Friday, October 21, 2011

Dragon Tutorials

For the upcoming Dragon Girl movie (1102) we're using the model from the open-source movie Sintel.
I wonder if this is the first "commercial" use of the Blender Foundation project? It's certainly the first feature that uses it.
In the interest of open-sourced-ness I feel like we should release various things, like our version of the model, into the wild. We won't be making the movie itself open source. Because we need to sell it in order to do mundane things like pay rent and, er, make more movies.
But, you know, we'll make some things open. Hey, I'm a huge supporter of and we upload our custom sound effects there for your dining and dancing pleasure. So why not release our Blender models?*
In any case, we're using this big ol' dragon. (UPDATE: I have no idea why I'm getting a 406 error when clicking on that link. Update update: right-click and "save as". Then when you've downloaded the file rename it to ".zip" rather than ".txt". You should then be able to open it.) And Nathan Vegdahl is helping us! Nathan is one of the all-time greats in the Blender scene and he worked on Sintel as well as on Project London.
Here are some tutorials he made based on this modified version of the Adult Dragon (it is made to work with the pre-release version of Blender 2.60).
You may want to watch these tutorials on Vimeo just so the window is big enough.
The first tutorial is all about the dragon rig.

And here is a tutorial about linking animations:

And lastly there's this tutorial on re-using Blender animation:

Reusing Dragon Animation from Andrew Bellware on Vimeo.
Hey, Blender programmers, I have one request. Can we get obvious names for the layers? Like a rollover window when you mouse over them or something? I know the layers have names (and they start with "0" because, well, because.) But you'll notice that Nathan has to point at each layer to describe which one he's talking about. Yes, I know there are scripts to name layers, I just want numbers -- so when someone says "turn off layer 6" we all know which layer that is! ;-)

*In my head I've toyed with the idea of making our screenplays open-source, which would be amusing. Of course, if we ever make a bit hit picture I'd hate if a big studio made a remake and didn't pay us. But if you're interested in shooting one of our screenplays... let's just say the idea amuses us. So hit me up and I'm sure we can work something out.

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