Saturday, April 5, 2014

Gooseberry and the Blender Cloud


I haven't written about Blender in a while, and this is the perfect time to talk about what's going on with my favorite open-source CG program. In fact, they're currently gearing up for the next open film code-named project Gooseberry. For those who don't know, the Blender foundation pushes development of its software by creating an open project, meaning a project released under the creative commons license, which allows anyone to reuse assets from the film in ways consistent with the specific license. The projects are usually funded in part by the foundation itself, and part by sponsors, but also with donations and pre-orders of the film. But in the words of every action movie cliche' "This time it's personal!" Well, not really, but it is different. The Gooseberry project is intended to be a feature-length animated film done by studios around the world in collaboration. This will require more money, and a place where shared assets, information, and probably a lot of other things will need to be housed.

Enter the Blender Cloud. This is a new service proposed to be a creative hub for not only the Gooseberry project, but future and community projects as well. It has a base infrastructure that contains all the previous open movies, including all assets and extras. It also houses all of the Blender Foundation's training DVDs, made available to members, and according to Ton Rosendaal, the founder and CEO of the foundation, will grow to allow others to house their personal and community projects in the future.

Not only that, but as usual, Blender will undergo major enhancements to it's asset management and VFX pipeline functionality. After all, they're recruiting diverse professional studios from around the world for this project, so Blender should scale to the challenge. I really like that.

All of these reasons led me to sign up for the cloud. And I think others interested in the capabilities I mentioned above should consider it, too. Yes, Blender is free. But for it to grow, it does needs support.

Now, don't think you have to jump right into the cloud, and pay $12 per month. There are other avenues of support as well, many don't require any cash unless they reach their goal. But even $1 donation can help.

For more information head over to the main page of the Gooseberry project, and the FAQ. And don't forget to check out Blender itself. If you haven't seen it for a while, you will be surprised.