Blender to After Effects

Just released. The free Blender After Effects Exporter

“This program integrates in the File/Export menu of Blender and it allows you to export an entire animation from Blender to After Effects, including the camera, lights, 3D meshes, planes, all of which will create corresponding After Effects 3D solids, and footage. The Exporter even supports multiple passes.”

MaMachinima International Festival 2010 trailer

MaMachinima International Festival 2010 will be happening Saturday 20th February 2010, in Amsterdam, The Netherlands (Europe) and in Second Life. The official trailer…

A pity they had to have a prominent “dancing character clip” (argh!) on the screen at the end, since it suggests the films on show are going to be stereotypical “omg! i made a dancing babe!!” YouTube fare. The Festival has even used a “dancing babe” as the official logo. No, no, nowrong branding messages, in terms of the impression that’s being given to filmmakers looking into the community from the outside. But, what do I know — maybe it was meant to be ironic? Or off-putting perhaps, since there are only 200 places on the island in Second Life before the server topples over?

I’m thinking a logo/poster more like this

Ok, giant robots — still a cliche. But at least it’s a better cliche, because it implies that some storytelling might be going on.

Animata 004

Could your animation’s music “drive” your animation, without you having to actually hand-animate the characters? Animata Pub Jazz (video) is a demonstration of using the free Open Source software Animata to do just that.

About half-way through the video, the audience is able to see the “virtual push-pins and rubber-bands” that are being tweaked by the music so as to “drive” the animation.

Version 004 was released just after Christmas 2009. But before Windows users rush to install it — be warned that installing isn’t at all easy. A Windows user has to do a lot of very tedious wrestling with Cygwin and Python. Still, Animata seems like an animation application to keep an eye on — especially if you’re into live animation screens for music events.

The Third and the Seventh

The Third and the Seventh (2010). A completely 3D computer-generated short, apart from some video-billboards of people. 3D Studio Max, rendered with Vray, composited with After Effects and an unknown and very luscious depth-of-field plugin, and edited with Adobe Premiere. Inspiring stuff.

Click the picture to play in HD on Vimeo.

I’m about to watch the “Making of…” short, but I’m guessing that some otherwise “heavy-rendering moments” may have been avoided through the use of Ken Burns’ style panning across pre-rendered CG still shots, and through the selective focus-pulling? Either that, or he’s found a way to hack into the Googleplex to use it as a render-farm.

I can’t help being reminded of a half-forgotten quote by this video. Commenting on late Modernism in 20th century architecture, someone once said something along the lines of: “What magnificently made buildings! Such a pity we forgot to make the magnificent people to live in them.”

The other thought that came to mind was that some of the most imaginative young architects will be increasingly drawn to collaborate with games developers and film-makers, and may well be enticed away from architecture when they realise they’re otherwise going into a provincial life of tweaking template-driven plans for mundane civic centres and me-too office blocks. I’d love to see a promotional torrent compilation of “virtual fantasy buildings by young architects”, which could be fully explored as first-person videogame environments.