Sintel, the Durian Open Movie Project » Blog Archive » Durian Project Announcement


Durian Project Announcement

on May 5th, 2009, by Ton

concept-girl-black.jpegYes, it’s about time! The third open movie project had been lined up to start much sooner, but more urgent work (Blender 2.5 coding) forced it into the future. After all, it’s the purpose of the team here in Amsterdam to test and improve the 2.5x versions significantly!
Now we intend to start up September 1, delivering a result around March/April 2010.

Durian is an Asian fruit, ugly and smelly but delicious. That’s a perfect code name for a movie project aimed at adolescents mostly; with an epic fantasy theme with lots of action, monsters and a girl hero!
As usual, there’s been a lot of work behind the scenes to ensure we have a realistic target, and good outlook on getting additional financing. Only then I appoint a small core team to help me further defining this project. I’m very happy to be able to announce these three great artists who will help out:

  • Martin Lodewijk, godfather of Dutch comics, for script
  • Colin Levy, Blender artist and filmer, director
  • David Revoy, Blender artist and illustrator, concept art

(Check the portfolios on the about page)

We will also need everyone’s help to support this project. Once the full team is known a DVD pre-sale will start, providing us with the essential basic funding to give the team a good and warm welcome to start working in Amsterdam.

Call for participation

It’s time now to polish your portfolios! We expect to have sufficient budget to have four to six additional artists and two or three developers work here for a period of 6-8 months. Deadline for submission is June 10.
Visit this page to read more about what we look for, and what we can offer to people who join us.

We will also welcome help online, an announcement for this will be posted later, when the project actually has started.

I’m very excited about this project, it’ll be plain fun to do, and right on spot to help Blender (2.5) to the next level!


Press releases

Project announcement press release: English (.pdf) Nederlands (.pdf).

93 Responses to “Durian Project Announcement”

  1. Lace Williamson Says:

    I cannot wait to see this. Pre-sale for sure this time, I’m not holding back. 🙂 I’m so excited to watch Blender continue to develop!

  2. SeanJM Says:

    This looks like a pretty slick project guys, I am looking forward to seeing it finished and complete.

  3. thiago kolb Says:

    Good work 😀

  4. Robo3Dguy Says:

    I can hardly wait to see what this movie brings, as far as content and also Blender development!!

  5. Satish 'iluvblender' Goda Says:

    Very nice. When can I pre-order the DVD?

  6. oiaohm Says:

    The thing I am wondering is will a game follow this one.

  7. Sago Says:

    Wow, just saw this….. awesomeness. With Martin Lodewijk (so nostalgic!!!!) and those two talented Colin and David…. it’s gonna be frickin’ exciting. Good luck guys!!

  8. Sago Says:

    Martin Lodewijk…. sniff…. so nostalgic. And Colin and David show great talent, I can’t wait.

    Good luck guys, this is gonna be awesome!

  9. forevernoob Says:

    Great news. Can’t wait to see the wonderful artwork that comes out of this.

    Just a thought about the composition of the team. From what I understand the artists are paid positions for the duration of the project. Has anybody mentioned before that maybe it would be helpful to some of the artists who are not quite good enough to get on the team to have an internship program which is low or no paid positions maybe for a slightly shorter period of time where they could learn from the “Masters” of blender. There are bound to be people that would jump at the chance to have guideance from more experienced blender artists. I for one would if it wasn’t for kids, wife, work, mortgage, economic recession, doom and gloom and the list goes on.


  10. XSINICK Says:

    Ton this is awesome I need to work with you guys I’ll do my best to get in to the Amsterdam core team.
    Art look cool so far logo and everything too.

    guys check out: and soon to come:

    I know I can do environments and character modeling.

    This is my chance to prove myself.

  11. Thorben Says:

    Wow, really great news. I can’t wait to preorder the DVD 🙂

  12. Alex Delderfield (AD-Edge) Says:

    Looking forward to seeing this all develop, the beginning of another epic chapter in the history of Blender! And this one I feel will be especially Epic…


  13. Mauricio Kanada Says:

    It would be nice to use this projects to improve others types of application, specialy music production. These movie projects have improved Blender so much, and today it is in same quality (or better than) many others (very high cost) tools. But in music production, free/open projects are very very distants than non free/open software.

    Please, think about this.

  14. Ton Says:

    Mauricio: I definitely thought about it many times. Things are just not so simple though… for a project like this to be successful you need these conditions:

    1) Massive user community to support it
    2) Sufficiently large developer team
    3) A determined person or small team with entrepreneurial qualities to organize it all.

    Blender is in the lucky circumstance we got all three. But it’s fair to expect that we then work on Blender itself, and I would expect other free/open projects to organize themselves on a similar level if they want similar results…

    Also note that we’ll deliver all in an open/free license, so any music/audio community can pick it up to make a great showcase.
    I’m still very open – and so is composer Jan Morgenstern – to involve free software audio tools, contact details people can find on this site. But to keep things feasible and practical, our own targets are already more than ambitious! We’re not waving with a magical wand here, it’s very very hard work by a lot of people to get it done.

  15. Elmernite Says:

    Please, PLEASE, keep the characters modest. All to often these fantasy style movies and games decide to let the female characters forget their clothes. (Final Fantasy: all of them, for example)
    Please don’t do that. I have loved everything else by the blender projects so far.

  16. Bmud Says:

    Hmm… I was worried that Durian had come up too fast and that my skills were not ready to put in my portfolio, but since you mention this “Mango” I think that’s what I will aim for. You’ll be hearing from me next year with a vengeance, Ton.

  17. modesty Says:

    I agree with Elmernite, make the female modest. No soft porn please. It would wreck the short for me.

  18. Ciriaco Says:

    I agree with Elmernite
    Good luck

  19. Sadun Kal Says:

    Congratulations. I still couldn’t get myself to invest time to learn Blender, and free myself from expensive software. But it gets more and more attractive with every new development. I would even buy the DVD/Blu-Ray this time, probably.

  20. Seriar Says:

    Guys you rule!!!! Anime style RUUUUUUUUUUUULE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And all who dont like this style is sucks!!!!!! I bellive its be the most epic 3d short movie that i ever seen!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. Antonio Recio Says:

    Is there any possibility that Aqsis and Blender work together in Durian? Could be really nice.


  22. Michael Says:

    I will follow all your news. Maybe you can start with Twitter! Than you have more people which you can inform!!!
    – Michael

  23. invertedNormal(brian) Says:

    David Revoy’s site seems to be down, and has been since this announcement. i’d really like to check out his work. =(

  24. MrE Says:

    Yes! I can’t wait to see everything coming in to gear.
    To support the team this year i will send over some Durianvlaai 😀

  25. MrE Says:

    And just now i see Martin Lodewijk is working with the project.
    This is awesome!

  26. Jeroen Mank Says:

    Great news. Count me in in the presale again.
    One of the Technical targets is crowd/massive simulation. Will Roland Hess and his BlenderPeople be involved?

  27. matteo pozzi Says:

    good news
    maybe you could take ispiration by the manga “Berserk” by kentaro miura
    and “vagabond” by takehiko inowe

  28. Giovanni Lanfiuti Says:

    Congratulations! Another open-movie!
    Big Buck Bunny was awesome, I’m sure I will go for the pre-sale this time.

  29. rogper Says:

    @ matteo pozzi
    Mr. Takehiko Inowe stile is Awesome 🙂

    Project Durian mood board has a bunch of works that I admire, so, even before it started I’m already loving it and I hope it will go to the History books as the first epic short movie ever made, side with Elephants Dream which already is there as the first open movie ever made.

  30. SeanJM Says:

    Jean Giraud/Moebius has some nice sci-fi stuff to take a peak at. Frank Frazetta has ultra rich backgrounds and saturated colours.

    Check em out.

  31. Ton Says:

    @all: The spam filter here was quite aggressive, leaving 20 acceptable messages in queue, I didn’t see it until today!

    Invertednormal: is available every time I tried.

    Elmernite: we keep in mind that the sites shouldn’t get banned for kids of 12+ years old, or for the USA case the film could be rated like PG-13 (similar to lord of the rings).

    Jeroen: I talk to roland regularly. Also other devs are interested in the topic.

    forevernoob: I didn’t intend to create workspace for trainees. Past experience with it is only bad, it would only slow down the project itself, and efficiently it only helps very few people (the intern). I rather spend time then on more docs, tutorials, videos, etc. Also keep in mind that most of the participants in projects here were people who are on the beginning of their careers. For them it’s an incredible cool learning experience.

  32. Rory Says:

    Awesome, the theme and the mood board is so cool, can’t wait.

  33. Rory Says:

    Awesome, the theme of the mood board is cool, can’t wait.

  34. Theponja Says:

    My only concern is the female heroin. The anime if full of female heroines, just a change could be to have a male hero.

  35. mindsystem Says:

    Awesome. Never actually tasted a durian because they smell terrible and I have too sensitive a nose. Glad to hear that the female characters should be well clad. The mood board looks cool, though I’ll personally find the concept art more interesting once it rolls around (you gonna post it?).

    @exavolt: I agree. And Tsutomu Nihei is pretty much awesome. So if this is anything like it (albeit toned down for the kids), it should rock.

  36. CB Says:

    I can provide some durian for you guys (if you want)..
    Why the smell? It smells fine to me…

  37. Haven Sole Says:

    Hey Guys, looks really good. The mood board gives a great reference to what I hope this project will look like. I can’t wait to get the release and try my hand with my own soundtrack and such. As much as I truly love Elephant’s Dream and Big Buck Bunny, I am happy to see something a bit more action packed that can show them Hollywood types the true power of Blender. The anime theme also looks great to me. As soon as I saw the drawing I had a feeling you were going to look at the FF7 movie, which I hope this is as good as. Wish I could be there in Amsterdam with you all. Love from California.

  38. Fillip Says:

    Ahum… Yes I Have a question: what’s the “Main” plot of the animation..? Cuz I realy didn’t got the end of it…

  39. Haven Sole Says:

    Looks great guys. I really can’t wait for this new project. The whole dynamic of creating a project which in turn helps the development of Blender itself is one of the things that makes this software one of the best out there in my opinion. Unlike what others have said, the anime look is really appealing. It is the next step in a sequence that is trying new things each time. I am happy you put the FF7:Advent Children in there as a style reference as it is one of my favorite movies. I can’t wait to get my hands on the DVD and see what I can do with the open content. Cheers and love from California.

  40. Bharath Kishore Says:

    a possible webcast of the project discussion / development will be highly appreciable.
    It will help lot of us with planning and development of a project in Blender.

  41. Joeri Says:

    Super! Dubble-plus-good.

    Blender excel: Sfx!
    Can’t wait to see ground breaking character animation mixed with Eye blinding Special ( light ) effects.

    but.. A bit more fast editing then what you’re used too Colin, please? ( Maybe get a pro editor this time? )
    and.. New stuff, not only try to prove that blender can do what Mayamax / AftereffectShake can do. ( or do bad copies of what others have prove to done very well years ago )
    Maybe do 3d masks? Multilayers or nice “splitscreens” ( 3d masked ).
    Do things that only Cg can do. ( like in Animatrix floating area for example.. )

    Really super! My fantasy is driving me mad, going to watch this closely. 🙂

  42. PapaRaven Says:

    Who would have thought just one short decade ago that independent films would split off into this direction?! I scarcely imagined such a direction even seriously existing back then.

    Thank you for all your past, current, and future hard work. The inspiration that you provide is at least as valuable as the incredible “free” software that the Blender community has created. You have shown that film making is accessible to everyone, anytime, everywhere.

  43. dooku Says:

    Great! I just can’t wait. Especially for the main female-character 😉