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22nd September 2011

Limited Time Offers For VFX and Games Studios From Side Effects

side effects software3D animation and visual effects developer Side Effects Software has announced a new promotion for first-time users of their Houdini software. VFX, commercial and game studios looking for a new level of flexibility and control can now save money while enjoying the benefits of Houdini’s procedural node-based workflow.

The Houdini First-Timer promo includes either a workstation or network license of Houdini Master and one year on the Annual Upgrade Plan. This promotion is for freelance artists and studios that have never owned Houdini before, is limited to 2 licenses per studio and must be purchased within the month of October. Read the rest of this entry »

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19th September 2011

Winning animators announced for the TeleToon at Night Pilot Project

teletoon at nightTELETOON at Night fans have spoken! The votes are in and Vancouver, BC’s Sheryl Vedamani and Lemoyne, QC’s Philippe Ramsay Gaudreau have 10,000 reasons to gloat today as their animated films have been named the winners of the TELETOON at Night Pilot Project and TÉLÉTOON la Nuit Projet Pilote contests, respectively. As the winners, both Vedamani and Gaudreau have won $10,000 CDN and a trip for two to North America’s largest animation conference and festival, the Television Animation Conference and Ottawa International Animation Festival.

Vedamani, 20, is a Vancouver native and is a student at Vancouver Film School. Gaudreau, 26, grew up in Brossard, Quebec and currently works as a 2D artist at a video game company in Montreal. Read the rest of this entry »

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8th August 2011

Where Are You Today

Orby Is At SIGGRAPHFor those of you visiting the site today and wondering where all of the great Canadian news is that I usually share with you, well, we’re at SIGGRAPH 2011 with limited internet access, so posting any news is going to be a challenge. That said, there are lots of awesome Canadian companies (or international companies with a Canadian location) at SIGGRAPH this year, so I hope you stop by to visit. I’ve listed those with booths below.  We are in Booth 1018 – please stop by for a visit and an interview.Canadian Creative

In the meantime, we have soft-launched our new project. Right now you can only look at our announcement, because there just aren’t enough hours in the day for the two of us to work on the new project, work on Village Gamer, get ready for SIGGRAPH and put in appearances at our paying day jobs. So, without further ado, please visit Canadian Creative and sign up for email notifications (we won’t be selling, renting or giving away your addresses) so that you know when the front door is unlocked and the coffee is on.

Canadian Companies on display at SIGGRAPH 2011:

3D3 Solutions – Booth: 879

Autodesk, Inc. – Booth: 429

British Columbia Film Commission – Booth: 889

Campbell River Creative Industries Council – Booth: 580

Capilano University – Booth: 807

Centre for Digital Media – Booth: 938

cebas Visual Technology Inc. – Booth 250

Digital Domain – Booth 343

Emily Carr University of Art + Design – Booth: 947

Eos Systems Inc. – Booth: 273

iDesign Solutions Booth: 609

MPC – Booth: 463

Measurand Inc. – Booth: 252

Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Investment Booth: 890

Muuun Technologies Inc. – Booth: 690

NDI – Booth: 969

Nelvana Studio – Booth: 708

NorPix Inc. – Booth: 1017

PO-MO Inc. – Booth: 808

Peer 1 Hosting Booth: 283

Pixar Animation Studios Booth: 235

Point Grey Research Inc. Booth: 255

Rainmaker Entertainment Booth: 971

Sheridan College
Booth: 813

Side Effects Software Inc. Booth: 712

Simon Fraser University School of Interactive Arts and Technology – Booth: 151

Southpaw Technology Inc. – Booth: 158

Think Tank Training Centre Booth: 944

Toon Boom Animation, Inc. – Booth: 710

Ubisoft World – Booth 955

VanArts – Vancouver Institute of Media Arts Ltd. Booth: 490

Vancouver Animation School Booth: 381

Vancouver Film School – Booth: 739

Vancouver Motion Capture: Animatrik and Alastair Macleod – Booth: 968

Waterloo Region – Canada’s Technology Triangle – Booth: 480

Note:  booth numbers are as of August 1st, hopefully they weren’t moved – let me know if I missed anyone

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6th August 2011

We Are One Day Away From SIGGRAPH 2011

acm siggraphHave you made Vancouver home for the next six days? If so, that must mean you’re planning to be at SIGGRAPH 2011, which opens tomorrow at the Vancouver Convention Centre and runs until Thursday evening. The Conference and Computer Animation Festival goes from August 7 right through until the 11th and the Exhibition floor with (200+ displays) is open from August 9th through 11th. It is still possible to pick up single day passes, and at just $45.00, they are too good of a deal to miss out on. If you prefer, there are passes still available for the entire week. We got a sneak peek at the expo floor last evening, and it looks awesome. Check out your options on the SIGGRAPH 2011 Registration Info page.

This is the first time the flagship conference for the ACM SIGGRAPH organization has been held in Canada, and is an incredible opportunity for the Canadian digital media and film industry sectors. There are, at my count, 37 Canadian companies – or international companies with a Canadian location – with exhibit booths on the conference floor, including ourselves in Booth 1018. This does not include the number of Canadian companies who may have a booth in the Job Fair area of the conference, nor those like Corel who will be working out of LightBox’s booth. Nor does it include the Canadian studios who will be represented in our booth with their trailers and games or those being highlighted through the DFAIT and provincial economic development booths. There is without a doubt going to be lots to see, lots to learn, and many people to meet at SIGGRAPH 2011.

SIGGRAPH 2011 highlights the full spectrum of the $67 billion annual computer graphics industry, showcasing the world’s finest technology exhibits, interactive displays, and the best in animation and visual effects. Numerous cutting-edge research and commercial products are shown to the public for the first time in interactive exhibit areas. Examples include:

  • Displays: Watch attendees interacting with cutting-edge 3D displays that will change their home theaters and video game experiences.
  • Robotics, Wearables, and Haptics: See people engaging with robots and stimulation devices such as a wearable pregnancy jacket that allows the user to feel a fetus’s temperature, movements, and heartbeat.
  • Mobile Devices: Interact with the next wave of advancements in mobile technological devices such as a “watch” that turns your hand into a mini-keyboard.

You can get a look at the expo floor map (PDF) on the SIGGRAPH web site, it is current as of August 1st, and for those who are not aware, the expo hall is on the lower level of the new convention centre.

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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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2nd August 2011

Toonbox Gets Nutty with TACTIC

tacticSouthpaw Technology, a Toronto-based developer of production asset management (PAM) technology for digital content creation companies, has announced that Toonbox Entertainment, also located in Toronto,  is ToonBoxdeploying 100 seats of TACTIC to manage all of the assets and data for its first feature-length production, The Nut Job. The growing studio just completed the movie’s trailer, and is now rolling out TACTIC for the production of the stereoscopic 3D film, which is one of the largest productions happening in Canada at the moment. Read the rest of this entry »

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2nd August 2011

3D3 Solutions Will Demonstrate High-Speed 3D Face Scanning At SIGGRAPH

3D3 Solutions3D3 Solutions, a Burnaby, BC developer of 3D scanning technologies, will be exhibiting at SIGGRAPH 2011 in Vancouver, where they will offer attendees at the conference free 3D face scanning demonstrations at their booth #879.

The face scanning process involves using a 3D scanner to capture an accurate 3D mesh and color texture directly from a human face. The output is especially useful in the video games, visual effects and medical imaging industry. 3D3 Solutions will feature the HDI 3D Scanner to demonstrate live face scanning at Siggraph. Their scanner uses white-light technology to capture high-resolution, color 3D scan in less than 1.4 seconds. Attendees will be provided with the 3D data of their face scans for personal use.face scanning

3D3 Solutions offers 3D scanning systems that are flexible in capturing human shapes, art sculptures, and mechanical parts for industrial inspection. 3D3 Solutions has also worked with a number of leading game companies and universities on developing custom high-speed 3D face scanners. In the latest development, the company’s custom face scanner is capable of performing a 3D scan every 0.2 seconds. “People have a tendency to move just by breathing alone and movement affects scan quality,” said Thomas Tong, President of 3D3 Solutions. “With the ability to generate 3D scans almost instantaneously, users will have cleaner, high quality scan data to work with.”

Please visit booth #879 at SIGGRAPH 2011 to learn more about 3D3 Solutions’ 3D scanning technology.

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2nd August 2011

Thinware Media Launches Cloud-based Asset Management

studioCAPVancouver’s Thinware Media Ltd (Thinware) has officially launched StudioCAP (CAP=Computer Aided Production), a completely new workflow automation and asset management solution for animation studios. This new 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.  StudioCAP is available immediately for site evaluation and trial.

The StudioCAP process was developed in a real-world production environment by Mark Rocchio, CEO of Thinware Media, while creating thousands of hours of high-quality animation projects. StudioCAP eliminates and/or automates many expensive and time consuming manual processes, improves control of digital assets, and features built-in project planning and budgeting.  Once created, studios can search for assets, reuse them as production sees fit, or re-purpose them for marketing, merchandizing, and other revenue streams.

StudioCAP combines asset management with a number of project management and communication features to move assets more efficiently through the creative process. Studios can assign user roles and staffing levels, send messages about asset status, set tasks, automate tasks such as rendering, and define milestones, timelines and deliverables. StudioCAP can also manage project budgets and tie asset creation to asset costs with insightful reports. Collectively, these features simplify asset creation and the management of highly complex productions.

As a completely Web-based solution, StudioCAP is HTML 5 compliant, supports many mobile devices, and does not require studios to install software or procure, configure, and manage hardware. Unlike other asset management solutions on the market, StudioCAP is billed like a utility, so studios only pay for what they use—with introductory prices starting as low as $145.00 per-user, per month. This unique combination makes it easier and more flexible for studios to get started, and far more cost-effective to maintain.

“We developed StudioCAP because there was no other asset management system on the market capable of helping us produce animations faster and more cost effectively,” said Mark Rocchio, CEO of Thinware Media. “Most asset management systems are either too complicated, too lacking in features, or require some sort of costly infrastructure set-up. StudioCAP addresses all of those issues with a feature-rich system that is flexible, simple to set up and use, and more competitively priced to operate than other asset management products available now,” added Rocchio.

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27th July 2011

Discover Toon Boom Harmony 9 and Storyboard PRO 3D at Siggraph 2011

Toon BoomToon Boom will be unveiling Toon Boom Harmony 9 & Storyboard PRO 3D at SIGGRAPH 2011, Booth 708. These ground-breaking applications skyrocket animation styles to untapped creative realms, offering mind-blowing digital capabilities to creators.

Toon Boom Harmony Highlights:

• Draw with pencil lines supporting textures and variable line thickness. • Deform images and drawings animated over time using advanced bone and curved deformers.
• Built-in particle effects and dozens more!
• 2D-3D import integration, 3 axes object transformation Toon Boom

Storyboard Pro 3D Highlights:

• Work with 3D space with Camera View, Top and Side Views to position your 2D drawing.
• Build your own 3D Library for reuse.
• Export project to 3D software using FBX format.
• Take advantage of Digital Storyboarding capabilities

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25th July 2011

TeleToon Announces Fall Lineup

TeleToon CanadaTELETOON Canada Inc. has unveiled its fall 2011 lineup for TELETOON, TELETOON at Night and TELETOON Retro featuring new series and new seasons of popular returning programs on all three schedules. Launching Monday September 5, the new slate is full of comedy and action and is sure to keep viewers on the edge of their seats with unexpected surprises all season long.

“We have something exciting in store for viewers of any age with new series premiering on TELETOON, TELETOON at Night and TELETOON Retro this fall along with a whole host of returning favourites,” said Carole Bonneau, Vice President, Programming, TELETOON Canada inc. “Our lineup of original productions continues to grow with Crash Canyon and the popular Jimmy-Two Shoes and Johnny Test. Meanwhile we’ve bolstered our schedule with acquisitions such as The Looney Tunes Show, Hole in the Wall and season four of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, to name just a few.”

Some highlights of this Fall’s lineup include:


  • The Looney Tunes Show – an all-new modern comedy series featuring all of your favourite Looney Tunes characters with fresh designs and a vivid, contemporary animation style.
  • Hole in the Wall – one of the trickiest, fastest, funniest and wettest live-action game shows on the planet.
  • My Life Me – follow Birch Small as she attempts to fit in as she and her friends fumble with teen angst and their identities as they navigate new social terrain at a cooperative high school in this animated series.
  • Beyond Human (Working Title) – host Daniel Browning Smith scours the globe for people with unique genetic traits that translate into remarkable powers.
  • Young Justice – Robin, Aqualad, Kid Flash, Superboy, Miss Martian and Artemis prove themselves worthy of their responsibilities as superheroes and future members of the Justice League.
  • Best Ed – following the unlikely friendship between a good natured dog named Ed and a bumbling squirrel named Buddy.
  • Meta Jets – an elite flying team made up of four young pilots protect the world from evil while competing for world racing supremacy on the Aerial Racing Circuit.

Returning favourites to TELETOON’s daytime lineup includes new seasons of TELETOON original productions Jimmy-Two Shoes and Johnny Test as well as new installments of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Ben 10: Ultimate Alien and Adventure Time with Finn and Jake. In addition to the new series and new seasons, a five-episode sneak-peek of the new TELETOON original production, Detentionaire, will air during the week of September 12 to 16.teletoon at night

TELETOON at Night New and returning series this fall include:

  • Crash Canyon – this new TELETOON original production developed by Joel Cohen (co-executive producer of The Simpsons) follows the Wendell family as they take a life-altering turn when they drive off a cliff and land at the bottom of a canyon in Alberta. With no way out, the Wendells are forced to build a life for themselves in their new home – Crash Canyon
  • Futurama – this epic animated sci-fi comedy from Matt Groening (creator of The Simpsons) returns this fall with new episodes featuring Fry, Leela, Bender and the rest of the Planet Express crew as they tackle life in New New York in the year 3000.
  • Archer – returning for a second season, the series revolves around the spy agency known as the International Secret Intelligence Service (ISIS) and the lives of its employees. Although their work is daunting and enigmatic, every covert operation doubles as an unmitigated occasion for the ISIS staff to undermine, sabotage and betray each other for personal gains.
  • Robot Chicken – Old-school stop-motion animation and fast-paced satire are the hallmarks of this eclectic show created by Seth Green and Matt Senreich. Action figures find new life as players in frenetic sketch-comedy vignettes that skewer TV, movies, music and celebrity. Encore presentations of Robot Chicken continue to air as part of the TELETOON at Night fall lineup.teletoon retro


  • Jem – Jerrica Benton runs the Starlight Music Corporation and is also the lead singer of the sensational rock group Jem and the Holograms. The group romps through a series of exciting adventures while inhabiting an outrageous and glamorous world as fashion and music mix with mystery and thrills, all the while competing against the power-hungry Misfits.
  • My Pet Monster – Max Smith’s best friend, Monster, happens to have blue fur and a set of fangs. Although he loves Monster dearly, Max is quick to discover that keeping his real live “pet monster” a secret is no easy task.
  • Garfield and Friends – based on the comic strip characters created by Jim Davis, each episode features Garfield and his comic comrades Jon, Odie and Nermal as well as antics from Orson, Wade, Sheldon and the rest of the U.S. Acres gang.
  • Batman – the classic ’60s live-action show starring Adam West and Burt Ward comes to TELETOON Retro, following the adventures of Batman and his ward, Robin, as they take on Gotham’s most fiendish villains.
  • Tom & Jerry Kids – Tom & Jerry have enchanted kids for years; now see the kind of hilarious mischief they created as a playful kitten and a crafty little mouse before they grew up.
  • Ned’s Newt – what happens when Ned overfeeds his four-inch-long, lethargic pet newt with Zippo Newt Food? That little, harmless newt turns into a five hundred-pound monster called Newton – the most mischievous, gluttonous, fun playmate ever.
  • Looney Tunes – a collection of original theatrical cartoons featuring the hilarious antics of Warner Bros.’ classic animated characters.
  • For Better or for Worse – based on the classic comic strip of the same name, the series is an anthology of animated stories featuring the instantly recognizable Patterson family drawn in Lynn Johnston’s signature style.
  • King of the Hill – from the creator of Beavis & Butthead, King of the Hill follows the day-to-day activities of propane salesman Hank Hill, his family and their neighbours in a suburban Texas town.

Returning to the TELETOON Retro lineup with new episodes for the fall is the classic Casper & Friends cartoon, following the adventures of everybody’s favourite little ghost as he attempts to make friends with everyone he meets. In addition, The Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers continue to fight the good fight this fall with new episodes airing each week as part of the TELETOON Retro schedule.

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