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BlenderNation Peach Interviews: Ton Roosendaal

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Special thanks to Creative Commons (music) and Bart Veldhuizen (BlenderNation) I'm here today with Ton Roosendaal at The Blender Institute and we're talking about his new project, the Peach open movie. and Ton, how are you doing with only six weeks to go before the grand premiere? Yeah... We're running around like chickens without heads! It's a good preposition. In the last six weeks, everybody gets nervous! Blending, problems, weeks behind... That kind of stuff. But I think the animation is doing really good! But of course it's going to be SO so incredibly good. You saw parts! I just saw the first animatic [that] I've seen so far. It's really impressive. I really want to know how you manage to manage such complex projects? Do you know how much time it's going to take... how to assign things to people? I have no idea. -- It just happens? -- It just HAPPENS. It's experience I think. I've done it in the 90's so many times with smaller projects and you know complete this, how to complete that, the amount of shots, the complexity of the shots, the amount of jobs to do for a shot, and then you've got a breakdown of the whole movie in shots. Each shot gets an amount of animation seconds and rendering seconds and then you can try to estimate the amount of work. But it's not going down to every shot and trying to think of "how do you make it?" "How may people do you need for it?" and then "how do you schedule?" But it's pretty much like... [checking the wind by your finger] How good is the Blending so far? Are you going to make it in six weeks? Of course! We have to make it! We don't have any choice. Do people still have a life outside the Institute? No. We might go to the movies next Saturday. So we have time to go away for two hours to see a movie. And then they have to go back to work again? -- Naaaaaaa...... At this moment, are you still continuing to develop new Blender functions? --Yah! -- Is there anything new at this point? It helps a lot to have Campbell and Brecht here. They're developing full-time. I can only do it part-time at the moment, because I'm doing too many other things in the mean time. But they finished a project [that] I wanted to finish years ago already for sampling colors and compositing in a way that it gives totally crisp, beautiful images. The image is on the quality level that Andy said "Yes! This is the BEST thing that I have ever seen coming out of Blender!" That's what they're doing at the moment. It works, but it doesn't work yet on the render farm - we don't know why but... Okay. So you can work with your local stations here? -- Yah. -- Did you complete any real final render kits??? -- No. But that's the problem! -- How long is the rendering going to take? We've got SUN Microsystems offering with a network.com server farm of 600 computers which we can do 2 or 300 at the same time. and we calculated that we can render the whole movie in one day on their system. In ONE day? -- Yah; If the computers keep rendering of course. The processor... eehh... And we don't have to ba???rate??? to download everything. First Question is from Creon????: "You realized another 3D movie? What will you do next?" After Peach? Ahh.. We have a secret project going on called Durian. A durian is an indonesian fruit or asian fruit. It's smelly and ugly and spikey but tastes very well. That project is about NO STORY - only explosions, fighting, everything... that's not 'adult' but ???? So, lots of fun, mostish????, and whatever you boys like to make. Not furry and funny anymore -- We want to have it in 4K. This big sponsor wants to have 4K-Cinema tested. So we have to render everything EXTREMELY detailed. I'm going to use it to test the sculpting better. It works in Blender, but it's not yet there. We'll have to work on it. Sculpting deformation. Sculpting animation. That kind of stuff. And of course 4K compositing. (whistle) Compositing right now is difficult in 4K. We want to be able to do ????? work? Big fun.. Yeah! -- But we don't have it completely final yet. The finalizing has to be done in advance just like Peach. I want to know that we really can complete it before I officially announce it. I think I talked about it briefly at The Blender Conference, but I wasn't planning to do it here yet. I would also like to do something with a special effect film. But that project has nothing worked out. -- Just an idea. Wayne says: "Are there any more training DVD's like Mancandy lined up? More specifically, are you planning to teach all of which you learned from the Peach project?" Absolutely; yeah. So we hope to get a bit of time after the movie is finished to do more tutorial recordings in the studio to include in the Peach disc. But the concept of the Mancandy DVD was also to allow the artists to run the studio here, and to spend a little more time with making a longer tutorial about what they've learned. And it doesn't really have to be related directly to Peach, but it does relate to what they're doing here. You can expect tutorial DVDs from Andy about rendering of course, Nathan about rigging, William [for] animating. We would love to see them do DVDs. Verp: "What's the area of Blender that you think needs the most amount of work?" At this moment? -- At this moment. -- The interface... But the interface has been a topic since 1995. It's always a topic. and the interesting thing is that when you get to crunch time in the studio here, with project like Elephants Dream or now with the Peach project, the interface is not that important anymore, because people want to have rendering fixed, and bugs fixed, to have deformation, animation tools, but the fact that the buttons are aligned a bit weird or that it takes a little more clicking... It's not that important. Have you developed any features that we haven't seen yet? Any in-house stuff? Naaaaa...... So it's all in the trunk? - No. It's in the trunk of course. The trunk is the official released blender, and I think there's already 20 branches who experiment. And also with 2.35 ... er 2.50 branch is where we do interface tests. There are many other branches who fool around with tests. But personally I'm only working on 2.5 and rendering things for Peach. But everything goes directly in to the trunk. Oh.-- No secrets. Not that I know of. -- Too bad. -- Maybe Brecht has secrets! and by the way, if there was a secret, I wouldn't tell you. That's what a secret is about! Well you just talked about your secret project Durian... Naaaaa... It's not a secret. Last one! "What kind of coffee do you need to make a project like this?" What kind of what? -- Coffee. Coffee? What kind of coffee? Normal coffee. -- Normal? -- Just coffee! Two or three cups of coffee in the morning... one espresso... Italian espresso of course ... That's it. How many hours a day do you work? Ten... Eleven? I'm quite modest. I mean usually, it used to be in my previous company that I would come in first and I would leave last. But now, usually I'm not the first to arrive, and I'm never the last to go. Everybody's making more long hours than I am. It's very sad that I'm getting old, so I have to sleep my 8 hours... and I can't do this. The other guys are like 20. They can work 24 hours, and go back; go back; go back... Of course they have the more fun job of animating the movie. I also have to do book-keeping stuff, meetings, and managing people. Those kinds of things are more difficult to do. More testing???? So now you're a manager, instead of a producer This is the first project you're doing in the Blender Institute? -- Yeah! -- Is it what you expected it to be? Absolutely. It's really fun. It's a very good atmosphere. There's freedom. It's relaxed too. Even when people work really hard, there's hardly the feeling we had in previous companies like from oahhtoaiwniwnmfoiw neogeo. There's always guidance. There's always some rediculous buisness ??? that had to be met. And the only rediculous target we have now is of course the movie premiere, but that's our own target. WE've defined it! We've defined what we are going to make, and that we are going to finish it. It's our job. Of course it's frustrating, it's difficult... It's our film. So we can say "It's finished. We did it." Nobody else. But how is it different from Elephants Dream? Elephants Dream was a co-production the Dutch Media Arts Institute, and we had to work with them a bit and they also had their interests and input on planning. But they gave us our freedom. But it was a temporary place. It's not our own institute, our own offices. We only had one room where the artists were working and i was working at home. And now I go to work every morning which is The Blender Institute where I'm... working on blender stuff! -- Ah. -- That's insane. And next week we have five more ????? projects. ??? blender artists and developers??? brecht?? two employees of the Blender Institute, the producer ???? , and me, and two people from Egypt. It's growing! -- Who would have though that. Of course, in April, half of the people will go away, because that's the end of the Peach project. And you're going to prepare the next one -- That's not very good, but we wont have to BURGER?MACHT?FRE?ZO?LEGH WE ??? more of the local community. The buisness is ??? projects./ We try to get projects finalized and when we can do it... we execute it and then we can finish it and go to the next. What are your hopes for the Apricot project? The main goal is of course is to get a great game that looks like a good game and doesn't look like a crappy open source thing but that's always the thing we have to do first, because Elephants Dream was a milestone for open source movie creation Even when people think it's a crappy movie.. But lots of aspects of Elephants Dream were milestones. They were really big steps for development and quality. For games we have to do the same thing. People expect high quality games now-a-days. And that's not only technology, it's also art. So we need to put some artists together to work on something that looks like high quality. And of course the second thing is we need to develop Blender better to fit better in the game creation pipeline. Game tools like baking, and maybe a little bit of painting if they do painting. Modeling of polygons, making prototypes. How do you make an efficient level editor? How do you get Blender better configurable to fix the pieline to go to other game engines? Because you're going to use the Crystal Space game engine? -- Da. The Crystal Space game engine also has development targets for a couple of things we're going to have a python pipeline inside of Blender to talk to the Crystal Space engine. but of course, it's not only Crystal Space. Other game engines will be able to do the same thing over again later on. For Blender, it's not like we decided to do Crystal Space and only Crystal Space. No.. Crystal Space is great. It's a good engine, but the result will be that other commercial game engines will also be able to work much better. And does that mean that Blender's own game engine is not going to be developed any more? It's a bit spotty, still; so we're thinking of removing it as a plug-in. So it will still be there as optional, but we'll allow other engines to plug in directly too. We might test that even within the Apricot Project, but it is not a target. -- No. The Blender Game Engine is great for prototyping, and for making [games quickly], but the Blender Game Engine is extremely complicated to manage, and maintain, and improve, and even when you decide to do that, you need developers! I want to have all sorts of development. The top purpose of Blender is to have developers. I want to have creative people here, and try to organize all kinds of development online. People should help us with developing. If no developer accepts the Blender Game Engine as an interesting project then it will always be a bit problematic. -- It has been problematic for the last few years. Right? Blender itself has 40 or 50 people, almost DAILY, active on contributing, and that's why we can do this. If the game engine had 5 or 50 50 developers... (mumbles) Crystal Space has 20 - 30 people fairly active. So that makes much more sense to use that game engine. -- Yeah! How do you think that will look in the end? You can just press "P" and it will play in the Crystal Space engine? or do you need to do C, calc---The file will be programmed like a normal game so when you insiert the game disc, it starts playing. Title animation... Music... -- But what will that look like?

Video Details

Duration: 19 minutes and 20 seconds
Country: Netherlands
Language: English
Producer: BlenderNation
Director: Bart Veldhuizen
Views: 2,409
Posted by: bmud on Feb 4, 2008

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