Ardour and Funding

Kiernan Holland rofthorax at
Mon Sep 7 07:07:04 BST 2009

I'm guessing the Blender guys are raising 2 million for their current film..
I may be wrong, but is 200 something.. $200K  ??  How they entice people to
support the project is to include their names in the credits, and the
donation includes a copy of the DVD when the movie comes out. But Ton's
really good at media production.. When he released blender, it was about a
year and he produced a 200 page manual that looked unlike anything I've ever
seen of a free product. His previous company, NeoGeo made multimedia
presentations for its clients, they even attempted to turn blender into
something they could publish Sony Playstation games on, that's where the
source of game blender originally came from. The reason they don't really
develop game blender is because blender is all C code, and Game blender is
written in C++. Anyhow, they use these projects like Elephant's Dream, Big
Buck Bunny and Durian, to develop the software by listening to what the
animators need to do the work, then any tools they make they put out into
open source. Because blender was developed as an in-house tool, that's how
it got developed before it ever was freeware, and later open source.  They
work with the animators that work on the movie and code up the tools needed,
or I guess address the developers to make the tools needed. But they tend to
finish their major releases before SIGGRAPH, and with that major release
comes the movie. This time it didn't seem like they did that. Mainly because
what they are planning for this release sounds very challenging (everything
animateable [and controllable with expressions] and construction history).

Note: Maya, Softimage, Houdini, 3DsMax are known for construction history
features. I know Softimage has animateable construction history. Houdini is
the best for it. 3DsMax uses stack based construction which blender seems to
support now. But lack of plugin support doesn't make it as capable as
3DsMax. The reason blender doesn't use plugins is to encourage that everyone
has the same tool to do work so that everyone can share files and learn.
Plugins would make blend files incompatible, so it's more a concern of what
should or shouldn't be in blender.  Maya has scriptable construction
history, I think this is what they are targeting for blender 2.50. If
Blender has scriptable construction history then scripts could be made to do
the work (with python) that would otherwise require a plugin. Note, the
files in blender are forward and backward compatible, part of the reason for
that is that the features that were in it from day one are mostly still in
it, so all the blend file is is a binary dump of the data structures in
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