10+ Amazing Short Films You’d Not Believe Were Made With Free Software

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sintel poster   10+ Amazing Short Films Youd Not Believe Were Made With Free SoftwareJust last month, the Blender Foundation released its third open movie, Sintel, which you can watch below and on YouTube. Just like its previous short films online, the Blender Foundation used only open-source or free software to produce movies of at least 10 minutes for everyone to rejoice and learn about the potential of the 3D animation software and video editor Blender.

Blender is cross-platform so you can learn the basics right now with the QuickStart and plenty of other tutorials on the official site and all over the net. Blender’s not the only 3D content creation software available for free though.

Just to name a few, there’s:

  • Google SketchUp that’s great to create buildings and objects,
  • Wings 3D, a cross-platform, open-source¬†¬†3D modeler,
  • MakeHuman, another cross-platform, open-source tool to model human characters,
  • Sculptris, free Windows-only 3D modeling and sculpting software,
  • MeshLab, cross-platform and open-source tool to process 3D scans,
  • trueSpace, a free Windows-only 3D content creation tool.

There are a few more alternatives which you can see here but Blender seems to be very popular so most of the following open-source-generated masterpieces are made with this powerful suite.

Short Films

The Blender Foundation’s Sintel¬†is a 12-minute short film released online on September 30th, 2010 that was independently produced (initially funded through donations) with only open-source software over 10 months in Amsterdam. The software used includes:

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Big Buck Bunny is an award-winning animated short film released online by the Blender Foundation in 2008.

According to the official site,¬†Elephants Dream is the world’s first open movie released by the Blender Foundation in 2006 after 8 months of work. You can’t seem to order the DVD anymore, but you can watch and download it online.

Besides these, there’s also Plum√ɬ≠feros or Free Birds, an 80-minute Argentinean feature film that premiered in February 2010 and is entirely made with open-source software (Blender and Linux OS). Here’s the trailer with subtitles.

Shorts

The Cup from Pepe School Land via Blender Nation and Tech Drive-In: This consists of superbly made and hilarious short made in Blender by students of a Barcelona-based animation school.

Taste Lab by ICEBOX Studios via Tech Drive-In: This is a short comedy (about a girl tester in a food lab) that was produced in 5 months with Blender.

(NSFW) South Park Animation by dirtyblender: Here’s an unofficial animation that was produced in a month also solely in Blender.

Rainboy by 3dddie: This is a short film made in full in 5 days with Blender, GIMP and Inkscape.

In the short, the boy holds a sign saying “Ojek Payung” which translates to “Rain taxi” or “Rent an umbrella”. The phrase seems to refer to kids in rainy season that lend their umbrellas to office people who need to quickly go to a restaurant or somewhere nearby around lunch time but don’t carry an umbrella with them.

All the software used have been featured in MakeUseOf’s earlier list of Free Applications For The Graphic Designer On A Budget.

Here’s a very cute Anime clip, HapiLoli from tomo via Blender Nation that uses Blender.

Transformation from Andre Baran via Blender Nation: Now here’s a clip that demonstrates that you don’t have to use Blender to create 3D cartoons only. You can composite commercial-quality sequences to illustrate a concept.

This is another clip of Blender being used to create a logo by BnBGobo for the CFC, (Combined Federal Campaign).

Pelikone from Kombo via Blender Nation: The following clip is a recently-released Blender-made ad for a Finnish game site.

Just so you know, Blender’s not the only animation software available. Here’s Prologue (released in 2004) which consists of a short made by Voria Studios, the studio that came to release the Synfig 2D animation software under GNU license. Synfig is today a vector-based open-source animation package that facilitates the process of tweening, which is basically drawing animation frame by frame.

Prologue tells the story of two boys trying to run away from soldiers in a sewer. According to the site, “in an attempt to protect his friend, one of the children tries to draw one of the soldiers away. However, plans don’t always work out as one would hope.”

My Friend Rabbit Making Pizza is a short (click to watch as embedding is disabled) made with Pencil, an open-source traditional animation software that lets you trace previously-drawn raster and vector images for your next frames (with its onion skin feature).

As you can see from the sources, the Blender Nation blog is rich with links to amazing Blender-made productions so be sure to check it out for more! If you have favorite open-source-generated clips, you can paste the link in the comments for everyone to enjoy!

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34 Comments - Write a Comment

Reply

Versatile

How about a blender tutorial? I’d love to make some of these using blender only!

Jessica Cam W.

Wow, this BlenderCookie site looks really neat! Thanks for sharing!

Jessica Cam W.

Super3boy has a great set of video tutorials on Youtube.

Reply

Darkphoenix

i’d recommend visiting http://www.blendercookie.com

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Carbon

Absolutely amazing stuff.

Reply

Tim Brookes

Fantastic post. Blender is clearly a great tool, I’ve recently thought about giving it a go.

I really like the fact that it can be used in a Linux environment.

Jessica Cam W.

Thanks! In fact, the About page for Sintel says the computers used were all equipped with Linux (64-bit)!

Anonymous

Wow, i havent seen any of them and most didnt heard of till today, am fav this so i can finally watch them.

thanks Jessica for the great post you’re awesome!

Jessica Cam W.

No problem! I invite you to check out BlenderNation as it posts videos from Blender artists on a regular basis.

website designer

blender nation is the right place .. i agree with u madjr never heard development with free softwares and getting so much name awesome work

Reply

Tim Brookes

Fantastic post. Blender is clearly a great tool, I’ve recently thought about giving it a go.

I really like the fact that it can be used in a Linux environment.

Reply

M.S. Smith

So basically everything here was absolutely awesome. Nice work.

Jessica Cam W.

These clips are totally professional studio-quality. It’s amazing what some free time and LOTS of patience can lead to.

Reply

Guest

and it was edited together – with ? I don’t see a free final cut pro on the list – looking again …. nope.

So it was mostly free. Got it.

Jessica Cam W.

Which one? :)

Guest

The blender foundation ones were all put together with blender’s built in video editor. can’t say for sure but I would guess the same is true for most the other blender ones as well.

Jessica Cam W.

Oh, yes, the non-linear video sequence editor isn’t as well known as the 3D compositing features in Blender. Here’s a tutorial for non-3D artists, and another one from Youtube.

Felix

Blender? it has a build in VSE, basic, but effective non the less, I guess.

Reply

Guest

and it was edited together – with ? I don’t see a free final cut pro on the list – looking again …. nope.

So it was mostly free. Got it.

Reply

Almux

Great stuff and nice inspiration.
So much can be done with a OpenSource app!
May i suggest you to have also a look at my short?
All modeling and animating done with Blender… But cutting and sound are made on non-Open Source. :o
Flash version here: http://video.moncinema.ch/vide
And QuickTime here: http://www.visionnart.ch/index

Reply

Notesfrom Uthers_cave

linux rules

Reply

adsense approval

linux is the best

Reply

Blended010

if you want pdf tutorials for beginners visit foreverblender blogspot

Jessica Cam W.

Nice! Thanks for the suggestion! Here’s the link for everyone, ForeverBlender.

More links are welcome, everyone!

Reply

Jessica Cam W.

Nice! Thanks for the suggestion! Here’s the link for everyone, ForeverBlender.

More links are welcome, everyone!

Reply

madjr

Wow, i havent seen any of them and most didnt heard of till today, am fav this so i can finally watch them.

thanks Jessica for the great post you’re awesome!

Reply

Anonymous

i hope the people in Hollywood and other countries take note and help fund/support this amazing software and communities

in 5 or 10 years i hope to have the chance to view some featured films made with Open source tools in my local movies theater

this could revolutionize the world!

Jessica Cam W.

That’s a great thought. I think for now what the public can do to help is to spread the news, get merchandise (like DVDs) and/or donate to the the Blender Foundation.

Reply

madjr

i hope the people in Hollywood and other countries take note and help fund/support this amazing software and communities

in 5 or 10 years i hope to have the chance to view some featured films made with Open source tools in my local movies theater

this could revolutionize the world!

Reply

generator on hire

animation is something that everyone like, using free softwares is good but using your thoughts is what is more important. thanks 3D world is fantastic

Reply

SparkD

Is there a music production open source site and software of this type?

Jessica Cam W.

LMMS is open-source software while Archive.org offers music clips in its open-source audio/community audio section.

You’ll probably get more responses if you post your question in MakeUseOf Answers.

Reply

Jessica Cam W.

LMMS is open-source software while Archive.org offers music clips in its open-source audio/community audio section.

You’ll probably get more responses if you post your question in MakeUseOf Answers.

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