Tears of Steel – 4k

by - 2013/01/09 15 Comments Production

The Amsterdam Cinegrid Consortium has agreed on allocating a budget for us to re-render the film in epic 4k! With all original footage being in 4k (and cleaned at that size as well) it’s going to be mostly a challenge for our rendering, compositing and grading pipeline. Interesting job!

The format we’ll use is 4K CinemaScope cropped, 4096 × 1714, in 2.39:1 aspect ratio. That will become available as DCP as well.

An Ultra HD TV version of 3840 x 1714 will be made by cropping away from the sides, that’ll work fine I expect.

Best of all is that this version can get scaled down perfectly for a 2k cinema DCP (2048 wide) and a perfect crisp HD version as well (1920 wide). We might even make versions available for those having HiDPI tablets and screens!

Work on this will last until end of March. Estimated render time for our 30 systems is about 2 months, full time. Discussions with festivals for screening 4k, and/or Ultra HD vendors to use it for showcase will be going on as well.


All DVDs shipped

by - 2012/10/19 47 Comments Production

Right after the conference, Anja’s been very busy packing and sorting all pre-order DVDs for Tears of Steel. Here’s a picture of a proud Anja just before it all got picked up!

Soundtrack files released

by - 2012/10/17 19 Comments Production

Composer Joram Letwory sent me the original soundtrack files. You can now download these via our brand new download page (see above) or just click on this link. The files have been released as CC-by-nd, which is quite common for music. It means you can use it freely, also commercially, but you cannot disassemble or remix it.

Added note from Joram:

I partly used commercial sample libraries for the Tears Of Steel music and sound. Because of that we published the soundtrack as a CC-by-nd. This covers the limitation of some of the commercial libraries that their sounds may not be used in new samples (even if they are layered with original samples). However, I would of course very much like it if the soundtrack were to be remixed. So, if you do want to cut up the music (for any reason), please send me a personal message and I’ll give you permission in writing including the restrictions and conditions to cover the previously stated limitations.

Viewer-Node Control Script

by - 2012/10/09 15 Comments Production

Here’s a short demo of one of the scripts that you can find on the DVD in the Mango SVN scripts folder. It’s called space_node_viewer_bookmark.py.

It’s a small utility to make navigating huge node-trees a bit easier, and we had a lot of those.
All the time while I was working with these huge node setups I thought that I would love to be able to define certain checkpoints in the node-tree to be able to quickly connect the viewer node to them to check out the result without having to zoom and scroll like crazy. Also jumping to the last node or comparing the result before and after some nodes was something that I always wanted to have. Continue

Production update – the days after

by - 2012/10/03 12 Comments Production

  • Everyone’s back home, so it’s a bit silent :)
  • The DVD box is being replicated now. Ships monday to our e-shop storage… but might only arrive wednesday, just in time for the conference. We might ship wednesday still, or the week after.
  • Yep, in a little over a week the Blender Conference starts – meet with Ian, Francesco, Nicolo, Rob, Andy, Kjartan, Sergey, Sebastian, Brecht, Joram, myself, and the one I always forget!
  • Visitors at the conference can pick up their DVD orders!
  • Youtube hit the 500k views in less than 6 days! We get 98% positive response. :)
  • We enjoyed the huge response – ranging from serious reviews, honest compliments,  fanboy cheering to the traditional armchair crits – this film is going to be remembered.
  • Psst pssst: interest from serious producers too; Ian’s having interesting emails already!
  • 3DWorld will cover ToS in the november issue.
  • Today: Blender 2.64 release! Check blender.org :)
  • Soon: a download page on this site with subtitle files, more encoded versions, sound files, and so on.

That’s it folks. Back to work!

Tears of Steel – download & watch

by - 2012/09/26 187 Comments Production

It’s out! Watch it on youtube now, or download it later… links to downloads will appear in this post once mirrors have been synced. Torrents will also appear. Have fun! :) We’re happy!

Download mirrors, all files:
Kino3d.org – Italy      NLUUG – Netherlands     RWTH-Aachen – Germany    University Bayreuth – Germany    Arcagenis – France

Download all original PNG files at xiph.org   and here are the stereo and 5.1 AIFF soundtracks.

Update: the first .webm version (full open source encoded images.sound) is available. Much better quality than the .mkv files!
Download the 1080p .webm as a torrent.

At BlenderArtists is a project to review or submit new subtitles.

Tears of Steel DVD promo

by - 2012/09/26 11 Comments Production

We’ve all been working hard- but Pablo has been working harder! Check out this promo he made (with a killer music track from Joram Letwory, from the soon-to-be-released Tears of Steel!)

DVD sales are really what keep the lifesblood of the Blender Foundation/Institute pumping, and we’ve packed this one full of insane bonus material. Check it out in the video below!

See you in a couple hours!

Press release – premiere

by - 2012/09/24 36 Comments Production

I’m very proud to announce the premiere of our 4th short film – Tears of Steel.  The online release will be on this website, around 17h UTC, this Wednesday 26 September.
A theatrical premiere will be friday evening in Los Angeles – hosted by ASIFA-Hollywood.

As a result of this crowdfunded project, Blender now covers a full pipeline for vfx artists – starting with camera tracking and roto, all the way to color grading. An official release of Blender is expected early October.

You can download the complete press release here.

Or get the  full press kit, including press release and high resolution graphics. (250 MB).

I would appreciate it if you would give our project attention on your website or in your magazine. Please tell your users that we still sell the DVD box! We still have bills to pay, and there’s a lot of work on Blender to do as always!

Best regards,


Last minute timelapse: The Captain’s eyepatch

by - 2012/09/23 28 Comments Production

One of the very last minute changes to our was to add some extensions to the Captain’s eyepatch. This happened the 2 weeks after  the pre-premiere of Tears of Steel. The original eyepatch just felt a little bit naked. I mean, after all it’s just a disassembled webcam with red LED, taped to a metal strip. So we thought that maybe we could enhance that a bit.

Kjartan modeled a small but very effective extension, and Ian created a holographic text overlay, which goes really well with the other holographic elements in the movie. All in all there were 16 shots where you see the captain’s face, there was quite a bit to track and composite. Luckily lots of these shots are quite similar so a lot of the lighting and composite setups could be copied over.


Two pages in Parool – #1 Amsterdam newspaper

by - 2012/09/22 23 Comments Production

Last week I was interviewed by a very enthusiastic reporter from Parool (weekend edition with 300,000 readers). Today we’re on the front page and a double spread with a lot of backgrounds of the film and Blender.

In the text review I had to tone down the reporter’s enthusiasm a bit, but well – you know, press likes to make things a bit bigger! :) It’s a well written article, fun to read… and good to reach out to so many people here in the city.