Elephants Dream is the world’s first open movie, made entirely with open source graphics software such as Blender, and with all production files freely available to use however you please, under a Creative Commons license.

The short film was created by the Orange Open Movie Project studio in Amsterdam during 2005/2006, bringing together a diverse team of artists and developers from all over the world. More about the project...

Elephants Dream Released!

  / by Ton

Now almost all of our donation sponsors have received their DVDs, it’s about time to finalize the Orange Open Movie Project with the much anticipated online release of the movie and the studio production files.

We are all incredibly proud to present to you the world’s first true Open Movie:

Elephants Dream download page

The movie and all of its production files are licensed as Creative Commons, only requiring a proper crediting for public screening, re-using and distribution.

Note that the Elephants Dream DVD set remains for sale via the blender.org e-shop as a support product for future Open Movie projects. The Blender Foundation is committed to start working on similar projects soon.

Stay tuned, have fun, and surprise us with great follow-ups!

Studio Orange

Ton Roosendaal
Bassam Kurdali
Andreas Goralczyk
Matt Ebb
Bastian Salmela
Lee Salvemini

Complete score available for download

  / by Jan

Score coverWell, the official web release of our movie is now just a few millifortnights away, and hopefully, all pre-orderers will have their DVDs in hand by now. So, depending on whether you’ve seen it already or you’re waiting for our encoder mill to finally get finished, this might be either a dessert or an appetizer ;-)

This is the complete score in MP3 format, freely available under an Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Creative Commons license (details about this license can be found here).

Complete score in one ZIP archive (13 MB): JanMorgenstern-ElephantsDream.zip (US mirror)

Separate track downloads:

  1. The Wires (US mirror)
  2. Typewriter Dance (US mirror)
  3. The Safest Place (US mirror)
  4. Emo Creates (US mirror)
  5. End Title (US mirror)
  6. Teaser Music (US mirror)
  7. Ambience (US mirror)

Album cover (thanks Matt + Andy for the layout and the graphics!): cover.jpg (US mirror)

Well… I hope you’ll like it! :)

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

DVD sales hit 2000 mark

  / by Ton

Just today the 2000th DVD was ordered, the lucky customer already has been congratulated and will get a free t-shirt shipped!
Of course this can only mean one thing… we gotta prepare for the next Open Movie project. :)

However, let’s first see how far the sales boost goes… why not try to get this number doubled? Needless to say, this is all sponsor money that will be used for Blender projects… so, big thanks everyone for purchasing it!


An embarrassing mistake

  / by Matt

I woke up this morning to find an email forwarded through Joeri, written by Guifré, our Catalan subtitle translator. He was happy after receiving his DVD but surprised to find that the word in the subtitle menu for the Català language was incorrect. Oops…

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Wrapping up Orange development

  / by Ton

With the DVDs arriving and people trying out the .blend files, it’s really about time to have some decent documentation about the Blender development of the past 6 months.
It’s still a long way to go… but here’s the first result of the tentative 2.42 release log:

Changes since the 2.41 release

Want to have it all finished within a week, so don’t disturb me!


DVDs ready to go!

  / by Ton

orangedvd Last tuesday the printer was finished, yesterday the DVDs were delivered to our e-shop department, where Anja and Anne immediately started packaging the orders. That will be ready today and today the shipping company will pick them up as well. We will give international mail 1 day headstart, and post the Dutch orders on friday! :)

As soon as the first person receives the DVD, the Creative Commons license becomes effective too. And although I think it’s still fun to have first the DVDs in for all of our sponsors, I can’t stop people who get the DVDs from putting the content online…
The “official” launch, on our own website, will wait 10 days though, so that’ll be around the 14th of May.

Thanks everyone for the patience! Making a DVD set just was far more work than expected, but the result is definitely worth waiting for. :)


(thu 16:00h: Added note: the courier picked everything up, also the dutch stuff was shipped… eeek, will get there tomorrow maybe!)

Mancandy updated

  / by Bassam

Mancandy Revisited Perhaps you remember this post in which we introduced blender’s new drivers with the mancandy character. Well, subsequent changes in blender broke the old file; The jaw, eyeballs and other facial controls stopped working once keyed. I was unaware of this until I read this thread on blenderartists, after which I came to two conclusions:

1- Nobody knows the character’s name ;) ! ( His name is Mancandy, an homage to the movie Manchurian Candidate and his candylike outfit)
2- I had to fix the rig to work with the recent improvements in blender, and not just his broken face. Many of the armature’s internals were workarounds for old blender limitations. The intent of the model is for people to learn animation and rigging- which can be confusing if there are 4 bones where only one is needed. So I did a little update of the character. I fixed a few things, simplified some others, and took advantage of the new features.

Though the character is not realistic, the rig isn’t a toon rig; it lacks controls for e.g. squash and stretch ( which I may add at a later date, or can be left as an excersise for the user ). For a more toony setup, visit Sketchy’s excellent Ludwig rig, which is extremely light and has some rather fun squash N stretch-ability.

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Masters ready, reproduction started

  / by Ton

Phew, what a load of work this movie making business. :)
The DVD masters and the print design has been delivered last thursday to the reproduction company. I’ve also sent an NTSC master to Bassam in the USA, so he can verify for 100% sure NTSC works.

The actual day we get the DVDs is in still unkown, they’re still scheduling… will be either end of this week, or early next week. So… be patient dudes!

Lots of thanks and a big hug for Joeri Kassenaar for all his devotion to make the DVD masters!


Creative Commons license

  / by Ton

The movie “Elephants Dream” and all data on the DVDs and almost all of the contents on this website is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution license. In short, this means you can freely reuse and distribute this content, also commercially, for as long you provide a proper attribution.

The attribution is either one of the following cases

1) For the orange.blender.org website and files on the DVD ROMs:
Blender Foundation | www.blender.org

2) If you screen or broadcast the entire movie and/or documentary:
Include the entire credits roll in ending.

3) If you re-use (or screen, broadcast) parts of the movie or documentary itself, or duplicate the DVDs:
(c) copyright 2006, Blender Foundation / Netherlands Media Art Institute / www.elephantsdream.org

4) Some of the texture files on the DVDs have an own Creative Commons attribution, these are indicated clearly.

5) The additional soundtrack audio files on this website are distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 license. See the original announcement for details.

This is the first time such a large collection of files get launched under ‘the commons’, and therefore still a bit complex to grasp what to credit when exactly. The guidelines above are just meant to ensure that attribution happens in a reasonable way. If in doubt, use the third choice above.

Excluded from the Creative Commons is:

– all logos on this website (including Blender logo, Orange logo, Creative Commons logo) and associated trademarks
– the DVD cover (inlay) and DVD disc print


You are free to duplicate the DVDs and distribute or sell them, but in that case you have to make your own cover art and DVD prints for it, with of course the proper attribution as mentioned above in 3).

You are free to broadcast the movie and documentary on your local TV station, just include the entire credits roll too.

You can re-edit parts of the movie into a video clip for your band, just include the attribution as mentioned above in 3).

You can use textures and .blend files (or models, rigs, etc) from the data collection on the DVDs, also in commercial projects. Just make sure we get our short credit as mentioned above in 1).

You can organize a screening in a cinema, and charge an entrance fee for it. Just include the movie credits in the screening.

You can submit the movie to festivals even! Festivals can also screen the movie without our permission. It would be nice though to get a notification for it, especially when we win prizes! :)

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