September 26, 2012
by B. N. Reporter
After 7 months of work in Amsterdam by a dozen of open source visual effect specialists, the Blender Foundation has released director Ian Hubert's new short film
online today, and another premiere is scheduled at a special event in L.A. hosted by ASIFA-Hollywood.
For over half a year an international team of 3D visual effects artists worked in the studio of
the Amsterdam Blender Institute on the short film "Tears of Steel," written and directed by
Seattle talent Ian Hubert. This independent production was financed by the online user
community of the free program Blender and was supported by the Netherlands Film Fund,
the Cinegrid consortium, and by corporate sponsors such as Google. The film project's
primary target was intended as an incentive for the development of a free and open source
pipeline for visual effects in film, using the popular Blender 3D creation software. The film
itself, and any material made in the studio, will be released as Creative Commons shortly
after the premiere. This concept, a true Open Movie, allows filmmakers to study and
reproduce every detail of the creation process.
After the short animation films "Elephants Dream" (2006), "Big Buck Bunny" (2008) and
"Sintel" (2010) this is the 4th short created in the Amsterdam studio with crowd-funding
support. For "Tears of Steel" the ambitions were set high again - using as a reference
the international standard of visual effects, applied to a fun and witty science-fiction theme
in the old city of Amsterdam. "The results are truly spectacular," said producer Ton
Roosendaal, "It's a rare occasion to see your own city transformed with this level of visual
effects and storytelling. Best is of course that we now have a complete open source pipeline
for visual effect work in Blender - ranging from camera tracking and roto, all the way to color
grading." “This was the Blender Institute's first foray into shooting live action,” director Ian
Hubert said, “so every day we were covering new ground. Shooting with the state-of-the-art
Sony F65 camera, and with such a talented production crew and actors, meant that we were
able to not just to make a gorgeous film, but also provide filmmakers and developers around
the world with optimal reference footage.”
The film’s premise is about a group of warriors and scientists, who gather at the “Oude Kerk” in
Amsterdam to stage a crucial event from the past, in a desperate attempt to rescue the world
from destructive robots.
The official theatrical premiere will be at 28 September at Woodsbury University, hosted by
ASIFA-Hollywood - the association of animation studios.
All the actual production files along with tutorials are available in a set of 4 DVDs which can still be ordered at Blender.org's E-shop as of September 25, 2012. It's a must-have
for all "up-to-date" studios and CG professionals.