As if you didn’t know, The Blender foundation has started work on project Gooseberry. Project Gooseberry is the code name for their 5th open movie project. The project is large undertaking in which the Blender foundation wishes to produce a feature length animation using just open source software.
The Blender foundation will attempt this project with small studios worldwide. 12 independent studios who already use open source software will contribute to the production of this feature length film. They will work with a staff of artist and developers to see if open source is ready for a feature film.
The film is about Michel the sheep, who’s longing to get an interesting life. It will be a funny, absurdist and adventurous love story, directed by Mathieu Auvray. ( Listen to Mathieu on Blenderguru podcast)
The Blender foundation plans to offer supporter full access to the whole production and all training assets that are derived from the project. The Blender cloud will allow subscribers to access data from from previous films and also data from the Gooseberry project.
For 45 Euro or 62 U.S. Dollars you get three months access to the data from previous Open Movies and Workshop training videos. The Gooseberry team will use it to cooperate, to share data and to get you involved.
After Posting a tutorial on texturing Makehuman characters in Blender I noticed a lot of interest in the topic. I wondered if people were using Makehuman in any projects. I searched good ole Youtube to see if anything new had been uploaded and to my surprise I didn’t see to many of interest. I recall about a yaer and a half ago that Makehuman, Blender, and motion capture were the buzz of the internet world. I even caught the bug when I saw the short “ Don’t call me babe” . It was done by Thomas Larson one of the developers of makehuman. When I saw it, It had already been floating around for about 2 years. I tried searching for a link but it is no longer available.
Along that same time the Blender foundation was working on it’s third open movie Sintel. The 14 minute feature which was realeased in september of 2010 and was done all in blender like the two previous film done by the foundation. Although sintel did not employ any Makehuman character it prove that Blender is a very capable animation suite which could be employed in any production pipeline and inspire the need to be creative.
We fast forward a couple of years and I stumbled on these films while trying to learn blender. So I thought would not it be cool to animate a short. One problem though I couldn’t and still can’t model a convincing character. After a few tutorials and rough attempts to model character I was about to give up. When I seen something about Makehuman and how it was the thing to make character generation easy. So I downloaded Makehuman alpha 6 I believe it might have been 5 but who really remembers a couple of years ago.
So I set off to make a animated short with no modeling skills no animation skills. I had two pieces of software that was going to make this work. (So I thought) I watched a few tutorials on walk cycles and keyframing and f-curves and there I was overloaded with information, ambition and no clue. So off I went and at the end of june in 2012 I posted this video on Youtube.
Now looking back I think I should have tried to hone my skills a lot more before posting but the one thing that holds true in that video is a quote in the intro “ I AM NOT AN ARTIST. WORKING WITH BLENDER MAY CHANGE THAT WITH PRACTICE AND LOTS OF TIME.” I posted two more video using Makehuman and motion capture data from Carnegie-Mellon Graphics Lab.
I gave up on making my animated short film because of the time I would have to spend on the project which I didn’t have much to spare back then. The software as well had issues as Blender was improving and Makehuman was racing to keep up. In the time between Blender 2.64 and 2.67 the compatabilty of some makehuman add ons was questionable at best. I am sure that alpha 6 doesn’t even import into Blender 2.68 or 2.69.
On the plus side however the makewalk addon replaced the old mocap and it works better and has a few tools to refine mocap data. The models appear to look better more so if rendered in cycles. It has the morphing tool which I haven’t tried and makeclothes which I could never get to work. I posted a video of a few experiments I tried with alpha 7 and 8 in the new blender. I thought I would share them before I deleted them all.