Let’s talk about the Blender Foundation. Not only do they make one of the best open source CG software I know of (the only open source CG software I know, to be extremely honest), but they also make short films!
You most likely have seen these films and didn’t even realize it. You know those films on YouTube that are said to be made by PIXAR when they’re really aren’t? Those were most likely made by Blender!
The most popular of the films is Sintel. Why is this film the most popular? Let’s see.
Story: Sintel is a lonely warrior girl, and she has a pet dragon! Cool! But her dragon friend, Scales, is kid napped (or Dragon-napped, if you will)! YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS!
For a 15 minute film, they really do pack the emotions. The relationship between Sintel and the dragon is a tad bit rushed, but you can still feel for the characters. It is a very story-based film, and it’s hard to develop appealing characters in a short period of time. I like films that can do that.
By the way, the ending will literally hit you right in the heart. Ready your tissues.
Animation: When this film came out Blender 2.5 was just released. At this point, Blender’s interface and tools had changed drastically, so the crew had no experience with the new software. Taking that into account, THIS FILM IS BEAUTIFUL.
I mean, look at this!
Tell me that’s not impressive. I dare you.
This is way before the release of Cycles, the external rendering engine also developed by Blender. So all this lighting and shading was done internally.
You see, there are two rendering engines in Blender: Blender Internal and Cycles. The reason Cycles is a better rendering engine is because that’s all it’s used for, rendering. The Blender Internal has to calculate everything else, mostly because the rendering engine is a part of the software. With an external rendering engine, one software worries about on its job, and the other software worries about its job. So, to think that all this shading had to done in the terrible internal rendering engine astounds me.
Characters: As I mentioned earlier, the film is too short to show some real character development, but for what it has it’s okay. Sintel does come off as a strong, intelligent person, but still is human. She can have fun, be sad, and make mistakes. But I do wish I knew more about her as a character. Other than being strong and a real human being, she doesn’t have much else. I think that Blender tried to pull off more of the normal person going on a big adventure. But I do wish that there was a distinguishing feature of her.
Scales is a dragon….that’s it. I’m not kidding, those are the only two characters in the film. There’s the Shaman, but he’s only in it for, like, three minutes. I think that Blender really put in quality over quantity.
In conclusion, this film is a very good one. I’d certainly give it a watch to see what you think. Plus, it’s only 15 minutes long! See you later, Animators!