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    Sintel Model Update

    on November 13th, 2009, by angela

    Sintel - screen capture shots

    In the midst of this week’s permit adventures, Sintel’s head has been approved! I am currently using retopo tool to improve and further redefine topology structure for animation use.

    Note: Geometry pieces of hair, eyebrows, lashes are temporary and meant to define shape. They will be replaced with hair particles.

    As it is, there’s quite a bit of preparation that goes into showcasing a model’s wireframe in a render. End results are also not as desirable/accurate. Discussion was brought up on improvements for this in 2.5!

    Rendered turn-around with wireframe that David put together with Soenke

    DURIAN – Sintel first turntable from Project Durian on Vimeo.


    49 Responses to “Sintel Model Update”

    1. Terry Wallwork Says:

      Nice model?

      Why were the results not acceptable what’s causing issues?

    2. Month3d Says:

      Wow nice ๐Ÿ˜ฎ I really like it.
      hands look a bit weird :p
      Keep up the great work ๐Ÿ™‚

    3. D Says:

      ๏ฝท๏พ€โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ”๏ผผ(๏พŸโˆ€๏พŸ)๏ผโ”โ”โ”โ”โ”โ” !!

      I’m sure we are all so, so, so pleased with your work!
      What’s this? Are these tears of awe?
      You have my approval also!

    4. tyrant monkey Says:

      this version looks kinda of older and more serious, there is nothing wrong with the model but I kinda of miss the first ones more fun and spunky apperance. its a gorgoeus model but I relate better to the first iteration

    5. wayne Says:

      very nice! congrats ๐Ÿ™‚

      so… maybe we’ll see some wire-frame rendering stuff coming to 2.5?

      will be interesting to see how the strand rendering can handle this hair ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

    6. Ninjabuntu Says:

      Very nice! Great work as always…

      @tyrant monkey: I agree that I like the playfully spunky attitude, but isn’t that more of an issue of facial animation? To my understanding the best pose to model a characters with animation in mind from is where the character is in it’s totally relaxed neutral pose. After rigging, then expressions and poses can be added to give the character more life and more attitude.

      To me it Looks as if this is just the unrigged model. Give it time, I’m sure they wont disappoint us with the end product.

      then again, I can only speak for myself, and only to the best of my understanding.

      Again team, Awesome work. I can’t wait…

    7. nathan Says:

      @tyrant monkey:
      It’s important that the model fit the character. The model is partly meant to help convey her more world-hardened character. Which isn’t to say that she doesn’t have “fun” and “spunky” aspects to her, but it’s not what we need to communicate most quickly to the audience.

    8. Hubberthus Says:

      Wow, she looks much better now! (love the asian look ๐Ÿ™‚ )

      The eyebrows and the shape of eyes make this serious look, and I think she should look a bit serious even when relaxed. Just think about it: she lives in slums, can fight like a grown up man, and has a very strong will (based on the script so far you shared with us ๐Ÿ™‚ )

      And I agree, just wait until you see Sintel smiling ๐Ÿ™‚

    9. Igor Says:

      Angela, your work is just fantastic! Congratulations!

    10. Bupla Says:

      For the wire render, you’re certainly aware of this, but FourMadMen started working on it :

    11. Kubeczek77 Says:

      Nice. Now she looks more “rapaciously” and serious.

    12. tyrant monkey Says:


      if you look at the shape key test sheet that was posted of the older model in the top row the first two faces were without any expressions. That what I was looking at to compare the faces.

      In the older face shape was more rounded, with a softer jaw line this newer face is more angular and has a more anime feel to it. it has a narrower nose bridge and more arced eyebrows that push towards a more serious look.

      If it is the look works that works best with the script I wouldn’t know because I haven’t read said script. I just went with a gut feel as to which face I found more appealing.

      The are both stunning models, I just dig the older one better.

    13. Wahooney Says:

      I agree with the mesh wireframe rendering lacking somewhat.

      There is a trick in 3ds max where one can unwrap a mesh so that each face is a perfect square over the whole UV space, then you’d add a box gradient as a texture which would give you a quick and easy solid wireframe render.

      Something that I’d vote for is an edge distance texture, ie. A Blend texture that goes from 0 – 1 based on absolete distance from an edge, which will give a more generic solution with more possible applications.

      Otherwise, Angela, nifty model ๐Ÿ™‚

    14. Lee Says:

      tyrant monkey: the previous model had Angela’s magic shape keys applied, it really makes such a big difference. Just wait until you see Sintel smiling! =D

    15. D Says:

      What happened to her eye at frame 253-255?

    16. eye208 Says:

      First the shiny red hair, and now this…

      If I remember correctly, one of the project’s goals was to avoid resembling anime.

      Don’t get me wrong, I like the Asian look. It’s great! But may I suggest to change the hair color to black?

      Let Sintel resemble an Asian girl, not another cosplay character.

    17. Reyn Says:

      As far as the camera angle is concerned, this is really an awesome and beautiful model, Angela! Thumbs up!

      @Month3d: The hands look weird because it’s still (as far as I’m concerned) in a WIP progress. And it might even look like that till the end, that depends whether she’ll be wearing gloves, which makes the extra geometry which is covered by the gloves entirely useless and will eat up some of the memory (which the Durian team is definitely avoiding).



    18. Gu4r@ Says:

      Just beautiful, lovely, pretty and handsome.

    19. Guybrush Threepwood Says:

      Thanks Angela for the update. Great model. Sintel has such a sweet nose.
      Personally I think her eyes (Augenรถffnung mit Augapfel) are to large. Sorry don’t know the english words – ask Soenke and he will show it to you ๐Ÿ˜‰

      You made me curious – what do you mean with “…end results are also not as desirable/accurate…improvements for 2.5…”

    20. irve Says:

      Let her smile when you put her on display and suddenly everyone starts to relate… I wonder why ๐Ÿ™‚

    21. Ben Dansie Says:

      @Bupla: I’ve been following it, thanks for posting the link for others.

      @eye208: There are multiple anime-ish references on the mood board that have been there since before most of the team was hired. Technically all the major project goals are just that – technical. Colin is big on story and things making sense to support it, but if we end up with a full blown crazy anime style (which isn’t very likely at all given the current progress) then that will still be plenty to give the workings of 2.5 a proper thrashing. And as a side effect Lee will be very happy. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Also as a side note, I’ve started having a go at modelling Jack, one of the Gatekeepers from the recent post. This will help give us a second human to nail down the style of the world, do more texturing tests, nut out the realism level, etc. Fun times!

    22. eye208 Says:

      @Ben: The reason why there are many anime-ish references on the mood board is because

      a) the creators were Japanese, or
      b) the creators copied the Japanese style, because it is commercially successful and their bosses asked for it.

      Here’s a quote from Ton:
      “if you check the moodboard, and the website of concept artist David Revoy, you can see weโ€™re not seeking for a traditional anime style really. Would be more some mix of european and asian influences thoughโ€ฆ further, the team whoโ€™s going to join us will define it too.”

      Angela, a member of “the team”, came up with a facial design that was refreshingly non-anime-ish, but apparently the guys rejected it in favour of an off-the-shelf anime character: big eyes, narrow nose, small mouth, pointy chin. Of course Angela can do that too, but where’s her defining influence in this?

      The other Sintel would make a difference. She would stand out in the crowd of anime look-alikes and rip-offs.

      You are right, it’s only a tech demo. Maybe I expected too much.

    23. Andrea Ferroni Says:

      The model is well done and beautiful.
      …but IMO the character, Sintel, is too much… manga-looking: big eyes, small mouth, pointed chin… it does not “match” with the other character concepts I see (like “the gatekeepers” or “the shaman” or the wonderful dragon seen in the ).
      She is manga-syle, the environment looks traditional fantasy style.

      Everyone in the team is wonderful: I would pay to be there seing you at work ! how much does an all-development-long ticket cost ? ๐Ÿ™‚

    24. Andrea Ferroni Says:

      …sorry.. I read now the previous comments and answers… do not reply again… but the ticket cost…

    25. Elcrapocrew Says:

      Wonderful model, skillfully done. I hope one day to be able to do this level of work.

      For all those who think this is to anime-ish, perhaps my abiding love for anime makes me predisposed toward anime styled characters but I am not seeing a SUPER strong anime look. She does look faintly eastern in appearance, however I reside in central Texas and I can definitely see American and European aspects to her as well. In fact she looks amazingly like some of the girls at my local university!

      Simply because anime is popular doesn’t mean it is bad, does it? Please don’t misunderstand me an artist should never be forced to change their art against their will (unless they person paying their bills says so… and then I guess they could still say no…that is if they don’t mind getting fired …but I digress). I guess what I am really asking is if this project does come out as anime or some this very similar, what harm is that so long as that is what best tells the story the team is attempting to convey?

      Just my $.02

    26. eye208 Says:

      @Elcrapocrew: I’m not saying anime is bad. I’m just pointing out that anime from Amsterdam is similar to a fake Disneyland in China. I’m sure you remember that story. If you don’t, here it is:

      I don’t see what was wrong with the previous character. The current one looks like a poor Shunya Yamashita or Naoyuki Onda rip-off. It has the same appeal as a fake Donald Duck. Maybe it works for most of us, but let’s not forget, there are Blender fans in Japan, too.

      (Sorry if this is a duplicate. WordPress seems to be eating comments.)

    27. stargeizer Says:

      I’m no particular fan of anime, at most i’ve seen 2 or 3 at most, but i can say the style is good. Not extreme as the american comics shows, neither irrealistic as some european/oriental styles shows sometimes. Wich i think is VERY GOOD. I agree that the face looks somewhat serious, but considering this will be an action short with some cool story behind, the face is just right comparing with the older test model. Sure the test model was good looking and has a “happy” tone in it, but the face doesn’t match with the warrior tone probably Sintel has. (Based on what we have seen here).

    28. -jay- Says:

      The original version looks soft, cute, young, and maybe a bit pampered. The new one looks hard, sophisticated, sexy, older, and jacked. The young dragon is taking the role of a cute young character, I think it’s a good idea not to have too much cute. She definitely has Asian eyes, but too me anime eyes are bigger and more rounded. I can’t wait to see more characters!

    29. RH2 Says:

      eh, Angelas awesome ๐Ÿ™‚
      I’m not going to say anything; the characters are obviously in good hands.

    30. Anonymous Says:

      Where’s the blend!?

    31. Month3d Says:

      @reyn, figured so much, didn’t think about the memory saving though, I definitely need to learn more about optimising.

      I personally like this version better, although I’m a fan of anime, so I guess I don’t have a problem with the smaller nose etc.
      Wouldn’t it make a world of difference when this face has some shapekeys and particle hair? anyway imo the durian team knows what it’s doing, and with the amount of creativity in the blenderinstitute I’m sure they create an awesome graphic style for Sintel (the short not just the character :p)

    32. Fake Says:

      I definitely prefer the concept, specifically the wallpaper. However I realise that this is not posed, so i’m willing to wait.(Plus, i can’t criticise, i’ve never tried to make any human). I think the hair might be throwing it off for me as well, because I prefer the paintover. However, I think the paintovers face is too soft. Looking at this version more, I’m finding I like it more and more.

      Ah, what do i know. Not even my own mind.

    33. Anonymous Coward Says:

      “Hereโ€™s a quote from Ton:
      ‘if you check the moodboard, and the website of concept artist David Revoy, you can see weโ€™re not seeking for a traditional anime style really. Would be more some mix of european and asian influences thoughโ€ฆ further, the team whoโ€™s going to join us will define it too.’ ”

      What, like Ben who’s a member of the team? (apparently in exile down under right now though)

    34. Ben Dansie Says:

      @Anonymous Coward – Yes, I am in exile of sorts for another two weeks. Talk about being late for work! I’ll post more on that later but I’m still working on a job here in Australia and I move to Amsterdam at the end of November. I’ve been on IRC regularly with the team and we keep a fairly frequent mailing list, but I’ve obviously missed all the meetings being on the other side of the world and all.

      As such I’m in a unique 50/50 position of both insider and outsider for a while.

      While I have a solid idea of the direction of the project (seeing as I can bug the team at will) I doubt I’ll know all the finer details until I get there. Seeing as the team hasn’t really brought me into line on any posts or comments yet I figure I’ve generally been on the ball.

      My earlier ‘technical’ comment may have been a bit overly simple however. Colin has a distinct world in his head and David’s amazing range of visual styles at his disposal. The two of them then work with Angela on the direction of the modelling, particularly David in his role as Art Director. Angela of course gets a say as well, but like all films the Director gives direction. ๐Ÿ™‚

      So it will obviously be more than a tech demo, I think my point was more that Ton under his Producer hat is allowing us to create a film that we all like as a team and pick a style we like – that style isn’t specifically linked to the project goals.

    35. Slightly Chaotic Says:

      So, when it’s finished, will the Sintel .blend be released to the public, or is that one staying private?

    36. kike sanz Says:

      i agree that the look of sintel is not right . the face needs a touch of xena ,hot but kicks ass.
      hmm… does any one know if massive[blender people] like crowd simulation is to be used in fight scenes.

    37. Mike Says:

      @Slightly Chaotic : Having the entire production in one .blend would be….
      hehe, slightly chaotic.

    38. eye208 Says:

    39. ZanQdo Says:

      She looks sweet! congrats Angela

    40. Elcrapocrew Says:

      ***Note to the reader: The following will sound best if you imagine it read aloud in an over the top British accent…think John Clease and Monty Python…you may now continue. Thank you.***

      @eye208: I see your point. And may I add, thank you for the link. I do remember the story now but it was still amazingly humorous to get to read it again in all of its blatant copyright infringing glory! I especially like the thread of comments at the bottom of the page … ah, people and the Internet … one of these was a horrible idea … ๐Ÿ˜‰

      All silliness aside, I applaud The Durian Team for all your hard work thus far and I, like the rest of the world, wait with abated breath to bask in the awesomeness that is and will be, Sintel.

      Thank you, and goodnight!

      ***bows and leaves***

      Sorry, I have been reading a lot of Douglas Adams lately.

    41. Kopi Says:

      Great work angela, you are a great artist! I liked your first version of sintel much better. She had more charisma and a feeling of a true rebel. Is this one the final version?

    42. Nick D Says:

      I’m sorry to see the artistic direction take a turn for the worse IMHO.
      I agree with eye208 and kike sanz. I think Angela nailed it the first time ..

      I was hoping to see an ultra-realistic Epic, in the vain of Conan the Barbarian and 300, and instead now we get anime style?

      Here’s my main complaint: if the main character doesn’t look REAL, it gives a buffer to create subpar gaming visuals throughout instead of cinematic visuals …

      I’ve seen plenty of subpar Blender animation- definitely nothing audiences or clients would pay for, so why not go for realistic EPIC fantasy?

    43. taniwha Says:

      Other than the eyes*, this Sintel seems quite fine to me. In fact, she reminds me of some of my students (I teach English in Japan), slim nose and all.

      *I get a very “alien” feel (not that this is bad). The eyes seem to be an overly rotated western eye than a proper Asian eye, not that there’s any one “Asian eye”. From what I’ve seen, most Japanese eyes tend to be shaped more like a D lying on its back, and the back gently bowed out. Maybe the angle’s just a little too steep… for a Japanese eye. For a person with very interesting breeding, they’re probably just fine.

      As for complaints about being overly anime-ish: bah, her eyes aren’t anywhere near that big, and I’ve seen plenty of shiny red hair (real and not).

      Great work, beautiful face. I wish I could model that well (takes me a month or two of tweaking, and I’m never happy with the result). I guess I should try harder ๐Ÿ™‚

    44. kram1032 Says:

      Wow! Great ๐Ÿ˜€

      I wonder where all those comments about “being too anime” come from… Animes look quite different, I’d say… Though, I’m probably not quite the expert on that topic^^

      If I compare the new version with the old, I’d say, the eyes actually are a tad smaller now. Though, compared to the nose, they of course appear a lot bigger.

      Also, this version might even be more capable to show expressions. If I look at the unshapekeyes version of the old model, she looks a bit “cuter” and stuff, yes. But there’s way less life. She rather looks like a porcelain puppet.
      New Sintel actually has a character, defined in her face.
      I really prefer the new version ๐Ÿ™‚

    45. crowline Says:

      Quiting David from Blender Artist thread of the same topic…

      …We clearly look for a mix of genre…

      * Poeple that hate Anime , will still find her too anime anyway…
      * Poeple that hate Disney , will still find her too Disney anyway …
      * Poeple that hate Pixar , will still find her too Pixar anyway…

      This sounds like a recipe for a bland character, that no one is REALLY attracted to… I would think that you should pick a style and run with it, not compromise between all styles. I personally like the previous style better, but am excited to see whatever the team ends up with! …and most importantly great improvements to Blender.

    46. Fake Says:

      I don’t know whether it’s been said, but is the are all the blend files going to be released? I just want to get eh sliders for sintels eyes and hair, and change em ๐Ÿ˜›

    47. Slightly Chaotic Says:

      @Mike: That’s not what I meant. I mean the character model. I agree, the entire production in one .blend would be unpractical, ridiculous, and it just plain wouldn’t work.

      I was wondering if we’d be able to see the character geometry up close. That’s what I was asking.

    48. Extensor Says:

      Nice eyeball clip. Would have been neat to have it explode at the end. ๐Ÿ˜€

    49. wall[e] Says: