/ by Ton

(About time for a short producer’s update)

I’m just back from another visit to the studio, and can only say it is truely amazing what goes on there! It is incredible inspiring to see scenes and shots increasing in quality step by step, and ending up in something that actually looks like a real animation movie. :) And not only that, each and every blend file the artists make is worth viewing and evaluating… the database we’re building is going to become a premium quality asset of the DVDs we will publish.

So… at this very moment I can only conclude we’re going to meet all targets as set for the Orange project; especially related to the impact on validating and improving open source development. Actually there’s only one minor target left…. we gotta finish this movie too!
Since last november I’ve been experimenting with all kinds of scheduling approaches, and there seems to be some law of nature that whatever you schedule, only 70-80% of a schedule is ever realized. Even when you try to anticipate this law… we just can’t stop making shots better and better and better…

Yesterday I’ve had a meeting with the co-producer (NIM/Montevideo), and we’ve decided to squeeze out extra budget to enable the team to work for an extra month. If we would end on February 23rd, we would have to scratch entire scenes… and there’s just no scene we can actually miss for this movie short.

Instead, the new deadline has been put on March 15th, with a premiere either on March the 16th or on the 23rd. We’re currently contacting Movie Distributors and Producers in the Netherlands to find an opportunity to organize a joint premiere, with Elephants Dream as pre-show.
There’s also an opportunity to organize a world-wide premiere. I’m already discussing this with the Libre Graphics Meeting organization.

Friday/Saturday/Sunday March 17-19 is also targeted to have three days of presentations (and an exhibition) around the movie in the Montevideo building in Amsterdam. All team members then will be available for demos, feedback and showing each and every trick they used to make the movie.

We’ll try to get the DVD and making of documentary finished in the week(s) after, ready for shipping to all of our sponsors early april.

That’s it for now… back to coding, Blender isn’t ready yet!

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45 Responses to “Deadlines!”

  1. jazzroy said on 24 Jan, 2006:

    We can wait another month… Don’t be afraid of missing the deadlines, there’s no good production that ends when scheduled ;)

    Thanx for the great news!

  2. Japke said on 24 Jan, 2006:

    Indeed we can wait a bit more to see the animation movie and all blender data on the extended dvd. A animation movie can be later but not crappier :) Moving the dealine is a good idea. And well :) good to hear the progress is going well.. Very very curious to see and hear the results.

  3. mohd_moustady said on 24 Jan, 2006:

    Hi ton,
    I am own a 3d producrion studio and we use blender as a main software, can you kindly provide me with your contacts.
    my e-mail
    [email protected]


  4. venomgfx said on 24 Jan, 2006:

    damn i have to get that dvd!!…. but first i have to save some money to buy a dvd player xD..
    It would be cheaper if i travel to Amsterdam and come back to argentina again.. :(

    euro x_x

  5. Kernon said on 24 Jan, 2006:

    That’s great news! I was beginning to wonder if there would be some compromises because of the tight schedule. It’s good tohear that you’re more concerned with the quality and completeness of the project than meeting a deadline. This project is too important for Blender, Open Source, and aspiring animated movie-makers to be sacrificed just to meet an initial deadline. Thanks for having the courage to make those decisions! Good Luck.

  6. yeonil said on 24 Jan, 2006:

    I wonder if You could try making some videos from this 3 day presentation also? That could be even better.

  7. Trevor said on 24 Jan, 2006:

    Keep up the good work fellas, you are all doing wonderful jobs!

  8. elubie said on 24 Jan, 2006:

    I agree that this is great news. Even with the extended deadline it has been a very ambitious project from the beginning and I have a huge respect for the whole team. It’s been incredibly inspiring for me to follow the progress both in the project and in the development of Blender during the last months.

    Best wishes and Good Luck!

  9. CaT said on 24 Jan, 2006:

    Hey Sounds like great news ! Realy can’t wait for the DVD !
    If got a question regarding the Coding of Blender. Is there a estimated date when the coded stuff for Project Orange will be included into Blender ? Realy can’t wait for this too :)

  10. BArrYZ said on 24 Jan, 2006:

    Great news!

    Also with a postponed deadline, it will be a great opportunity to maximize the quality of the short and have a better impact on the media.

    Anyway, the link on the blog is dead :-(


    Thanks for sharing Ton!;-)

  11. Rui Campos said on 24 Jan, 2006:

    BArrYZ: The link works fine here.

  12. Davide said on 24 Jan, 2006:

    I always have eared that a good shedule should be a flexible one; it is great to see that you are able to to change the deadline to maximize the quality.

    ppl, for the link, try:

  13. Bmud said on 24 Jan, 2006:

    The Carolina Theater here in North Carolina USA is a very large theater built old style and I’m sure they would be happy to show the short in some way. And I’d gladly take a posse of people out there to see it as well. I’ll attempt contacting them about it…

  14. JoOngle said on 24 Jan, 2006:

    Great stuff!

    But I have to agree with the others on taking the time you guys need to complete the task! Don´t rush things – take the time you need to do it. We´ll wait, and we´re greatly appreciative of how this project also has driven the development of Blender to new highs!

    Kudos to all of Orange – and the coders!


  15. claas kuhnen said on 24 Jan, 2006:

    good that you can extend it for one month,
    that is quite some time to work and not only
    will it benefit the movie but also the project
    and the impact this projects stands for and will

    good luck!

  16. Nate said on 24 Jan, 2006:

    I’ve been following blender for years now. Is it possible to get a digital version for viewing here at Purdue University computer graphics department? I know of several groups and clubs that would be happy to participate.


  17. JiriH said on 24 Jan, 2006:

    Thank you Ton and all Blender team! Great news!!! I have ordered and paid DVD already in September.

    Does it mean that there is already decision on opensource sequencer/editing software? I remember that you have proposed it as a challenge for opensource programmers at the beginning of Blender project. Or will be Blender code enhanced to render videos with sounds, colour corrections etc.?


  18. Rui Campos said on 25 Jan, 2006:

    JiriH: I guess it might get added to Blenders Source, there are some patches in the patch tracker for FFMPEG integration with Blender, so I think Blender might become a full tool not needing any other software, possibly not it time for Orange to make real use of it, or maybe not ….

    — Rui —

  19. Nathan "Cessen" Vegdahl said on 25 Jan, 2006:

    I think you should submit Elephants Dream for consideration in the Siggraph 2006 Electronic Theater. :-)

  20. Omar said on 25 Jan, 2006:

    Cinelerra is really nice in its newer version and “waterproof”.
    Anyway, as Ton is a real magician as coder he could extend Blender in this way, but with the current deadline, it would be safer to choose an existing tool.
    Cinelerra is a professional HDTV editor, don’t forget it.

    Thanks Ton to give us a sign of life on the blog! eheh

    Best regards

  21. Dalai Felinto said on 25 Jan, 2006:

    And about a portuguese(BR) subtitled edition?

  22. Tom Musgrove said on 25 Jan, 2006:

    They are using the blender sequencer, they are already using the patches from the tracker locally. Between the Sequencer and Tons compositing work, Blender is probably the best (or will be shortly) opensource Non linear editor and compositor.


  23. BArrYZ said on 25 Jan, 2006:

    Rui Campos and Davide: thanks for the link suggestion :-)

  24. Richard said on 25 Jan, 2006:

    This may be a stupid I idea, but why don’t you try out for an Academy Award for Best Animated Short? As far as I know, you have nothing to lose and some winners in previous years have been really disappointing. I think that you could have a chance.

  25. madman said on 25 Jan, 2006:

    I can’t wait anymoreeeeeeeeeeee…

  26. Bill said on 25 Jan, 2006:

    Seems like short time even after the postproning. I was under the impression that animatics were starting to be finished! Hope you dont have to rush it too much.

  27. Chris Koster said on 25 Jan, 2006:

    Well done to everyone working on this project and thanks to Ton for the effort that he has put into Blender! 3D Software is extremely expensive and without Blender, many people that are not able to afford these packages would not be able to realize their dreams of being able to create stunning 3D images, animations etc.

    I am one of those people that count myself lucky to have been able to have crossed paths with Blender. Now just as a final question – to see what other Blender users think about it:

    Because of the immense growth Blender went through in terms of having a dedicated project to focus on (in this case – a movie), why not as a next project maybe try something like an OpenGame that would push other aspects of Blender and teach people how to create their own games?

    Just a thought…

    Keep up the good work – and thanks again!

  28. joeri said on 25 Jan, 2006:

    You can pre order the dvd.
    And I think there will be versions that can be downloaded.

    I think that was what set the deadline in the first place.
    To my believe submissions need to be finished for 80% to see if they get approved for showing at the electronic theater.
    So I guess they will be sending their almost finished submission soon. And when that gets approved then there is time enough for the finished version.

    Being a dutch production I’m not sure this is easy. It needs to be part of the dutch submissions. This is ofcourse possible because there are not alot of dutch animations made, but it needs to go truw the proper channels. (read; dutch cinema commisions).
    ButI bet Ton will try to beat me in getting an Oscar.

  29. Carsten Tigges said on 25 Jan, 2006:

    I’m sure it will be worth waiting for it. Continue your great job!

  30. joeri said on 25 Jan, 2006:

    More photos!
    We want to see the black eyes… The coffee stains and the blower dust.

  31. alex said on 25 Jan, 2006:

    to Nathan:

    quote: The movie will be submitted to festivals worldwide, such as the Siggraph Theatre, Cannes Film Festival or the Dutch Animation Festival.


  32. buergi said on 25 Jan, 2006:

    Love your work! I agree with the idea submitting Elephants Dream for consideration in the Siggraph 2006 or even in the Academy Award. Can’t await the day where the DVD arrives.

  33. Toon Scheur said on 25 Jan, 2006:

    Davide wrote: I always have eared that a good shedule should be a flexible one.

    We call that a calender :)

  34. Elisee Maurer said on 25 Jan, 2006:

    Quote from Chris : “why not as a next project maybe try something like an OpenGame that would push other aspects of Blender and teach people how to create their own games?”

    I fully agree with this idea. There’s still a real lack of information and tools to use blender in games, although there are some gpl’ed 3d engines able to use blender’s models out there (like Ogre3D). An open and “community-sponsored” project of that kind would be great.

    Keep up the good work,
    We all can’t wait to see the final movie.

  35. Vassilios Boucer said on 25 Jan, 2006:

    Quote from Chris : “why not as a next project maybe try something like an OpenGame that would push other aspects of Blender and teach people how to create their own games?”

    I also fully agree with this idea.!!!A Orange Game!

  36. Levi said on 25 Jan, 2006:

    It’s great to see such an effort being put into this project and the lengths you going too to get it right.It really has been a pleasure to see this movie coming together over the past months, keep up the good work !!. The plans for the release of the movie sound fanastic !.

  37. Richy T said on 26 Jan, 2006:

    Hello there,
    I have a question about yafray’s website.
    I just tried to vist there site at
    but it’s not the yafray site anymore… Where did
    yafray go? I know this is not a question about the
    movie. I would just like to know as I am a yafray user.
    Thanks for the help.

    – Richy

  38. Tom Musgrove said on 26 Jan, 2006:

    Regarding a “game project” similar to Orange.

    That was discussed in this thread at the Blender forums

    Here was Tons response,

    [QUOTE]’m all ears & eyes for opportunities that arise to organize more projects like Orange. The first thing I need though is a (couple of) partner(s) to help organizing and financing it.
    Same was for Orange, that wouldn’t have been possible without the Dutch Media Art Institute.

    Making animations/movies with Blender is a bit more (understatement :) feasible now than doing 3d games though. But, if we can extend the scope to include other open source 3d engines, with Blender as artists tool and for prototyping, it might be very interesting.

    As usual, ideas we got enough, but now how make them come true! Anyone here should feel invited to try to get something like “Orange” copied locally. There’s a whole lotta interest in open source and culture/art based projects, with institutes and funds all over the world looking for opportunities.[/QUOTE]

    Now from this thread is the finance information for Orange.


    [QUOTE]Then I like to make a note that the BF presale campaign only covers 25% of the total budget, with the rest coming from our production partner and subsidies.

    (Total budget for movie is about 100k – 120k euro. And no, that money doesn’t go to Foundation expenses nor to me, and yes, I should once post the overview of it!) [/QUOTE]

    That doesn’t include an extra month of expenses. So say 140-160k euro. (170000-200000 dollars).

    So lets say an upper bound target of 200,000$ and a lower bound target of 120,000$. It isn’t clear from Tons statement exactly what the funding was used to cover, ie whether they had free usage of preexisting office space etc. If that is the case, then possible the funding required might need to be doubled.

    So, find partners for funding, and get a good proposal together, and a game equivalent of Orange can be done.


  39. joeri said on 26 Jan, 2006:

    Richy T: There is a long thread about that on

  40. Samo said on 26 Jan, 2006:

    Deadlines are evil anyway. ;o)

  41. Xtra said on 26 Jan, 2006:

    YafRay is back …

  42. Henrymop said on 27 Jan, 2006:

    I’m surprized that Project Orange hasn’t been dropped already. People anymore just don’t seem to have the motivation , skill. And they’re lazy. They want instant gradification. But not you guys! You guys want something, and you get it. I wish more people were like you, maybe then life would be more interesting.

  43. Dave Neary said on 30 Jan, 2006:

    Sorry about the link for – it definitely works, but there’s a bug now – it only works if you have English or French somewhere in your preferred languages. It should fall back to English, but something’s off-colour in the Apache config.


    PS. Anyone planning on coming to Lyon should register,

  44. Rui Campos said on 31 Jan, 2006:

    Hey Dave, I’m going and already registered.
    I’m planning some Workshops on Blender, so will try to get in contact with you for coordination.

    — Rui —