If you can dream it, you can do it. -Walt Disney
Quality is a great business plan. -John Lasseter
Let's make some funny pictures. -Tex Avery
I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. -Howard Zinn
When critics sit in judgment it is hard to tell where justice leaves off and vengeance begins. -Chuck Jones
And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? -Jesus
A man should never neglect his family for business. -Walt Disney
What's most important in animation is the emotions and the ideas being portrayed. -Ralph Bakshi
Once you have heard a strange audience burst into laughter at a film you directed, you realize what the word joy is all about. -Chuck Jones
Before enlightenment: chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment: chop wood, carry water. -Buddhist Proverb
Share your views on the state of the Animation Industry.
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Sintel, the open movie project created by the Blender Foundation has just been released as of 11:00 A.M. today.
What makes these open movie projects so important to the animation community? They are 100% open (as in open source). All of the software used to create these films are free. Blender for the 3D animation, GIMP and Krita for textures and concept art.
The movie itself is also free and released under a creative commons license. You can download and share the finished movie, download and look at all of the source files to see how the movie was made, how they rigged the characters, how the special effects and compositing was done, and use all the art assets for your own productions if you want.
This is the third in a series of open movie projects that the Blender Foundation has done, the first being Elephants Dream and then Big Buck Bunny. Each open movie project focused on furthering development of the Blender 3D software. Elephants Dream focused on making Blender more production ready, Big Buck Bunny focused on the animation system, fur simulation and rendering complex scenes with folliage, and Sintel focused on 4k video, advanced rendering (global illumination), and getting Blender 2.5 ready for release.
If you are not familiar with Blender, the software is amazing and I've been using it for production work for years. The rewrite of Blender, Blender 2.5, will quickly change the landscape of 3D animation production. Free software can easily replace the multi-thousand dollar 3D suites out there, and in many ways outperform them, making it a lot easier for people to learn and work in 3D animation.
A big shout out to the Blender Foundation for organizing this project, the community for their contributions, The Netherlands Film Fund, and all those studios (who continue to remain anonymous) who have donated to further the development of this amazing open source software.
Some more links to the open/free software that was used to make this short:
MyPaint painting software. (They didn't use Krita, my bad. I got that mixed up with MyPaint, which is a lot more robust).
Alchemy sketching environment. Has tools for creating random shapes to kick start creativity.
Inkscape vector art program, like Illustrator but open source. Exports SVG files.
Subversion version control software, a great tool for accessing files remotely and committing changes. Stores all versions of each file. Great for programming but works very well for binary files. Good GUI interfaces for this are TortoiseSVN for Windows and RabbitVCS for Linux/Ubuntu. Both of which integrate right into the operating system's file browser.
Ubuntu free operating system.
OpenEXR ILM's high dynamic-range image format
That is amazing! The film you posted is great. Hard to believe that the software involved was free. From publishing to marketing to filmmaking, so many resources available to creators now, there's no excuse not to produce on a level we could only dream about before.
Thanks for posting this Glen.
I think the first step is getting open source drivers. AMD (formally AMD/ATI) is working on that for their graphics cards.
The reason why open source software works so well is because anyone with a computer can contribute to the project, and reproducing the good itself is free (no materials used). But with hardware you need equipment, electronics, and raw materials, all of that costs a lot of money and extra know-how.
So I think the next big hurdle is being able to run custom software on these hardware devices, but actually letting people do it instead of trying to stop them from...oh lets say...jailbreaking their smart phones.
But this is a trend we are seeing. NVIDIA has CUDA which allows the GPU on the graphics card to be opened up so it can be used for other tasks that can't be done with DirectX or OpenGL. A good example is 3D-Coat (awesome affordable software by the way, which is currently on sale with the release of version 3.5). 3D-Coat uses CUDA to accelerate its voxel based scuplting. (If you don't know how big of a deal voxel sculpting is and you use ZBrush, check out 3D-Coat and be blown away).
One thing that is interesting about going to SIGGRAPH is hearing people talk about how they are trying to migrate away from Autodesk products. Over the past 4 years Autodesk has bought out Alias (makers of Maya) and Softimage, meaning that Autodesk owns the top 3 competing 3D suites on the market. The next three being Houdini, Lightwave and Cinema 4D.
The Blender Foundation has been receiving a lot of help from large studios to get Blender 2.5 finished. One of the main reasons why is because of the new plug-in system. This will allow studios to write their own tools easily without editing the Blender source code, and will also allow other 3D software companies that make plug-ins for Maya, Softimage, etc. to have their software run in Blender as well. This is especially attractive to studios because you'll be able to get the plug-in without paying an additional $4,000 just for the software it sits on.
Saving money is a bonus, but really it's about having better software. I hate to say it but Maya development appears to be stagnating a bit, especially after the Softimage buyout, and Blender has been turning a lot of heads recently because of how quickly its been getting up to speed.
So yes, you can create professional animation with free software now, and even the bigger studios are showing intense interest in Blender. There's no excuses anymore. The software is free. The training is free. You have the tools so go out and create.
Now lets hope a project like Blender pops up for 2D animation.
Giving the topic a bump so folks who haven't seen it yet can discover and learn about this amazing project and great film.
Since it went on YouTube last September 30, 2010, almost a year ago to the day, it's had 2,620,062 views as of this writing.
8 posts • Page 1 of 1