DVD authoring last bits

Posted in Blender Institute, Development by Ton Friday, May 2nd, 2008

We’re doing the last bits on the dvd set… encoding and authoring a video DVD and collecting and testing all files for the DVD-ROM is just a bit too much work to be really fun… especially for people suffering post-BBB fatigue! :)

Even after about 6-8 manweeks of work on this DVD we could easily add another four or so. Nevertheless, we should now finish! Here’s a quick shortlist of what you can expect, at least:



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, 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.



random environment, rodent & rabbit renders

Posted in Development, Media Gallery, Production by andy Monday, January 28th, 2008


it’s starting to get a little rough around here…

there are about 6 weeks of production time left. our fearless team of animators – sacha, william, nathan and our external keyframe shifters – are working hard to get the last couple of scenes of our movie animated. enrico and i am both working on “finals” – a little underated sounding description ton likes to give to the task of texturingmodelinglightingcompositinganddoeverythingelsetogetthemovierendered.



See how the environment is progressing

Posted in Development, Media Gallery, Peach Press, Production by Margreet Thursday, January 24th, 2008

Enrico, Andy and the technical team have been busy for a long time now to create the environment for Peach.

Here you can get an impression how it is going to look like.

It is getting somewhere, and of course it is not even finished yet!

.ogg file


Dream Team reunited as cheap inbetweeners for Peach!

Posted in Blender Institute, Development, Production by William Thursday, January 17th, 2008

As the schedule starts to get close, we recently realized that we are not going to be able to finish on time. We now have finished animation for less than a third of the film, and we only have about six weeks to go before all animation has to be locked, so that we can get all the final renders out on time. Weeks are going by with a few shots coming out here and there, which is not going to cut it.



Approximate Ambient Occlusion

Posted in Development by brecht Friday, January 11th, 2008

Some well known animation studios are now using approximate global illumination in feature films: Pixar used ambient occlusion in Ratatouille, Dreamworks used single bounce indirect lighting in Shrek 2, ILM used ambient occlusion in Pirates of the Carribean 2 & 3. So I looked for an ambient occlusion method that was reasonably simple to implement, and still fast enough to handle the high poly scenes we are dealing with.






Maqina Workstations & Benchmarks

Posted in Blender Institute, Development by campbell Saturday, January 5th, 2008

So far our workstations haven’t been mentioned much, partly because it’s not as fun as furry animals but also because they don’t break down!

Now the artists are working hard and don’t want to “waste time” blogging, I’ll go into some details about our workstations.


At the moment we have 8 workstations…

5x Maqina C6850DC 3D Blender Workstation’s
(Dual Core 3ghz, 4gig ram, GeForce 8800 GTS)

2x Maqina X5130DC Workstation’s
(Quad Core 2ghz, 4gig ram, NVidia Quadro FX 1700)

1x Maqina X5345QC Workstation
(8 Core 2.33ghz, 8gig ram, NVidia Quadro FX 1700)



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!




Posted in Development, Production by campbell Friday, November 30th, 2007

curve2tree screenshot

Recently I’ve been writing a tree maker to speed up our tree creation pipeline, but generating nice looking trees turned out to be a lot harder then I expected.

Having a tree generator where you hit a button and pop out a perfect tree is the artists dream but realistically they need a lot of control as well.

The main difference between this and other tools is that it doesn’t do all the work for you.

We had to compromise in a number of areas: what we expected the artists to do by hand, amount of detail and artistic style. Also with the time limit, how good should we expect the trees to look anyway?



Making the animatic with Sacha

Posted in Development, Media Gallery, Production by campbell Thursday, November 22nd, 2007

nov21.jpgCreating an animatic was the first project we worked on together, its also finished!

In this interview Sacha (the director) speaks of its place in the production pipeline, how it was made and some features added to Blender that helped speedup the work flow.

download the video in ogg format (better quality)