Can the following 3D animated shorts be done withBlender? (Youtube 3D shorts)

(list of 6 random 3D animated shorts below)

Does anyone know what kind of program were used to create them?

Note: I am completely new to blender. Only been messing with it for about 1 week, with absolutely no background in 3D modeling or animation.

I have linked 6 random 3D animated shorts from youtube, which has that “professional” look to them that I’m looking for, and looking to ultimately create. I tried messaging the youtube uploading but never received a response as to what software programs are used.

As someone extremely new to blender, my immediate goal is to learn the blender basics, 3D modeling, rigging, animating, etc. etc., and ultimately creating 3D animated shorts. My concern is that I haven’t really seen any blender animation that “look” professional so to speak. Don’t take that the wrong way. It could either be the color palette, lighting or just the way characters are animated in some of the amateur blender short animations. However, I don’t think there’s a lot of 3D animated shorts specifically created by blender.

Does anyone have any links to blender animated shorts that more resemble the 6 videos below so I can get a taste of blender’s potential?

Sally ( apparently made with Blender )

Sally was very well done (meaning, I simply paid attention to the story and didn’t analyze the animation because nothing was really out of place) but it still seems to be missing an “ingredient” so to speak now that I rewatch the Sally short. It could be the way it’s animated or the lighting. It has that “direct to home video” type quality, while the 6 other ones linked below has more of a pixar-esque quality to them. What is missing?

Haven’t seen any blender created animated shorts of this ilk. Can the following be done in blender?

Funny Love Story - Animated Short Film, English


Sam | The Short Animated Movie

CGI Animated Short Film HD: “The Present Short Film” by Jacob Frey

CGI Animated Short Film HD: “Jinxy Jenkins & Lucky Lou Short Film” by Mike Bidinger & Michelle Kwon

CGI Animated Short Film HD: “A Fox Tale Short Film” by A Fox Tale Team

take youtube and search for “showreal Blender”

After a quick read through your post, I can tell you… “yes”. Most anything “can” be done in Blender, given your desire to put in the time to hone your skills and to find workarounds to certain issues as they come up.

That being said, check out the “Animations” part of this board. There are some good and not so good in there, but you’ll see that most anything can be done.

Good luck and keep learning!

None of these skills are basic if you want to learn them to the level of been able to make a short of the quality of the ones you linked to…If you are learning on your own then animation, and just animation, can easily take you 1.5 - 3 years of hard studying before you start making some really solid animation.

Animation and rigging are easily the hardest skill to learn in Blender because there is a serious lack of resources to do so…I used to be into hard-surface modeling especially cars and when I threw up a wip thread I could easily get 3 or 4 comments with good critics.

When I switched my attention over to animation and I throw up a thread it’s just crickets man(zero comments). so now you are basically learning with no one critiquing you which is the worst way to learn especially if you want to get seriously good at something.

The hobbyist animation community of Blender is virtually non-existent so the quality won’t be as strong as that of the guys making stills. But there is still good animation work been done in Blender.

I think the key difference between Sally, made with Blender, and the others you listed is probably going to be this:

Animation, Directing, Postproduction, Modeling, Design and Music: Dominic Maler

The others were made by teams of people. When you have a team, you can divide the work up and play to individual team members’ strengths. One person draws character designs, another models, someone else storyboards, etc. If you’re doing everything on your own then you either have to be an expert at everything or you have to compromise on quality.

The only ones that I found that were close to what I’m looking for is the following, especially Agent 327, very impressive. The animation in Monkaa was good, and so was the Toolkit one, especially the 1:53 to 1:59 mark as well as the introductory part. Agent 327 is something I could have mistaken to be done by pixar. Agent 327 is pixar-esque and what I’m looking for, but could the color palette be brighten?

Agent 327

Full Movie: Monkaa - 3D Animation Short Film HD

Animation Toolkit - Training Series for Character Animation in Blender

Kajimba and Sintel isn’t quite what I’m looking for, big reason is the beige, yellow tinted “color palette.” And the animations although fits them to a certain extent, seems to be missing an added ingredient or subtle body movement element that would liven the characters so to speak as seen in Agent 327 or even the Toolkit trailer and Monkaa. Props to the creators of Kajimba and Sintel, but just isn’t quite what I’m looking for.

Kajimba and Sintel both have a yellow tinge color palette that reminds me of the movie Mad Max. Can the color palette for Kajimba and Sintel be changed to have a more “pixar-esque” color palette or those in the 6 3D youtube linkes that I provided? I’m guessing yes? maybe?



Youtubed showreal blender and although very very impressive with what can be done with blender, I didn’t really find much at all in those showreels that captured pixar-esque style, either animation or character design. The impressive thing about Blender is the ability to create very life-like models that can be deceptively real.

Let me put it this way. None of the characters in Pixar or even Agent 327 (created with Blender) looks real, but the movement and behavior and animation of these characters exude life. And that’s what I’m kind of striving for. I’m most impress with Agent 327, even thought it’s only in the beginning stages.

Agent 327

From 0:10 onward, very impressed with the animation. The color palette and animation speed and subtle movements is an absolutely perfect match for Agent 327. It’s pretty much on point. Even though nothing needs to be changed, is it possible to brighten the color palette of Agent 327 to have a more brighten or colorful look?

I went through a few handful and haven’t stumbled onto any “pixar-esque” type or any resembling those youtube 3D shorts. I’ll just have check out a few more threads. That’s a job for this weekend.

I’m guessing animation and rigging is also the reason why those 3D youtube shorts I’ve linked look more “professional”? But getting characters to move the same way in say “The Present” and “Funny Love Story” can be perfectly replicated in blender right? The same tone and color palette can also be replicated in blender right? Because these two components is what I’m looking to “get right.”

CGI Animated Short Film HD: “The Present Short Film” by Jacob Frey

Funny Love Story - Animated Short Film, English

That could be an important element, but what really speaks to the audience is the animation. One could have the greatest character designs or models and the greatest storyboard, but if the character doesn’t animate in a way that exudes life, then it doesn’t help “tell” the story. So, I’m guessing everything falls on the shoulders of the animator.

Even if we completely disregard everything else and only focus in on the animations, the 3D youtube videos seems to have “mastered” the art of animation, plus the knowledge of how and where to place the camera. Could animation be a one person job?

Big studios like Pixar, Dream works, Disney have artist who create color scripts paintings that set the look of their films…

I think you are way too hang up on the software side of the equation all the things you want to achieve have very little to do with the software used and all to do with the art side of things.

I would suggest you look into something like schoolism if you want to learn about visual development for animation the offer courses by amazing artist like Dice Tsutsumi(<-google him so that you get an idea of how the look and feel of these movies is determined by artist like him)…

With regards to “software,” I simply wanted to know if what I’m looking to do is possible solely with Blender, and if not, what other “software” might be needed.

Another one I just stumbled across looks very impressive. Completely different than Agent 327, but both has that “magical” animated touch.

Cosmos Laundromat - First Cycle. Official Blender Foundation release
(end credits says Modeled, animated, render, and composited entirely in Blender)

Just did an internet search for “schoolism.” Looks like there’s a cost involved so I’ll look into that when I get a “better handle” with blender (i.e. create a very generic model (maybe even along the lines of a 3 dimensional “stick model” and possibly facial features, texture, rig, animate, etc.). Also did your suggested search on Dice Tsutsumi, Tonkyo House. Looks like he uses photoshop to create his artwork. Has a watercolor construct. His art style. Nicely done. Will need to do more research on both.

Hi there. To make your life easier: Yes, yes and yes. All of it can be done in Blender. The gap (where there is one) between other software and Blender will most likely never affect you and vice versa Blender can be much better at certain (!) things than many professional packages. There are some nice comparisons out there, including this comparison with Modo.

As most everyone else here mentioned, the software-side of things is actually extremely unimportant for the final output. Sure, different renderers will give you different outputs but literally all (I wanna stress again: ALL) of the points you mentioned for the look of the films, colors, animation style are purely artistic skill and amount of work put into the shorts (either by individual artists or teams) and almost nothing else. I have been doing CG for almost 15 years now, first with various smaller tools, then Cinema 4D and then with Blender and apart from getting used to one software or another it’s all the same. It’s typical for beginners to get hung up on the software, but you shouldn’t. Blender is free and great. If you think another software seems easier to get into you can also choose that one. The only thing that will impact your output in the end in a significat way, is the time you put into it and the skills you acquire.

Hope that helps. :slight_smile:

As mentioned above, the things you are looking for are artistic choices, not software choices.
Whether you are capable of achieving your desired look are down to your abilities and your knowledge of how to use the software, be that blender or any other application.

As mentioned by many, the software is not the most important part of the equation, this said, Blender is perfect for beginners, it is moderately easy to learn and use, has pretty much all the tools you need, down to a good quality compositor and near production ready render engine(Cycles), it has a good community aimed at beginners, there is tons of free learning stuff on the Web for it and it is 100% free!

Now, if You want to achieve the same level of effects done by large studios, and if you are looking for a one stop application that works the way it should without having to resort to workarounds, I think Blender is not the right tool, I would instead suggest you look into Houdini from SideFX, there is a free version, there is also an Indy version for 200$!

Houdini has the reputation of being hard to learn, I personally do not agree with this assertion, especially since release 15 of Houdini, which had an overhaul, it is very streamlined, it is 100% node based, so if You think You get powerful shading tools with Cycles, have a look at shader building in Houdini, it will knock your socks off, Houdini was lacking in modeling in the past, but this is no longer the case, there is more and more free learning material for it, even from SideFX, it beats Blender hands down in rigging, skinning, fluids, cloth simulation, or any type of special FX, it has a top notch production ready render engine called Mantra that rivals the likes of Arnold and Renderman, it is used in wide range of Hollywood productions, it is also used by thousands of freelancers and hobbyists!

Again, the tool is irrelevant if You don’t own the skills first, and Blender sure is a good application to start learning with!

Short answer: yes, all of those could be made in Blender, there is no technical obstacle. Just about everything is possible without even leaving Blender except sound recording/editing.

Long answer: yes, but you will have to learn a lot in order to do so. They look “simple” but the rigging and animation part (not to mention lighting, editing, virtual camera work) is a lot harder than it looks. If you don’t notice those things it’s because they were done very well.

Appreciate your input. Knowing that you have 15 years of CG experience with other software including Blender definitely gives me reassurance. More importantly, seeing Cosmos Laundromat and Agent 327 in action with the “professional” animated magic definitely gives me reassurance that I can simply rely on Blender to create 3D animated shorts, and ultimately a lengthier animated film(s) if and when my passion takes me there.

You’re absolutely right. It certainly is about artistic choices and essentially comes down to the creators artistic ability. Just wanted some type of reassurance in visual form (considering both Cosmos Laundromat and Agent 327 were entirely done in Blender, that’s truly all the reassurance that I need). Knowledgeable people as yourself and everyone else in this thread also helps.

I will definitely take your advice. Taking on Blender as my first go around. Already downloaded Houdini not too long ago (someone mentioned Houdini being great for special effects). Haven’t dived into it.

Are you saying Houdini can do all the things that Blender can do? Even if that is the case, I will want to learn and use Blender. If that’s the case, always could create an entire 3D short in Blender and create another 3D short in Houdini.

One hears that “MAYA” and “3DS max” and those other programs are what professionals use, and especially if you want a job in the industry, Maya and the other big name software programs is what the potential candidate needs to have first hand experience. For the time being, it’ll be Blender because it was solely used to create Cosmos Laundromat and Agent 327. (I’ll look into Houdini later on).

Appreciate the input. You’re absolutely right about the time and effort required. And you’re absolutely right about things looking like “masterpieces” because masterpieces makes things look easy.

Cosmos Laundromat and Agent 327 are both created entirely in Blender, and that’s enough to keep me sticking with Blender for the time being and possibly the long haul. GCharb did mention about Houdini, but also that Blender is a very good starting place for beginners. I will look into Houdini and Maya and 3DS max after I become proficient and efficient in Blender. Considering Blender is absolutely 100% free, and its ability to create Cosmos Laundromat and Agent 327, and since Blender is my first experience in starting the 3D animation creating process and since it’s only been a little over 1 week, Blender will always be my first love.

Can never go wrong with free. Can never go wrong with a free program that can create “masterpieces” like Cosmos Laundromat and Agent 327.

I believe what you are looking for is more “animation quality” rather than “colour grading” and “rendering choices”. The beauty of rendering and colour grading (and compositing/effects) is that almost any kind of visual animation style can be achieved. What is more important whether the 3d animation application you work in feels “right” for character animation. And, in my opinion, Blender has that in spades.

Have a look at these examples (very different styles, yet the animation is expressive, and a joy to watch):

The last one is not quite up to par to the other two, but you must realize that such a long film with limited resources is going to have to cut some corners somewhere. Animation takes time. GOOD animation takes far longer.

Thing is, you can do almost ANYTHING to the output nowadays. The trick is to be able to animate convincingly and expressively - much, MUCH harder to do and it takes far more time to learn than the rendering and colour grading bit. Those can be easily adjusted before and/or after rendering.

Houdini can do everything Blender can do, and much more, except video editing, at least as far as I know of, it does modeling, of course, 3D painting, sculpting, even does Voxels sculpting, it rocks at rigging and enveloping, the muscle system has no equivalent in my opinion, and it is the best at FX, it has a compositor that is almost as good as Nuke, but you will not find as many free learning ressources as with Blender, but the Houdini community is large and active, and although it is aimed at mid to advanced users, these guys are quite happy to help newbies, in a friendly manner, and there is no crap or trolls on it!

As for Maya, well, many mid to large studios uses it, among many tools, Max is more and more targeted at previz stuff, many use Houdini for FX, many even use Cinema4D, really depends where you ware, I know Softimage is still used allot in Asia, but more and more studios are opening who chose to use other tools as well, some even Blender, I work in a large studio in Montreal, over the years we went from 3DSMax, to Softimage (RIP), to Maya, which we do not like, and now we are investigating Houdini, and so far, we are impressed, SideFX really listens to their user base, unlike the Blender Institute who seems to develop in regard to their current movie project and not really according to the needs of their user base, also, Houdini has daily builds with bug fixes and often new tools, which is great!

Again, Blender is a great app, if you dont mind the time it takes to do things, if you dont mind the workaround and the fiddling, just go for it, you’ll have tons of fun, eventually! :slight_smile:

You’re pretty much on point. It is in fact “animation quality” that completely changes the ball game. Appreciate the videos you’ve linked. I did see “Glass Half” a couple days ago and that is also another very impressive animated short. The movement are so fluid, lifelike, and very expressive. “Llamigo” also looks very well done. Interestingly enough, having seen it a couple days ago as well, the color palette somehow cast a different light on the film. It wasn’t as appealing but rewatching it again, and simply focusing on the animation itself, the quality is certainly up to par. The third one is completely new to me; the animation in the 3rd one is also remarkably well done to say the least. It might be “missing” an ingredient, but I could even see how the animation was purposely done like that. But I can definitely see it being taken to another level of animation. Appreciate you bringing all three to my attention.

I want to assume that all those 3D youtube animated shorts were created by students studying full time at 3D animation art universities, and hence, the reason why they all have that “professional-pixar-esque” look to them. They have structured training to develop their skills. They live and breathe animation.

My assumption is that if “Blender” and “Maya”/“Houdini” had swapped places, and “Blender” was all the rave used by professional Hollywood studios while Maya/Houdini was free and open sourced, I would be asking the same question about whether Maya/Houdini would be able to accomplish what Blender could do? I’m guessing “yes”?

My assumption: In other words, if universities used Blender as a teaching tool and THE software tool for creating 3D animations, all the youtube 3D shorts would have been created using Blender. But because the dominant software used at Unversities is Maya/3Ds, that the majority of the 3D animated shorts on youtube were created using Maya.

Loving everything you’re saying especially about Houdini.

If Houdini isn’t capable of video editing … is getting different camera angle of the same scene considered part of the video editing process? Or are we simply referring to removing already recorded scenes, moving scenes around, literally “video” … “editing” …

Sounds like I should actually use Houdini and Blender simultaneously. However, I also noticed the word “eventually” at the end of the Blender statement. I get the sense that you’re saying Houdini would actually get me to where I want to be quicker; sounds like Houdini allows the creator to be more efficient in creating 3D animated shorts or even 3D animated full fledged films. Doing the same thing in a shorter amount of time sounds very inviting.

But everything in essence comes down to one’s animating skills. The ability to animate a scene or film with that “professional” “magical” animated touch still falls on the shoulder of the animator right? If someone simply uses the “pose to pose” method of keyframing, and relying on the software program (Houdini, Blender, Maya, 3DS max, etc) to interpret the “in-between” frames, one software programs isn’t better than the other is it? or is it?

Here’s a question, does Blender/Houdini/Maya/3Ds max do a better job at the “in-between key frames”? (Hopefully I’m asking the right question).

Care to briefly elaborate on the disadvantages or why you guys/gals don’t particularly like Maya? Would you say 3DS max is better or worst or equivalent to Maya? I hear a lot more about Maya being THE program while 3Ds max might get a few honorable mentions here and there. However, I may also have heard that 3DS max could also be used to create animated 3D shorts.

I think you are massively overestimating the amount of “kick” a certain software will bring in your abilities. They are all equally worthless if you don’t know what you are doing. And getting from the point you are now to a point where choosing Maya, Houdini, Max or Blender over one another based on specific needs is sensible is a long way. Learn one software to the point where your understanding of it is deep enough to evaluate if you are held back by your own abilities or software. And when you get there, it is relatively easy to switch your tools as you already understand that they all work basically the same way.

I think it’s best not to get too caught up and lost with endless software point scoring. None of them have a magic make great wonderful work button. Focus on being an artist. Rather than… is ( A ) software better at ( X ) than ( B ) software.

Blender is a great or rather superb all round tool for making short films. If that is your aim then you will do well with it as that is what it has been pitched at. Small studios and individules.
You can also make short films with any of the others too. Maya for example dominates in the film and TV industry because it works so well in big studio pipelines. It was designed that way from the beginning and has been steadily refined in this area over very many years.

But seriously getting so fixated on software this early is a big mistake. Software and digital tech move with the winds. It changes all the time. Also open source is moving at a very fast rate now.
Focus on being an artist first and try to be as adaptable and software agnostic as possible. Use whatever is most convenient to you for your own work. Or if you are looking for an industry position get familiar with what is mostly used (… at the present time… ) in the industry you are focusing on. It’s as simple as that.

By video editing I am talking about putting video footage together, like in premiere, Houdini can easily switch between cameras, which are a breeze to setup!

You seem to be new at 3D, tackling 2 full fledged 3D applications would take You back at least a year before you get to the level that would allow you to make the type of animation you are referring to, that is full time learning, 3D is no walk in the park if you aim at professional work, no matter what software you intend to use!

Yes, by eventually I mean that Blender, although a great application, takes quite a bit of workarounds to get the job done on many of the tools, I remember all the frustration I suffered when I tried to do advanced cloth or fluids in it, I was eventually able to work things out to an almost satisfying level, but never at the level you can achieve in Maya or Houdini, and certainly not in a decent amount of time, everything I do in Blender, I can do much faster and in a much better way in other applications, but I love the software, nonetheless, fun is an important part of the process.

If your goal is to tell stories, if Agent 327, which is brilliant, is what you are aiming for, then Blender is a good tool, but it lacks in the rigging department, it has no muscles system, bones cannot be colored, that I know of, and its near impossible to create a custom rig panel without scripting, and it is a pain to do enveloping with it, just look at the latest Blenrig 5, which uses deformation cage, which is basically a workaround for Blender poor enveloping, cages are often used for cloth as well, since the cloth system is finicky at best, especially on complex cloth systems.

Blender is a great tool, but not a high end tool, but it is free, it has tons of free learning material and it allows peoples to tell stories, and as you saw, good character animation is absolutely possible with it, so you are right in that optic, it all boils down to the animator skills, because great FX and render cannot compensate for bad story telling or bad character animation.

Also, if you plan on getting a job in 3D, a Blender portfolio will get you nowhere, at least not in the Montreal, Toronto, New York triangle, I often suggest to peoples to learn Houdini because good Houdini users are a rare commodity, and most mid to large studios use it in their pipelines, mostly for FX, but the best thing is to make a bit of research and see what the studios in your area use, I think there is a learning version of Max, not sure if you can download it though, there is one you can download for Houdini, its called Apprentice, there is none for Maya that I know of, and there is one for Cinema4D, again, not sure if you can download it!

As for Maya, we find it to be inconsistent, tools change from panels to panels, and I personally dislike the interface to a scream, the Hypershade and the Hypergraph are the worst implementation of networks I have ever seen, and its plain down ugly, one place where Blender shines, as do Houdini!

Here is a great article on why peoples should move from Maya to Houdini!

CGCookie has a decent intro to Blender

Darrin Lile has a pretty decent free course on Blender character modeling, texturing, rigging and animating, he even covers blendshapes and face rigging.

SideFX are producing more and more videos for Houdini, you can find them on their Vimeo channel, but a bit of warning, some are technical, but there is a series on starting up with Houdini, I also suggest you have a look at the demo reels, even the student ones, I think you’ll be impress, and do not let yourself being intimidated, Houdini is not that hard to learn, its just different, just like Blender is!

You can also find some good Houdini beginners tutorials explaining procedural modeling here.

There is also tons of commercial tutorials on Houdini, Pluralsight, 3DBuzz, cmiVFX, FXPHP, Rohan Dalvi and much more!

In essence, the choice of software depends on many variables, I suggest you do a bit of research, then have a go at the main ones, including Blender, then decide for yourself, and again, the software is irrelevant, its your dedication to learning the trade that will make you a 3D artist, not the software!