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    Revealed: Title, Character Design and 1st Minute

    on October 27th, 2009, by Colin Levy


    Sorry for the lack of updates recently. Yesterday was the last day of the Blender Conference and we’re all still recovering!

    But we haven’t forgotten about you. We have a number of posts coming up to go over some of the stuff we showed off at the Durian talk on Sunday.

    But first things first. For those of you who missed the live stream, we revealed a lot about the movie–including the (working) title!

    Photo by Dolf VeenvlietPhotos by Dolf Veenvliet

    BAM! Congrats to “D” for guessing the title right. You deserve a prize! Perhaps a free DVD?And we also revealed the final character design for our main character– whose name, coincidentally, is Sintel as well!


    Click to Enlarge

    BAM! Done by the amazing David Revoy of course.

    Here’s the video I slapped together to kick off the talk:

    Blender Conference Intro Video from Project Durian on Vimeo.

    And here’s a quick video to introduce the work we’ve done on the first minute of the film! It’s rough, but hopefully gives you a glimpse of some of the stuff we’ve been doing. All of this material has already been cut– but we feel this has been an excellent exercise.

    Durian First Minute – 01 from Project Durian on Vimeo.

    Also check out the PDF of this sequence in first draft of the script!

    Expect more updates from us soon.


    52 Responses to “Revealed: Title, Character Design and 1st Minute”

    1. newage Says:

      first? xD anyway, nice stuff. keep going guys!

    2. Gardenal Says:


    3. D Says:

      I didn’t expect an update so soon after the conference, you guys are so great. πŸ˜€ And at 4 in the morning?!

      Since I’m already set to get the DVD, wouldn’t a durian be more fitting for a prize? XD Scratch that, just being able to see Durian made is already a great thing; keep that prize money in your production piggy bank for now. πŸ˜€

      Now that Durian is more open, I’m going to get lazy with my forensics. πŸ˜›

    4. qxfxsx Says:

      Can you post a wallpaper of this dragon?

    5. Bailey Wheatland Says:

      Amazing job guys! Why not go for a full length movie though?

    6. invertedNormal (brian) Says:

      you guys and gals accomplish so much and so little time and with such quality–the art, the animations, the enthusiasm and the ambition–it’s all amazing!

      cheers to your continued success, team Durian πŸ˜‰

    7. grafixsuz Says:

      Wow I just have been reloading this page for the past 30 minutes and boom there she is already with 4 comments. Sintel. Alright! I am just screaming like a little boy who just got his first toy car.

      Good luck gang.

      P.s. Matt congrats on the job. Maybe you could look into the SPH particles Farsthary is working on. Wink

    8. cc Says:

      OMG unbelievably epic!

      The girl in the script is more mature and has more pronounced facial features than the one in the concept art which has a standard child’s face with little ability to show emotions. Also, the concept art girl is shorter!

      I like the script girl more!

    9. Shiretoko Says:

      I thought the first minute was at night, but it’s stated in the script that there is sun.
      Looked like an Alladin night flyover in the crappymatic, which would have been more epic and indulging!

      Great job everyone!

    10. CasV Says:

      I’m starting in the CG industry and never been able to work in a production like this. You can’t imagine how much educative is for me to be able to see the process of a studio creating such a project. Gives me much more perpective of what’s needed, how much it takes (efforts/time), and how it’s done, what’s the workflow.

      I’m very grateful for what you’re doing…

      All the best!

    11. MeshWeaver Says:

      Shiretoko : “Looked like an Alladin night flyover in the crappymatic”

      that’s weird, I was about to say the fight sequence reminded me of Alladin.


    12. DeMoN Says:

      Nice progress. So I don’t mean to be a nitpicker but you should try to find another color for the hair it reminds me too much of a child version of Ruby (ATi)AMD’s mascot and a billion other red headed leads. Just an Idea…

      Oh and I don’t know if you saw the Uniengine DX11 demo yet, but I think that it has awsome lighting and mood similar to the fantasy environment of Durian is aiming for. Here is a link: it might give you guys ideas.

      Keep up the awesomeness!

    13. Shiretoko Says:

      More videos about Sintel and the Blender conference:

    14. Consideringthepickle Says:

      Epic. Truly epic. I love it.

      I hope the guy who did the music for the conference intro video will be contributing to the Durian soundtrack. That was awesome.

      You should make the shots briefer in the Crapmatic, that’ll help cut the length down without losing anything -that’s what George Lucas did to improve the pacing in Star Wars when he edited it, he trimmed all the shots so they were just following the movement in the scene.

      I’m so excited to see this movie. Something was said about a final dragon concept? Is that coming in the next post?

    15. Ben Dansie Says:

      “I hope the guy who did the music for the conference intro video will be contributing to the Durian soundtrack.”

      – No need, we have Jan. Just a bit much strain on his brain to whip something up so quick for conference with basically no notice.

      “it reminds me too much of a child version of Ruby”

      – One version of the script had green hair I think, but rest assured, she will actually get a much more dirty, practical look than the super clean cg look of that other mascot character.

      “Amazing job guys! Why not go for a full length movie though?”

      – Thanks! You give us the funding for a feature film and I’m sure we can start tomorrow. πŸ™‚

      Also, as a side note – the meaning of ‘Sintel’ –

      When Martin Lodewijk was writing some of the earlier treatments of the story, he wrote the hero characters name as Sintel, which in Dutch translates to ember, or as he intended it ‘Cinder’. Seeing as she has been quite a fiery character type in all versions of the script since including the one we are working with, we have kept the name.

    16. tyrant monkey Says:

      downloaded the pdf interesting ‘the city Ishtar’, you are aware that Ishtar is the babylonian goddess of sex and fertility noted for her sacred cult of prostitues hmm intriguing(<- I read too many Sandman comics that’s how I know this useless factoid)

      but nice character designs and that dragon is top notch. I serious can’t wait for this.

    17. Ben Dansie Says:

      tyrant monkey – Not sure the city will actually get named visually or audibly in the film, but thanks for the heads up… πŸ™‚

    18. Tristan Says:

      Great work buys. Your work is allways very impressive!

    19. angbor Says:

      This is going to be so freaking awesome.

    20. Max Puliero Says:

      I think I love you πŸ™‚

    21. Max Puliero Says:

      I think also that will be very cool if in the futeure, Blender Foundation can survive and make money by make a Cinema-movie like pixar or dreamworks every 1 or 2 years.
      And the funds for develop blender.

      bad idea?

    22. EnV Says:

      The character looks really nice, David’s concept sketches are awesome. Very good job, guys.

    23. Dusty Says:


      You guys are really rocking! MAN I wish I could be there!

      Best of luck peps!

    24. Danny Piccirillo Says:

      Vimeo is great in terms of quality– but YouTube has the community– why not use both?

    25. Cris Polecat Says:

      Got no words guys! Really can’t wait for the shortfilm!
      Keep Pablo with yoooooooooouuuuuu! Don’t let him go!
      Congrats guy, first minute of the short is amazing! Really really can’t wait!


    26. Stephen Says:

      I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this is a great time to be involved with blender, great work people, this is one fantastic ride πŸ˜€

    27. Luke Says:

      Loved the Preview and the storyboard, already looking amazing!!!
      “This is going to be so freaking awesome”

      That’s just what I said when I saw it!!

    28. Ben Dansie Says:

      Youtube version of the Conference Intro, seeing as it was suggested. I’ve made a .ogg for download, but don’t have access to the raw video. Colin might make a higher quality one, if not we can upload mine. We haven’t completely forgotten the request for .ogg files. But it is just after conference for the rest of them. πŸ™‚

    29. pooe Says:

      i like Sintel
      she reminds me of Sakura πŸ™‚

    30. Dim Says:

      Just so you’re aware:

    31. D Says:

      Just wondering, will the girl’s name in the movie be pronounced “sintle” as in the Nederlands way or “sintell” as I’ve heard it from the conference?

      Putting the stress on the first syllable may also take away that “telecommunications” feel, but at the same time takes away that “edge” from her name and makes it sound “smallish”.

    32. Anonymous Says:

      You forgot Intel Corp πŸ˜›

      About video: it looks very promising, i hope final movie will be dubbed πŸ™‚

    33. mbue Says:

      “Goodbye Andy!” πŸ˜€

      I watched some (unfortunately just a minute here and there) of the B. Conference talks and it was great!
      Seeing all the random people with various interests using Blender to achieve their goal(s) – among other things – is simply fantastic :-).

      Best wishes to all people involved!


    34. Afief Halumi Says:

      Is Intel paying for the great publicity they are getting? oh wait, Sintel, not Intel… my bad

    35. mbue Says:

      BTW: I had some troubles _recording_ the conference stream.

      Neither mplayer, nor gstreamer, openrtsp or VLC could record it in any same format. [1]
      I’ve literally tried ALL possible ways (findable via searching) to record a rtsp stream.
      _Watching_ the stream via command line gstreamer, Totem or VLC worked though. Just the saving/dumping/converting was mostly [1] impossible for me.
      (The recorded audio was fine in some of the cases where recording actually produced output.)

      May be just my complete lack of experience & competence when it comes to video streams — but I’m curious πŸ™‚


      [1] VLC was able to record “something” (i think it was some sort of “raw stream”) but I could not use it in any program except in VLC. No conversion to other formats worked/works.

    36. mcreamsurfer Says:

      I came across this article when doing some research and really think you should have at least a look at it. It might come in handy later on when being confronted with cloth simulation:

      Maybe you already know of it. But if not it’s definately worth checking it out. Those are really time saving and absolutely professional tipps.
      I wouldn’t post it here if I wouldn’t think it’s really worth it.

    37. Steven Says:

      The first minute of the story is very captivating
      I wait the continuation

    38. RNS Says:

      My complain is that since blender have been improving in performance,I realize that
      working a on a RC build of 2.45.15 and 16 is way better than the 2.50 tryout. while it was use in big buck bunny,tend to hold better performance.for example when executing 2.45.15 build appear in fraction of a second,but 2.50 take 30 second or crash when execute.
      and I can increase particle hair using multire set at level one and render at level 4.Now 2.46 to present blender can’t do that,why? I have a really bad feeling how blender is being coded. why these issue weren’t address at the conference? I say i have a bad feeling about 2.50 ..sorry Ton,but I do really care about blender a lot…

    39. Linkeltje Says:

      That was fun!
      Yup! excitement here πŸ˜€

    40. CorsairX Says:

      *Really* looking forward to the next few months!

      .ogg files would be welcome but please, please use the .ogv extension for video files! (As recommended by Xiph: )

    41. Ton Says:

      RNS: Current 2.5 svn has nothing todo with how 2.45 ended up at the end of BBB.
      If you find good evidence for failures (bugs), you should just put this in our bugtracker to help us.

    42. voodka2007 Says:

      wow… it seem more beautifull than bbb

    43. Kirado Says:

      Please can could the durian folks post ogg and youtube from the start. I have so many problems with vimeo just plain refusing to work in my country.. every now and again it appears.. but 90% of the time the vids just won’t show up.

      I and many others I’m sure.. just get the blank rectangle where the vid should be. I’ve downloaded the latest versions of firefox and flashplayers etc.. so many times now to get it working… but nothing helps… even tested on quite a few other computers including a few friends.. so I’m wondering if vimeo has some weird locale setting that won’t show in certain regions?

      Super grateful if you guys do this.. because it’s amazing to be able to observe the awesome progress.

    44. Nabil Says:

      Hmmm, knowing the Blender Institute has changed the movie name in the course of the two previous projects, the odds are that they will change this one too. Well, who knows…

      About the screenplay extract: I thought that screenplays were supposed to be dramatic (i.e. written as in a play, with cues and actions) rather than novel-like. I am not suggesting you abide by Hollywood’s standards for screenplays, but still, it was tough to read.

    45. Christian Krauße Says:

      When I saw the fruits in the beginning of the first minute of the film which are supposed to be durians, I wondered which role they will play in the move…

    46. Christian Krauße Says:

      When I saw the fruits in the beginning of the first minute of the film which are supposed to be durians, I wondered which role they will play in the move…-

    47. qxfx Says:

      If you log in vimeo there is a link on the botton-right that says “download” where you can download the video file. It’s usually a .mov file.

      Does anyone know if there is going to be 3dconnexion support in Blender 2.5?

    48. Jackuss Says:

      I must say, it already looks very interesting. I just keep coming back, and start the video all over πŸ˜€

    49. Ton Says:

      Kirado: yes, we’ll switch to youtube from now.

    50. leeqid Says:

      Sintel sounds a little awkward. Like a phone company or something.
      Regarding youtube: please don’t.
      Quality wise or qulity-illusion wise vimeo is way ahead. They also seem to have a better server concept which keeps up with the load very well while youtube suffers heavy lag at times. Playing back HD footage on youtube does not work fluidly at all. Using OGGs would probably be no good since I don’t think your servers could keep up, so it shouldn’t be an option either.

      As for the rest: cool stuff. I like the way you present yourself in this project. It’s much more transparent and thus more fun to follow. Thank you.

    51. MTracer Says:

      I know I’m not worthy to say this, but I don’t really get the story. Why are they fighting? Who is the guy?

    52. C Stockton Says:

      So Sintel is the baby dragon’s mother, searching for here lost child?