Releases and Recommendations

  / by Matt

As the DVDs are making their way throughout the globe and the web release draws nearer and nearer, it’s time to give a little update.

DVD Mailing

The DVDs seem to have made their way across nearly all of Europe and the UK. The first DVDs in the USA were reported arriving in New York and it seems a few more are popping up around North America. I haven’t heard anything yet from South America, Africa or Asia yet, and I have a feeling I still will be waiting a little while down here in Australia :). ‘Steve’ has started a map group on Frappr called Orangewave where in theory we’ll be able to see how the DVDs are spreading. You might want to add yourself and the arrival date to the list when you receive yours, it looks like fun, especially if we get all 2000 there!


Yes, we know that some eager fellow has already ripped the DVD and uploaded it to YouTube. The general consensus within the team is that we have no problem with it (it’s creative commons after all) but we recommend that you do yourself a favour and wait a few more days for the official release. It’d be a shame to let your first impressions be tarnished by the small, jumpy, low-res, blurry, poorly sounding and synced YouTube version – it doesn’t really do justice to what we created, intended for HD projection with 5.1 audio.

Web Release

We’re working hard to get the web release out within the next couple of days. Video is (slowly) encoding on my system as I type this post out, but even after the different versions are all finished and checked, they need to be uploaded and mirrored before the onslaught, so we can’t guarantee exactly when it will be available. The aim is to provide a few different formats (H.264, MPEG4, OGG Theora, etc), at at least 3 different sizes each, but we’re still experimenting with different codecs so that list may end up changing slightly. Jan has made some audio mixes in various formats, in both stereo and 5.1 – we hope to provide 5.1 wherever possible. All, or at least the majority of what we release should be playable with open source video players, such as VLC Media Player, so if you want to get prepared early, you may as well go and download it now, in fact do it anyway, since it’s a fine app.

Waiting, Waiting

I bet you’re getting itchy waiting for either your DVD to arrive, or for the web release – so am I! But until that comes, you can satiate your desires buy watching some other great movies. We compiled a list of some of the movies we watched late after hours while we were working on the project in Amsterdam, some of them more recommendable than others. Read on to check them out and for bonus points, see if you can spot any influences or references in Elephants Dream.

The Sacrifice
Wild Zero
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
City of God
King Kong
Il Casanova
Dr. Strangelove
Blade Runner
Tetsuo Iron Man
Permanent Vacation
Annie Hall
Rebel Without a Cause
Mulholland Drive
Twin Peaks
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me
Perfect Blue
Nausicaa and the Valley of the Wind
Laputa Castle in the Sky
Travelling Birds
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Brothers Grimm
Twelve Monkeys
Corpse Bride
Ghost in the Shell
Return of the Living Dead
Evil Dead
American Beauty
A History of Violence
Naked Lunch
The Bird People of China
Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
In Good Company
Donnie Darko
The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover
The Tulse Luper Suitcases
The Five Obstructions
Hål i mitt hjärtä
Night on Earth
The Chronicles of Riddick
Diamonds are Forever
City of Lost Children

Commenters: Feel free to share some favourites of your own! And any other Orange dudes can fill in what I forgot :)

« | »

69 Responses to “Releases and Recommendations”

  1. Yavor said on 15 May, 2006:

    I just got mine dvd today in Sofia, Bulgaria. I can only say WOW. Amazing stuff. :) I added myself to the orange wave.

    As for the movies stuff, a recent favorites of mine(slowly going all-time) are Batman Begins and V for Vendetta.

    I am glad to have been part of this project. :)

  2. Big Fan said on 15 May, 2006:

    Well it’s pretty darn good guys! Sound,music,lighting,colour,textures,compositing,acting etc etc all great…yes some of the walk animation was a bit awkward at times hey but it passes…
    I have to say though without the explanation in the making of commentaries it would be very hard to derive the story line watching the action.
    Really it needed to be 5 mins longer I think to convey enough information to the audience but it does show that Blender is a very capable tool for artists – so mission accomplished!
    I think with more time, participants and a better defined story to begin with it would all come together.
    You set out to make a movie with open software and you succeeded to a high standard.There is no reason why Blender cannot be used to produce 1st class animations.
    I think we all owe you our thanks not only for your dedication to the task but also for the improvements you have brought to the program itself through your experience.
    Congratulations to all involved in the project.I/we look forward to another Blender movie project soon maybe with some of the same artists aboar ;O)
    BTW The dvd content was presented very well too Joeri thanks :o)
    and thanks too to Anja and Anne for getting everyones dvd in the post so promptly and all the support tasks they under took in the background.
    Also big thanks to major sponsors without whom it could not have happened :o)

  3. Laurens said on 15 May, 2006:

    Tarkovsky would really be ashamed to see ED be able to show the same kind of story in just 1/15th of the time :)

  4. Rui Campos said on 15 May, 2006:

    Just got my DVD, Portugal.

    It is really cool, thanks for this, it is an amazing work.

    — Rui —

  5. Bassam said on 16 May, 2006:

    just added myself to the orangewave! that was a cool idea, thanks Matt.
    Laurens! I’m sure you don’t mean it! Tarkovsky is the master, always.
    Wu: If you’re into cult movies of a certain type and vintage, check out “Robinson Crusoe on Mars”-It’ll bring a smile to your face.

  6. Juanjavier Martínez said on 16 May, 2006:

    Thanks for the technical paragraph on the premiere projection, this is an awaited information for me.

    Thanks for the info, I shall try it at home.

    Quote from DwarvenFury: “…one thing to keep in mind, though, is the number of people they had working on that compared to the number of people who worked on Elephants Dream. ”

    —That`s no excuse, anyway. When you release an artwork, (film, music or whatever), chances are that your work will be compared to every work out there, be it from Pixar, 20th Century, Dreamworks, Blender 3D Orange, or the like.

    Besides the quality of character movement has got nothing to do with the number of people working in the film.

    You have to be in a proficient level that allows your work survive the comparison with the `bigs’, IMHO.


    Juanjavier Martínez.

  7. Christo Badenhorst said on 16 May, 2006:


    Received my DVD 15 May, in Pretoria South Africa.


  8. Yurec said on 16 May, 2006:

    got my dvd today, 16 may, in Russia (as a gift for translation of subtitles). Great movie!

  9. Reda said on 16 May, 2006:

    I should have said too that mine was also a gift :).

  10. Diablomarcus said on 16 May, 2006:

    So, any news on how long the official release will be? I know it’s already out on YouTube, but those of us without the official DVDs are waiting for the high quality version.

  11. Charly Brown said on 16 May, 2006:

    I received my copy of the DVD probably as one of the first, since I live in the netherlands. Although there were some points of criticism, especially in the lipsyncing, it was a truly remarkable achievement. So, hats off to the Orange-team.

    I actually wrote in, just to make a small suggestion to the Blender-team.

    You could upload the HD-version of ED to a newsgroup like alt.binaries.hdtv. The normal dvd-version could be uploaded to a group as alt.binaries.dvd f.i. The blender-fans that have access to these newsgroups could then download it from there. Newsgroups usually have a high bandwith capacity, especially the paid ones.

    This could significantly reduce the load on the Servers at the Blender foundation. The ones downloading from the newsgroups would benefit from their high bandwith and the others would benefit from the smaller load on the foundation-servers.


    Charly Brown

  12. Tony said on 17 May, 2006:

    Got mine today in Tokyo Japan, May 17. It came at work and I wasn’t there the last two days. Great package. Looking forward to watching it this evening when I get it home!

  13. CD38 said on 17 May, 2006:

    I’ve taken the liberty of submitting Elephants Dream to the Internet Movie Database ( For now the information is limited to the very minimum they require, plus a plug for Blender in the Trivia section. If it’s approved it should be up in a couple of days. When it appears, feel free to register and add to the entry.

    I have been enjoying watching ED over and over, with and without the commentaries. Now to check out the Blender files! Props to everyone involved.

  14. wetcortex said on 17 May, 2006:

    Lovely work, Project Orange! Elephants Dream is enjoyable in every respect.

    You’ve done the world a great service by making this little film, demonstrating what can be accomplished with open source software.

    Also, that is possibly the best “making of” film ever. You guys are wonderful.

    I received the DVDs this morning, here in Jacksonville, Florida, US.


  15. Jason Ekstrand said on 17 May, 2006:

    My personal suggestion for distributing the Orange files is by using BitTorrent, that way everyone has as much badwidth as they can handle. Something like this would be a hot enough item that I it would probably be a perfect candidate.

    It would also be nice if you could get it in one big tar.bz2 file, or mabe just one file for all the .blend files textures etc.

    P. S. It would be nice to get my hands on the 24 GB PNG sequence :-)

    P. P. S. I downloaded and listened to the sound track yesturday and it sounds GREAT!

  16. Chris Gilbert said on 18 May, 2006:

    I just watched the HD version. I almost fell out of my seat when I saw how detailed it is. It had me wanting to play it back in slow motion just to catch everything. I had to get VLC media player in order to get the sound working…Windows Media Player doesn’t pick up on the 5.1 audio. If you have a comp capable of viewing the HD version, it is a must. I think I might watch it again :) Once again, Great Work Orange Team!!!!

  17. William Ager said on 18 May, 2006:

    It appears that at least some form of the entire film is accessible to the public in the same folder as the scores. Is this intentional? It doesn’t appear to be compressed in any way, and is quite large (453MB).

  18. Jeroendd said on 18 Jun, 2006:

    Can someone fix the file “video_only_pal.part1.rar” because it gives a error when i want to extract the .iso image from the 5 parts.
    I now have the 5 parts, bud i can’t extract the dvd because there’s a error in part1.
    I already downloaded the part1 several times now bud it makes no difference.

    thanks – jeroendd