As always, the conference was awesome- an intense three days of talking, listening, meeting, blending, eating the traditional conference sandwiches, drinking coffee, beer and mojitos, not-enough-sleeping, more blending, etc.
After a sleepless but uneventful flight to Amsterdam I walked into the Blender Institute the day before the conference, only to have Andy
pressgang recruit Pablo and me into making the Suzanne festival and award interstitial animations with him. We had a (very sleepy) blast working till the wee hours, and more in the next morning, and I got to go up in the projection booth once again and play the festival off my laptop, thanks to the power of totem/gstreamer and python (for making the playlist). I apologize for the one or two glitches- a couple of the videos needed to be re-encoded for smooth playback, but we somehow missed that in the studio.
Jeroen Bakker showed me his awesome openCL nodes in the compositor on his laptop, running 20!zoom!! times faster than the CPU equivalent. When this stuff hits it’s going to make a mini-revolution for Blender. I’m no longer a sceptic about GPU computing I guess 🙂
Wolfgang Draxinger did a fantastic job making the stereoscopic version of Elephants Dream. Great choices, hard work and technical precision- I’m blown away both by the result, which rivals the best stereo work from major studios, and by the amount of work he put into it. He’s planning Big Buck Bunny next, but in the meantime, some snaps of us removing (the unfortunately crumpled) screen after the show:
I met with Josh, Henri, Francesco, Jason, Jonathan, Jean Sebastian, Heather, and recruited Dolf, Tal, and perhaps Luciano, Andy and Pablo for our project. We had a meeting the second day of the conference, which gave me a chance to finally pitch the story and current animatic to the team in person, talk about where we are at in the project and assign some short-term tasks. We also had a presentation on Sunday, mainly about technical issues: rigging, though I did not demo rigamarule- turns out auto-registration of operators had somewhat broken the UI while I wasn’t looking (it’s fixed in current tube SVN). Josh showed off his work on procedural animation, and Henri demoed building scene layouts from library models using our LODing system and the landmark-snapping system created by Pablo Lizardo.
As Fateh has blogged, Tube member Jarred De Beer won the Suzanne Animation award, congrats dude!
The presentation had an unexpected benefit; it introduced the project to new contributors- Thanks Tal 🙂
Sadly I missed some people- Malefico has too many conferences on his plate to make it to Blender conference this year, and I was too swamped to meet up with Stani, Python coder and artist extraordinaire.
Finally, I had the honor of working for a bit on Andy and Eva’s awesome stopmotion animation project- Omega– which has some CG elements. I spent a large part of Monday (the day after the conference) rigging an amazingly designed and detailed character Andy built for the movie.
Big thanks to Ton, Anja, Anna, Nathan and everyone who made the conference possible and enjoyable.