Blender Studio’s 15th Open Movie is an entertaining and stylized cartoon, exploring the polarized relationship between a cat and a dog. At stake is the fate of a hastily built rocket ship that never quite makes it to space, and is made of every bit of barnyard junk the cat can scrape together. The dog, of course, is a huge space fan boy, and can’t wait to fly the rickety spacecraft despite its obvious inadequacies and severe lack of space worthiness.

The goals of the project are to push Blender in the production of 2D/3D animation and to explore NPR and stylized rendering workflows.

Blender and Its Remarkable Open Movie Projects

Blender is a name that resonates with many in the digital art and animation industry. But what exactly is Blender, and why are its Open Movie projects creating such a buzz? Let’s dive in!

What is Blender?

Blender is a powerful, open-source 3D computer graphics software toolset. It’s used for creating animated films, visual effects, art, 3D printed models, interactive 3D applications, and video games. One of the most appealing aspects of Blender is its price tag: it’s completely free. That’s free, as in beer.

This means that anyone, from budding artists to seasoned professionals, can access and utilize its vast array of features without any financial constraints. This is especially important for beginning 3d artists and animators. Putting this in perspective, the current reigning sovereign of both the motion picture and gaming industries is Autodesk Maya, and that software has been used for nearly every movie that uses CGI for the past 30 years. Unfortunately Maya costs $1,875, and that’s just for one year — and that’s just for one seat.

At those prices it’s amazing anybody ever learns the software. There is a student version that’s available free, but you have to be a qualifying student to get it, which precludes anybody self-teaching or learning the software on their own, unassociated with an expensive filmmaking or animation school. Blender has no such limitations, and the quality of the software is, at this point, on par with Maa in most areas and surpasses it in some.

Blender is the favorite of experimenters, tinkerers, student animators and even game developers all over the world. There are workflows in Blender that support every major game engine, and is the preferred tool for developing avatars for VRchat.

The Blender Open Movie Projects

The Blender Open Movie Projects are a series of short films produced by the Blender Foundation. These projects serve multiple purposes:

  • Showcasing Blender’s Capabilities: Each film is a testament to what Blender can achieve in terms of animation, visual effects, and storytelling. They’re a fantastic way to demonstrate the software’s potential.
  • Improving the Software: As artists work on these films, they often encounter challenges or areas where Blender can be improved. This feedback loop ensures that Blender continues to evolve and improve with each project.
  • Education: All assets, including models, animations, textures, and even the films themselves, are released under a Creative Commons license. This means that other artists and enthusiasts can dissect, learn from, and build upon the work.

Blender in the Commercial World

Blender’s prowess isn’t limited to open projects. It’s been used in various capacities in several commercial releases. Some notable examples include:

  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse: This Oscar-winning film utilized Blender for some of its visual development and storyboard artwork (specifically the Grease Pencil feature).
  • The Man in the High Castle: The Emmy-awarded Amazon series used Blender for some of its visual effects shots.
  • Next Gen: This Netflix original film was entirely made using Blender, showcasing its capabilities in a full-length feature film environment.

Why It Matters

The Open Movie Projects and Blender’s increasing presence in commercial releases highlight the software’s growing importance in the industry. They prove that open-source tools can produce high-quality results that stand toe-to-toe with those from expensive commercial software. Moreover, by providing a platform for artists to learn, collaborate, and improve, Blender is fostering a community that pushes the boundaries of digital art and animation.

Blender and its Open Movie Projects are not just about software or films; they represent a movement towards democratizing the world of digital art, making it accessible and achievable for everyone.

Where to Get Blender

You can get your own copy of Blender at, and there is a bogglingly huge library of tutorials on every aspect of the software, both from the Blender Institute and on YouTube.

Go ham.


SCIFI Radio Staff
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