Are you the one defender of Blender among your fellow colleagues in animation? Are constantly bombarded with questions such as 'What makes Blender special?' or 'Is blender even in the same ballpark as Maya'? Then Blender Animation Studio's latest short film SPRING came at the right time as it demonstrates just what is possible with Blender 2.80 and BOY OH BOY IT'S IMPRESSIVE!
Here at Blue Crescent Studio, we got our start in animation using Blender and, despite dabbling a little with other 3D animation software (Cinema 4D, Daz3D, iClone), we stuck with it mainly due to its continued dev support and potential. It is absolutely astonishing to see how much the still totally free Blender has blossomed over the years. The devs are now busy wrapping up the finishing touches on the latest version which has been in beta for some time and, after also testing it we were happy with where the software was heading. But, leave it to Blender Animation Studio themselves to show the world the true potential of Blender 2.80.
Spring is about a young shepherd girl named Spring and her adorable dog Autumn as they traveled to a world below the clouds in hopes of convincing ancient spirits to usher in the start of (ironically) Spring. As the film starts, right off the bat you will see an amazing view of Spring and Autumn's home in the mountains displaying incredibly detailed textures. As the film progress, it becomes noticeable just how top class the characters' animations and movements are as well as the sound design. According to there walk-through of the project, the team expressed that in order to handle the complexity of the character’s rig, the team had to use a variety of tools inside Blender. Head animator Nacho Conesa went on to state that:
“The first was Selection sets, which are predefined groups of controls that allow selecting and posing specific portions of the character with a certain level of detail. Then there was the Pose library, not used for the Alpha shot but useful for other characters. This was made up of a number of pre-made poses for specific parts of the characters – usually face and hands – which greatly speed-up the animation process as they provide a good base for the animator for achieving a pose and keeping the character on model.”
For the full tutorial and breakdown of the film head over to the official page at https://cloud.blender.org/p/spring/. The short film itself can be viewed in its entirety below:
The release date for the final version of Blender 2.80 wasn't given but, looking at Spring (we already watched it numerous amounts at time of writing this) it is difficult waiting. For more animation news check out UNITY devs' own demonstration of what the latest version is capable of or check out our own impressions of Blender 2.80.
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Hey I am Marlon Mcfarlane the writer here at Blue Crescent Studio & a longtime lover of all things Animation & Gaming.