Llama Drama on Puzzlfy app for iOS

Caminandes: Gran Dillama has been included in Puzzlfy!

Puzzlfy is an app for kids, it allows them to create a puzzle out of any video they are watching.  While playing the video, if the user hits the “Puzzlfy” button, the current frame of the video instantly becomes a puzzle.

screen480x480

We are always glad to see the many uses that can be done with Open Content and we wish the guys at Radius60 Studios the best of luck with Puzzlfy!


Have you used Caminandes (Gran Dillama or Llama Drama) in any of your projects? Let us know!

Keep on llamaing,
Caminandes team

IX Jerry Goldsmith Award!

Jan MorgensternPlease give a big round of applause to Jan Morgenstern!

Jan, our music genius, won the Jerry Goldsmith award for “Best Score for an Animated Short Film” at this year’s International Film Music Festival in Córdoba, Spain.

We knew he was awesome, but it’s great to see other people noticing it too, again! Yes, again. Because it’s not his first time, he already won for the Blender Foundation’s Open Movie “Sintel”, back in 2011.

They say that music is 50% of the experience. But in Caminandes, music and sound really is the soul that carries the whole story.

Awesome things happen when you work with awesome people. Thank you Jan for being part of the team.

Congratulations amigo!
Huge llama hug
Pablo

Caminandes: Gran Dillama

Thank you all who made this possible, you helped improving Blender *and* brought to life cartoons for everybody to share around, learn and study from the files that will be on the USB Card.

Is it over? Not for one second. On the movie itself it might be but we’re still working around the clock to finish the release of the files and tutorials, expect news when we send them to print and get them ready to ship all over the globe.

Thank you once again for supporting and sharing Caminandes, you’re awesome. On behalf of Pablo, Francesco, Andy, Hjalti, Jan, Sergey, Juan Pablo and Beorn.

Caminandes 2: Online Premiere Date!

Dear fellow llamas,

We would like to announce that on Friday 22nd of November, at 17hs Amsterdam time (Central European Time, GMT+1) we will publish the second episode of Caminandes online!

caminandes_onlinepremiere

In order to celebrate all together, we are going to host a Google Hangout on Air. Everybody will be free to join and see our happy llama faces fill up with tears as we watch the whole new Caminandes play on YouTube. Cheer with us!

To recap:

When?

    This Friday 22nd November!

  • 17hs Central European Time / GMT+1
  • 13hs Argentina / GMT-3
  • 10hs Central Standard Time / GMT-6
  • Check your timezone

Where? Right here!

Well, you can also go to the Blender Foundation YouTube Channel and watch it there, but here the experience will be much cooler.

Please spread the word and help us make this day memorable! Also, we did not quite reach our funding target yet: it would be great if that could happen too.

See you very soon!

What would you like to learn?

Hello fellow llama friends!
caminandes_edit_final
Exciting times for Caminandes. Everything is coming together, adding special effects and little animation tweaks here and there. Jan is writing music like a boss with a final edit that is 2 minutes 22 seconds! 10 of those seconds are for credits yes (ours and you awesome pre-orderers), but the rest is pure cartoon magic.

We’re so close to finishing, that we’re about to start recording tutorials/documentation for your delight! To get the best out of this, we need your input, what would you like to learn?

The topics we have in mind are:

Documentation / Tutorials:

  • Pipeline: Caminandes folder structure
  • Linking: Building a shot from scratch
  • Shaders: Koro’s Eye and highlights
  • Fur: How Koro’s particle systems are setup
  • Animation: Master Blinks
  • Rigging: Learn to use Koro’s rig

What do you think? Let us know if we’re missing an important topic. The ones listed above are those we believe can be explained efficiently (without becoming a training DVD :) Keep in mind we also have to deliver the film!

Llama hugs
Pablo

November production status

Hello everyone!

We are going through that moment where the blog becomes silent as the guys are super busy doing the last fixes to get the timing right (last edit is about 2 minutes 17 seconds!). So here is what we’re up to:

  • Pablo is in Mexico, working online and talking about Caminandes (blogpost coming soon)
  • Hjalti is back in Iceland polishing a couple of shots (animators’ fine details you know :)
  • Andy is back in Germany and wrapped up all the light/comp for the project (w00t!)
  • Sergey is in Russia, very busy with the new blender development infrastructure
  • Jan is building a Tesla Tower for foley-ing multiple rainbows (OK not, but wouldn’t that be cool?)
  • Francesco is in Amsterdam, working on the new blender.org website wrapping up the production

It is now time for final renders! Thanks to our sponsor render.st we are able to render most of the film there. The process should take a few days.

During the next 2 weeks many more things will happen: sound production with Jan Morgenstern, tutorials recording, film credits! So, the production is still on track and we will soon announce the premiere and release dates.

Stay tuned for more updates!

Blender Conference 2013

blender_caminandesHello everyone! Things have been a bit quiet here on the blog, mainly because of Blender Conference taking place here in Amsterdam this last weekend, and being deep in crunchtime.

We had the honor to be the last talk, right before the closing session by Ton. So we had to make it fast in less than half hour, all five of us talked and showed off stuff for a bit.

Thanks to Thomas Beck for the awesome keychain/bottle-openers custom 3D prints!



Pre-order your copy of Caminandes: Episode 2 now!

Thanks for passing by!
Gracias por pasar!

Interactive Eye Highlighting

eye_post

To make characters appealing, it’s important to get the eyes right; and one of the most important aspects of appealing eyes is the right amount of specular highlight. In most cases the best position for a highlight is within the area of the iris, but not right in the pupil.

scribbles

The best way to get this effect is of course by tweaking the actual lighting in the scene so it results in nice lively eyes. However this can lead to continuity issues, shadows start pointing into the wrong direction, etc. To solve this, the eye spec has to be separated from the scene light.

Since we’re making a cartoon we can bend reality a bit further, the specular reflection doesn’t have to be 100% in the same place as the scene lighting… BUT it still has to be believable.

In Big Buck Bunny for example, the highlight was a separate – specular only – light (often one for each of the characters) which enabled us to put it exactly in the right spot. This technique is still very fiddly and it takes a while (and a lot of re-rendering) to position the spec exactly where you want it.  Another challenge: Since we render in Cycles there is no easy way to use light-groups, AND all our characters are linked into the shot files as groups – which means we cannot tweak material properties on a per-shot basis and per object, this gets a bit more tricky. But only a bit.

For Caminandes we chose a more flexible solution that allows us to control the highlight interactively in the compositor using normal passes (and for each shot).

eye_steps

  1. In the character library file, define a material/object ID for the eye
  2. In the shot file, render a Normal Pass for the entire image
  3. Enable ID passes for objects/materials to isolate the eye from the rest of the image
  4. Using the compositor, apply a color ramp on the dot product of the normal pass using the Normal node.
  5. The Normal node is used to control the direction of the specular reflection, it needs a slight tweak to shift the vector around and make it more user-friendly.
  6. Add the fake spec to the image by using the ID pass as a mask (or multiply the spec with the ID mask, and then add)

Sounds confusing? it’s actually a pretty simple once you get the concept. here is the setup:

eye_nodes

and a simple blender file with the node setup in a group: eyelighting.blend

Of course, the position of the specular has to match the general light direction. The eyes still get reflections from the scene, but the specular highlight adds to the appeal.

Cheers!

.andy

Sneak Peek: Render Test 01a

Keeping daily blog posting roll, have a sneak peek at the very first shot in the movie!

caminandes_test_01a

In this shot, Koro still doesn’t have his facial animation, we’re working on it as well as blocking the remaining shots. Lots to go.

Today we tweaked the length of the last shot. We can safely say that Caminandes Ep. 2 has a total of 19 shots (yes, nineteen!) That’s more than twice Llama Drama, but only ~40% longer running time. This short has definitely much more action. Koro walks, runs, jumps, goes from happiness to fear, all in two minutes! (OK maybe will end up a tad longer, but still!)

If you like cartoons and open content, and would like to take a look at the production files or tutorials included, or just want to support a fun project, consider getting the USB Card or Digital Download. This will help us realize the project and the rest will be donated to Blender and the Blender Foundation.

Thanks!
¡Gracias!