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Graphics Open Source Upgrades

Big Buck Bunny In 4K, 60 Fps and 3D-stereo 102

Posted by timothy
from the open-culture dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Blender Foundation open movie projects like Sintel and Tears of Steel have been mentioned on Slashdot in the recent years. Now an old-timer, their open movie Big Buck Bunny from 2008, has been getting a make-over in a new release: The entire movie has been recreated in 3D stereo with a resolution of 4K (3840x2160) at 60fps. It took years to rework the movie because the original Big Buck Bunny was created for 2D. Most of the scenes had to be modified to work well in 3D stereo. Furthermore, the original movie was made for cinemas and was 24fps; a lot of changes to the animations had to be made to get the correct results. The creator of the reworked version explains about it on BlenderNation where he also talks about the fact that the entire movie was rendered via an online collaborative renderfarm, BURP, where volunteers provided spare CPU cycles to make it happen. If you want to see how your computer measures up to playing 4K content in 60 fps you can download the reworked movie from the official homepage — lower resolutions are also available."
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Big Buck Bunny In 4K, 60 Fps and 3D-stereo

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    No matter how high the resolution, this film is terrible...

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Yep, high frame rate and 3d stereoscopy doesn't make a shitty movie unshitty.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by SavvyPlayer (774432)

      My kids enjoyed it quite a bit, watching it several times and will certainly want to see the 'upgraded' edition. What more do can you ask for in an animated short?

      • by Anonymous Coward

        What more do can you ask for in an animated short?

        Quite a bit, actually. It is technically good quality, but the plot is disorganized. Of course the idea is just "animals doing wacky stuff", but it could have delivered a much more interesting and solid arc of events.

        • by Xtifr (1323)

          It's a technology demo created by techies. And now you want a (good) plot as well? You should just be thankful it isn't about Harry Potter defeating Darth Vader! :)

          • There are plenty of public domain plots. If techies can get to work adapting familiar stories by the Grimms, H.C. Andersen, Carlo Collodi, and other famous pre-1900 fairy tale authors, that might start to eat away at Disney's position in the marketplace.
            • by quenda (644621)

              There are plenty of public domain plots. .

              Unfortunately, Disney have already stolen all the best ones, and wrapped then up in a new eternal copyright.

              • by tepples (727027)
                Disney has a copyright on the details it added in its adaptations. The original remains Free forever.
            • by Anonymous Coward

              There are plenty of public domain plots. If techies can get to work adapting familiar stories by the Grimms, H.C. Andersen, Carlo Collodi, and other famous pre-1900 fairy tale authors, that might start to eat away at Disney's position in the marketplace.

              And which part of TECH DEMO are you still having problems with?

              This is an animated show reel to help iron the kinks out of various systems in an animation program.
              It is not a general release animation.
              It is not entertainment.
              It is not a means to usurp Disney, Pixar, Dreamworks, Studio Gibli, or anybody else.. It is a tech demo.

              It is the equivalent of the transparent refracting sphere that was pretty much stock for the old ray tracing programs.
              It is a hello world feature. Not a cartoon.

              Eating away at Disney'

              • by tepples (727027)

                And which part of TECH DEMO are you still having problems with?

                None, especially. I enjoyed it and Sintel the first time I watched them, just as I enjoyed the old Pixar shorts for what they were. But it would have been nice to kill the tech-demo and thousand-cuts-against-Disney birds with one stone.

          • by Mercury2k (133466)

            It's a technology demo created by techies. And now you want a (good) plot as well? You should just be thankful it isn't about Harry Potter defeating Darth Vader! :)

            heh indeed!

            Actually iirc, BBB was about developing the hair system in Blender. Also, the movies aren't about just copying something existing out there already, but to give a lucky few that are interested in a particular area (directing, story boarding, concept art, musical score, etc.) a chance to wet their feet on a project and show their skills off to the world and maybe even land a job working for the "big boys" (like how Ian Hubert now works at Pixar thanks to Tears of Steel).

    • by Urkki (668283)

      No matter how high the resolution, this film is terrible...

      Well, I think it is excellent at what it is. Everything could be better, but anything will quickly reach a point where making something better makes something else less good. And BBB is easily in the region, where making it better is hard, where any improvement is just making it less good in some other respect, just making it different.

      Just because you did not enjoy it does not make it terrible. It only means your life is less enjoyable compared to those who liked it (well,,unless you get kicks out of calli

    • It was meant to show off Blender. Like Blender, the movie is a mess. The difference in completeness, and usability between Blender and any of the big 3 animation packages is a greater disparity than Windows vs Linux for desktop usage.
  • by afidel (530433) on Saturday December 21, 2013 @06:01PM (#45756323)

    AFAIK to get 60fps at 4k using existing display connectors you need to use two DP or HDMI1.4 connections and MST, but with two connectors you just have enough bandwidth for 60fps so how are they doing 3D which would require another doubling of bandwidth and thus require 4 connectors? Are there 4k monitors with 4 inputs I'm not aware of?

  • by wbr1 (2538558)
    Since all my panels are 1080 or less, I will pass. I assume few people even have panels capable of 4k.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      I am sure you are great at solving hen and egg situations.

    • There is also a 60fps 1080p version available if you want to enjoy the smoothness.
  • by PhrostyMcByte (589271) <phrosty@gmail.com> on Saturday December 21, 2013 @06:04PM (#45756337) Homepage

    I can understand needing to alter some things for 3D, like ensuring proper non-nauseating focus, or maybe there's missing geometry out of shot which the slightly repositioned cameras would expose. But this bit doesn't make a lot of sense to me:

    Furthermore, the original movie was made for cinemas and was 24fps; a lot of changes to the animations had to be made to get the correct results.

    In any game engine it would be trivial to adjust 1/48th exposure and 24fps to 1/120th exposure and 60fps. I find it difficult to believe animations would be keyframed to 24fps in a way that couldn't be correctly lerped.

    Can someone explain in more detail the challenges they faced?

    • Re:Why? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Saturday December 21, 2013 @08:02PM (#45756949) Homepage

      Well, for a start, 24 doesn't go nicely into 60 so if you do have a particular keyframe position that you want to keep precisely, you'll need to work carefully around it.

      It may also be that you've specially keyed an object's position (perhaps camera position for a cut to another angle) in two neighbouring frames for a particular effect, but interpolating between those positions for the extra frames just doesn't work. Or you might end up with an intersection of objects which didn't happen on the original frames.

      Then you've also got the problem of extending the number of frames at either end of a scene. Suppose you have (for simplicity's sake) three frames in a scene:

      ADG

      and you want to triple the framerate. No problem, just stick two extra frames in for each existing frame:

      AbcDefG...

      Ah. Where do you get the two extra frames you need at the end? There's nowhere for the animation to go because (quite possibly) you only keyed right up to frame G originally, and that was the frame you wanted to end the shot on (as a hobbyist editor, one can get pretty picky about that). You could insert frames at the beginning of the scene, but that's the same problem. You could stretch the whole scene out more - here by inserting three frames between AD and DG - but then you'll be altering different scenes by slightly different amounts.

      They'll also be less motion blur with a higher framerate, so errors that may have been covered up might become more noticeable.

  • Finally some 4K content for my Seiki. Normally I just use it as a computer display. VLC has experimental support for hardware accelerated decoding which is absolutely necessary to play back 4K video.

    It looks great, nice work folks.

    • How did you get it to play smoothly in VLC? It kept lagging for me even with hardware decoding on.

      Surprisingly, Windows Media Player played it smooth as butter.

      • by jakedata (585566)

        Frankly, I thought I'd never be able to play 4K video on my system.

        Windows Media Player is completely unable to handle it and YouTube@4K is jerky at best, even with all the tweaks in Chrome turned on.

        I am running a Radeon HD7700, Seiki SE50UY04 and a Core 2 Quad with Windows 7 x64 and the latest Catalyst and VLC.

        Once I turned on hardware decoding in VLC it played flawlessly. I can stream YouTube videos to VLC but I can't get them to send 4K yet.

        • Odd. I'm using an Nvidia card and VLC stutters every other second or so. WMP has no problems.

          But I also have a 2K monitor (2560*1440) instead of a 4K, so maybe WMP is just better at downsampling?

          • by dj245 (732906)
            I have had plenty of problems with this in the past. I have a small Zotac box with a dinky CPU but hardware playback support. 720p is possible with CPU only but 1080p requires the GPU. Sometimes VLC just doesn't want to use DXVA (hardware decoding) and nothing you can do helps. There are forum threads going back years about this. I hate to pick on free software which is a hobby for other people, but plenty of other free software doesn't have a problem with DXVA.

            I have found that Media Player Classic
      • Have you tried OpenGL rendering instead of DirectX?

  • I read a psyche study on the effects of high frame rates, something above a certain frame rate had an effect on the brain in that it could not distinguish between what was on the screen and real life.
    Now obviously you know it's a movie, but it did things to heart rate etc, the consensus was that high frame rates have a variety of effects on the mind.

    • Sounds interesting. Can you still dig up that study?
      • by koan (80826)

        That's just it, I looked for it again and couldn't find it, but there are quite a few articles on HFR film and video on Google (mostly Hobbit).
        But none that suggested the implications of the one I read.
        The suggestion was because this frame rate increase invoked the the reactions it did that it might be dangerous (to someone with a weak heart) and also that it might be useful as a "suggestive influence" (brain washing?) and advertising (lol are those different things?)

        The frame rates were far higher than 48,

      • by koan (80826)

        This touches on the effects, Hollywood was apparently worried that the original plan for 60 fps in theatres looked to "realistic" and would put audiences off.
        http://clockworkbrothers.com/?p=1836 [clockworkbrothers.com]

        This is off topic, but imagine if the study I mentioned was true and then you showed people ultra violent TV shows at ultra high frame rates.
        http://www.uky.edu/~eushe2/Bandura/Bandura1963JASP.pdf [uky.edu]

        I digress.

    • it could not distinguish between what was on the screen and real life.

      That's ridiculous, as I was trying to tell Katie Couric only the other day. Wouldn't let me get a word in edgeways though.

    • by locopuyo (1433631)
      Current film and television frame rates are extremely slow compared to what humans can perceive. Just try watching the hobbit in 48 fps compared to standard 24 fps. The motion blur is reduced so much some people don't like it. They feel sick because it is so much more clear. Other people don't like it because the it makes it easier to tell all the special effects are fake. In my opinion it is awesome and I want even higher frame rates, but special effects need to catch up.
      • by koan (80826)

        They film effects sequences at 120, the study I'm talking about had rates as high as 800.

        I wouldn't be in rush to embrace anything that may brainwash you more than you already are.

  • >" If you want to see how your computer measures up to playing 4K content in 60 fps "

    Not really. My monitor is 1080P, 2D. 4K 3D is about as incompatible as playing a tuna fish sandwich!

    But thanks for the offer :)

  • by Richy_T (111409)

    That'll be perfect to be ready when it comes around again in another couple of decades.

    • by timeOday (582209)
      3D isn't translating well into the living room, but it's doing fine in theaters, isn't it? I saw Gravity in 3d just a few months ago, and the 3d was very much worthwhile.
      • by Richy_T (111409)

        I suspect there's more inertia in the production business with all the millions, if not billions of equipment that's been bought and skills and techniques and careers that have been invested.

        Though I could be wrong. Maybe it has a bright (or rather slightly dim and headache inducing) future.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I'm going to put it on my cellphone.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    'Big Buck Bunny' was NEVER made for the cinema, but rendered in the highest resolution format supported by common playback hardware available at the time.

    Today, 4K (let alone at 60 FPS) is ***MISSING*** any agreed and standard formats or hardware that might play such formats. 4K is supposed to need the new H265 CODEC, which today has no decent hardware decoders, and no decent software decoders. So, H264 (AVC) is used in the interim. The only problem is there is ZERO agreement about supporting high framerate

  • They could have spent the same amount of effort improving the Blender user interface, i.e. making it usable.

    • by Mercury2k (133466)

      They could have spent the same amount of effort improving the Blender user interface, i.e. making it usable.

      While I agree that 2.4x wasn't the best UI, I tend to think that Blender 2.5x and up is orders of magnitude better. Do you still find the newer versions of Blender to be that bad?

    • Considering most 3D modelling programs and their users have unique user interface settings, and requirments. If you cant be bothered to customise blender to your style, theres nothing the foundation can do for you.

      I hated Blenders interface and default settings, comming from using Silo, it was so backwards. Once i changed all the blender settings to match Silo, i've never looked back. Been using Blender for over 2 years.

  • Since when is 2160p 4k?
    Who decided to use the number on the left, round it up even more and hope noone with half a brain notices.
    Ah thats right, the marketing twats. Probably the same ones who throw "cloud" down everyones throat.

    Either way, i'd rather have 1080p at 60fps. Give it a year for compression/codecs and streaming services to catch up.
    Then upgrade the resolution to 2k (its not 4k).
    60fps just feels more natural. 24fps feels like slideshow. Upping the resolution of a slideshow does nothing for me.

    But

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Since when is 2160p 4k?

      Since never.

      Who decided to use the number on the left, round it up even more and hope noone with half a brain notices.

      Clueless "Journalists".

      Ah thats right, the marketing twats. Probably the same ones who throw "cloud" down everyones throat.

      Wrong. Marketing is *very* careful about calling it QuadFullHD or 3840x2160 UltraHD.

      Either way, i'd rather have 1080p at 60fps. Give it a year for compression/codecs and streaming services to catch up.

      If you think it'll only take a year for enough bandwidth to magically appear, I got a nice bridge to sell you.

      Then upgrade the resolution to 2k (its not 4k).

      Because 1k==1080. Right.

      No doubt we will have this crap rammed down our throats, and , sucked up by the masses.

      Who gives a shit about TVs? 24" 60Hz 3840x2160 displays for $1299. Finally a spiritual successor to the T220.

    • by turp182 (1020263)

      You watch very fast slideshows.

  • I downloaded a few different versions - surprisingly, the difference in size between the 30fps and the 60fps versions is very small. I'm not sure if they sandbagged the quality of the 60fps version to match file sizes, or there is just not that much bandwidth required for additional B frames. Or did something go wrong in the rendering at 60fps? Curious.

  • by short (66530)
    And where is it compressed as VP9 WebM? What do they mean with H.264?
  • They should have included a parallel stereoscopic view.

    • by nurb432 (527695)

      I tend to agree, since that is the format my 3D tablet works with.

    • I'm still miffed that they (the general "they") went with parallel instead of cross-eyed as the side-by-side standard. You can manage the latter without glasses for a quick preview at a reasonable size, but not the former.

      • Cross-eyed is the worst thing ever invented for 3D viewing. Parallel can be viewed without glasses for very long periods if you can control your focus properly.

        My comment was that they didn't even include a parallel viewing movie file. They went with a weird "one eye at the top, the other eye at the bottom" format.

        • Parallel can be viewed without glasses for very long periods if you can control your focus properly.

          But then the two images are limited in separation to roughly the distance between your eyes, because you can't move them much past parallel.

          I tried parallel-viewing Wimbledon the first year they showed it in 3D on a 32" TV, but I couldn't get anywhere near bringing the images together, even after I'd scaled the picture down to about 50%. If it had been cross-eyed, I'd have had no trouble (well, until the headaches started).

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