Friday, April 4, 2008

Open source, collaboration and animation.

Big Buck Bunny is a 3D animation short movie from the "Blender Institute". It is the result of Blender's Project Peach team effort. The animation was done with, of course, Blender open source 3D software

Official Trailer

The short will premiere on 10 April, at "Studio K" cinema, Amsterdam.
This is another great step in cinema made with "open tools", like open source software blender in this particular case.

The collaboration behind the development of Blender is, in itself, a case study example of success on open source software. More yet, the community formed around it (Blender Artists, Blender Nation, the user forums, etc), is a key element that brings together everybody from home users, to developers, to professional 3D artists. This has made possible to create a credible, free, alternative tool not only to make films but also games, architecture pre-viz, and blah, blah,blah...

The first "major" release of this kind was the film "Elephants Dream" two years ago, which was an important milestone.

"The 3D animated short ‘Elephants Dream’ will today (May 18, 2006) be released as a free and public download. This is the final stage of a successfully completed Open Movie project which has been community-financed, using only Open Source tools, and opening up the movie itself as well as the entire studio database for everyone to re-use and learn from. The movie and production files are licensed as “Creative Commons Attribution 2.5″, which only requires a proper crediting for public screening, re-using and distribution."
(Blender Foundation, Amsterdam, the Netherlands)

I watched Elephants Dream, and got that feeling that the film, as great as it was, was "not quite there yet" in terms of production value (ok, unfairly compared to multi-million dollar, major Hollywood studio productions). But I found it too, that the movie was a major break trough in this "open movie" production model and has great artistic value (on character design, art direction, etc). The fact that was distributed under Creative Commons license, on the net, with full Blender project files available at any one's reach is also remarkable.

This new short, the
Big Buck Bunny seems to raise the expectation bar even higher in terms of artistic and technical skill set value.

Other resources: Blender on Wikipedia / SFX on Blender

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