If you can stomach the acting, there’s some impressive CG work in “Tears of Steel,” the latest open source short from the Blender Foundation.
Like the other open source shorts before it, the complete “Tears of Steel,” along with supporting material created by the Blender Institute, will be released under a Creative Commons license. The production was crowd-funded by the Blender community and supported by the Netherlands Film Fund.
By creating a live action based project, the team set an extremely ambitious goal for themselves. The Blender Foundation’s previous films were entirely CG.
Although one of the goals of “Tears of Steel” was to show off Blender’s new “Cycles” render engine and improved compositing tools, the vfx work doesn’t always hold up to close scrutiny. In the above still, for example, the integration of the robotic claw with the talent needs a bit of work. But since all the assets will be released online, anyone willing to re-composite the shot is welcome to do so.
Regardless of this nitpicking, everyone involved should be immensely proud of themselves for pulling off such a Herculean feat.
What is Blender?
If you haven’t heard of Blender, it’s a free and open source 3D software package. It’s come a long way since its initial released under the GNU General Public License in 2002.
The application suite includes everything needed to create film quality CG, including modeling, uv-mapping, texturing, rigging, skinning, animation, particle and other simulation, scripting, rendering, compositing, post-production and even game creation.
It’s an impressive testament to the power of open source development and the dedicated community of Blender users.
For more information on the “Tears of Steel” site.
Tip o’ the hat to Noah Norman.