LOS ANGELES — After seven months of work in Amsterdam by a dozen of open source visual effects specialists, the Blender Institute will release director Ian Hubert’s new short film, Tears of Steel, online and at a special event in Los Angeles hosted by ASIFA-Hollywood. The online release will be on Wednesday, September 26, around 17h UTC.
For over half a year an international team of 3D visual effects artists worked in the studio of the Amsterdam Blender Institute on the short film Tears of Steel, written and directed by Seattle talent Ian Hubert. This independent production was financed by the online user community of the free program Blender and was supported by the Netherlands Film Fund, the Cinegrid consortium, and by corporate sponsors such as Google.
The film project’s primary target was intended as an incentive for the development of a free and open source pipeline for visual effects in film, using the popular Blender 3D creation software. The film itself, and any material made in the studio, will be released as Creative Commons shortly after the premiere. This concept, a true Open Movie, allows filmmakers to study and reproduce every detail of the creation process.
Following the short animated films Elephants Dream (2006), Big Buck Bunny (2008) and Sintel (2010), this is the fourth short created in the Amsterdam studio with crowd-funding support. For Tears of Steel, the ambitions were again set high — using as a reference the international standard of visual effects applied to a fun and witty science-fiction theme in the old city of Amsterdam.
“The results are truly spectacular,” said producer Ton Roosendaal, “It’s a rare occasion to see your own city transformed with this level of visual effects and storytelling. Best is of course that we now have a complete open source pipeline for visual effect work in Blender — ranging from camera tracking and roto, all the way to color grading.”
“This was the Blender Institute’s first foray into shooting live-action,” director Ian Hubert said, “so every day we were covering new ground. Shooting with the state-of-the-art Sony F65 camera, and with such a talented production crew and actors, meant that we were able to not just to make a gorgeous film, but also provide filmmakers and developers around the world with optimal reference footage.”
The film’s premise is about a group of warriors and scientists, who gather at the “Oude Kerk” in Amsterdam to stage a crucial event from the past in a desperate attempt to rescue the world from destructive robots.
The online premiere will be on Wednesday 26 September, 17h UTC, at www.tearsofsteel.org and on YouTube. Hosted by the ASIFA-Hollywood association of animation studios, the official theatrical premiere will be held Friday, September 28th, at 7:00 p.m., at the Fletcher Jones Auditorium at Woodbury University.