Good intentions for 2008: write more blog posts!

Posted in Blender Institute, Random Fluff by Ton Monday, December 31st, 2007

hny1.jpgI’ve been teaching the guys and girls here how to play the renowned Dutch student card game “Toepen”, which doesn’t have winners, but only losers. Obviously – since it’s a student game – the loser has to get everyone drinks. Here in the institute we have free drinks, so we made up penalties for each round… and I’ve lost the round with as a penalty to make a blog post with a silly picture!

So here it is; the New Years Eve crew (minus Andy who takes the picture, and Enrico + William + Brecht who celebrate it at home) and with Campbell’s girls Cathy and India. On behalf of everyone: happy new year and let’s make it a great 2008!



Our Animation Schedule

Posted in Production, Random Fluff by Nathan Sunday, December 30th, 2007

8 minutes

13 scenes

154 shots

12000 frames

5 characters (plus a butterfly)

10 weeks left to animate it all

…and this is what happens when you have an insane animation schedule:

.ogg video file high quality (2.0MB)

(Music by AcidMan:


fluffy puffy peach posters

Posted in Media Gallery, Production by andy Monday, December 24th, 2007

hi there!

well here i am again, and the characters are finally completed! as a peachy xmas holiday present we decided to publish some posters / wallpapers to decorate your desktop!
poster_gamera_crop.jpgposter_franky_crop.jpg poster_rinky_crop.jpg



grooming time!

Posted in Production by andy Wednesday, December 12th, 2007

chinchilla_crop.jpgOver the past couple of days I’ve been working on the fur grooming of our main characters (Furry & Funny, remember?). Even though it’s still an ongoing work in progress, we would like to share some of our progress and workflows with you!

The first character I managed to finish was the chinchilla (lovingly nicknamed Gamera). Especially due to the numerous improvements in particle generation, editing and rendering the results are surprisingly good. Now we’re able to brush our characters in real time and render 2 million hairs in HD resolution in about one minute. Thanks to Jahka and Brecht, our fearless developers!

In the first step a particle system is created on the character mesh, it’s important to get an optimal distribution as a basis for the parent particles. However, sometimes the results are not perfect, so a lot of times I have to add particles manually.


This is done in the next step where the particle system is set editable (aka. ‘baked’), so each individual particle can be modified by hand, either using the particle edit brushes (add, comb, puff, smooth, cut, etc.) or pulling them around one by one. This is also where the overall growth direction of the fur is defined. Another important factor taken into consideration is how the rig deforms the character.



Meanwhile in the studio

Posted in Production by Margreet Tuesday, December 11th, 2007

After being cut off with the internet for almost one and a half day we are finally online again, hoera!

While I am writing this I am thinking of the times internet didn’t even exists and now I feel helpless without. What happened.

Anyway soon more about all the great work here in the studio :)

Shoes laying aroundPair of shoe laying around

Or see Nathan animating for a group of course participants :)



Posted in Production by William Tuesday, December 4th, 2007

It’s december (already?!) and Amsterdam is drenched in rain and hail. The dutch are eating pepernoten, celebrating the arival of Sinterklaas and getting their shoes stuffed with chocolate letters. Meanwhile at the Blender Institute, work goes on. In the last few weeks I have been testing Nathan’s rigs trying to define the animation style and workflow. Some of these tests can be seen below:
.ogg video file high quality (617k)

All this has been leading up to an important production milestone which is final animation. From this week on, each animator will have to spit out 15 seconds of animation each week, or 4 every day for us to be able to complete the film. Scary but true! (more…)


Nathan’s rabbit rigging demo

Posted in Production by campbell Saturday, December 1st, 2007

nathan.jpgAnother look at rigging with Nathan, he’s just done with rabbit. This is more complicated, with all that extra fat to move about, great facial expression controls too!

well, see for yourself.

.ogg video file high quality (28 MB)

Thanks to Andy for shooting the footage.


Area light fix (light, not shadow!)

Posted in Development by Ton Saturday, December 1st, 2007

While sipping from an excellent cup of coffee I’ve worked on the area lamp render fix, as promised to work on in exchange for the incredible espresso engine!


The above images show the old situation, with and without shadow. Note that the light doesn’t really make the sides of the sphere become lit, and for shadow this even becomes totally terminated.


This is the situation as now in svn. Now, for every possible shadow sample, an area light calculation is done from that position. This clearly gives much nicer light on the sphere (but note that the floor is identical). With a shadow render, the self-shadowing effect of faces are visible. I’ve not included terminator code for resolving phong imperfections… that fights with the whole idea of soft shadow. Better to use as small faces as possible now.

(More work on this will be done of course, this is the first commit, need to do more tests for quality)

Grazie mille!