(Please see post on page 8 for Cycles version details. Not on Blendswap yet.)
The idea is pretty straight forward – I'm making a 'lite' version of the Sintel character file for testing purposes.
As it was, sintel.blend opened in 2.56a (trunk, not render branch) and re-saved came to about 71mb. There was also about 1.25gb of textures, mainly from using .png files for the film. Not a particularly friendly size for downloading, copying and generally moving about the place.
So far I've trimmed the file back to about half it's size by simplifying things, removing data that was not particularly needed and so on. The textures are now smaller resolution compressed jpegs at a bit under 3mb. Could be a bit less but overall that's a good start. The file also renders quite fast now with a non raytracing lighting/compositing set-up. Again, this file is mainly intended for testing animation, hair simulation and that sort of thing, not high res poster stills.
From here the plans are to fix up some flickering here and there so it won't distract in the tests, tidy up as much other data as I can and then start importing/linking actions from a couple of shots to test the rig is still effectively intact. A quick play with some posing suggests that there shouldn't be too many problems with that, but I wasn't an animator on Durian so I'm not entirely sure what 100% functionality would be anyway. It would help a lot to have the rig working with those files, but I hope to practice some animation this year so it's personally no biggie. If I get sidetracked I might update the clothing textures here and there, but that is of a pretty low importance.
So, when finished there should be a character (same cc license as the film obviously) that is 'production' based for testing new code/features/work flows that is still convenient enough to download and work with – ie a compressed download of 15 to 20mb for .blend and textures looks possible. Doesn't make much sense to post any .blend files just yet because at this point I plan to test and change things regardless.
Please excuse the boring test pose of mine, but you get the idea: