Plumiferos (Free Birds)

This time I’m not going to say a word:

Plumiferos premiered in Buenos Aires last Friday. It’s the first CG animated feature to come from Argentina, in addition to being the first feature length film animated in Blender. For more information, and a candid review by a production crew member, visit Blender Nation.

(Thanks, Chris Larkee)

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  • http://zavorio Zavorio

    There is really no need for words. Being done in a developing country, having a low budget and using good Open Source software always seems to end up like this. But there is really no excuse for weak storytelling, bad (ugly) character design and even a lousy job with the trailer’s editing. And do people really laugh at these jokes?

    I’m from Latin America (Costa Rica) and this is depressing and it pisses me off.

    Oh and WTF with birds?! This was done in my country http://vimeo.com/3292740 Besides being horrible its a rip off of a Merrie Melodies classic http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxFGdJKeYmE

    Sorry about the whining, I’m just sick of all this crap coming from Latin America. All the potential is wasted in the worst possible way all the time :(

  • Grooshenka

    Boy, this bird sure knows how to wink.

  • http://animationinventory.blogspot.com/ Teodor

    better.

    garfild gets real is forgotten?

  • ZN

    Comics Sans! The age old barometer for quality control.

  • Marcus

    The top of the head is so fat and big on some of
    them, that I thought they were wearing a helmet
    at first glance.

    Beside, what is shining inside of his mouth on close-up?
    Is it the back of his head? … a forgotten light may be?

    One word: Scary

  • http://aalong64.blogspot.com Aaron L

    “Unafraid of Highness”
    They couldn’t have gotten an English speaker to proofread that?

    Highness?

  • http://kelseighn.blogspot.com Kelseigh

    Zavorio: There were jokes? Only one I spotted was the one about selling to European countries, and that was pretty lame.

    Can’t say it was an inspiring trailer anyhow. Could have just been a bad job on the part of the folks who put it together and no reflection on the movie (we saw damn little of what the movie was about there), but somehow I doubt it.

  • squirrel

    I HATE COMIC SANS! EVERYONE STOP USING IT!

    That aside, I suppose winking is his thing. 300 joints built into doing that, I assume.

  • http://www.elliotelliotelliot.com Elliot Cowan

    Afraid of Highness?
    The Queen???

  • http://www.inthebalcony.com Laughing Gravy

    I have never before heard the term “Coming Soon” sound quite so much like a threat.

  • captainmurphy

    We will make it just like America has taught us! American Attitude, that is so naturally -Funny-.

    On a related note, if I were a CGI animator, I would feel rather guilty, about wasting time on pointless work, if given the ‘blooper/outtake’ voice recordings to animate. It is okay for practice, as an exercise, but to put forth as entertainment, as if the CGI itself was actually ‘part of the blooper’ is merely insulting. And even the BEST of the CGI animators are guilty of it.

  • Robert Barker

    I hope they choke on the fetid, diesel bus polluted air of Buenos Aires.

  • http://www.frankpanucci.com FP

    Those birds have forehead spasms. They look painful. Maybe it’s an odd species of bird with CLOVERFIELD-style head-lungs.

  • Artisticulated

    ‘TUDE bay-bee, buckets ‘o ‘TUDE!

    I, for one, am indeed afraid of highness.

  • http://www.kohrtoons.com Robert Kohr

    Being an ardent user of blender I have to say it kinda sucks that a film like this is representative of the quality that you can get from it. For anyone out there who is reading this Blender is definitely worth a second look.

    Also – there is no excuse more animators need to learn a little bit of graphic design. I will reiterate everyone else don’t use the fonts that come with your computer!

  • David Cuny

    Most of this trailer is pretty ancient, and it shows.

    My understanding is that the original project stalled, and ended up being completed by a different group using commercial (non-Blender) software. According to this link:

    http://www.blendernation.com/plumiferos-to-premiere-on-februari-18th/

    “In fact, the studio was working secretly, without telling anyone not even the director, all past year.”

    Not a good sign.

  • Doug Nichols

    All this needs is a good idea for a story (they race cars on the freeway? is that it?) and good design. I think they whiffed on both, but hey, strike two! Of course, threatening us with an actual release may be strike three….

    Blender is becoming a capable tool but even if they switched to Maya or some other package, it’s still: Garbage in, Garbage out.

  • Pablo

    I’m from Argentina, and currently studying to become an animator (something those guys aren’t). Besides that we have horrible story, bad character design, not funny jokes and pretty bad voices, incredible combo!!
    Hopefully someday i’ll be able to do something better than this (though it’s not a great effort).

    PS: Buenos Aires is a polluted city but a lot of cities in the US are probably more contaminated, so why the offense?

  • Bob

    Ugh… where do I start? The animation is stiff, even by CGI standards. Couple that with poor design (those birds creep me out!) and there’s the first problem. Second, the the jokes are sub-Dreamworks. I never thought it could ever go lower than Planet 51, but there, this movie did. Overall, it’s movies like these that make me grateful that I love stop motion better.

  • victoria

    I’d still prefer to watch something like this over any of the reality show crap being aired on TV. Seriously those are real people and they suck more than a horribly CG bird.

  • Chris B

    I think it’s pretty bad but their use of English makes it downright unwatchable especially that British accent he was trying to imitate. I did not even know he was trying to do a British accent until he mentioned it. yep I agree Jerry speechless is a good way to go with describing this one.

  • Chris B

    I’m still trying to figure out what he was saying in british!

  • CRS

    Whaaaaaaat?

  • Chris B
  • Maguilla

    In defense of the plumiferos team I have to say they did a good job regardless of the many, many constraints many “critics” on this page utterly fail to understand or comprehend.

    They built a feature movie as they learned and somehow mastered blender, which BTW is a great application and is getting better and better. Hell will freeze before Autocad releases Maya for the masses for FREE and provides FREE classes/sessions AROUND THE WORLD.

    The animation might be shaky but so what? Dreamworks and PIXAR make very obvious mistakes yet nobody says anything. Sure, if the guilt trip that is called UP touched you, that’s ok, but that doesn’t grant you of any judgment of value to rule what is funny/good and what is not, what works in the US might not work in Argentina and vice-versa. So stop being so intolerant and judge and appreciate things for what they really are.

    And if we are talking about being successful just remember: Alvin and the Chipmunks sold more DVDs than WALL-E, so take this fact and put it on top of your humble pie. In conclusion, great animation + well designed characters != $$$ and !!!=== success.

    For those who hate the movie, what do you have to show for? Put yourselves in the plumiferos team shoes, walk a mile, then make a movie from the ground up and maybe we will talk.

  • http://kazrocks.blogspot.com Kazzer

    jeez, maguilla, did your cousin work on the film or something? you’re defending an apparently terrible film not on the grounds of some supposed artistic basis, but because we should learn to walk a mile in the collective shoes of the team?
    if in your world someone has to make a crappy movie (‘from the ground up’) before they can criticize a crappy movie, then it sounds like an ideal breeding ground for the kind of standards you’re espousing right here.
    i’m no cheerleader for boring mainstream animation either, but the only thing more offensive than that ultra-pasteurized drivel is stuff from other countries trying to imitate ultra-pasteurized drivel. it’s like if north korea forced a national cook to replicate a two-dollar twinkie.
    you talk about intolerance and ‘seeing things for how they are’. But surely giving a film a free ride, in terms of criticism, just because its from Argentina (where they apparently have ALL kinds of creative and financial setbacks indie studios on the US couldn’t ever imagine) is a very strange national double standard. oh, if an american film is terrible we can run it through the ringer but when its a bad Argentinian film, let’s just pat them on the heaad and say ‘they just didn’t know better’? Now THAT’S offensive. i look t this page and i see a lot of animators from Latin America aiming higher than this garbage, as they should, no thanks to your strange standards, sir.
    i saw the trailer for what it was, and not what you want it to be.

  • http://zavorio Zavorio

    Kazzer you said it all. I live under this ‘constraints’ and there is really no excuse for such a bad result.

    In Argentina there are lots of great design studios making some of the best stuff in the world. For example check these spots from Pepper Mellon http://www.peppermelon.tv/projects/lucchetti.html (And check their reel!). These are some other great studios in Argentina:

    http://www.doma.tv/ftpdoma/
    http://www.peppermelon.tv/
    http://www.punga.tv/
    http://www.studiochu.tv/
    http://www.2veinte.com.ar

    This of course is all commercial work, no shorts nor feature films but they prove that there is good design, good animation, good timming, good post-production, good everything there. The right people weren’t involved in this film clearly. I mean, this freakin Kid from Argentina did this and its beautiful, simple and appealinghttp://www.vimeo.com/7037952 No big budget or tech skills, just good work.

    I don’t need to put myself in their shoes, I’m in their shoes. And its just bad, plain bad. Oh and good animation is meant to work everywhere.

  • Maguilla

    Kazzer, so respect for others work is not important, huh? and everybody else is wrong because your set of values or standards is too high?

    I don’t see the reason of being too harsh, but hey, it’s the internet! let’s all be hateful for the sake of it without adding any value to the discussion. Let’s jump into conclusions as fast as we can, and forget about doing a complete check of the sources like (google is just to search for porn):

    http://74.125.155.132/search?q=cache:2mpQ5Pcbp7oJ:www.malefico3d.org/blog-en/%3Fp%3D315+http://www.malefico3d.org/blog-en/%3Fp%3D315&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk

    or

    http://www.blendernation.com/plumiferos-to-premiere-on-februari-18th/

    Even better, let’s crush others because life wasn’t fair to me (boo, hooo :( ).

    Geez, thank god many people out there doesn’t pay attention to people like you, else the church would still be burning books considered blasphemy (thanks to their standards). Or even worse The Weinstein Company would have never taken the risk of letting Cory Edwards release Hoodwinked. I don’t know you but I’d rather give a chance to a small studio than feeding monopolies (which happen to hurt the economy more than help it, but that’s part of another discussion).

    If the general idea is just picking on others work and not inspiring and supporting the community, well, I guess that i was wrong all along. I understood the animation/cartoon community/studios were kind of supportive but it seems is all BS. Seems like everybody is out there for their own benefit/ego, too sad.

    “Every artist was first an amateur.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • http://www.cementimental.com Tim Drage

    “I have said this before and will repeat it again as long as I am able to talk: if we do not develop adequate images we will die out like dinosaurs.”
    - Werner Herzog

  • http://www.spiteyourface.com Tony Mines

    See. Again.
    Clearly that looked like total crap, but it also pretty much looked like Bolt. I’m seeing the same ‘deformed baby’ models of character design that informed that movie. And also another of these voxpops trailers that are a convention of CG marketing now.
    These are all just bad executions of inherently bad but familiar ideas and conventions, that were exported over from America in the first place. So look inward before getting too judgmental.

  • http://tillmyhands.blogspot.com Adam VM

    Props to the Plumiferos team(s?) on seeing the project through to the end, at least. The worst project is the one that simply never makes it to the finish line. The next film will be better, probably.

  • http://kazrocks.blogspot.com kazzer

    I agree completely with you, Tony Mines, the reaction to the perceived, and again i say PERCEIVED badness of this film, should be expressed as an inward criticism of the standards we have for mainstream animation, not some judgment on Argentinian art.

    i don’t understand where you are getting the vibe that I’m complaining life wasn’t fair to me (???), when in truth i’m pretty thankful for the artistic resources, the employment and the lecturers i’ve had. if anything, YOU seem to be the one playing the world’s smallest violin for this sub-par film that i have more and more reason to believe you’re involved in.

    your insistence to treat Argentinian artists like homo sacer in the sense that ‘if we subjected them to the same degree of criticism we reserve for american, french, british, spanish, italian, japanese, or korean productions, it would simply be UNFAIR and INTOLERANT’, is the real racist conclusion here.
    neither am i hiding behind the anonymity of the internet to deliver calculated and nonconstructive blows; i link to my blog, and thus, my work, which is always open to criticism, (an offer i’m sure a petty guy like you will take me up on). yet for someone who is so much ‘without benefit/ego’, no one knows who you work for or what your angle on all of this is, maguilla. it might seem like YOU are hiding. all you link us to are seminal reviews written by the crew or ex-crew of the film in question, which totally invalidates them as critical resources.

    I don’t believe in a world with just one standard, I never have, and that’s not what art is about. international indie animation is by far the most exciting field in the business for me, producing winners like Persepolis, Belleville Rendez-vous, and Mary and Max, which to you, are obviously films that have ‘sold out because they are successful’. but a world with no standards? well, send me a postcard, maguilla, but don’t blame me if i’m thankful i don’t live there.
    Good luck and Well done to all the less bitter and more successful independant animators of the world, especially Argentina.

    “(Society’s double standard)… is in fact, a more effective deterrent than economic discrimination because it is more insidious, less tangible. Economic disadvantages involve ascertainable amounts, but the very nature of societal value judgments makes them harder to define, their effects harder to relate.”
    Anne Tucker