Archive for the ‘Open Source’ Category

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Is Blender as good as 3DS Max for professional 3D renderings?

October 27, 2008

I received this very good question in one of the comments:

Do you think Blender is as good as 3D max for professional 3D renderings?

Mike,
dk.lazyanimation.com

And my answer:

Mike,

Your question is a very good one, but I am really not the person to ask.  However, I will try to give you a good answer nonetheless.

As you well know, the quality of the final render lies heavily upon the work done in the modeling/animation application prior to the rendering.  The detail of textures, proper placement of lamps, and correct shading and maps all play into getting the stunning result we all want.

Blender’s internal renderer may (or may not) render as high quality results as 3DS Max – I do not have experience with 3DS Max – but Blender’s internal renderer results are definitely satisfactory for general usage.

With the use of an external renderer such as Yaf(a)Ray or Indigo you can achieve higher realism in your photo-realistic renders, and with a program such as Freestyle (coding for the integration with Blender is still in progress as far as I know,) you can create artistic stroke renderings as well.  I have also heard of another photo-realistic renderer called Pixie.

Now onto your question directly:

“Do you think Blender is as good as 3D max for professional 3D renderings?”

Is Blender as good as 3DS Max for professional 3D renderings?  I don’t know, but I would say a big “yes.”

Give Blender a try, learn online with all the great tutorials out there, and you will soon see that Blender is a very capable program.  I highly recommend it!

To find out more of what Blender can do, see the features page (and also see the new features for the 2.48a release,) and check out the image gallery (I do not like some of the images here for various reasons, but I hope you will be OK with them.)

If you have any more questions, feel free to ask!  I am welcome to answering your questions.

God bless and best wishes!

-b

P.S. All of the above programs that I have listed are open source.

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Blender 2.48a released!

October 23, 2008

This needed release is an important bug-fix release for the excellent 3D content creation suite Blender.

Check out the article on BlenderNation.com here: http://www.blendernation.com/2008/10/23/248a-update-release/

And you can download the new version here: Blender 2.48a.

God bless!
Happy Blending!

-b

P.S. A little background story on why this release is needed can be found here: http://www.blendernation.com/2008/10/22/yo-frankie-delay/

P.P.S. God is good… He is always good, nomatter what you or I face…

P.P.P.S. Looking forward to doing some “personal filming” sometime… my own music, you name it – the whole she-bang… hopefully…

P.P.P.P.S. A friend of mine told me about Owl City, an unsigned music artist.  Well, I started listening to it today (once I remembered,) and, lo-and-behold, I liked it!  That artist’s work is now the official “focus for listening” for October 23, 2008… in other words, that is the music group I focused on listening to today (on Playlist.com.)  Check out some of their music here. Wow, so inspiring… I could do my own MUSIC!!!! WHOOT!!! … or, JOIN A GROUP, or START A GROUP, or… SOMETHING!!! … 🙂  Maybe I’m crazy, but I love the idea, wow… I want to start… start soon. 😉

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Celtx Against Maleria Student Challenge

September 30, 2008

Check this awesome challenge: Celtx Against Maleria Student Challenge.

The video on that page is inspiring, especially the words of the filmmakers:

I make media that matters

If I can get my video editing problems figured out into a consistent, reliable, and proficient workflow, I would love to participate in this challenge.

I am now participating in the Morevna Project and am working on learning how to draw one of the main characters, Ivan, as well as drawing a soldier design suggestion.

Check out our new Minosa Films Production Forum! Sign up to the Forest Quest forum (follow the link and hit “Register”) and start discussing current projects (uh… well, we don’t really have any current project discussions on there yet… LOL)

So, anyhow, those are some updates.

God bless, and, as always, best wishes,

-b

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The Morevna Project

September 24, 2008

Yes! Finally! Praise God! My first real article has been accepted to BlenderNation (BlenderNation is the central news site for Blender, the free open source 3D content creation suite.[1])

Read the article now!

I am so glad and highly appreciative that my article as been accepted. I have been endeavoring to get an article submitted for some time now, and had somewhat given up hope (for a time) that I would ever get something submitted. But Bart (Bart Veldhuizen, BlenderNation’s primary contributor and founder) has been cleaning out the backup of article suggestions that the Blender open source community has been sending in. A recent addition to BlenderNation has been the “Rapid Fire” articles, shooting off multiple, short article suggestions and links. A wonderful idea!

So, I am very thankful for Bart accepting my article! And I am also thankful to Zelgadis (Head of the Morevna Project) for leading the open source community of Synfig in an endeavor to create this open source animé film and for letting me know my article had been submitted (I hadn’t found out yet!) Also many thanks to the Morevna Project open source community contributors and all the open source developers, artists, and enthusiasts of many kinds spanning the globe.

See the Morevna Project official website
See the project wiki

God bless and best wishes,
-b

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YEEES! Video editing is becoming possible

September 14, 2008

YEEEEES!  It’s working!  Praise the Lord! Whoot!  Yahoo!

OK, onto the point:  I have successfully produced a very short video clip from a 720×480 (or was it HD SP?) mpeg2 video file into a final output of a 720×480 mpeg2!  This may sound like “So what?”, so let me explain:

Using Rob Scott’s BunnyHopHop workflow I have used Blender 2.47 to do a minor edit to a 720×480 (or was it HD SP?) mpeg2 file with proxies, exported an excerpt of the video to PNG, optimized an AVS script in AvsP, (find the AviSynth wiki here,) ran it in QuEnc to encode the video to mpeg2, and the final result was a compressed 720×480 video with a/v in sync!

See a screenshot:

Blender, AvsP, QuEnc, and VLC Player

Current video editing workflow: Blender, AvsP, QuEnc, and VLC Player

Praise the Lord!  This is a  big mile marker in my video editing journey!

Now I hope all my editing needs will be met by open source software and Blender, and that BlenderAVC will rise to meet the standards of editing HD in the open source world!

About BlenderAVC:

BlenderAVC is an open-source project to provide the “glue” between Blender’s Sequence Editor and video in the AVCHD format. It provides a way of automating the creation of AviSynth scripts and proxy files so that AVCHD and HDV video can be efficiently edited within Blender.

[from the Open Filmmaking page on BlenderAVC.]

God bless!  I look forward to the journey ahead,

Thanks a million, Rob Scott!!!

-b

P.S. The video I tested was from a number of .tod video files through CyberLink BD: PowerDirector Express and exported to mpeg2.  In future testing I may use other workflows to optimize the time spent/quality.

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Testing Blender VSE with HD proxy

September 11, 2008

Hey everyone!

Testing Blender’s VSE (Video Sequence Editor) for my editing needs.  So far it’s working well, once God helped me figure out how to get the audio and video the same length.  (Clue: import the audio and video separately, then make a meta strip to keep them together if you want to.)

Testing Blender VSE with HD proxy

Testing Blender VSE with HD proxy

(Watching the video real-time with a 25% proxy is great!  Unlike using Premiere Pro 1.0, playing the video back on Blender’s preview window is fast enough and sweet for viewing!)

Interlacing is bad, so I may use VirtualDub for that.  Depends.

If I can get good results from Blender, I may go with it for now and keep the JVC Everio GZ-HD7, instead of downsizing my camcorder.

Hopefully BlenderAVC will continue to be developed so I can import my video directly (without worrying about conversion.)

I hope this all works out!  Thanks to all who recommended using Blender for editing my video.  I should have tried it again earlier – then again, what’s wrong with now?  “The road goes ever one” as Bilbo sings, and it’s the journey that brings memories and experience.

Best wishes, peace out,

-b

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Not sure what’s ahead

August 25, 2008

As the days pass by and progress is made in various areas, one may wonder what happened to Minosa Films – like, where are the films?!

Well, I suppose everything has a journey.  And each journey has it’s pilgrims, and once in a while, you run across a hero.  Well, I am a pilgrim.  And I need to do my part, and my part is not only the technical side of making sure we have a camcorder that will work, but scripts to make movies from.  So, I need to write scripts.  We have one script for a film titled “Is This Love?”, and I plan to make revisions upon it (basically add to/and or rewrite it.)  I think it would be wise to have more than one script on hand, so, I need to write! 😉

Recently I found out about a neat project called Morevna Project.  Check it out here: morevnaproject.org.  I am considering contributing to it.  From the website:

The main goal of Morevna Project is creation of full-lengthened anime movie, utilizing Open Source software only.

Other goals:

  • Promotion of Open Source software and its ideology.
  • Testing and improving existing Open Source products by giving appropriated feedback to developers and community.
  • Validate Open Source tools as suitable for creation of professional good-looking animation.
  • Provide content for other artists to learn from or to re-use, including documentation and tutorials

Main production tools:

Also, check out this neat song by Staffan Svahn, called Red Hills.

And now back to what I need to do.  God bless!

-b