I’ve stayed out the Gooseberry wars, But as i said almost 12 months back another Blender project based on cartoon animation (pixar wannabe) was never the right direction. How about the funds donated to the Gooseberry project get pumped into Blender being more relevant for realtime work (unless even though the project funding aims failed it’s still priority). I’m probably going to end up with death threats from this post but hey, I think it’s a far more progressive future looking ideal for Blender to be more focused on realtime, not copying what was new 10 years ago.
I supported GB from nearly the beginning but i have to admit i’m a bit confused by the decisions, and mostly the way they were been taken.
I think i wait for the end of current week, according at the blog post, the main core devs have met together in Blender Institute and will speak about development targets and planning, and depending on the output of this meeting i will make my decision. I hope for the best, and a well thought and precise plan. For me development is THE target…tutorials, cloud and the movie are secondary (for me).
I don’t think it’s a “failed idea”, the money raised are not that bad (considering a pilot), lot of things as you say could be done with it, and indeed if the development targets will be too generic and skinny, i think i will support B3D in other ways.
About realtime, i don’t think anything would come out from there in the near future, the best imho would be to start something yourself with those people interested here around, and prove is a good project to support. (example, a new branch with your engine and other realtime pbr related stuff)
I think putting together “big projects” with funding as a way to push development is smart. It is a way to implement “learn by doing”, i.e. let actual usage by professionals drive the design and development of the software. I don’t know if pixar-style cartoons are or are not the best way to go about this, but in general I agree with the premise.
I’d be willing to put in a bit of money to support any such endeavor as long as it’s plausible. Personally I’m not that interested in animation, but I understand that creating a “big project” focused on still renders is an odd idea, and many animation-friendly features help for making still renders too.
The one thing I would say is that any big crowd-funding effort needs a lot of PR. A LOT. I didn’t see very much for GB. I don’t think I saw any posts on Ars Technica, BoingBoing, or Reddit, for example. (maybe there were some but I didn’t see them.) Promoting the crowdfunding campaign as heavily as possible (and maybe getting corporate sponsorship) will be important to hit funding goals.
I thought the hardest part to understand was Blender Cloud. It was not terribly clear to me what it was for.
The Foundation has already started to initiate work on the Pilot (which at 15 minutes is almost double the length of all the previous open movies).
I don’t know if it would be all that productive for the dev. team to ask the community, it would only create a cacophony of posts where everyone’s trying to push their personal agenda for Blender to the top of the priorities list.
If you’d paid attention (not easy to do with that bloody horrible thread), you’d know that Gooseberry is emphatically not a Pixar wannabe project. Independent animation can travel many more interesting paths than something which has to be broadly appealing enough to make good on a $150mil+ production budget.
Gooseberry’s happening, just scaled back to a “pilot” where they make 15 minutes of film to prove the concept and get people on board. That they have enough funds for so that’s what they’re doing.
OK. Now that you’ve said that, why do you think it’s more progressive for the Blender Foundation to focus its efforts on “realtime”? Also what is “realtime” when it’s at home - game engine?
Ton did an AMA on Reddit and Cory Doctorow from BoingBoing did a write up and even pledged.
I don’t think BF asking the community what to do is productive… but I don’t think pushing ahead with the idea that failed to garner the support it wanted is that crash-hot either. They should take into account the concerns raised, the suggestions offered, and change their plan accordingly. Currently, it appears as if they’ve changed their plans solely based on the money they have to spend, not on community feedback.
The decision makers at the Blender Institute clearly want to make the cute animal feature-length movie. That’s great, they have every right to want & strive for that and all… but if they want Blender community support, they need to listen to the Blender community. I think they’ve exhausted the level of support they’re going to get for that particular movie from the Blender community. The vast majority of people who were going to donate/dedicate large sums of money already have done so. Most people can’t afford to be throwing multiple increments of $200+ at the same project.
The option exists for seeking support outside the Blender community, but that requires doing things Ton has already stated he is not interested in. Shirts, figurines, & even intangible rewards that aren’t open-source / creative commons (one-on-one meeting with the crew, tutorial subscriptions to Blender Cookie, etc). Like it or not, the Blender Cloud is currently losing it’s shine amongst the Bender faithful (especially those that already obtained the material on there) - it’s not going to be a draw to people not using Blender.
It all depends on whether Ton is capable of evolving his business strategy to get a better outcome with subsequent products as opposed to just doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
If it is indeed shown that Ton has learned nothing since NaN in terms of making products that people want, perhaps he should either then drop the whole Open Movie idea and just focus on Blender development or hand the Blender project reigns wholesale to an experienced project manager within the community. Business CEO’s get fired if their performance is unsatisfactory, Blender is way too valuable now to just wither away under inexperienced leadership if it comes to that. (though the latter statement should be reserved as an absolute last resort, that is if Blender is in critical danger of either falling into total irrelevancy or dying off altogether).
But, like most here, I don’t want to see a situation where Ton becomes the major roadblock to Blender’s future, good suggestions for the cloud would be the addition of cloud-based rendering and realtime support (which might even have the operator fixing issues in your .blend files or writing addons for you). The cloud needs something that will maintain value during the downtime between the release of new resources.
FWIW, I don’t think that it is Ton not knowing what people want to buy / donate to. I think it’s more Ton wanting to do what he likes doing. Something I can actually support on an intellectual level because that’s why I do what I do instead of making more money working on (for example) financial back-end software for healthcare companies.
The part that makes it worth commenting on for me is how people here & in the Blender Institute tie the concept of not supporting this latest open movie project with not supporting Blender. Which is very far from the truth. If Ton wants to make feature length films and/or revolutionise the way Hollywood produces movies - that’s fantastic and I honestly wish him well in those aims… but I’m sticking to supporting Blender, the software (i.e. not the film-making organisation) that makes my less grandiose goals possible.
It would be nice if one could support the development of the software without having to give money to the other projects the chairman of both the Blender Foundation (which I support wholeheartedly) & Blender Institute (which I support on a case-by-case basis) wants to be involved in. I don’t want or advocate that Ton be deposed, replaced, etc. I do want him to know that some of us want to support Blender without supporting every Open Film he wants to make through the Blender Institute.
Gooseberry failed because it didn’t have mass appeal. Its simple as that. It wasn’t targeted to general public, and the goal was too high for only Blender users to finance. Blender users supported the campaign with a very high mean contribution per supporter, AFAIK much more than most successful campaigns on kickstarter etc., but there was just too few of them. As far as the question in the thread title, I would support a BI/BF making a plan to produce a cartoon series and develop a show of their own. You know something that could spruce a game afterwards based on the same world/characters etc. I mean it could be a steady income for them for quite a while and could be good for Blender community as a whole.
Mass appeal would’ve helped, but like I said before, I do think having a means to provide continuous value (between content drops) through rendering and support services would’ve helped to squeeze a far higher amount of revenue from the community (the total size being a bit larger than what you just see here at BA).
I agree that an official pro-level support service could be higher on BI’s list of priorities than it currently appears to be. Other OS projects like Liferay already do this - there’s free community support on one hand with their Community Version, then there’s premium subscription support for their Enterprise version - I suspect that Liferay’s not a stichting like Blender is, though.
I don’t know if Ton wants to keep a level playing field where the userbase is concerned, if it’s not something he’s particularly interested in so he’d rather interested parties on Blender Network handle it, if it’s a plan on the backburner, etc - in which case, some kind of Official Endorsement akin to “Certified Blender Trainer” could serve as a seal of approval, even if those third parties aren’t directly developing the software, fixing bugs, etc.
What I fail to see is the point of making a 100 minutes movie instead of a 5 minutes one. Apart from stressing the compositor by handling 20 times more data, I see no qualitative difference between a short and a full feature film (provided that the average complexity of shots is equal in both cases).
I would understand trying a 2/3 minutes short with a insanely complex scene like Elysium orbital station because it would stress Blender capacity of assemblying complex scene (maybe developed by different studios, geographically separated) but 2 hours of the same falling sheeps… more of the same is just elbow grease.
Because when you start dealing on a much larger scale… you start to need a more robust linking system / asset manager system, a more robust animation system, a more robust rendering pipeline etc.etc.etc… pipelines which are ok for one or two shots are usually never used for 1000+shots… the hacky workarounds that may be used in short films cannot be used for larger films, because so many of those workarounds are needed it would be much more efficient to do it right in the first place.
come on, are you serious?
i rather fear the opposite. the blender project isn’t in a state yet where it could thrive without ton. who would step up? brecht or campbell? i don’t think they (or any other of the top blender developers) would have fun doing all the management and business stuff…
you are right with the cloud based rendering though. that would be great.
i don’t have access to the cloud yet (just transfered the money) but at the moment it just sounds like a website with tutorials that requires login.
I couldn’t agree more on that.
I don’t always agree with Ton, but I wouldn’t trade him for anyone. Not very many people have the organizational skills to manage an Open Source project, and he excels at it.
Project Gooseberry may not have been a success but on the other hand its far from being a failure. It managed to get new funding towards the development of Blender(I sure as hell wasn’t donating before the Cloud!) and future open movies, and it will result in a related pilot open film.
The Foundation really tried to take Blender and Open movies to the next level, but just made the error of not using Gooseberry to just fund another short film in order to jump start the Blender Cloud. I personally see the full feature being made after Gooseberry now that the Cloud is in place, and by then, hopefully the character of Michael will have grown on us enough to say “encore!”. That 1 minute teaser trailer did pretty well for the recent fundraiser(just not well enough), but just imagine what a more informative 15 minute pilot could do with an already established Blender Cloud with more substantial content? This time next year I believe the Foundation will meet with better reception and success.
my god if anything happen to TON right now blender is doom, it will crumble to dust, it will be apocalypse, total demise of blender nerds…fanboys will wail and gnash their teeth to oblivion.
blender fanboys must protect and make sure TOn is in physically fit far from accident prone area…blender will surely turn to dust if he is gone.
…wondering what if bill gates suddenly died microsoft will surely fall, apple is already in demise once steve jobs gone…I am sure america will suffer when obama is gone.
I don’t think gooseberry was a fail or Ton is ruining everything, however I was strongly surprised by the way the went with the campaign.
The trailer was ok, however I think the vast majority that has no idea about blender, had no idea what was happening. I guess the clossest reacton was “ah, a confusing indie title is coming”
Even if they managed to find the way to the campaign, they would have gotten struck by the fact that the smallest amount to pledge was 20€ (it certainly didn’t help that the pledge custom amount was at the very bottom). During a usual kickstarter campaign, the VAST majority of the money comes from x<100€ pledges. So it was very wired do see how there was only one option below basically 175€. This basically leaves only the blender community and a huge part of the blender community comes from countries that don’t swim in money. I am very surprised they actually get the amount of money they got now.
(And yes, I also think that a realtime project would be amazing. It cannot be that the option “outline selected” cuts your performance in half. I mean seriously in Blender my pc struggles to keep a static 1mio poly mesh in 30fps while I can run 1,3mio polis in the cry-engine while playing with animation, sss shaders, AI, sounds etc, etc. in the viewport. IMO we desperetly need multiple render passes in the view-port and BGE. However yesterday I saw the open subdiv demo, so IMO this can wait. But it still would be great to see another game project after that)
yes, very funny. but blender isn’t mozilla or linux or some big, extremely well funded open source project like that. blender wouldn’t die but it would be a hard hit for the project at the moment…