media and AAA game development. We provide ‘convergent consultancy’ on performance based library creation, Direction and Acting, for all levels of Capture. Motive’s unique ability to draw on skill sets from both industries, offers developers and animation software providers the next generation of convergent solutions. Motives in Movement now operates from both London and Toronto and is actively engaged in business development in both locations.

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4th August 2011

Visit MPC At SIGGRAPH 2011

MPCMPC reaffirms its commitment to long-term investment in Vancouver by building a state of the art 38,000 sq ft facility in the prestigious Yaletown district.  The building, currently in its second stage of development, is a heritage brick and timber construction situated in the heart of Downtown Vancouver, surrounded by some of the city’s best restaurants and bars.  The building is being completely rebuilt to MPC’s specifications to create Vancouver’s largest and best facility, housing more than 300 artists.

The growing Vancouver team, currently working from MPC’s Homer Street studio, will move to the new facility on completion in early 2012.  MPC Vancouver provides the same best in class VFX services to our feature film clients as provided by our London facility, using the very same tools, techniques and pipeline.

MPC Vancouver’s Head of Film, Michelle Grady said “the new building demonstrates our commitment to our customers and to our artists by offering choice of location while maintaining the level of creativity and quality that is expected from MPC.”MPC YVR Source Code

MPC’s status as a world-class VFX facility has been achieved through marrying some of the industry’s top creative talent with the development of industry-leading software to create stunning visual effects, and provide an infrastructure for completing multiple projects with thousands of shots simultaneously across the globe, efficiently, and with the highest quality.

At SIGGRAPH 2011 three of MPC’s experts will give a fascinating insight into the techniques and technology behind the images. The presentations will demonstrate the solutions developed to achieve the visual treats seen in effects heavy 2011 movie releases including Sucker Punch, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows as well as the challenges of developing visual effects in a truly global production pipeline.

MPC Head of Pipeline, Hannes Ricklefs examines “The Need for Standardization within Global Visual Effects Productions through Open Source and Open Standards” on Monday 8th August from 3:45 – 5:15 pm.

MPC YVR Sherlock Holmes Game of ShadowsMPC Vancouver Software Lead, Ben Cole presents “Kali: High-Quality FEM Destruction in Zack Snyder’s ‘Sucker Punch’” on Wednesday 10th August from 2:00 – 2:30 pm.

MPC’s SIGGRAPH 2011 booth (463) is located in the centre of the main exhibition hall, and MPC’s recruitment team will be on the look out for talented and creative individuals to join our expanding teams around the world. With capacity set to increase at all of our facilities in order to fulfil exciting movie projects including Prometheus, Wrath of the Titans, World War Z, 47 Ronin, Journey 2, Jack the Giant Killer and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows as well as a number of openings to join our award winning Advertising team, there really is no better time to join MPC. If you have what it takes to work at a World Leading VFX Studio make your way to our booth where our recruitment team will be happy to offer advice to prospective team members.

MPC Film VFX Supervisors Greg Butler (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, GI Joe: The Rise of the Cobra, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian), Guillaume Rocheron (Fast 5, Sucker Punch, Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief) and MPC Advertising VFX Supervisors Anthony Bloor and Carsten Keller will be revealing some of the secrets behind their most recent work at the booth. (Schedule to be announced)MPC-Assassin's Creed

This year SIGGRAPH’s Computer Animation Festival celebrates its 38th year and two of the biggest commercials that MPC completed last year will be screened, Cadbury ‘Spots V Stripes’ and Sky ‘360.

Award-winning ‘Spots V Stripes’ features a full cast of over 60 photorealistic CG creatures. MPC worked with Director Nick Gordon, Academy and Fallon to create this spot, which has already received a Cannes Lions, VES and British Arrow award.

‘360’ was created for Sky Creative to promote their film channel. Directed by Esther Wallace and Nick Tarte and produced by Sharon Kersley, the spot travels through different genres, unveiling epic landscapes including two fully CG environments.  The screening takes place on the West Building, Exhibit Hall A on Monday 8th and Wednesday 10th August.

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4th August 2011

Brawl Busters Moving To Beta

rock hippo productionsRock Hippo Productions and partner Weezor have announced today that the closed beta test for Brawl Busters will begin next week on Thursday, August 11th. You can apply to receive a beta key by signing up on the game’s web site.

Brawl Busters is a Free2Play dynamic new action brawler that features competitive and co-operative battle modes all in a unique third person view.  With its simple and intuitive controls, this easy to pick up and play game makes team strategy a must as player’s battle against each other or team up against computer controlled enemies.

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“Our fans ask us every day when they will get their hands on Brawl Busters so we are excited to finally be able to let them know the countdown has started and they only have to wait one more week!” said Howard He, President and CEO of Rock Hippo Productions.  “We invite players to go to the website now and sign up so they can make sure to get one of the coveted closed beta invites, and while they are there they should make sure to check out the weekly video lessons we have posted teaching them about Brawl Buster’s gameplay features. This way, they can be ready to jump in and be one of the best Original Busters next Thursday.”

The gameplay lessons help players to learn more about what to expect when they enter the world of Brawl Busters. The video lessons can be found on the front page of the Brawl Busters website and feature a breakdown of each of the five character classes, the missions, the customization, environment and items and much more!

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