Progress Update

  / by Matt

Well, we haven’t updated in quite some time, so I thought I’d let you know where we are and what’s going on in post-premiere Orange. Yes, there have been delays, and we’re working as hard as we can to get the DVD finalised and sent out. We have suffered from the setbacks and want to get this DVD out to the world as least as much as you do :)

We’ve now been back in our home countries for at least a week now, depending on the person. At least for myself it took a while to shake off the jetlag from flying halfway around the world, and emerge from the sleep-deprived coma I fell into, recharging after our final crunch. It’s also been very difficult collaborating between the team across time zones, but we’re doing our best.

I hope we can do a nice big post about scheduling and what happened when, where we spent the time, etc. when things are less busy. But suffice to say, Murphy was laying down the law, disasters were unfolding around us and we were working at full steam into the early morning hours right up until the day of the premiere. In fact, we were doing re-renders to fix errors the day before the event. One might think that if we’d spent one week less on the movie and given it a little less polish then we wouldn’t be running a bit behind now, but it didn’t work that way. Actually if we’d stopped one week early, our final scene would have been lit and rendered in OpenGL (although taking that option may have caused less detriment to our own health and sanity!)

So. Since the premiere we have:

  • Collected the timed translations (we have 34 in total, thankyou volunteer translators!) Also retimed them to fit the DVD (24fps -> 25fps and 30fps)
  • Created an MPEG4 version of the movie in HD 1920×1080 to go on the data section of the disk, with mixed down audio
  • All production files, .blend files, textures cleaned up and put in a disc structure
  • Collated, prepared and compressed the DVD extras to both PAL and NTSC MPEG, including a special thankyou surprise, four commentary tracks, the 30+ minute making-of documentary and two videos of our voice actors from the recording session
  • DVD structure laid out and menu animations almost finished rendering
  • Converted the 16:9 NTSC and PAL anamorphic png sequences of the movie to 25 & 30 fps Mpeg2.
  • Movie audio compressed (sound space) to fit home cinema systems.
  • CC is written, png, mpg

What we have left to go:

  • Final audio mixes for PAL 25fps version. NTSC version is already done. Jan has been fighting problems for the last few days now, but hopefully the end is in sight.
  • A few final tweaks to the menu animations, then converting to MPEG and implemented
  • Some final subtitle assignment (character set issues)
  • Finish off writing the production file structure documentation
  • DVD-rom content page for DVD video to be made.
  • DVD credits to be made
  • Placing the almost-done DVD cover illustration into the sleeve layout

Joeri is working hard on the DVD and says that when we have finished the above tasks (excluding the cover of course!) it will take him only a few days to get it together and ready as a DVD master for duplication. So it’s not done, but it’s very very close.

Anyway, as a thankyou for your patience as we continue plugging away, here’s a couple of teaser images! They’re still frames from the movie, untouched and in full HD resolution, probably suitable for wallpaper :) Cheers!


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61 Responses to “Progress Update”

  1. Baratare said on 10 Apr, 2006:

    Something to look at.


  2. Jonatas said on 10 Apr, 2006:

    Wow! That´s really hot!

  3. Dogea said on 10 Apr, 2006:

    Just ordered the DVD last week end. Thank you for what your are doing, you are all great :-)


  4. MArco said on 10 Apr, 2006:

    Thanks for your work and congrats !!!


  5. Vassilios Boucer said on 10 Apr, 2006:

    Looks great!!Thanks

  6. Davide said on 10 Apr, 2006:

    I just have a question about how you made the diferent renders version (FILM/NTSC/PAL).

    my question is do you have made only the FILM render (24 fps and a pixel-ratio of 1:1) and then made the upsample to 25 and 30 fps

    or do you have made a render for all formats??

    another question about HD-DVD, could it be viewed in a regular DVD player (that only handle PAl resolution), I ask this because I think that really few people will enjoy the full HD version.
    not everyone have a HD-DVD player or a TV capable of a resolution of 1920×1080.

    thanks :D

  7. Matt said on 10 Apr, 2006:

    Davide: The original renders were done in HD 1920×1080, but they have to be scaled down for the DVD to fit PAL (720×576) and NTSC (720×480). They are 16:9 anamorphic. The DVDs are just normal DVDs, we aren’t making HD-DVDs. Though on the data section of the DVD (that contains all the production files) there will be an MPEG4 file containing the movie in full HD resolution for you to watch on your computer.

    It’s a real shame, since the movie was made to be seen in HD, and people that just watch the DVD will be missing out on all the detail that holds up on the big screen. Oh well, when HD equipment becomes the norm, at least Elephants Dream will be ready for it :)

  8. madman said on 10 Apr, 2006:

    Thanks for the news and the wallpapers XD

  9. pablosbrain said on 10 Apr, 2006:

    Cant’ wait to get my copy of the DVD!! Looking forward to it very eagerly! For such a short time period you all have done a marvelous job!!

  10. Sepa said on 10 Apr, 2006:

    Congratulations! It is an amazing job you’ve done here! And I want to ask whether there is going to be downloadable version of the movie and/or .blend files?

  11. Silverframe said on 10 Apr, 2006:

    YEEE!! GOGOGOGOGOOOO You guys are the best!!

    Congratulations!! aargghh I just caaan’t wait now… trulululululululuul :D

    :) Im’ sp glad you did this :D =D

  12. Sergi said on 10 Apr, 2006:

    You are the best!!

  13. Drew Vogel said on 10 Apr, 2006:

    I am anxious to receive my DVD, which I preordered some time ago. This looks very neat.

  14. Silverframe said on 10 Apr, 2006:

    Thants mean: I CAN’T WAIT AARRGGHH

    Hehe I don’t mean to say: HURRY UP! or anything. :)

    just for kix

  15. cyberdigitus said on 10 Apr, 2006:

    thanks for the progress update…

    i was wondering if orange branch blender itself will be included, or will we have to wait for the next release to open the files with nodes and such?

  16. Myster_EE said on 10 Apr, 2006:

    If you want to open stuff with nodes, download a testing version at

    (Blender Hompage)->(Forums)->(Testing Builds)

    Sure, they crash. But they’re better than nothing, and it’s nothing like it was a couple of months ago!

  17. Richard said on 10 Apr, 2006:

    Thanks for the update. Really looking forward to this.

  18. Vassilios Boucer said on 11 Apr, 2006:

    Any News about a Updated Tuhopuu 4 Build??

  19. Matt said on 11 Apr, 2006:

    cyberdigitus, a current CVS build of Blender comes included on the discs, like a frozen snapshot in time of what we were using at the end of the project.

    sepa, yes an official downloadable version of the movie (encoded from our original uncompressed sources) will be available a couple of weeks after the DVD release. We owe it to our sponsors to give them their own premiere as a way of saying thankyou.

  20. Big Fan said on 11 Apr, 2006:

    Thanks for the news matt,
    I hadn’t realised there was so much work involved in the dvd…
    Nice! I have new wallpaper on both monitors today :o)
    I hope you are getting plenty of fresh air and sunshine now you are back in Oz. In some of those premiere photos you looked just a bit ‘pasty’.

  21. ChrisRx said on 11 Apr, 2006:

    Wow, those screenshots are really impressive. I can really see why you want everyone to watch this in true HD. I’d love to see more HD screenshots, expecially /wp-content/themes/orange/images/blog/switchbridge.jpg
    seeing as I have that low res version as my pc background

    Great job on this. I can’t wait to see it.

    On a semi related note, will the downloadable version be HD resolution?

  22. Vassilios Boucer said on 11 Apr, 2006:

    Amazing Skin!! (textured)in Proogs Face !!
    I zoom the Image with Proog!..thats very Details Pigments and scratches.Great DONE!!!

  23. Bmud said on 11 Apr, 2006:

    I happily ordered a second copy of the DVD (and a stylish hat!)
    I’m Looking forward to recieving them all.

  24. joeri said on 11 Apr, 2006:

    I saw the cover today, (that is getting more and more ready) and it looks pretty awsum. A shame the dvd menus will not be that nice. But then that would have been a project by itself.

    For the subtitles I tackled most of the languages (2 left to go, and I have no idea if I choose the right chinees font) and a nasty import bug in the author software.
    The menuframes are rendered and needs to be split out into movies.
    Also I have to come up with something to highlight the selection.

    Some more sound bits, some binairies and we are good to go.
    I really hope to finish the first test disc tonight. But more likely it will be tomorrow.

  25. Some-E said on 11 Apr, 2006:

    I was wondering what tools have been used during the DVD production? I guess that part of the project is not open-source.

  26. Zac said on 11 Apr, 2006:

    Hey guys, Congrats on this. I have been following this since day 1 and am extremely excited about where it ended up. I WILL be ordering a DVD of this.

    Makes me proud to have Aussie’s involved :)

    Congrats and thanks,


  27. carlinhos said on 11 Apr, 2006:

    the images are incredible!

  28. Rapunzel said on 11 Apr, 2006:


    I am a Big blender fan and orded the DVD before september. I am realy looking forward to the result.
    Like “Some-E”, I would like to know which tools are used for dvd-authoring. It should be opensource for this project, like al other software but i doubt that too. Myself I use Gui for DVD-Author, but i am not realy satisfied whith my results so i am looking for a freeware/open source replacement.

  29. kakapo said on 11 Apr, 2006:

    wow, very nice shots! emo looks kind of sick. :)

    what kind of cpu is necessary to play the 1920×1080 mp4 file without jerks?

  30. joeri said on 11 Apr, 2006:

    I have an old license for spruce dvd authoring.
    That’s not opensource nor freeware (apple bought it and made studio dvd pro out of it). Creating the dvd is not part of the Orange budget, so one could debate if it’s part of the Orange project.

    Despite that I’ve had a good look at dvd-author and found it to hard to create the dvd I want to make by typing xml and the gui’s did not fit my needs. We use it at our office so it’s not that I don’t know of it.
    It would just take me to much time to figure out all the aspects I’m using in this dvd with dvd-author, specificaly random jumping (could not find docs on scripting) and subtitle/audiotrack selecting. So I cannot judge if the open-source is “as good” as the commercial ones.

    Anyway,… with the noodles windows, it’s just a matter of time until somebody creates a dvd author gui in blender?

  31. JoOngle said on 11 Apr, 2006:


    I’ve not got a single movie to test my new “Widescreen” monitor
    so this movie will be a great initiation for it ;)

    It’s nice to know you’re putting the 1920×1080 version in.

  32. Shawn Fumo said on 11 Apr, 2006:

    For curiosity, will the MP4 file be H.264 or H.263? I’m going to guess H.263 (basically divx/xvid) since H.264 would probably be unplayable on almost all normal machines at that resolution..


  33. MrE said on 12 Apr, 2006:

    The suspence is driving me insane. I can’t wait to see the whole movie.

    Is it going to show at the Pleinbios Festival in Rotterdam round August?
    Would be a great podium for a piece of work like this.

  34. Roger said on 12 Apr, 2006:

    don’t beat yourself up about it taking “so long”. In real film, only half the calendar time is used up “putting it in the can” which to us is when the final renders are done. The remainder of the time is editing, music, voice-overs, foleys (sound effects), mix-down, commentary recording, making the trailer, recoloring, re-shoots, mastering, audience testing (like for alternate endings or to judge reactions to a certain edit), MPAA review and rating, advertising, marketing, submission, mastering and, yes, making DVD cover art. So, yeah, anyone who thinks modeling takes all the time has it dead wrong. AND, pre-shooting is when textures, outfits, color schemes, pre-vis etc are all done, which is just as much work itself.

    So, anyone who gets a little snippy at having to wait so long…put a cork in it!

  35. John L said on 12 Apr, 2006:

    Thank you for the update Mat.
    I look forward to get it in the mail thank you.
    Thank you to all involved on this project.

    Will the DVD stuff include the software used and will it have a new version of Blender?


  36. LetterRip said on 12 Apr, 2006:

    From what I’ve heard, the DVD will contain the Blender for all major platforms (including windows although it wasn’t used). The version compiled is from about a week ago CVS which should be bug compatible with what was used on the film :) I would think that a copy of SVN and Gimp/seashore might be on it as well, but not not sure. (I seriously doubt they’ll include a full copy of linux for instance :) ).

    You can download the software though here (Native version of Gimp for OS X)

    and you can get CVS builds of Blender from


  37. Kyle Dell'Aquila said on 12 Apr, 2006:

    ooh! this all looks uber tip top!

  38. sciboy said on 12 Apr, 2006:

    I’ve got one thing to say…

  39. Juan Javier Martínez said on 12 Apr, 2006:

    Congratulations for the whole work.

    Eager to watch the DVD!


    Juan Javier Martínez.

  40. joeri said on 12 Apr, 2006:

    Okay, got a minor setback last night: disk full.
    Creating all assets takes more time than I wish for.
    Along the way there are always little buttons missing making me have to redo the whole path from (blender)file to m2v…

    Jan found a bug in the NTSC audio track, this means new MP4 and new AC3 for the dvd.

    Andy is creating the disk prints and they are comming along nicely. I think the cover is pretty much done.

    I’ve got all blender binairies.
    It’s a cvs snapshot, this means not all files are tested to work, as expected with ever changing software during a project.
    One of the advantages of programmers on the job is that they can create tools that make work easier, dis-advantage can be they break tools to recreate what was already done. [And I think the team must have lost some hair (from pulling) finding out that they where not only creating a movie, but suddenly also where a debug team (ha! I know that feeling)]
    The sourcecode snapshot is also on the disk. No plans to include other packages, but thank you LetterRip for the links.

    Sorry guys, It will still take a few more days to create the master… I expect at least till this weekend. Bringing production time to 3 weeks.

    But I keep progress posted. (I type these things at work, so that’s not eating dvd creation time ;)

  41. Crouch said on 12 Apr, 2006:

    Just a quick question:
    If I’d order the DVD this week, would I still get it at the same time as the others who pre-ordered it? Or will I have to wait for the second round of DVDs that will be produced? Wouldn’t really bother me, but just being curious.

  42. joeri said on 12 Apr, 2006:

    I expect the BF to order as many dvd’s as they have sold on the day the master becomes ready + some. So it’s save to say that you will get your dvd the same day your neighbour will, who pre-orderd the dvd. The only difference is that if he paid for it before September 1st his name will be on the creditlist.

    The mailman will give some people their copy sooner than others,… depending on distance the disks have to travel, and I’m not sure the 1000+ orders can be processed on one day… :)

  43. Silverframe said on 12 Apr, 2006:

    cool! :)

    Okay just to keep my floor look normal (i step around in a circle all the time, wating for the dvd, so i dont think it has its normal shape anymore ;D

    just kidding!

    Can anyone who has (more) clips from the premiere please share it?
    I would soo much love that :D

  44. UglyMike said on 12 Apr, 2006:

    Thanks for all the effort you are putting into this.
    We might be an impatient bunch, but I’m sure most of us appreciate the workload and the pressure you’re under.
    So don’t sweat it.
    It’ll be ready when it’s ready
    Maybe this weekend, maybe next week, maybe the week after that.
    When we finally get the DVD in our grubby little hands, all this waiting and wailing will seem to have passed in a flash.

  45. Vassilios Boucer said on 12 Apr, 2006:

    Bevor Orange Project:
    -When i go out of my House and there is a Beatyfull Girl and my PostMan i see only the Girl!
    After Orange Project:
    -When i go out of my House and there is a Beatyfull Girl and my Postman i see only the Postmans!

    Thats Crazy!

  46. Clue said on 12 Apr, 2006:

    Great news! Fantastic effort!
    Much appreciated and an inspiration to us all.
    I can’t wait.


  47. Gianmichele said on 12 Apr, 2006:

    Hey guys, first of all congratulations for an incredible project! Can’t wait to put my hands on the dvd :P

    Here is my question:

    I’ve seen that all of you guys where working with Samsung 24″ LCD (yeah, how is that monitor? I might buy one). How did you do color correction? Where the monitors calibrated or you went by guessing? How was the final look on the big screen? Did you find a lot of color difference from the monitor?

    Thanks a lot.


  48. Silverframe said on 12 Apr, 2006:

    Hey! I got (a new) question, what music program did you use? I can’t find the post where it stood. :/

  49. Bassam said on 12 Apr, 2006:

    well, we accurately had 3 types of 23″/24″ monitors:
    we had 2 apple cinema displays, 23″ that were color calibrated to look pretty close to the way the movie looked in the final.
    we had three slightly older samsung 24″ (now discontinued) that were really nice except:
    responce was pretty slow, but didn’t bother us much
    you couldn’t adjust the contrast/temperature under linux-> no calibration and washed out colors
    we had the next model up syncmaster, the one you can buy now, and this one allowed contrast and temp. adjustment on linux, and it had faster response. but since the user of it was the TD he never bothered calibrating it!
    I’d get the newer samsung, but not the older ones we had.. not hard, considering that’s what’s available today.

  50. Toni said on 13 Apr, 2006:

    yah the old samsungs were 243)t?), and the new the same but 244 .. and surprisingly lot improvements, same price (1250e or so?)

    those have now been sold now, mostly to Montevideo in fact, as they need to upgrade to HD too..


  51. Zerg said on 13 Apr, 2006:


  52. pipi said on 13 Apr, 2006:

    Joeri: Thanks for all your effort! Don’t give up!

    One question, do you have any experience with creating multi-angle DVDs? For me, multi angle Elephants Dream sounds interesting in the future to see.

  53. Mike Stramba said on 14 Apr, 2006:

    Hi joeri,

    Thanks very much for your time and effort on this !

    “Sorry guys, It will still take a few more days to create the master… I expect at least till this weekend. Bringing production time to 3 weeks.”

    Does that mean it will be ~3 weeks after the master is created until you have copies to ship?


  54. Oskar Lissheim-Boethius said on 16 Apr, 2006:

    Looks great. Ordered the DVD over a month ago. So looking forward to it. Put the money to good use!

    PS. Could you please make an h.264-version of the HD movie since this new codec is simply THAT much higher quality than MP4? Just have look at Apple’s HD trailer-site and you’ll get the idea.

  55. snovak said on 17 Apr, 2006:

    HOLY MONKEY!! I’m really looking forward to the HD content!!!!

  56. cablop said on 18 Apr, 2006:

    Hello anybody

    i was looking at this project by months

    but now i know it’s released, and i want to know when the Creative Commons licenced version will be available to download, or where is it.

    I’m in southamerica, so i’m really far away of Netherlands, so i couldn’t see the premier

    but i’m really interested!!

  57. Joeri said on 20 Apr, 2006:

    The disks are in the mail to the replication factory.
    Ton has mailed the NTSC to the US with special speed delivery.
    So Bassam can check the NTSC on a real US player with the real master. This will take probably all weekend due to customs (pretty stupid because a download is border free, o well).

  58. DwarvenFury said on 21 Apr, 2006:

    [Quote: Joeri]”The disks are in the mail to the replication factory…..”[Quote]

    W00t!!! Here’s hoping all is well with the NTSC version.

    Thanks for all your hard work.

  59. tony said on 26 Apr, 2006:

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    It can not only rip DVD chapter by chapter, but also can feel free to rip by custom size or time.

    With DVD playback supports, you can rip anything as you like, no temporary file required. It also supports Multi-Angle DVD and copes with these Multi-Angle chapters in right way. With new tech supports, it works well and fast with all types of DVD. The software product is an ideal solution of ripping music DVD, old movie and convert DVD to mp3. You can listen to your favorite movies on your iPod!

  60. Olòrin said on 30 May, 2006:

    Thankx for this great and beautifull movie. It’s a wonderfull poem. The quality is high. One word, this is a unique masterpiece.
    Bravo !!!!
    Olòrin from France