Fan Expo Canada 2014
Ubi Workshop

By Jorge Figueiredo - August 29th, 2014


If you ever wondered what Santa’s elves are like, just go to the Ubi Workshop booth. They are located towards the back along the edge of their parent’s (Ubisoft’s) booth footprint. While they may not have pointy ears, or work in the North Pole, they certainly know how to work magic (and frankly, be jolly). While Ubisoft is busy making immersive games, Ubi Workshop brings the games to life by creating great merchandise centered around the worlds featured within those titles.

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Odd Prods
The 3Doodler

By Jorge Figueiredo - March 16th, 2013


3D printing is one of the coolest things on the planet (in my opinion). The fact that one can create something entirely in 3D from nothing is a boon for architects and modelers. Of course, the problem with 3D printing is accessibility – your average person can’t afford to do it on their own (instantly); they might also not have access to the software. I’m sure that in the future, these may not be such high barriers – but what if someone wants to play in 3D space sooner than later? Well, Peter Dilworth and Max Bogue, co-founders of Wobbleworks LLC, have come up with a pretty cool solution.

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Kyla Read
CLUNK Puppet Lab

By Jorge Figueiredo - March 12th, 2013

All images lovingly swiped from CLUNK Puppet Lab.

The other day, we did an interview with Shawna Reiter, co-artistic director from CLUNK Puppet Lab. The interview gods must have been shining upon us because the other co-artistic director, Kyla Read, also replied to our questions.

It’s pretty awesome to have both sets of answers to peruse to see what drives this interesting company.

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Shawna Reiter
CLUNK Puppet Lab

By Jorge Figueiredo - March 10th, 2013

All images lovingly swiped from CLUNK Puppet Lab.

Sometimes, totally random stuff results in some pretty cool opportunities. I was on the bus one day and noticed a business card on the seat next to me. The card was for a business called “CLUNK Puppet Lab” and listed a URL. As I am a curious fellow, I checked it out CLUNK’s web page I got back to my computer and spent a fair amount of time staring at my monitor in awe. While not really game-related, I kept thinking about some of the videogame titles that I have played which employed puppet-like mechanics, and I was impressed at CLUNK’s operation.

I decided to reach out and ask the ladies at CLUNK a few questions, and they replied! This first interview is with Shawna Reiter, one of the co-artistic directors of the company. After the interview, you should do yourself a favour and check out their site. The Gallery section is quite fascinating (particularly the video section).

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Of Interest
Autodesk SketchBook Pro

By Jorge Figueiredo - December 30th, 2012

I grabbed this from Autodesk’s SketchBook Pro page on Facebook. Pretty awesome, eh?

If you are an artist that is already savvy in the way of the digital, then you probably already know about Autodesk SketchBook Pro (v.6). If you are a newbie – it is definitely a digital art application worth trying out. Flexible and relatively powerful, SketchBook Pro is a great program with something for everyone. This is not a review so much as a note of encouragement to download a demo of this product to give it a shot (like I did).

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I Loved TAAFI But I Hated the Premiere

By Ricky Lima - July 12th, 2012


Once in a while, one of us folks at Thumbs has a negative opinion so strong that we fear to post it. While not meant to disrespect those who work hard on whatever the subject happens to be, we feel like our readers identify with us and appreciate what we’d like to say. When Ricky pitched this to me, he did it with mixed feelings. TAAFI is a cool initiative – and while Ricky values the amount of labour that went into one of the features that was shown during the weekend that he attended the event, he felt very strongly about the film’s place at the festival. I decided to run it in the hope that it generates some interesting discussion. -ed.

July 6th was the opening gala for the first annual Toronto Animation Arts Festival International. It began with the Canadian Premiere of the animated comedy Ronal the Barbian. The film is a Danish 18A 3D film about a young Barbarian who doesn’t live up to the traditional notion of the strong barbarian. When his entire tribe is kidnapped, he needs to save his fellow Barbarians from the clutches of evil. On his journey he meets a slacker bard who only wants to get laid, an incompetent elf, and a strong warrior woman – all of them help him in his quest to save his tribe. Sadly though, anything that the film could have been was drowned out by its seeming obsession with the novelty of being an 18A animated film. This becomes almost unbearable once seen within the context of TAAFI and what the fledgeling animation festival represents.

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ArtRage 3 Studio Pro

By Jorge Figueiredo - March 2nd, 2012


A few years ago, I got to play with a game for the DS called Art Academy. It was more of an application, allowing you to paint in a fairly realistic way using the touch screen of the popular hand-held. I was more than satisfied with the product (given the platform) and my interest in art apps was piqued once again by ArtRage, an iOS app that seems to have a much larger feature set than Art Academy. While it is a fairly powerful program, it is quite slow due to the limitations of the hardware; it left me impressed with the possibilities – but frustrated by the plodding speed.

At the end of last year, I purchased a Bamboo tablet for my PC; I also acquired ArtRage Studio Pro (currently on version 3) as a way to play with my new toy. Like the iOS version, it came with an impressive array of tools; however, due to the power of the platform (Multi-core PC) it was a lot more useable.

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