News

10/10/2011 - Saladin to Emmy
12/08/2011 - MAC3 needs to expand
16/08/2011 - Target: Global Film Sector (Cannes)
21/04/2011 - MDeC set Standard
16/05/2011 - MDeC confident
05/12/2011 - Creativity bytes
Muslim Calculator - AdDeen Multimedia
Dragon of a leap
12 Malaysian Animation and games
A powerful and potent combo

Recent event and news

 

Oct 6 2011 - PETALING JAYA: Animated action-adventure Saladin has put Malaysia on the world map with its nomination for an award at the 39th International Emmy Awards.

Saladin is co-produced by the Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC), caretaker of the country's MSC Malaysia initiative, and Qatar's Al-Jazeera Children's Channel (JCC).

The nominations were announced on Monday at the MIPCOM content event in Cannes.
Made-in-Malaysia: 'Saladin' nominated in the Children and Young People category at the International Emmy Awards. The prestigious Emmys, to be held in New York on Nov 21, celebrates excellence in TV programmes created outside of the United States.
Saladin's nomination is for the Children & Young People category. It will be up against TV programmes Race Against Time (Germany),What Is Your Dream (Chile) and Dance Academy (Australia). The series is about the adventures of a teenager Saladin in the days before he became one of Islam's most legendary figures.

He is famous for recapturing Jerusalem from the Crusaders.
The 13-part series, in English with Bahasa Malaysia subtitles, was aired on TV1 last year. An Arabic version of Saladin has been screened in Bahrain, Morocco, Tunisia, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates via the JCC.

MDeC chief executive director Datuk Badlisham Ghazali said the nomination served as a feather in the cap to the outstanding creativity and hard work by the production team.

''When we launched Saladin in 2010, it was a particularly bold move as it was the first Malaysian production of its kind to be aired in over 20 countries.

''A year later, with an International Emmy nomination under its belt, Saladin has become a shining beacon of Malaysian skill, talent and technology in creative multimedia.

''Over 95% of its production crew from actors, animators, designers to engineers are Malaysians,'' he said in a press release.

 

KUALA LUMPUR: The Multimedia Development Corp (MDeC) hopes to further improve the infrastructure at the Malaysia Animation and Creative Content Centre (MAC3) to meet growing demand. The custodian of the MSC Malaysia initiative said there are 50 registered users from the content development industry, as well as animation students, using the facility regularly for rendering tasks.

Also, MDeC said, the MAC3 supports an average of three rendering projects running simultaneously at any given time, but this number fluctuates according to seasons and phases. About three new users sign-up monthly.

Based on the current demand for the facility, MDeC expects that it will need to increase the number of servers there to 300 by the second quarter of 2013 to keep up.

''We are preparing to present MAC3's results to management. Hopefully with such numbers, we'll qualify for allocations to expand the facility,'' said Shazril Rahman, a senior executive at the facility.
MAC3, built in partnership with multinational technology company IBM Corp, is equipped with 128 high-performance servers coupled to IBM's rendering software. It also has 80 terabytes of storage, and high-speed broadband connectivity. It was built so that local animation companies could have access to huge computing power without having to build their own rendering centres, which also cost a lot, or turn to overseas facilities.

MAC3 went operational in June, last year.
According to IBM, the facility is able to perform rendering jobs 8x faster than if a single workstation was used. Shazril was speaking at a media roundable on the sidelines of IBM Malaysia's symposium on cloud computing here. He said MAC3 has helped local animation players save up to RM500,000 yearly in total in rendering costs, and has cut down rendering time from days to just hours. Abdul Jalil Rahman, an executive at the facility, said that before MAC3 was built, content developers had to look for high-speed computers in order to render their works, or use rendering facilities in other countries. This process time was consuming, costly and those facilities could not promise proper confidentiality of intellectual property to their clients.

''The onus was on the right owners to protect their works by signing NDAs (non-disclosure agreements) with the facilities to protect their works.
''But here at MAC3, our users can manage their own intellectual properties, which they can also access from any device,'' Abdul Jalil added.
The MSC Malaysia initiative is aimed at leapfrogging the nation into a knowledge-based economy.

 

KUALA LUMPUR: Multimedia Development Corp (MDeC) expects to sees further growth in the third phase of the development of the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) that is set to run from this year to 2020.

Chief executive officer Datuk Badlisham Ghazali said during this critical phase, MDeC would help the MSC to develop Malaysia's high-value economy by continuing to drive the uptake of information and communication technology (ICT).

He said the first four years of the MSC Malaysia Phase 3 plan aimed to see MSC companies achieve a 21% increase in gross domestic product (GDP sum of good and services produced) contribution to RM42bil. This compares with the RM34.57bil it recorded in Phase 2 which ran from 2004 to 2010.

Badlisham said at the end of the four years (end-2015), MSC companies' revenues were expected to increase to RM142bil from the RM103.8bil recorded in Phase 2. A 75% increase in exports to RM58bil from RM33bil and a 47% increase in job creation to 160,000 from the 111,367 in the previous phase are expected.

''We want ICT to be more pervasive with a wider economic footprint. Our strategies in the three main clusters of creative multimedia, shared services outsourcing and InfoTech have been realigned to put stronger emphasis on wealth creation and high-value investments,'' he said.

Badlisham added that MDeC was very confident going forward into the MSC Malaysia Phase 3 as it had gained above its target in Phase 2.
''Phase 2 is about creating economies of scale while Phase 3 is focused on empowering the rakyat, further enabling the Government and enhancing the ICT sector towards achieving the goal of an innovative, high-income and developed nation by 2020 in line with the New Economic Model,'' he said.

Other core initiatives under Phase 3 include the establishment of two new cybercities each year and completing the Innovative Digital Economy framework by the second half of this year.

MDeC is an organisation that directs and oversees MSC Malaysia, the national ICT development initiative, by advising the Government on legislation and policies, developing industry-specific practices and setting the standards for multimedia and digital operations. The group is also responsible for promoting MSC locally and globally, while providing strategic support to MSC Malaysia's status companies.

 

By: Jo Timbuong

Source: The Star

Custodian of the MSC Malaysia initiative, the Multimedia Development Corp (MDeC) will create its own standards certification to help ensure products developed by MSC Malaysia-status companies maintain a high quality. This is being done to supplement its efforts to transform Malaysia into an ICT (information and communications technology) hub. MDeC has tentatively labelled its certification standard as the MSC Solution Certified.
MDeC chief executive officer Datuk Badlisham Ghazali said MSC Malaysia-status companies have been wanting a common standard to which the quality of their products and services can adhere to and be recognised for.

''This will bring an assurance to both buyers and sellers that the commercialised product is of a high quality,'' he said.
According to him, existing standards do not necessarily take into consideration some factors that may be just as important, such as the usability of a particular product.
''Usability means different things to different people. With our certification standard, we hope to make it so clear to buyers that they'll know immediately how the product or service can be usable to them,'' he said.

Badlisham said the MSC certification will also give manufacturers of IT solutions and software a huge boost when marketing their products. He said MDeC has noticed that the companies whose products bear a standards certification tend to do well in the marketplace.

MDeC is drafting its standards certification and has roped in Germany-based international certification body - TUV Rheinland - to help ensure that MSC Solution Certified includes the best practices and elements of other internationally-recognised standards, like ISO and CMMI.

''We want to make sure that what we are developing is on par with global standards,'' Badlisham said.

Targets identified
This is also being done with the aim that MDeC's standards certification will eventually be accepted internationally.
Under MSC Solution Certified, Badlisham said, products will be evaluated based on 12 major criteria, as well as more than 400 sub-criteria. The products will also be rated on an 80-20 rule, where 80% of the score is for the product and 20% is for the development process.

MDeC will apply for its standards certification to be accepted as a Malaysian standard by year end, and then it will push for global recognition. ''We'll leave it to Sirim, the Malaysian standards body, to decide on this. All the proper steps have been taken,'' he said.

Badlisham was speaking at press conference to announce the MDeC's goals as the MSC Malaysia initiative enters its third phase this year. The initiative was kicked off in 1996 to leapfrog the country into the Information Age, and to develop its knowledge economy. The third phase, which ends in 2015, will see the MSC Malaysia move to increase its contribution to the national Gross Domestic Income by 21%, which is from RM34.6bil to RM42bil. There are now 2,088 MSC Malaysia-status companies.

MDeC is also working to create 160,000 new jobs in the ICT sector; increase the export of locally developed and manufactured ICT products and services by 75%, which translates to RM58bil in sales, compared to RM33bil now.

 

KUALA LUMPUR: Multimedia Development Corp (MDeC) expects to sees further growth in the third phase of the development of the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) that is set to run from this year to 2020.

Chief executive officer Datuk Badlisham Ghazali said during this critical phase, MDeC would help the MSC to develop Malaysia's high-value economy by continuing to drive the uptake of information and communication technology (ICT).

He said the first four years of the MSC Malaysia Phase 3 plan aimed to see MSC companies achieve a 21% increase in gross domestic product (GDP sum of good and services produced) contribution to RM42bil. This compares with the RM34.57bil it recorded in Phase 2 which ran from 2004 to 2010.

Badlisham said at the end of the four years (end-2015), MSC companies' revenues were expected to increase to RM142bil from the RM103.8bil recorded in Phase 2. A 75% increase in exports to RM58bil from RM33bil and a 47% increase in job creation to 160,000 from the 111,367 in the previous phase are expected.

''We want ICT to be more pervasive with a wider economic footprint. Our strategies in the three main clusters of creative multimedia, shared services outsourcing and InfoTech have been realigned to put stronger emphasis on wealth creation and high-value investments,'' he said.

Badlisham added that MDeC was very confident going forward into the MSC Malaysia Phase 3 as it had gained above its target in Phase 2.

 

Producing the Dunia Eichak 3-D animated series was a labour of love. Siti Syameen Md Khalili speaks to the man behind the creative content team FOR someone in the niche creative content scene, Azman Azahar, surprisingly, was not academically trained for it. A communications graduate from the International Islamic University, Azman is the driving force behind creative house Addeen Multimedia Sdn Bhd. The 34-year-old insists that he is a creative person inside, something that he says runs in his family.

Brought up in Kuala Lipis, Pahang, he developed a keen interest in visuals and sounds at an early age. ''I guess I inherited my father's genes. He was an accomplished violinist. My brothers and I developed an ear for music. They were also very good at illustration and colouring,'' says Azman, who is also vocalist and bassist for traditional Malay folk ensemble Dewangga Sakti.

He was also a great fan of cartoon shows and spent long hours watching his favourite characters on TV. ''Tom and Jerry is my all-time favourite and a great inspiration. Their love-hate relationship makes for an engaging story. I love the animation techniques too.''

But Azman did not act on his creative passion until he finished college. His job stint at Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC), however, appeared to rekindle that passion. ''At the Creative Multimedia Department, I was involved in various programmes related to the industry. The creative side of me came alive,'' he says. After nine years, he quit and set up Addeen Multimedia in 2008. The pull of the creative world was just too strong. Today, he is part of a team that make up Addeen's creative arm, producing apps for smartphones and multimedia applications for high profile events. But his biggest challenge is yet to come.

ANIMATION

In 2008, his team came up with a 3-D animation project under the brand name Dunia Eichak. The story follows Eichak, a 10-year-old gadget-loving city boy whose family moves to a village in Tasik Chini, Pahang. Azman describes Eichak as a curious lad. ''It was not long before Eichak ventured out into the woods. One day, while fishing, his line gets stuck. He pulls at it but falls into the water instead, accidently opening a portal that transports him to a parallel world reigned by creatures who walk and talk. He befriends most of them. ''It is the dream of all kids to be whisked away to a fantasy world, hence their preoccupation with games and cartoons. We take this lead but at the same time we don't want them to get lost in Dunia Eichak and come out with nothing. That would be a waste. In many western cartoon series, kids are often portrayed as outspoken, even with their parents. This is not so in the East. So, we hope Eichak will be our way to inject our own interpretation of good values based on our own moral compass.''

According to Azman, producing Eichak was a real challenge.

''The animation project went through many stages of development and evolution since it was conceptualised in 2008. Initially, the main character was not even a boy, but rather a brave little mudskipper that fights dragons and monsters to keep his home in Tasik Chini safe!

''Coming up with Eichak was a labour of love - it was a highly meticulous process. The graphics used are rich, detailed and vibrant. It was easy to get carried away as we created the kind of animation we ourselves would like to see on TV. For me, personally, it was my creative outlet as I'd always been passionate about music, movies and animation.''

The project won a government grant, via the MSC Malaysia Intellectual Property Creators Challenge (IPCC) Series 2009, which consequently helped the company produce a three-minute animation entitled Eichak In Riddles Of Chini. ''The three-minute animation garnered us recognition as it showed the industry what we were capable of,'' says Azman.

Encouraged by the support and recognition, the same animation clip was previewed at a digital media conference helmed by MDeC, X Media Lab 2010 where Addeen met up with industry leaders from around the world. ''We sat with, among others, Lea Hoyer, the director of development for Disney Television Animation, Juhaidah Joemin from Al-Jazeera's Children Channel and Zareh Nalbandian, who served as executive producer of the animation film, Happy Feet. They were all impressed with our work but agreed on one point - that Eichak was just not suitable for TV. It was too graphics heavy and coming up with a single episode would have taken months, whereas with TV, a new episode is expected every week. It was a project more suitable for a feature film,'' says Azman.

''It took quite a while to review the situation. We could not proceed with Eichak as it was, but we refused to quit. So the only way forward was to start again from scratch.'' According to Azman, the team attempted to keep a clean, Pokoyo-like animation that was vibrant and went well with characters that appealed to parents and children.

''If the old Eichak catered to adults who wanted characters to be detailed, rich and fierce, this time we minimised the features to tackle the hearts of kids aged 6 to 10, while retaining a gripping storyline,'' he says, adding that the team worked with Autodesk Maya 3-D animation software as well as Adobe tools.

AFTER THE STORM

Though it has been a bumpy ride for Addeen, as far as the 3-D animation venture is concerned, the future looks bright. There are already six installations of Dunia Eichak's public service announcement aired on TV3. ''I am happy with the progress we have made so far. Our animation is in the final stage of negotiation with TV3. If everything goes well, Dunia Eicak The Animated Series will be aired on TV3 next year,'' he says. Mohammad Shafieq Syazwan (better known as Afiq of Idola Kecil 1) lends his voice to the main character. Other voice talents include Ahmad Ikhwan Mohamed Rashid (as Chip), Firdaus Abdillah (Fenggo), Ahmad Shariffuddin (Jimi), Mohammad Zaini Sharudin (Koozie), Razima Shahira Abdul Razak (Didie), Fazleena Hishamuddin (Elly), Rashedah Mohd Ismail (Bobbie) and Azalan Hussain (Pawang).

Apart from Afiq, Eichak is also getting some serious star power from rock queen Ella. ''Addeen appointed Amiruddin Syawal of Family Tree Studio to come up with the audio works and songs for the series. It was through Amiruddin that we managed to secure a song called Kunci by Ella, as Dunia Eichak's theme song,'' says Azman.

WHAT'S NEXT?

He adds: ''We are at the early stages of coming up with our next IPs. Dunia Eicak The Movie is one of them. It will also be in 3-D. Our target is to be one of the leading animation and Visual Effect (VFX) houses in the country.

We have a pool of 15 good animators and VFX artists who can do quality work. I have confidence in our technical/animation capability.

''As a company, we are new but most of our talents are mostly experienced and some are seasoned players in the industry. We are looking to increase our animation team from next month. The plan is to continue investing in hardware, software and manpower. What's for sure is that we are not planning to be a one-off player.''

Read more: Creativity bytes - Tech - New Straits Times here

 

Manakala Muslim Calculator yang dibangunkan dengan kerjasama AdDeen Multimedia, memungkinkan pengguna mengira pembahagian faraid dan zakat. "Bagi pengguna muslim, ia didatangkan dalam satu pakej mudah digunakan pengguna," katanya." selanjutnya...

 

Dragon of a leap
WHILE Seremban Stone is berthing on Facebook and Qalvinius aims for the App Store, another IPCC grant-winning project, Eichak in Riddles of Chini, is being developed from a five-minute animation to a full-blown 13-episode television series.

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Artikel on Addeen Multimedia - 12 Malaysian Animation and games project to watch. selanjutnya...

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Azman Azahar - "It was an exciting event personally for me and my company as well as for the Malaysia Animation Industry in general. Having sat down and discussed your animaton project with the XML experts/mentors is the best thing ever happened especially when you want to start a new project. The inputs and comments are priceless! One thing that I will always keep in my mind - don`t start your animation if your storytelling is not yet finalized. Really hope that this won`t be the first and the last of XML KL. I do believe that MDeC, particularly the people in Creative Multimedia Unit have done their very best to bring the best for the Malaysia Animation Industry. Many thanks to MDeC, XML(Brendan) and all the mentors!"
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