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    Directorial Address 02

    on December 18th, 2009, by Colin Levy

    Good afternoon, blog! How’s it going?

    Thanks everyone for your comments and for keeping tabs on us. We even appreciate unreasonable criticism! Here’s a little update from the studio:

    Didn’t get a chance to interview Nathan, Soenke or Brecht, but next time around I’ll be in their faces!


    69 Responses to “Directorial Address 02”

    1. Another fellow Says:

      Fist… XD

      Needs more epic (ROFL!)

      Nice, blu-ray!

    2. MD Says:

      Thank you for the update!
      It was pretty fun to watch. Getting more and more excited about this whole project.

      Good luck to the entire team!

    3. D Says:

      Aww, I think I could see the indignation in Ben’s face. πŸ˜›
      Thank you very much for number 2, Colin! Awesome setup with the TV, too.

      And having just watched Avatar a little under three hours ago, I have to say, it was as awesome as I expected it to be. The 3D may be a little distracting to some, but I think it’s an adjustment that cinema-goers will all eventually embrace as technology gets better, cinematography evolves and the public rewire their brains for it, just as cinema has done all its history. πŸ™‚
      To be honest, what I really hope is that the movie-makers higher up will find that Jim’s onto something, and let him remake Battle Angel soon in 3D. πŸ˜€

      Anyway, I wish you guys all the luck for successfully completing this movie; it sure is a daunting little monster. πŸ˜‰

    4. Thomas Says:

      I live in Holland to, and I had snow too!
      Thanks for the Update!

    5. radek Says:

      How about a small webcam somewhere near the ceiling to make a live broadcast from the studio? πŸ™‚

    6. Colin Levy Says:

      Yeah, actually– despite the fact that I thought the 3D was a bit distracting, I absolutely LOVED Avatar. It was awe-inspiring– probably the most amazing filmgoing experiences I’ve had.

      Just wished I could have gotten a bit more involved emotionally– I think because I’m not used to 3D yet it was like a reminder I’m watching a movie.

      @radek – A couple weeks ago we actually did just that! Maybe we’ll try it again sometime. πŸ˜€

    7. Josh Says:

      “mmm, needs more epic” – Lee on Colin.
      Now that is a quote for the ages.

      also, hooray for Australians!

    8. Loh Says:

      Always nice to the general progress.

      I also love that ability of modern console systems (I use an Xbox for exactly the same thing). It is nice to have a smooth pipeline to see your work on a larger screen.

    9. Jayden Says:

      Hey. I live in Austrlia and is missing the snow from when we went to Canada and places for holidays. Plus I think you should intergrate a 3d camera into blender 2.5 where the further away a bone is or something the further apart the 3 cameras are away from each other. And, I would love to see Sintel in 3d! Could you do a quick render of the model in 3d to see how she looks? SO yeah. 3d camera and Sintel in 3d.

    10. Felix Says:

      @Colin: you could maybe broadcast the web/spy-cam-feed trough U-Stream: πŸ™‚

    11. Martin Says:

      Wow, that solidify tool looks absolutely awesome! I can’t count how many times that would have come in handy.

    12. Samuel Says:

      thanks for updating guys,…

      im just watched a rigging tutorial done by Cessen from the BBB
      project (iΒ΄m trying to learn something…) and iΒ΄d like to thank you all for sharing all the stuff and knowledge.

      also iΒ΄d like to say that Angela is very cute, ^^

      just keep doing the great job ….

      Greetings from Brasil

    13. sebastian_k Says:

      OMG Campbell!
      Watch out! These pull-up-bars can ruin your life! Please make sure it is really really rock-solid! Else:
      Then again, it’s just me overreacting everytime I see one of these things πŸ˜‰

      And now to something completely different:
      OMG Campbell!
      Dynamic solidify! That is awesome! Great work, I have been waiting for this quite some time now.

      Great work everybody and have a merry christmas!

    14. blenderman345 Says:

      “Hmm, Needs More Epic…”

      Thanks guys!
      Oh yeah, wasn’t there a little studio webcam during the Peach Project, Colin? Can’t you use that?

      Couldn’t you guys leave that webcam you used for the tinyChat thing on 24/7?

    15. Dusty Says:

      NICE!!!! That dynamic solidify is going to make 3D printing so much cheaper and neater!!

      As for everything else, awesome progress guys!!!!

    16. Davis Says:

      Oh my goodness you have a WALL-E poster on the wall behind the TV! Pixar’s best movie, am I right or am I right?

      Hmm, I freaked out a bit there, it’s great to have Sintel’s creators influenced by my favorite movie ever though.

    17. kram1032 Says:

      such a whole lot of amazing news πŸ˜€
      @Davis: To me, WALL-E only was the second best πŸ™‚ Best was UP πŸ™‚

      I’m so overwhelmed now that I can’t think of anything better than: “Nice TV!”

      Lol. Too much good news in one video πŸ™‚

    18. spacetug Says:

      wall-e had the best environments i’ve ever seen πŸ˜€
      i hope the durian city will be just as detailed.

    19. Syziph Says:

      Concentrating on the beginning of the video.
      I didn’t understand it was a joke or true, but…
      How Blender Community could help with the modeling tasks or anything else that appear to slow down the production process?

    20. rogper Says:

      It’s said that in the beginnings of cinema times it was necessary a person explaining what was happening in the screen because people got confused with the, at time, brand new break trough in cinema: cuts πŸ˜€

    21. AR Says:

      Are you all in studio using Ubuntu? (I saw only one evidence, check 5:48 top-left corner.)

    22. blendroid Says:

      Ben Dansie was wearing a Samurai Champloo shirt!!! Hi from a fellow Watanabe fan, Ben. πŸ˜€

    23. Nichod Says:

      Solidify looks great. Just tried it in the latest build. I was hoping it would end up as a modifier though. It could solve the long standing problem of nonexistent thickness with exploded meshes.

    24. Anonymous Says:

      Why WALLβ€’E’s poster was turned over? πŸ™‚

    25. Cory Says:

      Awkward silence after ” I didn’t keep my word”. πŸ˜€ The webcam idea is great!

    26. Ovidiu Says:

      There wasn’t much of criticism to Ben’s work. It was only one opinionated comment. Durian artists are being over-sensitive.

    27. Zazizizou Says:

      Play Station 3 for professional use ? Haha… Thanks for the update ! and the webcam idea is great ! πŸ˜€

    28. Nixon Says:

      heya everyone,

      I can’t believe the ‘advanced blender institute technology’ got replaced by a ps3 and a tv set:D..
      great video, tho we can tell now that you are in a hurry for getting all the epicness done in time so theres still time for rendering left…
      great thing with the snow, happens to be the same day we got snow and -10 degree celsius too….
      cool updates and comments from the team, was fun to see whats going on during the xmas season.
      Hope your having a great time and enjoy the holiday!
      Thanks for keeping us update and take care everyone!

    29. Consideringthepickle Says:

      I can’t wait to see the 2 stalactite cave!
      What you really need are blender artists who can absorb a mass great enough that they actually bend the space-time around them to create a time dilation field around the studio.

      I’m going to see Avatar next week. I agree that 3d movies I’ve seen in the past have seemed kind of cheesy and distracting, but I’m going to give it the benefit of the doubt and go see it in 3d as it was intended. I expect it’ll be awesome either way.

      Anyways, the work you guys are doing looks really impressive. I can’t wait to see this thing when its finished. Good luck defying the space-time continuum to get it done on time!

    30. Wray Bowling Says:

      1. cast that dog as the baby dragon voice actor.
      2. i miss my ps3…
      3. good luck finishing the city! Ahhh.. Crazy

    31. young_voter Says:

      You asked me how good I am? Let’s just say that when I fight, I have no fear of death.

      – Bruce Lee, 1972

    32. ideasman42 Says:

      @AR, we all use ubuntu except for Ton who likes to keep his PowerPC mac for some reason.
      Some of us have laptops we use in the studio a little too… from memory 3x run ubuntu, 2x mac.

    33. rogper Says:

      “If I tell you that I’m good you’ll find me cocky, but if I tell you that I’m not good… you know I’m lying”
      -Bruce Lee-

      This Bruce lee quoting thing seams to be contagious πŸ˜›

      Do we have a confirmation on Samurai Champloo image… I didn’t associate πŸ™ I suck as a Fan πŸ˜€

    34. ITrAB Says:

      I really enjoy this movies πŸ˜€
      Keep up good job πŸ˜‰

    35. JoOngle Says:

      Short summary of the 11 minute video:

      “Um, Aah..”
      “Snow, aah – God! yeah…Aah!”
      “You did what?”


      No, just kidding πŸ˜‰ excellent progress guys, thanks for your awesome work, keep it up! πŸ™‚

    36. V1ntage Says:

      So, could the Durian team use some help on the modeling side? Or was it just a joke? πŸ™‚

    37. marwin Says:

      wow o.0 wish we also have snow here T.T congratulations yey \m/ ^^

    38. marwin Says:

      so how do we help???? o.0

    39. Sjoerd van Kampen Says:

      Hey Lee, I want look at your website. But the when I found it on google and pressed the link it says not found. I think your website is broken.

    40. wo262 Says:

      yeah, the naavi language

    41. anton Says:

      Looks like Ton is using an openoffice project planner.
      Did you make that yourself or can I download the template somewhere?

      Very nice making off movie.


    42. be200fx Says:


      Whatever happened to the detail department? People want to help, but they need some lead time, too. Your city could probably benefit from:
      guild flags, food displays, paving and roof tiles, jewelry, smithies, boots, doors, carts, wagons, pallequins, chairs, stools, rugs, blankets, flowers, leather goods, bills and coins, abacus, talley sticks, board games, coffins, lamps and lanterns, baskets and cages, birds, bears, dogs, cats, trees, canopies, bushes, wreaths, grates, pipes and drains, shovels, rakes, barber poles, wells and fountains.

      You need to get a release form out, and spend some time accepting, rejecting, and requesting revisions of submissions. Or deputize someone to do it for you.

      Also, textures. Do you need rocks? Rust? Leaves? Water, ice , trees or clouds?
      I’ve got a couple of gigs of digital photos. I’m happy to share.

    43. Brad Cathey Says:


      I totally agree with be200fx and others. Many of us are excited to help develop props. Yes, some entries will be crap. But, some will be above expectations. Use them or don’t, but I’m afraid the budget will not permit generating the universe of needed elements in house.
      The thing that makes the Blender community most special is the willingness to share (software, money, labor) for the betterment of us all. Let us help you!

    44. Pascal P. Says:

      This is my first post here, whereas I’ve been following the project for a while. Just wanted to say that you guys rock!!! Thank you for sharing your project and giving tips. Keep up the good job! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    45. Lopsy Says:

      I hope I’m not being disrespectful here but.. what’s wrong with Roosendaal’s voice? It sounds like he’s blowing air all the time.

    46. blendroid Says:

      @Rogper: Yep, that’s definitely a Champloo shirt. I’ve actually only seen the opening of SC before (I’m a Cowboy Bebop fan myself), but I’d recognize that image anywhere!

      To avoid being completely off-topic: I think they were mostly joking about their hopeless situation, guys. I just got the impression that they’re a bit behind schedule. However, if that’s not the case, I also think it’d be better for them to outsource to known, highly skilled and reputable blenderheads, like they did with BBB, rather than create an open submission system. Think about it: they probably already have all the work submissions they could possibly need, from before the team was selected. πŸ˜‰

    47. MrMowgli Says:

      Durian could have a Stalactite modelling contest!!! Then maybe the cave could have three stalactites. Alternately Brecht could make a stalactite building tool πŸ˜‰

      Or just a super dope cave making contest. Put up the previs artwork, target # of polygons and relative scale and let the community go at it. Allow team efforts.

      Thanks for the update! Super awesome.
      Mr Mowgli

    48. cardcarryingahole Says:

      I’m sure he does it just to piss you off.

      (No disrespect)

    49. marwin Says:

      i think a modeling contest would be a great idea, it could put up a number of people whose skills are rightful for the project ^^….. im sure a lot of people wants to help and participate in this project but are not sure if their skills are enough…. i am sensing that durian is going to pick up another blender artist soon….hope one of us might get picked o.0

      happy holidays to everyone here =p
      specially to the durian team ^^

    50. Rudiger Says:

      Very insightful video, Colin. Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to put it together.

      I hope the plan of using the wider Blender community as the detail department is still on, as it would certainly lighten the load on the core team, and give a chance for the people you have inspired to contribute to this awesome project!

    51. rogper Says:

      Yesterday I saw Avatar.
      If you find 3D distracting… you should see 3D with subtitles πŸ˜€

      Here in Portugal all movies pass in original language and are subtitled in Portuguese, that’s not a problem at all in 2D movies (we grow seeing movies this way)… but when we had one more dimension, then we are in trouble.

      They had the subtitles in 3D also and tried to place them in the empty spaces, meaning they were always in different places in the screen, which make us focus entirely in finding them πŸ™

      I usually just ignore subtitles, but this time they were all over the place, so at a given time we have a awesome holographic screens and a subtitle right on top of it :s
      …it took me 2 hours to grasp all the subtitle action :/

    52. Bao2 Says:

      What about posting some drawing of objects to model and people can do and submit you and then you choose which one (if any) is worth for use. That way all the detail objects you want can be done for us. Give us some job to do instead only reading your posts here man!

      As a “pay” for the objects I would see in the credits something like “HELP MODELING FROM THE DURIAN BLOG” and then the name of the creator of these leaves, or that rocks, or that broken chair, or that cloth, etc. So when old we can say our sons: can you see that rock in the ground? I modeled that my son!

    53. Ton Says:

      Hi all,

      Thanks for all the positive feedback on helping us with the modeling! Believe me, when it’s time for that you’ll hear that immediate. We have to get our own momentum first though… the artists have to grasp all aspects of the design, and finish a couple of shots that will give everyone reference where we want to go to.


    54. Buck Says:

      Great to see you guys making progress.

      Have you thought of doing timelapses of you guys working or screencaptures of the modeling process?

    55. MeshWeaver Says:

      awesome πŸ˜€ i love watching these videos πŸ˜€

      lol, Lee: “needs more epic” πŸ˜€ yeah, that’s Peter Jackson-ish πŸ˜€


    56. Unai Says:

      Why is the WallΒ·E poster horizontally mirrored actually?

      Seriously, I really admire all the work you’re doing. Keep on going, and merry christmas to everyone there!

    57. marwin Says:

      yeah what bao2 said ^^ itll be nice to see our name in the credits o.0……… go Durian we’ll back you up….=D

    58. Logidude Says:

      Yeah. I already started modelling the blades on the end of the 4 bad guys for the 1st minute before I read this post’s comments. But then I saw these comments.

    59. Ovidiu Says:

      Perhaps the next open movie should plan on community participation really seriously.

    60. GirlBrush Says:

      Colin: how did you appreciate a movie with no storyline? You! :p

      As incredible the CGI in Avatar were, the movie annoyed me so much!

      And the soundtrack was awful! A shame for the compositor of Troy!

    61. BlendNmix Says:

      How the hell you are treating the coders =p
      They are enclosed in a little room without windows.

      quite funny!

      ps: Avatar has no storyline AT ALL, how did you appreciate it, Colin? :p
      As outstanding the CGIs were, it didn’t help the movie!
      The soundtrack was also so awful! I’m upset… really!

    62. Consideringthepickle Says:

      Just saw Avatar so I thought I’d follow up on my last post -I didn’t find the 3d as obnoxious as I thought -in the action scenes it got kind of annoying because of just cutting really quickly and confusingly, there were 3d objects moving around everywhere which was frustrating… I also felt somewhat nauseous whenever the camera went out of focus (especially those Avatar transition clips) but on the up side I thought in the case of the characters it really helped give them more life -it really helped emphasize their body language which in a non-3d film you sort of have to look for, but in 3d you see their whole body as a 3d living person so it makes their performance much more noticeable without having to keep scanning around the area of the frame they’re in to see what they’re doing.

      Story-wise, (SEMI-SPOILER ALERT:) I thought it was kind of predictable… I tend to like movies with lots of twists, but it was a relatively believable plot so my only complaint is really that the trailer pretty much summarizes everything you need to know about the movie’s story -there were a few nice little surprises but nothing that really changed the ultimate course you knew the plot would take. I thought the writing of the characters was really well done, James Cameron never disappoints in creating and maintaining believable characters -at least for the human ones (The natives seemed somewhat one dimensional in most of their protrayals)

      It was neat and awesome and rocked though -Visually it was incredible from start to finish (Minus the 6-legged Banshees… I’m pretty sure 4 legs would be a more successful design in natural selection lol -that’s the only thing that truly bugged me) so despite any setbacks I thought it was a great movie and hopefully you got a lot of inspiration out of it. It had incredibly good camera work and cinematography so I’ll be looking for those Avatar-inspired shots when Sintel is completed ;)!

    63. Max Says:

      I also watched Avatar. The Animation/CG was beautiful, the story was rather boring and predictable. For the first half of the movie the plot was okay, then it became “Indians vs. white settlers”…
      The 3D effects were nice. E.g. the three backlines of any gathering were 3d and then some other stuff like leafs in the jungle and those flying jellyfish thingies.
      At time the whole picture was kind of blurry though. Could be because I didn’t bring my classes but I never had any problems in Cinema before although I’m short-sighted. I still see well enough to see everything on that huge screen sharp, usually at least…
      Other times it was just as it should have been.

      The facial expression of the avatars were really nice. I especially liked the doctors avatar.
      Oh, yeah, and then all those morons in the cinema who kept talking. The first one who spoke got a “Shut the fuck up.” the two ladies next to me got a nicer challenge and the Russian guy who came with his mother also got a nicer challenge than the lady behind me…
      It was just so annoying. They were explaining plot details to each other an so on.
      I guess the nicest stuff were the daylight jungle scenes with all the leafs and so on and then ones at night with the fluorescent plants.
      It was what i expected, although i had hoped to see more of the whole landing/colonization part. Like when they arrive there and start building all their structures and the first contact and so on.

    64. J. Says:

      As a Dutchman, I can tell you that reading Dutch subtitles is a lot easier than trying to follow the Na’vi language. πŸ˜‰
      Hence you should ask Ton to give you all some Dutch language lessons, or maybe can you follow a ”inburgeringscursus” πŸ˜€

    65. Inlite Says:

      I want that solidify script! how do i get it?

    66. Brandon Says:

      What kind of software development tools are Brecht and Campbell using on Ubuntu?

      BTW, these updates are excellent. Keep up the good work guys!

    67. ideasman42 Says:

      @Brandon, Brecht uses VIM, I use eclipse for C/C++ development and SciTE for python.
      Valgrind is also really useful for detecting memory & threading errors.

      Other tools… meld for diffing, sysprof for profiling, cmake build system and I keep some python scripts handy for refactoring codebase and doing tedious tasks.

    68. Delfeld Says:

      It’s good to see the progress coming about. Glad to see the funding come through.

      Ton, you seem a bit tense . . . “and 3 weeks for everything else”.

      I am working on a project right now that I would like to use the “solidify” script. Seems like a popular sentiment in the comments above. Did I miss finding it in 2.5? Or is it available separately?

    69. Delfeld Says:

      Nevermind, I did miss it: