Quit Blender! Source files and HD version

by - 2012/03/13 24 Comments Production

As promised we release a final version of the kickoff workshop short film in full HD for your delight, containing a few fixes and tweaks. We are also releasing the main production folder under CC-BY license for you to explore and improve.

Here we have an outline of the quit_blender_files folder:

  • chars – the library files for the tentacle robot and the dones
  • footage – a readme.txt file, which will invite you to copy in there the content of the quit_blender_footage folder
  • scenes – all the VFX shots in the short film, shot_XX_compositing usually is the final version of the file, linking in all the libraries and effects
  • sets – basics sets used for tracking support, masking and compositing

Since a lot of renaming and refactoring has been done, it is possible that some paths might still be broken. Make sure you are using a recent (trunk or 2.62 should also work) release version of Blender.

Last but not least enjoy the full HD version of “Quit Blender”!

Open or closed: we’re open! :)

by - 2012/03/12 24 Comments Directing & writing, Production

This morning’s kick-off meeting we agreed on following the OPEN strategy:

– We’ll open everything, except for the last minute.
– But we do not publish the script at all.

This is easier than trying to check each time if we spoil secrets… or being forced to categorize posts. This strategy allows us to discuss a lot of issues openly for our followers, but still keep the ending hidden – AND let everyone guess the story :)


Meeting with the costume designer

by - 2012/03/12 12 Comments Artwork, Production

Ian spent today a couple of hours with Pablo Londono Serria. His ideas and designs for clothing are awesome – we really like the proposals and direction it will take. Pablo admitted he had two big desires in his life; getting his own fashion brand, and do a post-apocalyptic film once. :)

Pablo will show first clothes Wednesday already!

Lazy sunday in Amsterdam (and some research)

by - 2012/03/11 17 Comments Production, Random

Today we did a little tour to the Oude Kerk here in Amsterdam and enjoyed the first sun of spring. Blogging in the sun while hanging around in the beanbag in the Blender Institute is also quite pleasant, I can tell you!

Anyway, the light in the church is beautiful! We have to find a way to put this in the movie while at the same time have it destroyed by robots. Also the trees and bicycles in front of the church and around the redlight district might become a masking nightmare too. Or we just cover them with futuristic tech-stuff. But let’s see what happens.

I couldn’t help but film and track something in the church. But I have other things to do than putting something in it, so if you guys are interested in some compositing fun, here’s the track and footage. Do something cool and link here! :)


First week kick-off, behind the scenes

by - 2012/03/10 15 Comments Production

Tony Mullen wrote:

It’s my last week at the Blender Institute before returning to Tokyo. It also happens to be the start of production on the Blender Institute’s Mango Open Movie project. For the past week, the team has been working on a 5-day project to get their feet wet with working together and with what will become the Mango production pipeline. I’ve basically been keeping out of the way, observing, and taking a little bit of behind-the-scenes video:

For a brand new team doing five days of work it’s very impressive. Add to this the fact that the main Mango project has already been completely storyboarded (in stunning detail) by David Revoy, and I think that Mango is off to an incredibly auspicious start.

(Thanks Tony! Was great having you around here, and see your own short film evolve: http://electrictownmovie.wordpress.com/ That one is going to be awesome too! :)

Kickoff Workshop: Day 5

by - 2012/03/09 54 Comments Production

BAM! Here we are, the finished kickoff film, only 5 days after starting.

Is it perfect? Nooooooo- we’d tweak this thing forever if we could- but we finished all the big stuff, and made a short film!

Today was a day of last minute tweaks and battling the render farm. At one point we had every computer in the place up and running rendering shots, along with the render farm. I suspect we would have been rendering on folk’s cellphones if we could.

Francesco is going to be cleaning up the SVN database this weekend, and we’ll be putting that all up for all of you to browse! The models and everything we made will be going up then as well.

We’re also going to be rendering a full HD version of this thing over the weekend. We ran into deadlines (as can happen! When render farms! Are! On fire!)- so some of this stuff is only 50% full res (nothing you’d miss on YouTube, probably :P). But yeah, the “Official Artist’s Version” is coming early next week.

And with that- it is time for dinner! And Mango proper! Because, just again, this isn’t Mango! It’s a short kickoff project to test the pipeline and get to know each other and figure out what needs to be worked on! And pester Sergey with requests! 

Kickoff Workshop: Day 4

by - 2012/03/08 42 Comments Production

Quit blender!

We’re releasing today’s video amidst quiet protests from the team. Once you get this close to done, it’s hard to release it before it’s all polished and perfect (and understandably so! The closer we get to the end, the harder it is for the community to know what’s done or not). But! We’re uploading the video every day, and here’s where we’re at! As usual, lots of shots are actually further along than they appear; most all the destruction simulation and shards are completed- they just aren’t rendering at the moment.

A lot of work left for Friday, but definitely manageable! We’re making sure everything necessary is being sent to the render farm tonight, so we can lay in the image sequences tomorrow! We still have one shot left that really needs a bit of work, but with everyone working together tomorrow morning, it should totally come together.

Stay tuned for the final!

For all those confused:

by - 2012/03/08 22 Comments Production

The movie we are currently making isn’t Mango! Mango is going to take us more than a few days!

We’re currently doing a 5 day kickoff film to work through the entire pipeline- the end goal hopefully being that all those mistakes and lessons we’d have learned from Mango, we’re making and learning now. It’s also cool from a momentum aspect (us artists would spend the first 5 days just calibrating our monitors, if we got the chance)- and gives us a much better sense of perspective in terms of time estimation. We’re learning first hand how long certain tasks take.  Just a sec- lunchtime.

Back! To see the original script and Ton’s initial announcement, check here!

So yes, full fledged Mango pre-production continues next week! If you check back later today, you’ll see some cool robot-y updates.

Kickoff Workshop: Day 3

by - 2012/03/07 30 Comments Production

Day 3!

The hump! Everything’s coming together, but we’re at the dangerous point where we go, “Psh! Filmed and edited in 2 days! We have nothing but time!” I suspect we’re going to wake up tomorrow, look at everything that’s left, and start sprinting.

Totally amazed by everyone’s skills today. Destruction and dust simulations, tons of motion tracking, even more bug fixes, insane compositing- it’s wild. And I’m not just saying that in the polite, “Go team! Everyone’s great!” way- no. My day was a daze of revelations and discovery!

And the Video Sequence Editor is surprisingly awesome!

Huge CG jump coming tomorrow!

Below is my current wallpaper.

Kickoff Workshop: Day 2

by - 2012/03/06 31 Comments Directing & writing, Production


So we filmed the script this morning. The current edit is looking pretty darn similar to the animatic from yesterday (with a few minor exceptions). Everybody was awesome! This is a pretty incredible team.

Destruction simulations, amazing robot texturing, 3d motion tracking, editing, great animation, and insane bug fixing abound! The film has really taken shape- but tomorrow the CG shots should really start looking closer to finalized! Also! Getting audio locked down!

If this is where we’re at by the end of the 2nd day, with any luck we’re going to be able to do all the polishing we need!