News Technology

With Samsung at IFA 2014 Berlin for #Unpacked

IFA, one of the leading consumer electronics exhibitions in the world, has debuted countless innovations since 1924. This year was no different with Samsung, IFA’s single biggest exhibitor, launching a slew of gadgets from VR headsets to bendable TVs that will leave many reeling in anticipation of their launch.

The world’s media gathered at the Tempodrom next to the Berlin Wall, for the highly anticipated ‘Unpacked 2014 Episode 2’ event eager to get their hands on Samsung’s latest, including the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Note Edge, Samsung Gear S, Samsung Gear VR, Bendable UHD TVs, Galaxy Tab Active and new smarthome appliances.

Samsung invited Xpanse’s Ashraf Ghori to Berlin to join their delegation and witness first-hand the launch of their most innovative products yet.


Here are our favorite Samsung IFA 2014 moments:


Samsung Gear VR

Gear VR

This is sure to be a ‘head-turner’ and more. Samsung’s Gear VR featuring Oculus technology is the most immersive VR experience money can buy (coupled with the Note 4). We did not want to step out of the virtual world once we were jacked in. This is on our hotly anticipated products list of course.


Samsung Unpacked Opening Music Performance


Home of the Future – Opening keynote speech by Samsung CEO BK Yoon

Samsung Chief BK Yoon took us to the future and back with his keynote speech. We saw what Samsung has in store for the home of the future and were thrilled at the technological possibilities of the near future. Interior design will never be the same again.


Samsung Galaxy Note 4


Samsung Galaxy Note Edge

In our humble opinion, the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge is the most innovative smartphone of today. Clearly the crowd at IFA 2014 agreed unanimously and could not get enough of it.

World’s first bendable TV


Samsung Gear S


Panzer BMP Tank drive

IMAG0520 A

It wasn’t all about new technology during IFA 2014. We visited the Panzerkutcher Tank driving school to drive 40 year old German BMP tanks and got our official tank driving license too.

Thank you for having us at IFA 2014, Samsung.


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ADMAF Comic Art Awards Announced

September 15th 2014 marks the final day to enter and seize the chance to win a place on New York Film Academy’s acclaimed animation workshop in New York

Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF) has started the countdown for The 2014 Comic Arts Award, in association with Mubadala and supported by Middle East Film & Comic Con.

Entries are welcome from UAE citizens ages 18 and above until Monday, 15 September. All submissions will be considered by an expert jury consisting of Ashraf Ghori (artist & filmmaker) of Xpanse CGI , Ben Caddy (Managing Director, Middle East Film and Comic Con) , Jalal Luqman (artist) and ADMAF Founder, HE Hoda Al Khamis-Kanoo. A shortlist of 5 entries will be invited to the Mubadala Youth Forum next month where the works will be exhibited and the winner announced. The winner will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to New York to attend the month-long New York Film Academy 3D animation workshop; have his/her work entered into the Society of Illustrators 2015 Comic and Cartoon Art Annual in the USA; and take away a WACOM Cintiq 13HD, an essential tool for any budding comic artist. Each runner-up will take home a WACOM Intuos Pro.


More details here:


admaf announcement

Interview News

Ford’s Stand Out Magazine Launched #iStandOut

In an unprecedented double treat, Ford Middle East kicked off their promotional campaign for the launch of their Stand Out Magazine with a series of videos produced by our team and the first one also features our very own CEO Ashraf Ghori as their first ‘Stand Out’ Ambassador.

The announcement was accompanied with a major marketing campaign from Ford, and a YouTube takeover. Our first video had over a quarter million views in just two days!



Way to go @FordMiddleEast for bringing out a spectacular campaign and for creating a new content creators hub for the MENA region. We highly recommend this cutting-edge online magazine featuring weekly stories about the people and ideas that stand out.

Check it out: Follow the hashtag #iStandOut


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Here are the other videos we produced for the launch with our associates, Sixteen By Nine Motion Pictures and PostHouse Pro, featuring DJ Mo Tiger & Omar Al Raisi:




Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival Workshops

The Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival #SCRF14 hosted workshops by Ashraf Ghori as part of their programme for this year’s Social Media Station. The workshops which were held at the Expo Centre Sharjah on the 15th and 23rd of April were focused on ‘Digital Art Techniques’.

The SCRF Social Media Station is a platform where influencers get to share their experience with the audience through training sessions or workshops and discuss about their passions and experience. The audience and SCRF fans on their social media channels get to engage with the influencers hosting the workshops.

Ghori covered the basics of creating digital comic art and touched on some advanced techniques using Manga Studio & Adobe Photoshop.


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Canon Middle East Round Table Conference

Canon 1


Canon Middle East‘s Round Table Conference took place during the CABSat 2014 Event at the World Trade Centre on the 12th of March 2014.

The conference was a discussion concerning the digital trends in broadcast and film-making featuring a niche panel of prominent filmmakers and industry professionals from the region such as Khaled Abol Naga, Ali Mostafa and Ashraf Ghori. Also present were Canon’s brand ambassador Sebastien Devaud, Canon Europe’s Paul Atkinson and independent filmmakers Ali Okhovat and Faisal Hashmi. The panel was moderated by Lina Matta, Senior Channel Manager of MBC.

The filmmakers talked about the challenges within the fledgling regional film industry and the impact of technology in filmmaking whether it’s shooting on affordable DSLR Cameras or providing 4K content for broadcast. Canon showcased their impressive EOS C500 DSLR camera which has already been used in several Hollywood productions.

Photos courtesy Canon Middle East & Kevin Sebastian


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A coffee plant at our studio courtesy Starbucks


Our friends at Starbucks invited us over to the exclusive opening of Dubai’s first ‘Starbucks Reserve’ store at the Dubai Mall on the 7th of April.

Doesn’t take much to convince us to attend when there’s rare exotic coffees involved at an event. Apart from having a good time over coffee and cake, we returned with a new addition to the studio, our very own coffee plant. Now this plant might not ever give us coffee beans, but thank you for the very thoughtful gift Starbucks!

Here’s what Starbucks Reserve is all about. It’s like coffee for the connoisseur who’d like to enjoy distinct flavors from around the world. It’s prepared with a high tech process right in front of you where the coffee of your choice is filtered while keeping the aroma and the goodness all in.

So the next time you’re around at the Dubai Mall be sure to check out their new Reserve coffee selections. You’ll be glad you did.

More about Starbucks Reserve here.



MEFCC 2014 is a wrap!


The whirlwind weekend that was the biggest Comic Con yet, literally came in with a storm. We the geeks of course enjoyed every hectic moment of it and can’t wait for the next one already.

We had an art book launch, exclusive posters and comics at our booth this year. Check out a few of our favorite moments from MEFCC in the gallery below ( & our Facebook Page):

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We’re headed to Comic Con!

mefcc going


We’re all set to be part of the biggest Comic Con this side of the world. We are of course talking about the one and only MEFCC on April 3rd, 4th & 5th.

You can find us at booth S 10 at Zabeel Hall 2 (Near the Gaming area).

Here are the Top 5 of our activities at MEFCC we are most excited about :

1 – VAULT Vol.1 Art Book:

We’re launching a super exclusive art book called ‘VAULT Vol.1 – The Digital Art of Ashraf Ghori’ . This limited edition hard back is the first time Ghori’s work has been collected in an art book format. It is limited to only 500 copies so make sure you grab one fast before they run out! (We’re looking at a 20,000 strong turnout for MEFCC!) The artist will be available for book signing.

2 – Portfolio Reviews

We will be offering free portfolio reviews for all the aspiring artists visiting MEFCC. Some tips from the pros might just be all you need to take your art to the next level.

3 – Discussion Panel: Why Comics are still relevant!

On Friday April 4th from 15:00 – 16:30 VOX Movie Club will host the panel: Why Comics are still relevant! ‘If video killed the radio star was print affected too? Comics are still relevant and we’ve got the best of the industry to tell you why.’ Panelists include top comic industry names such as C.B Cebulski, Ari Jayaprakash, John Barber, Ashraf Ghori and Vincent Zurzolo.

4 – Commissioned Art

We’ll also be creating commissioned artworks at our booth for those who would like to take away a hand drawn original art of your favorite hero.

5 – Posters & Pinups

It can’t be Comic Con without our dynamic range of superhero posters and pinups for you to take along with you to adorn your secret lair.

And there will be more goodies you’ve come to expect from us so make sure you pass by! We really look forward to see you there!

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Experimental The Shortcut

Non-Photorealistic Test Renders

Part of what we do at the studio (mostly for fun) involves experimenting with various tools and techniques to achieve interesting effects we can use in our work.

Today we’re testing out some techniques for non-photorealistic stylized 3D rendering which could define the look of our short film ‘The Shortcut’, the first draft of which is being written out at the moment.



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100,000 Youtube Channel Views!

We’d like to extend a big thank you for a 100,000 views on our YouTube channel. Now we can lay claim to the elusive internet fame we used to hear about.

Keep watching, stay tuned for more exciting videos and don’t forget to subscribe to our channel!

Here’s one of the earliest videos we had posted:

Youtube 100000 views