Blender Studio announces new "Project Heist: a High-end Cinematic Experience"

Push Blender’s capabilities in the interactive PBR workflow, improving and developing new tools ( EEVEE, texture painting, baking, etc.)


I predict a lot of hard-surface Geometry Nodes stuff. I expected Sprite Fright to give Sculpt Mode a boost, but Sculpt Mode in the Blender Master builds has gained relatively little progress the past few years.

1 Like

It’s a point of view: action-packed often means “visually engaging”, which can be more on the technical execution side of things. Great narrative often has low action:


It is seven months for two minutes, which means it is a typical length production timetable for a 4th of the footage (many Open Movie Projects go for around 8 minutes). It gives the impression that the user feedback calling for higher end animation and visuals (so as to push Blender for AAA-grade production) has been heard.

1 Like

I feel the same. I believe if they truly try to push for modern movie production pipeline they’ll be faced with many challenges people from film industry are trying to explain to Blender devs. It can be a great learning expirience for Blender Studio and could help to align understanding of what is needed to improve in that regard.

How it goes we’ll see. But it’s a good move and I support it.

1 Like

I do not know which feedback you’re referencing.

What I remember is this thread on devtalk about next project to be less stylized. However it was after Sprite Fright was released, and in after-party stream of Sprite Fright Ton was already hinting about Project Heist, talking that next project will be shorter, about 2 minutes, and that there would be push for nodes, physics, real-time rendering, EEVEE (after which he runs since was caught giving inside information).

So feedback you’re referencing should be before Sprite Fright was released.

There have been plenty of folks on this forum calling for more photorealistic projets to be made over the years, the idea being to strengthen the pipeline.


There does not seem to be very much up on this yet on the Blender Studio site, formally The Blender Cloud.

There is some early concept art and some facial sculpting work including an interesting exercise in using layered multi res sculpting to create close up skin details, wrinkles and pores. But they seem to be using the existing standard release tool set right now rather than any special additions or enhancements to the sculpting workflow.

It does all look like a concerted effort to make something that would be at least up to par to what we would expect to see in a modern AAA game cinematic cut scene.

I am sure this will be seen as a welcome shift in focus for many. I was personally hoping for a while that they might do something again more along the lines of another Sintel like adventure story or focus a bit more on the wider 3D visual effects workflow again as in Tears Of Steel. The last few open movies have been great artistically and technically impressive. I thought Spring in particular was very visually rich and beautiful. But they have all been quite stylised and cartoony. With all of the recent work from Blender Studio along with the feature film and series work from Tangent it seems very clear that Blender works well for this form of animation and film making now. It does feel time to focus a bit more again on more realistic styles of animation and visual effects pipelines. The fact that the plan seems to be to be to render it all in Eveee is also going to make it very interesting.

At least they have change the type of proyect and they will need different tools.

Seriously, you have been too much used to exceptional Pablo’s pace.

Yes. Blender 3.0 release was just containing a Transfer mode overlay.
2.93 and 2.92 were containing few new features and cosmetic changes.

But 2.91 was containing a lot of sculpt related features (HDRI rotation, Sculpt Gestures tools, Cloth brush, Boundary Brush, Multires Displacement Eraser, Sculpt Filters, etc…).
2.91 is not even 2 years old.

I know it is frustrating to see a lot of interesting stuff in sculpt-dev branch.

But people, who were interested by fracture modifier dynamic mode, before 2.8 project, are a lot more frustrated.
We have geometry nodes able to handle procedural textures.
But they currently are unable to cut a mesh according to a complex procedural volumetric pattern.
I would be really disappointed to see an explosion in the movie done by using cell fracture addon or an explode modifier.

Unfortunately, the announcement looks like they will focus on environment creation.
Concept arts are giving me kind of Adam’s vibes. The demo from Unity.
That kind of demo made to sell photogrammetry scans.

But the movie series starts and ends with a little bit of cloth tearing (probably feasible like Sprite Fright dissolving stuff).
Second episode had a ton of fires (Mantaflow is able to create that and viewport is able to handle several domains).
But we don’t have more realistic.
Without that, cool tools to fracture or other impressive physics stuff, I am a little bit afraid that result will be cool environment but animation that feels off.


Haha, yeah, I guess we’ve become a bit spoiled by Pablo’s Sculpt Mode progress pace.

Yep, although I have to admit that lately I’m distracted by my pleasant rediscovery of 3D Coat.

We are all waiting you to come back home, sooner or later :wink:


I think it will not take a long time
Metin love to change software constantly :slight_smile:

1 Like


But I haven’t abandoned Blender. I still use and love it. 3DC is just an additional tool. :slightly_smiling_face:

1 Like

It’s going to be interesting where this will (story-wise) land in the spectrum between ‘minimal, but credible storytelling’ and what I like to call ‘gamer’s block’.

‘Gamer’s block’ being the phenomenon of a writer mistaking the pseudo-agency of a video game NPC for plausible acting (by a character in an animated short).

The examples of animated shorts where this is to be observed are legion (especially among student projects and one-man-productions).
The stereotypical is this: Protagonist wanders around in some kind of deserted wilderness or wasteland, alone. Sometimes said wasteland may be sth. like a whole planet on which the protagonist lands at first or an abandoned spaceship/ spacestation.
Next, the protagonist is suddenly being attacked by some sort of beast/alien/monster/robot, out of the blue (in some cases several of the aforementioned anthagonists).
Next, the protagonist either fights off the hostile creature(s) or whatever, or they manage to escape them, either by entering some sort of acient temple ruins or some sort of teleporting portal, either of which they happen to just stumble upon most conveniently, just as they needed it.
Fade out, end of crappy short.

This is not storytelling, not even minimal storytelling, it’s bullsht. It’s bullsht for those shorts always completely fail to give any reasons why:

  • and to what end protagonist even is on this endavour into said dire wilderness/ wastelands in the first place.
  • let alone why on his/her own, if it is such a dangerous, harsh, savage place after all. And no, ‘being an explorer’ is not a sufficient explanation. People don’t explore uncharted territory in the wilderness all by themselfs.
  • a hostile anthagonist (or several thereof) pop out of nowhere without warning, let alone why they’re hostile in the first place.
  • the ominous temple ruins or (sillier yet) portal just happens in the protagonist’s way, just as they need somplace to find shelter/ hide from the anthagonist. Especially if the environment was presented as such a deserted wasteland at first.

In other words, ‘gamer’s block’ is the act of mistaking the typical ‘wander around and slay monsters’-trope from RTS video games for a short story.

On the technical side, the plan to use Eevee sounds interesting and the baking-system really needs it (some love, that is).

greetings, Kologe

I nice rundown of sculpture improvements coming to Blender.

The Dynatopo working on top of UV’s and seams is a litlle bit blowing my mind.

This is a great feature update for working on already UV’d and textured scan assets.
Well just about any decimated and UV’d optimised non deforming organic asset I would guess.



I’m sorry, what do you mean by dead mesh ?

lol, that’s a long offtopic story… but dead mesh is basically a bad model/mesh with all kinds of topology error…

And I’ve always assumed sculptors were the kind of people who hate (having to think about clean) topology… :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: Guess I was wrong.

greetings, Kologe

1 Like