Noodles and More

Posted in Production by andy Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

peachy.jpg 50 shots to go, don’t panic.

As the final deadline is getting closer and closer (more exciting, riveting, mind-warping news about that soon!) everything seems to be moving at light speed. almost the entire movie is animated and ready for further reviews and improvements, the environments are completed, final scenes set up, lit and composited to shape what’s going to be the first Open Movie of the Blender Institute: Big Buck Bunny!

*ehem* now that the PR-talk part of my brain is satisfied…

An essential part of the “finals”-process is the blender node compositor (aka. “noodle” – editing). A couple of weeks ago Nathan kissed the animation team goodbye and was transformed into a node-wrangler wizard. He is currently helping me to take the files from the animation- and environment department apart and assemble them back in compositing.

There are multiple reasons for utilizing a compositing pipeline that is integrated tightly into the rendering process:

  1. many scenes are way to complex to be rendered in one single pass (trees, leaves, bushes, grass, fur, feathers, huge textures, matte paintings)
  2. a rather annoying limitation of blender is that it does not handle motion blur and depth of field inside the rendering process very well, they have to be done in post. luckily blender has one of the most powerful 2D vector motion blur effects available, now with a new option to make curved motion blur (arcs are an essential tool in character animation)
  3. characters and scene elements often require individual color and effect treatments that go beyond lighting and exposure adjustments. after all, this is a cartoon!
  4. the anti-aliasing process is done after post-processing on ALL the rendering samples for extra crisp image quality (the new FSA option), also useful in masking and layer-seperation.

Here is a small step-by-step insight into this process:



Interview with Sacha about the Peach externals

Posted in Blender Institute, Production, Random Fluff by Margreet Wednesday, February 20th, 2008

For two days we have Roemer around. For school he has to do a practical assignment to focus on the future and get more information about which direction he wants to go to. And luckily he choose Blender :) He interviewed Sacha about the externals helping out the Peach team to get to movie finished on time.

Download the .ogg file here.


The Renderfarm (how it works)

Posted in Development, Production by campbell Saturday, February 16th, 2008


One of my tasks here is to make sure the Big Buck Bunny gets rendered, even though Im not crazy about networks, ssh connections and figuring out why the Nth frame didn’t render, some of you have shown interest in the renderfarm so heres a rundown of how it works ;)

Images are rendered on Sun’s Grid at http://network.com, they have a service where you can buy time on their systems for $1 per CPU-Hour, Many tasks can be uploaded to run parallel on their systems, I think they have 600 CPU’s but we’ve only ever managed to hog around 240, with an average of 150 CPU’s at a time.



‘Special’ help

Posted in Random Fluff by Sacha Wednesday, February 13th, 2008

We’re extremely busy, but now we have someone helping us with lighting/compositing.

Will it save us? See for yourself.

Grab the Ogg Theora file here

I guess it’ll stay with only 1 shot (out of 131)…


Stages of Animation

Posted in Production, Random Fluff by Nathan Wednesday, February 6th, 2008

I’ve put together a little video that describes the various stages of animation I go through. These aren’t hard-and-set rules, but more like guidelines that help me animate more efficiently. Depending on the shot I’ll be more or less rigid about keeping the stages separate.

I also left out an important stage in the video, which is sketching out ideas for the shot. I left it out because the drawings — if you can call them that — are really embarrassing. But for me it’s a really important stage because it’s easier for me to explore ideas through rough sketches than through painstakingly posing a model in 3D. (If anyone is curious, I often use Pencil for some of that drawing/exploration stage. Pencil is nice because it’s a 2D animation software, so I can actually do rough 2D animation to test out ideas.)

.ogg video file


Project Peach is Pretty Proud to Present…

Posted in Production by Sacha Monday, February 4th, 2008

Today is the day we will officially say goodbye to the work title ‘a Rabbit’s Revenge’.

The title of the Peach Open Movie is:


(click for 1920×960 version)

So no ‘Rabbitouilli’ (legal issues), ‘Rabbitribution’ (unpronouncable) or ‘The Butterfly Effect III’ (yes, there already is a sequel).

A little explanation about the title Big Buck Bunny:

‘Big’ because the main character isn’t small.

‘Buck’ is the term for a male rabbit. It’s also the name of a movie character played by an actor we used as a reference.

‘Bunny’ because…. ah, I’m not gonna explain that.



just another manic friday

Posted in Blender Institute, Random Fluff by andy Sunday, February 3rd, 2008

peachday.jpgas we mentioned earlier, it’s getting quite busy over here. and now that the Apricot Team is moving in finally, it’s gonna get even more busy! Last friday we had Bart from BlenderNation over to do interviews with us… i shot a fun little timelapse video during the entire day. it’s interesting to see how often people get up from their chairs, how much coffee we drink and how crazy our heads bob around…


watch the movie in .ogg format