The story of a giant rabbit
June 3, 2008 7:14 PM   Subscribe

Big Buck Bunny - a fantastic animation. It's also on YouTube, but the download is so much better.
posted by tellurian (23 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Wow. Bugs really let himself go.
posted by Avenger at 7:38 PM on June 3, 2008

Whole project is open source. Made with blender. All animation source files.
posted by gwint at 7:46 PM on June 3, 2008

posted by HuronBob at 7:54 PM on June 3, 2008

The video is Creative-Commons licensed, so you can get it via BitTorrent guilt-free. I saw this recently and also the first video they did awhile back, and man have they come a long way. They are they getting amazing results with that open source software. The higher resolution videos are gorgeous.

Blender used to be proprietary and commercial, but was purchased (100,000 EUR in donations) by the open source community and released for all to use. It's one of the odder things that's happened in the history of free software.
posted by sdodd at 8:01 PM on June 3, 2008 [2 favorites]

Sorry about the extraneous "they" there.
posted by sdodd at 8:02 PM on June 3, 2008

You'll notice Sun Microsystems gets a credit at the end. They donated the CPU cycles to render the whole thing and also the bandwidth for the web downloads. Neat.
posted by sdodd at 8:17 PM on June 3, 2008

The evil squirrel thing looks like my former roommate. Coincidentally, the same person who convinced me to install Vista on my computer.
posted by hellojed at 8:17 PM on June 3, 2008

Moment of butterfly death: priceless.
posted by phunniemee at 8:43 PM on June 3, 2008

I saw this earlier today, it amazes me how good the graphics are. I just wish I could do something like it, even just one scene.
posted by lilkeith07 at 8:53 PM on June 3, 2008

Download blender along with the source files and go to town.
Creating all that from scratch, on the other hand ...
posted by IronLizard at 9:08 PM on June 3, 2008

omg bunnies!
posted by eatdonuts at 9:20 PM on June 3, 2008

(er - and link!)
posted by eatdonuts at 9:21 PM on June 3, 2008

The rendering and animation are above-par, but the story, pacing and plot are kind of plodding and poorly thought through. Technically excellent, but boring and contrived.
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:10 PM on June 3, 2008 [4 favorites]

The goofy bird at the beginning and opening title font are ripped off from Pixar. Get your own ideas for once, open source d00dz!
posted by Potsy at 10:17 PM on June 3, 2008

And I think pixar may have gotten the goody bird idea from nature
posted by DreamerFi at 11:23 PM on June 3, 2008

From a software perspective, I think that this is really awesome QA work. Not to just make a few test renders for the various features of a 3D program, but to put it through its paces in a really exhaustive way and test the limits of what it can do in a large project, and then use that to drive improvements in the software. Neither of the two large movie projects for this purpose were amazing or groundbreaking in terms of plot/story, but that wasn't the main point of the exercise--the exercise was to ask "Can this program do what an artist needs it to do? If not, how can we fix that?" And it was a success, because a lot of useful changes were made to Blender and a technically excellent short film was made to showcase what the program can do.
posted by rivenwanderer at 11:26 PM on June 3, 2008 [3 favorites]

the story, pacing and plot are kind of plodding and poorly thought through

Indeed. If you've grown up watching the best of Termite Terrace, or even the more recent stuff from Pixar and Disney, then you find yourself sitting around, drumming your fingers, waiting for something to happen. Great animation tends to throw gags at you faster than you can process them, so you can watch it over and over again.

Despite the technical proficiency of the CGI stuff here, I didn't care about any of the characters, and any story that might have been there evolved so slowly as to lose me after the first sixty seconds or so.

I dunno, perhaps very small kids might like it?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:26 AM on June 4, 2008

Hell, all the stuff that sucks about this one (animation, story, plot, setting, everything but the rendering and model creation) was worse the last time they did this. At least they (and the software) are improving.
posted by blasdelf at 1:43 AM on June 4, 2008 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I would have been critical of the plot, characters, pacing, etc., if this had come from a Hollywood major. But considering its genesis, you gotta pat these guys on the back.
posted by Faze at 4:10 AM on June 4, 2008

Jeez! some of you are harsh. I hope you didn't just go the YouTube link and evaluate it on that. I didn't expand on the Creative Commons, Open Source, etc. aspect, assuming that clicking on the first link would make that all apparent. As rivenwanderer pointed out (very well, IMO) this experiment is working out very well. The facial expressions on the characters, in particular, I thought were quite wonderful.
posted by tellurian at 6:10 AM on June 4, 2008

It is indeed very nice looking - the lighting is really good, and so is the animation. It's basically a demo for Blender's abilities and it succeeds in showing that a dedicated team can now manage to create a professional animation with Blender. However, as far a 3D technology goes, it's merely OK compared to the state-of-the-art stuff that can be done with commercial software. Nothing wrong here except that the movie itself is just average: for a 10-minute short, I couldn't help finding the payoff disappointing and the characters ugly, particularly the main one, that looked more like a furry Shrek (without the charm) than like a rabbit. There it looked like someone said, "Oh we're going to make something that looks like one of those 3D cartoons featuring animals with one big eye and one small eye and it will be funny". I'd say that for the next movie they should start with an actual, original story idea, polish it until it shines, and build the movie from there. Easier said than done of course, but unless the technology is really ground-breaking (which is not the case here) the only way for movie to get noticed is the story.
posted by elgilito at 7:12 AM on June 4, 2008

Nothing special story-wise here, except that my 3 boys loved it and watched it about 5 times.
posted by Brocktoon at 7:50 AM on June 4, 2008

Brocktoon has located the target demographic.
posted by sdodd at 11:49 AM on June 4, 2008

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