Posts Tagged ‘Blender’

Project Gooseberry

Saturday, March 15th, 2014

Open Movie Project

Last week the Blender Foundation has launched the fundraising campaign for Project Gooseberry, the next Open Movie Project. But unlike the previous Open Movies this will not just be a shortfilm, produced in the Blender Institute, this is going to be full feature film, with12 studios around the world working on it.

Pipeline Tools

Of course a project of this size requires tools for pipeline management and online collaboration. That’s why the Blender Foundation decided to not only improve Blender but also work on the following things:

  • Content and Asset Management
  • Project Management tools
  • Deploy Open Source Cloud technology
  • Efficient (video) communication channels
  • Sharing of internal CPU and GPU computing

For studios and freelancers around the world these would be incredible useful tools, allowing much better workflows and improving working in a team.


But also Blender will improve dramatically. Even though the feature set and quality of the software is already remarkable, there is still a lot of areas that have to be improved. Since Gooseberry will be mainly a 3D animation movie it’s time to finally tackle Blender’s dependency graph and also develop a fully multithreaded animation system.
And to render out all the cute and fluffy animals the hair simulations will be improved, as well as other simulation tools in Blender. Of course all that will have to be rendered somehow, so the Cycles render engine and the compositor will be worked on too.



We think Gooseberry is an extremely exciting project.
Especially because everything will be open and free .
That’s an important aspect in today’s industry. If you look at what Autodesk has done to Softimage, and what is happening around the globe to big VFX houses, which have to close their doors, it is important to not only have an independent 3D application that really belongs to YOU, the user, but also to establish a remote CG pipeline, so that teams and freelancers around the world can work together on bigger projects without the need to have huge facilities with hundreds of thousands of dollars for licensing costs.


Of course such a project costs some money. To be more specific, it costs about 3.5 million Euros. Doing it entirely via crowdfunding would not be feasible, so the Blender Foundation managed to get government funding sponsoring. But still, 500.000€ have to be raised by the community to make Project Gooseberry possible.
Being Blender users ourselves we really want to emphasize how important it is to make this project a success.
If you are benefitting from Blender in any way, please think about a donation.
That can be a 20€ donation, which would give you early access to the film, or 175€, for which you would have your name in the film credits, or even more. It is not exactly cheap. But think about what you might pay for commercial software… ;)

The Blender Cloud

The other way to contribute and support the film is to subscribe to the Blender Cloud. For 45€ for 3 months and then 10€ each following month you will get access to all the training material ever produced by the Blender Foundation, to all the assets of every Open Movie including the work in progress of Project Gooseberry. The content is still being uploaded, so you won’t find everything there right now, but they are working on it.


And here’s the trailer!

Please support Project Gooseberry!

GRASSI Museum für Angewandte Kunst: Gliederpuppe [Manikin]

Friday, July 26th, 2013

Here’s a 3D Character Animation of a medieval manikin, commissioned by the GRASSI Museum für Angewandte Kunst Leipzig, which is exhibiting the original figure.

The original manikin is made of wood, with strings inside to keep the limbs together. It was once possible to pose it and use as drawing and anatomy reference. The detail is astounding. Even though the whole thing is just 22,5cm large, it had actually been possible to move the toes and fingers. Now of course you better not move or deform it, otherwise it might just break, being almost half a millennium old. That’s why it is exhibited in a fixed pose in the museum.

To find out how the manikin was constructed and built inside, it has been scanned by Prof. Dr. Klaus Bente at the Leipzig University, in cooperation with Graduate Conservator Christian Jürgens at GRASSI Museum für Angewandte Kunst. The resulting 3D model made it much easier to see the inner workings of this figure.

To illustrate what poses and movements might have been possible with it, I cleaned and edited the mesh for animation in Blender. The rig has been done using Rigify, Blender’s automatic biped rigging system. Rendering was done with Blender Internal, with slight postprocessing by the built-in compositor.

If you want to find out more about it and see the original manikin, visit the GRASSI Museum für Angewandte Kunst Leipzig!

Training DVD: Rendering & Compositing

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

It’s already been a while, but still I want to announce my new German Training DVD form Galileo Press: “Das Blender Training: Rendering & Compositing”.

Blender Training DVD

You’ll learn everything about Cycles, Pathtracing, LightBounces, Node-Materials, Compositing Render-Passes, VFX, Tracking and much more.
The DVD was recorded with Blender 2.66, but it will also work for 2.67 and 2.68.
You can get it at Amazon for about 36€.

3D Printing with Blender for Angela Merkel

Sunday, March 10th, 2013

This year started off really interesting.
After lots of training projects and a new Cycles and Compositing DVD that will be out soon I started to do some modeling for 3D printing, ordered by a 3D printing company based  in Leipzig (
They get a lot of different requests and jobs, with different topics, and as a freelancer I can do some of the modeling work, while RealityService gets the printing done. Some people want to have 3d prints of certain flowers, others want some architectural visualization, and some companies want to have their game characters 3D printed, like for example Wooga.

Wooga is ‘one of the largest social game developers for web and mobile in the world’, based in Berlin. During the last months I transferred some of their 2d game characters to 3d models, using Blender’s excellent toolset of polymodelling functions as well as the powerful sculpt mode. The interactive Cycles Viewport Rendering was a great way to generate previews for the client.

I’m very much looking forward to Blender 2.67, for which Campbell Barton is developing tools specifically made for 3d Printing. That will make it possible to measure the volume of a mesh, check wall thickness, do automatic mesh cleanup and more.
During the last 2 months me and René Hänsel, a colleague of mine, modelled 3 characters, and did the cleanup and printability improvements for a 4th character that the client provided.

As a little extra these 4 characters where then put on a small platform. Last week, during Cebit, the German chancellor Angela Merkel visited Wooga in Berlin, where the 3d print of the 4 characters made by realityservice was presented to her as a gift.

Angela Merkel

Angela Merkel with 3D Modell © f.büttner/wooga

Isn’t that awesome? A Blender modelled 3d print in the hands of Angela Merkel? I don’t know, I think that’s pretty cool. :)

More images here:

Introduction : Texture-baked 3D Geo Models in Google Earth

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Texture-baked 3D Geo Models in Google Earth

This tutorial explains my workflow of how to get texture-baked 3D models into Google Earth, completely based on open source/free software. There are other ways to do that – maybe less complicated ;) – but this is the way I finally achieved my goals.
I will start with an overview about the workflow, adding more details step by step. The tutorial will grow over time and I can take possible questions into account. That would be a pleasant way for me, because I can start directly and I don´t have to prepare the whole tutorial at once…

Intro 1 : The Software
In the course of this tutorial we will use three different softwares: SketchUp, GIMP and Blender. I’m assuming that you have at least basic knowledge in each of them, because I won´t go too much into details.

SketchUp : Free 3D software provided by Google
SU is the easiest way to prepare 3D models for Google Earth, because it has a direct import/export function for GE. In addition you can upload your geo-located 3D models directly into the 3D Warehouse if you want to share your model inside the GE 3D buildings layer. You can visit the 3d model of St. Mary´s Church in Google Maps (+GE PlugIn) or in the 3DWarehouse

GIMP : Open source Image Manipulation Program
Gimp is a freely distributed program for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring – we will need it for editing our textures.

Blender : Best open source 3D Software ever :)
Blender is a free open source cross platform suite of tools for 3D creation. We will use it for the texture baking process, because this rendering function is not provided inside SketchUp.

Intro 2 : The Overall Workflow

Texture-baked 3D Geo Models in Google Earth

A short overview about the whole process:

1. Download terrain data from Google Earth into SketchUp
2. Model your 3D building with SketchUp
3. Export your 3D model to Blender
4. Unwrap UVs with Blender
5. Export UV Layout to Gimp
6. Texturing UV map with Gimp
7. Applying UV map in Blender
8. Set Lighting and Environment in Blender
9. Bake Full Render in Blender
10. Export 3D model with baked texture to SketchUp
11. Upload 3D model to Google Earth/3DWarehouse
12. …be proud that you made it through all the mess :)

To be continued…
If anybody knows how to simplify the process, please feel free to comment!

DVD: Track, Match, Blend!

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

Finally my new official Blender Foundation training DVD “Track, Match, Blend” is shipping! It took a little bit longer than expected, but here it is!

It contains around 10 hours of training for Blender’s Motiontracking module. It covers everything from simple 2D-Tracking, image stabilization and setting up a classic 4-corner-pin-shot to advanced camera- and object-tracking, including face-deformation and marker-removal. Here’s a link to the content page of the DVD:

Watch the trailer! And then buy the DVD! :)

YouTube Preview Image

Mango Open Movie pre-sale campaign

Saturday, December 24th, 2011

In 2012 the Blender Foundation will create another Open Movie, codename “Mango”. For me this is especially exciting, since I will be part of the team this time, responsible for Motion Tracking.

The focus of Project Mango will be VFX. A lot of development will be done to create a rock solid tracking system, a photorealistic production renderer, a fast and reliable compositor, keying, roto-tools and who knows what else.
It’s an ambitious target, and as always the Blender Foundation is depending on donations.
One way of getting the funds to produce that movie are traditionally the pre-sales. You can purchase the DVD now, and when the movie is ready in September you will receive the movie and all the production files in a nice box of DVDs. It’s only 34,-€, so get yourself and the CG-community a nice christmas present and pre-order the DVD! It will also give you a place in the credits in the film! Eternal glory will be yours! :)

Blender 2.61 released!

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

Even though the web is already being flooded by news about the release of Blender 2.61, I want to report about it here too.

When Blender 2.59 was the final stable version of the Blender 2.5x development, which ported everything from 2.49 to the new 2.5 codebase and mainly gave us a great new UI, a smoother workflow and some great new tools, the 2.6x development is bringing us some awesome new features.
Blender 2.60, which has been released in October, included 3d-Audio, some improvements to the animation system and UI translation and other nice fixes.
One of the greatest releases of Blender ever is this one though.
Blender 2.61 includes production ready camera-tracking, a new physical based GPU realtime render engine, Ocean Simulation and Dynamic Paint, each of them a kickass feature.

Below a few videos that describe what these features do:

Dynamic Paint basically let’s you paint with meshes or particles on other meshes. And not only does it apply color, it also includes a wave-simulation and other ways to do interesting effects.
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The Ocean-Simulator is exactly what the name says: It simulates an ocean. It is a pretty straight-forward workflow and performs really well.

Cycles is a totally amazing rendering engine that allows not only physically based Global Illumination, but also live tweaking of the render in the 3d Viewport. It’s an interactive way of setting up your render settings while rendering. Some features are still missing, but it’s a really great start.
YouTube Preview Image

For me the biggest and most important feature is the camera-tracking module. Though it is not a one-click solution like you get in Syntheyes, it allows you to get accurate and precise tracks. The fact that it is built right into the 3d-Application makes it a godsend for VFX.
There are already lots of great results on the web, so I’ll just link a short overview of the general workflow here.

Well, it is exciting!