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Blender Demo Reel Released 120

James Cho writes "The Blender demo reel has been released, showcasing some of the best artwork made with what has become the most powerful open source 3d content creation software. It will be later shown at SIGGRAPH 2004, the premier international computer graphics exhibiton and conference."
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Blender Demo Reel Released

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  • Interface (Score:3, Informative)

    by Television Set ( 801157 ) on Saturday July 31, 2004 @10:06AM (#9852096) Homepage Journal
    Blender is one tough program to master. I've meddled with it a bit, but I found the interface cumbersome.
    • Re:Interface (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      It's kinda like GIMP/Cinepaint that way. Personally, I think blender's interface sucks for different reasons to most people - I grew up with Imagine and other Amiga raytracers, and blender's interface feels like a bad imitation of them. It's like they got the Amiga spirit of full-screen apps that "fit the UI to the task, not the task to the UI" but they failed to actually finish the UI, stopping once they'd got every function accessible via some button, somewhere, or maybe instead of thinking about where
      • I agree. Although I have very little experience with 3d editing programs, I've used lightwave exclusively before grabbing blender. I was unable to do anything without rolling my eyes, to be honest. Naturally thats biased, as I didn't take the time to rtfm or even a tutorial, but still Open Source isn't always better. I'm interested in what serious 3d editors and designers and animators have to say about blender though. Oh, and why was grandparent modded down? heaven forbid we make light conversation about
    • Re:Interface (Score:5, Informative)

      by Deusy ( 455433 ) <> on Saturday July 31, 2004 @10:32AM (#9852212) Homepage
      Blender is one tough program to master. I've meddled with it a bit, but I found the interface cumbersome.

      Ergo, a large focus of the development since becoming open source has been to make the UI more intuitive and consistent.

      The Blender UI is no longer that difficult, just different to 3DS or your other favourite 3D editor. I'd be surprised if your comment applies to the most recent version unless by "a bit" you mean 5 minutes.

      If you go through the the tutorials [] then get back on the "cumbersome" UI.
      • Re:Interface (Score:3, Interesting)

        by baxissimo ( 135512 )
        I don't think the interface is that bad, and they are working on making it better. And also documenting it better -- the new blender guide is a great thing. Besides, aren't you willing to put up with a little quirkiness for a free 3D modleing and animation program? Any 3D program is going to take some serious time to learn well, and the core modeling operations in Blender really are pretty efficent once you get used to them.

        But the number one thing that annoys me with the blender UI, which will probably
        • Blockquoth the poster:

          But I think the main Blender developers are too attached to the whole RMB for cursor positioning/LMB for selection thing to ever change that.

          That sounds like an easy thing to be user-configurable. Maybe it's not too late... :)
        • Re:Interface (Score:5, Informative)

          by FunkyChild ( 99051 ) <slashdot&mke3,net> on Saturday July 31, 2004 @11:54AM (#9852592) Homepage
          But I think the main Blender developers are too attached to the whole RMB for cursor positioning/LMB for selection thing to ever change that.

          Blender 2.34, due to be released in the next week or so, contains a user preference to choose between LMB or RMB for selection.

          --> esel_pref.png []
          • Sweet! I keep an eye on the blender dev mailing list but somehow I missed that one.
          • by Anonymous Coward
            Wow, that's intuitive. Right on the left and left on the right.

            I've never actually seen blender (I just use Maya and Max) but that screenshot just looks more f'ed up then anything in Max or Maya.

        • If you're using windows, you can switch your mouse to a left-handed mouse, and get the functionality you want.
        • You've got your left and right buttons mixed up. It's left for moving the cursor and right for selecting objects (object mode) and vertexes (vertex mode).
          • Yikes! Wow I can't believe it took two and a half hours for someone to point out my stupidity.

            Yes you're right: I meant that Blender uses RIGHT mouse button for selection, LEFT mouse button for placing the cursor. Sheesh. Amazing I got modded up to 3:Interesting with me effectively blabbering on and on about how annoying it was that Blender works exactly like every other Windows program.

            Note to self: thumb and forefinger of Left hand make an L shape.
            Ok, now back to work on my autonomous robot naviga
      • Re:Interface (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Shinobi ( 19308 )
        I've been using Blender to and from since 1996, when it was only available for Irix. Even looking at this latest release, it's not that much that has changed UI wise, it's still an enormous kludge. It always ends up with me giving up and going back to Maya so I can get things done, with a proper 1 hand on mouse, 1 hand on keyboard UI that works superb.
      • The Blender UI is no longer that difficult, just different to 3DS or your other favourite 3D editor. I'd be surprised if your comment applies to the most recent version unless by "a bit" you mean 5 minutes.

        If you go through the tutorials [] then get back on the "cumbersome" UI.

        Agreed. Admittedly, my first two experiences with Blender lead to me throwing in the towel. However, I once read an encouraging post on a message board somewhere (hey, I think it was /.) that basically said "if yo
    • Re:Interface (Score:3, Informative)

      by Mr.Zong ( 704396 )
      For 3d modeling (not animating mind you), might i recommend []. Wings 3d has pretty much the best GUI i've ever had the pleasure of using. It's learning curve is really only about a half hour, and you can do some amazing modeling with it. Also open source.
    • where whould you placed the interface compared to Maya? Personally I don't think Blendsr's interface is that bad.
  • boom (Score:4, Funny)

    by Wuffle ( 651894 ) on Saturday July 31, 2004 @10:11AM (#9852121) Homepage
    Not even 10 comments and the link already seems dead.

    Impressive to say the least...
    • From the website:
      Oh, how nice it would be to get an advance warning every time we're about to appear on Slashdot ;-)
      They've got a torrent going now, and the link is alive again.
    • Oh, how nice it would be to get an advance warning every time we're about to appear on Slashdot ;-)

      Since the mirror/bit-torrant system is user-managed, why shouldn't the warning system also be user-managed? If you post a story on slashdot, e-mail the webmasters of sites with large files so they can set up coping mechanisms.
  • Because if you do, you might survive a slashdotting, cut down on bandwidth costs and, finally, actually reach your intended audience.

    We wouldn't want that, now would we?

  • bittorrent mirror.. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Harald Paulsen ( 621759 ) on Saturday July 31, 2004 @10:18AM (#9852150) Homepage
    .. here []

    Karma-whoring since 1976
  • by yruf ( 463879 ) on Saturday July 31, 2004 @10:24AM (#9852176)
    use the direct link [] which is mentioned on the page.

    if this doesn't work, try my very own mirror [] (which hopefully doesn't die within the next seconds...)

    schoene Klamotten [] fuer Ilmenauer und andere nette Leute
  • by njcoder ( 657816 ) on Saturday July 31, 2004 @10:25AM (#9852179)
    Damn I misread it. I got my hopes up thinking there was a futurama movie coming out
  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Saturday July 31, 2004 @10:32AM (#9852211) Homepage
    I was an avid lightwave 3d user. I have a copy sitting right here in front of me. The dongle and disks have not left their box for almost a year now cince I doscovered blender.

    It's faster, easier to use (yes, after the initial learning curve that is there with every single piece of software ever made.) and produces massively better output when coupled with yafray.. Hell I am able to render on a renderfarm of older computers for only the price of hardware!

    Blender is going to steal the show. It certianly outshines lightwave already.
    • That is pretty impressive. I've never used LW, so tell me: have you found any areas lacking (obviously not enough to go back, but still), and/or any specific functions where Blender falls short compared to LW?
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Its much easier to create and tweak good looking shaders in almost any commercial 3d app than in blender (for now).

        If blender gets this right, and some more modelling tools, it can seriously compete with some $1000+ offerings!
      • there are a couple of quirks. If you to a lathe object the "wrong" direction then all your lighting is inverse of what it should be... I.E. it makes the inside surface the outside and the outside surface the inside with no easy way to reverse it other than saying dammit and starting over.

        but I have ran into the same kinds of problems with lightwave. Objects and nodes that will not attach to the surface like they are supposed to. They might have fixed that little annoyance in the last 2 versions but I don
  • ed2k link (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    help distribute the load
    remove spaces from filename (slashdot adds them)

    ed2k://|file|Blender.Siggraph.reel.(2004) .DivX4.avi|41623564|95E0365F40991923D741201B17031 2 33|/

    AVI File Information:

    File and Container Information:
    File Name : Blender.Siggraph.reel.(2004).DivX4.avi
    File Size (in bytes) : 41,623,564
    Base Type (e.g "AVI") : AVI(.AVI)
    Subtype (e.g "OpenDML") : AVI v1.0,
    Interleave (in ms) : 40
    Preload (in ms) :
    Audio alignment : Aligned
    • ed2k and Slashdot (Score:5, Insightful)

      by 0x0d0a ( 568518 ) on Saturday July 31, 2004 @01:41PM (#9853164) Journal
      Incidently, FWIW, the Slashdot editors have chosen to disallow ed2k links. I've posted about it before on Slashdot, and there have even been filed bugs [] on it.

      Jamie has a point -- that ed2k URLs launch external programs, and that he doesn't want to help trolls -- but man, I wish that we were able to use them, even if we lost the ability to use gopher, mailto, etc. Every time Slashdot links to a large file, we end up with some random reader having to set up a bittorrent entry (which is great for the immediate link, and keeps the server from being killed). However, inevitably that user kills the link after a couple of days, and then all the links to large files in old stories are dead. If we could just embed ed2k links, we could maintain links that would be useful months later. Adding ed2k wouldn't mean having to add any other protocols -- Gnutella and most P2P networks lack an URL format, and the only competitor, Kazaa, has a broken non-unique URL format that shouldn't be included.

      It'd be especially nice if users that wanted to allow ed2k links could enable them in their preferences, and then see them (though I guess that wouldn't work well with the pre-generation approach of Slashcode -- sigh).
      • Gnutella and most P2P networks lack an URL format

        Not true. Gnutella has had a URL format for a good long time now.

        It's really just "urn:sha1:" followed by a base64-encoded SHA1 hash of a file. Very, very nice, it's just a shame so few people use it. It's not the same Gnutella it used to be.
  • by ThisIsFred ( 705426 ) on Saturday July 31, 2004 @10:58AM (#9852330) Journal
    So this is slightly off the topic (but I've seen a lot of blender demo work as rendered scenes already - nice stuff). Anyway, has anyone else used some of these OSS modelling tools for game modding? The biggest problem seems to be the lack of converters to the industry defacto standard of 3DS Max binary format.
  • by FyRE666 ( 263011 ) * on Saturday July 31, 2004 @10:58AM (#9852331) Homepage
    ...for me was not so much the graphics as the soundtrack. I followed the link to Magnatune [] to see what else the artist has produced and I was surprised by how good the other artists were on there too! You can play/download almost all the tracks by the artists (that I've tried) for free, although they also sell the music. I took a loot at the info page, and there's an interesting piece [] by the site's owner about why he started the site (after his wife went throught the grinder of the music industry).

    Overall, I'm impressed, and if anyone else is on the lookout for something new, it could be worth a look (no I don't work for them, or have anything to do with the site!)
    • ...for me was not so much the graphics as the soundtrack.

      Agreed, and I'm glad they listed the group(or individual), Cargo Cult- but it would have been nice to know what specific (two?) song(s) were used. Invariably I find that I love whatever they used for piece X, but when I listen to the whole album, the rest is not even remotely my taste. Ironically, the stuff used for soundtracks and such is usually when the artist does something "different".

      Currently downloading song 2 of about 20...

      • ...and they are Entry and (when the insane sports announcer comes on) Dilemma.

        Both are off Alchemy [].

        I only wish the guy got his levels right, there is quite a bit of clipping...or the encode wasn't done very well.

  • When I first heard about the rally to gather the money to free the Blender source I was a bit skeptical that it would work but then I was amazed to see how quickly people answered the call.
    It seems that all this great stuff we can see in the reel was in part possible thanks to that.
  • I can start off with The Gate [] by Endre Barath [Endi]

    Walkthrough [].

  • The video resolution is crap, but on the other hand it's quite long. Overall the quality of the works seems quite high. There's a couple pieces I'd have left out that are a bit mediocree, but there's also some really impressive and funny ones (love the Three Kings parody with the camel in the desert ;)

    It certainly got me interested in Blender again, once the website isn't Slashdotted I'm giving the program a second look. At least this reel proves that you can create professional quality works with Blender.
    • Re:Nice (Score:1, Informative)

      by Duositex ( 620105 )
      The official SIGGRAPH file is over 400MB. This is compressed. For those of you looking for Blender demo material, the Blender 2.3 guide comes with a CD-ROM that has several demo movies and images on it. All are great to look at. In addition it comes with the sources for the manual. The manual itself is fantastic and I highly recommend it to anyone looking to start learning or for experienced folks who want a reference. Covers technique and technical which is good.
    • You can also get the Demo Reel in DVD quality through bittorrent. The link to the torrent is: t giving you 400+MB in download. And if you wait a few more days, you'll probably be able to get your hands on the newest and hottest release (due this week).
  • The scenes are pretty impressive, although many of the stills don't exactly look like you need Blender or any 3D app to make them. The GIMP would suffice. Like 'Lily' and 'Old Man Willow'? I mean, isn't it masochistic to do something like this in a 3D rendering program? Seems like the wrong tool for the job.

    The animations were really nice and impressive... I especially liked the one-eyed guy from Monsters, Inc with the Monty Python voice over. Very funny.

    • I mean, isn't it masochistic to do something like this in a 3D rendering program? Seems like the wrong tool for the job.

      Well, try animating them in a 2D program like GIMP ;)
    • Well in theory, GIMP is enough to create any picture, no? It's a question of the skills of the artists and what they want to achieve.

      If I need a photorealistic picture of a flower for some commercial purpose, I'll buy one from a photograph. But if I'm a 3d artist doing 3d for fun, I'll make the picture myself and improve my skills in the process.

      I don't think there is anything masochistic in using the tools you like.
  • I tried Blender bout a year ago. I found it very unintuitive, and I've used most of the 3d apps out there. I eventualy settled on Lightwave, being it one of the industry standards. 3DS Max, for all it's populariy is pretty poor in comparison, being mostly used fo games where low poly count is more important than realism. It seems most of the big films requiring cgi are either done on in-house stuff, or Maya or Lightwave. I tried Maya but my hardware doesn't like it. When I upgrade to an e-mac (hopeful
  • by carlmenezes ( 204187 ) on Saturday July 31, 2004 @11:55AM (#9852598) Homepage
    Among all you people out there who have worked on a wide variety of 3D graphics packages out there including 3DSMax, Maya, LightWave, Blender, etc...can you guys shed some light on how well Blender stacks up against the competition? Any links to some great tutorials would be really appreciated too, because, since it's free, I'm thinking of setting it up for a poor orphanage here in India that just had some pretty decent computers donated so the kids can start messing around on them.
    So, let's say I just install it there on the school computers and kids from 3rd to the 10th grade mess with blender. What chance do you think they have of developing some decent 3D graphics skills that they could use in the real world? Let's take willingness to learn as a given - in fact, it's so much, it's WAY past enthusiasm. The barrier is literacy - therefore, the tutorials will just be there, but the fact that they will be used cannot be taken as a given.
    In short, what do you think the chances are that a kid, with very little knowledge of a computer can start using blender and learn it in a few years to the point where the 3D skills developed give him/her a pretty decent chance of an entry level job in the graphics industry? The reason I ask is because I have seen some of the kids there and they are true artists. You should see what they can do with MS Paint.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      blender is a extremely powerful and capable tool. i haven't used it too much and am still learning the ropes. but you will not make a mistake in choosing it and letting children fool around with it. i've fooled around with many 3d packages before. mostly 3ds, maya, rhino 3d etc (mostly trials or the learning editions). from my experience blender is just as capable as any of the packages mentioned above. just give teaser tutorials on capablities of the package and basic usage of the UI.. and let the kids do
      • by Anonymous Coward
        i agree that you won't be making a mistake with giving them this. when i was a wee one around 5th and 6th grade, there was a copy of InfiniD on the computer lab computers at my school. Messing around with it I made some cool stuff; it was fun. in particial, i can thank that computer lab and that program for the confidence and 'mess-around-until-you-get-it' additude (atitude, attidude...not spelling, thats for sure) that i have now with computers.
      • That's some really good feedabck, thanks. Yeah, I was thinking about The Gimp too - it's really excellent and since PhotoShop is too expensive, I think The Gimp will more than make up for it. Inkscape might round off a very interesting range of graphics capaibilties - Gimp for raster, Blender for 3D and inkscape for SVG. Plus they're all installable on Windows. I have just given a lot of Knoppix CDs to the principal. Hopefully, by the time these kids are looking for jobs, Linux will be a lot more widespread
    • I just started dabbling(sp?) with Blender, and the tutorials are a great help to get you up to speed real quick.
      If they have basic understandig about how to work with a computer (saving files, using the mouse etc.) I think, if you can get them over the initial learning curve, it might be very rewarding.
      Download the blender tutorials, they're esp. made to use in a classroom enviro (but you can do it on your own, of course) they cover the very basics, and get more complex during following 'sittings' you advan
    • Well, I;ve used Maya, Mirai, Houdini and Lightwave. The truth is that all Real World(tm) 3D apps are very hard to master. Master=feel totally comfortable with so that it feels like writing with a pen or pencil. This fluency is essential to any artist. Casual 3D dabblers really haven;t got a clue about the level of 'mastery' proper artists have in their favourite 3D tools.

      In my experience Blender simply 'makes sense': use the mouse to select objects and vertices, use a hand on the keyboard to select a featu
  • They switched the page to quicktext and posted mirrors, including one for bittorrent.
    Even with all of the mirrors, i'm betting that their webserver is waving a little white flag, screaming "I GIVE UP!" ^,^
  • If you're one of those people who don't like reading through docs online, the "Official" Blender 2.3 Guide was just released from No Starch Press. They had problems shipping the first batch, but they are definitely here, as evidenced by the one just in reach of my grubby hands.

    I know you think that the interface is cumbersome, and if you've checked my slashdot comments, you'll see that I've said the same on a number of occasions... but my lab partners, who swear by it, have convinced me to stick it out a
  • The link now shows a nice message directed to us:
    Hello, Slashdot! Oh, how nice it would be to get an advance warning every time we're about to appear on Slashdot ;-)
  • I'd like to know what formats can Blender export its files? I mean especially the 3D models. Is dxf/dwg on the list? What other 3D data file formats are supported?
  • here [] is a working torrent link
  • OT: P2P Mirrors (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nurb432 ( 527695 ) on Saturday July 31, 2004 @07:05PM (#9854890) Homepage Journal
    This would be a good example to send to your state and federal representitives, showing one of the many LEGAL uses of P2P networks..

  • Just from a brief peek there has been tremendous advances since the last time I looked at this app! Seems vastly more stable, the menus are clearer and the UI very responsive.

    3D modeling preferences will continue to be subjective for a long time due to the large learning curve for any of the packages. Blender should allow kids the determined to do amazing work. I bet folks have built portfolios that got them jobs with Blender.

  • Watching the reel reminded me a lot of some of the demos that were coming out of Europe back in the early 90's. Seeing demos like Future Crew's Second Reality got me very interested in "coding" back then.

Lend money to a bad debtor and he will hate you.