Sintel, the Durian Open Movie Project » Blog Archive » The Detail Department


The Detail Department

on September 26th, 2009, by Ton

Reaching Out

Colin, David and me still have this amazed feeling of what 4k can do for our film… the amount of detail you can (or have to!) put in every shot will give the visuals a very designated impact and especially… a 4-10 times multiplied amount of work! And not only the graphics require detail, but also animation can be refined into every tiny detail.

Look for example at Soenke’s famous “Reaching Out” picture. Something like this could be just a shot in our film, 4-6 seconds. Now what if every detail would move, imagine how cool that would be! Even when scaled down to 2k or even 1k you’ll notice this.


To the right you can find a concept art shot, for one of the opening scenes in our film. We want to build a gigantic “fantasy slum” for it. Compare it a bit to the famous favelas in Brazil (3rd picture, copyright

The concept we’re playing with now is to check on ways to have the Blender community helping with this work, providing us with raw material, as the official Detail Department! We could use (most of it) as textures even. Like crawling snails, flying bFavelairds and insects, smoke plumes,
people dozing in windows, and so on.

It’ll need a bit of thought still… especially how to coordinate and apply this efficiently. But still a fun challenge… motivating for volunteers to help, and for us a great time saver to assemble incredible shots!


Added note:
For all the boys and girls here; David’s concept art is actually a COLORING PAGE for kids! Make your great impression, post it for us, and we select the best one for a special prize!

85 Responses to “The Detail Department”

  1. nawabz Says:

    and to pack files here is a great tutorial posted yesterday by Jonathan Williamson for packing files on:

  2. Ton Says:

    @all: thanks for all the great and enthusiast feedback! I’m definitely interested to try this experiment. It depends a bit on our creative phase here (during october) and on time to get the organization running (although I see some people here who definitely would want to help!).

    @Shiretoko: Martin wrote us short stories and concepts. For the screenplay I decided to involve an experienced coach and writer.

  3. thatonejondude Says:

    Here’s an idea…

    Slumps are going to be filled with cockroaches or bugs within that category. Here’s a little piece of concept art that I thought would be a cool new bug. Maybe there’s a bunch of little ones and one huge queen one (kinda like in the first “Men In Black”)…

    Heres the URL

  4. Jayden Says:

    Where do we send the colouring in page finished too?

  5. Stephen Says:

    I’ve just broke my website trying to place all my photos of birds, bugs, slugs and other stuff I have on the server.
    Is there an address I can post a DVD to?

  6. Hoxolotl Says: or could use a centralized website with clear cut licensing symbols and browsable library.

    the Blender Open Material Repository would be a good template to start from, adding meshes, objects, armatures, hell even adding scenes to it would be great.

    But for the short term I would suggest making different short competitions for “easy to make” stuff like bags, planks, mud, insects, cloth, tools and others. Just stuff you could drop into the world to add detail and doesn’t have to be pixel perfect as it’s somewhere in the background as “filler” .

  7. Roberto Says:

    @Jayden: I guess we just post a link in here?

    Anyway, I did this on sunday, and was waiting to see if I could get some time to work more on it. But, since it doesn’t seem to be a real possiblity now…here it is my crappy coloring:

  8. D Says:

    I ran out of colours! 😀

  9. PapaSmurf Says:

    +1 on using an open-source web-based DAM (Digital Asset Management) system for this.

  10. PapaSmurf Says:

    Can’t wait to help out! Let me know if you need me to host an evaluation copy of any of the DAM’s.

  11. Satish 'iluvblender' Goda Says:

    David, do you know about this online sketching tool?

  12. lol Says:

    let me laugh about this. This kind of efforts was there also with the other open projects and besides the huge interest from the users it was just a joke.

  13. dom Says:

    Agradeceria ver un pequeño corte
    o trailer
    o algunas imagenes de la pelicula
    les agradeceria mucho
    me parece interesante

  14. Reece Says:

    @Roberto: That is very impressive. Well done.

  15. miolo Says:

    I really hope for a web based system where blender community can collaborate on projects. I guess most people would rather contribute on public projects (and get some recognition) than hide their hard work for themselves. For people looking for professional carrier it could also help their portfolio. Also I think a lot of people would like a place to upload their own projects and get help from community to make it complete.

    So a user could register in the field(s) he or she wants to work with. This could be as a script writer, concept artist, modeler, rigger, animator, game programmer, texture artist, light artist, audio artist, camera artist, and more(?). Then he or she gets a list of available projects and specific tasks according to the field of interest(s). He or she can sign up for tasks and be member of projects. He or she could also open new projects.

    I think such a project system could have two modes regarding governing the projects. One fully democratic mode, were any conflict could be solved with voting. The second option for a project is to give a leader ultimate power, but could be challenged for the leadership. The leader could always ask for popular advice. In addition there could be leaders for the different artistic fields..

    I like the idea to integrate systems for free content. So everything users upload to the project system could be reused by others in other projects. This would possibly make the gathering of digital assets for a project almost automated. Say you need an apple, a fruit knife, a rococo table, and a monster called Gogaboga. The system gathers for a you an apple, a fruit knife, and the rococo table. But you or others in the project have to make the monster yourself. In huge projects with thousands of assets this will be a time saver. And as the content base evolves there will be more and more content, with ever improving quality. A good system for content tags and content rating would be needed.

    Just a few ideas, and I find it difficult to stop. I would love to help planning such a generic system.

  16. Tomas Says:

    It was mentioned above but I use ResourceSpace to organize all of my photos and it works pretty well for DAM. I haven’t tried a lot of it’s advanced features but I but I believe it has a function for creating a request for users to research and find particular assets. At one point I had it setup so that you could upload a .blend and it would automatically generate a preview by rendering it in the background on upload, obviously wouldn’t work for complex fluid scenes as you wouldn’t have the fluid data but it might work for building models?

    Has it been considered to modify or use one of the city scape generators like to
    suicidator city engine and modify to generate a city that would fit the durian theme? Maybe use the city engine to get the basic look desired and then request users to add details to certain buildings, maybe following one of the point systems mentioned above to make sure the work gets done.

  17. Boo boo Says:

    I hope it’s not too late. [url=]My version here[/url]

  18. Booboo Says:

    I hope it’s not too late. Previous comment hasn’t appear yet, trying again.

  19. viviane nonato Says:

    Hello, Viviane, would love to collaborate on the development of animation, I saw that path depicting the slums of Brazil, I’m from Rio de Janeiro, working with plastic arts, depicting slums, especially of Manguinhos in do I send photos and drawings?

    Sorry, but I do not speak English, I have said it well.

  20. D. Brooks Says:

    My girlfriend likes to color 😉

    ..printed out on laser, and she colored it with watercolor pencils:

  21. scontrocorrente Says:

    The following is my attempt.

    I enjoyed a lot painting it. 🙂

  22. anabela faria Says:

    Hi there. This is my coloring. Night scene 😛
    GO Duriannnnnn 😀

  23. anabela faria Says:

    ups.. forgot the link

    Hi there. This is my coloring. Night scene 😛
    GO Duriannnnnn 😀

  24. anabela faria Says:

    Just one tiny making of 😉

  25. dominic Says:

    Simple Biped for Blender 2.5 from Project Durian on Vimeo.

  26. bbyak Says:

    Looks very cool. I really look forward to seeing the result. Just please, please don’t ruin it with unbearable plot and characters, like you did for the past two movies. Especially the furry one. Please make a movie that I can show to my family without squirming.

  27. Nixon Says:

    bah..that coloring contest seems already been won by anabela faria:(…;)

  28. anabela faria Says:

    eheh…LOL thanks Nixon.

  29. dawidh Says:

    Hello to everybody,
    I don’t know if there will be a start for the detail department..
    anyway, I’m making a lot of pottery even if I can work to it only in the night and in the weekend..
    What do you say?

  30. Digital FX Artist Says:

    Hi guys, when you get ready to start making the film, I am ready and willing to help, just email me.

    – DFXA

  31. Platypus_Green Says:

    Coloured the line drawing a while back, forgot about it ’til today and uploaded it.

  32. D Says:

    That looks absolutely gorgeous, Platypus_Green! 😀

  33. irve Says:

    I am surprised that no one has mentioned

    Might be just the thing for detail department.

  34. brunogm Says:

    Amazing work!!!

    I found this paper about a model of the human iris for realistic rendering, can you guys have a look and maybe use it for durian. Obs. in the end of the video there is a realtime demo.

    Sample video:

  35. nw Says:

    I’ve just been to Vietnam and took loads of photos, some of which might be useful as refs (probably not as textures as they’re only 3MP). I’ve got pics of Asian-style buildings, images of run down homes/areas, street markets, small boats etc.
    If they’d be useful feel free to send me an email 🙂