I have a project that i’m secretly toiling away on that i hope to make known pretty soon, but the goals for me personally, for that project and what i’m aiming for overall, is to somehow shoehorn my way into that type of media. I really don’t see why blender couldn’t be used as a tool for high concept films and TV. The problem with doing a Pixar quality animation with Blender isn’t really a problem of the software, it’s one of the userbase being inexperienced to that sort of production and the skills needed to create really good animation. Some of it is really good, and some of the stuff coming down the road is looking like it will grab a bit of the CG animation spotlight for a while and maybe attract some more pro’s to give it a shot.
Another factor is the hardware end. Pixar used something like 5000 PC’s in a renderfarm for Cars. That’s about 4998 more PC’s than I have avaliable to me
But really something like that is more of a design challenge. How do you go about making something like Toy Story with one PC and Blender? You’d have to design the look and the technical aspects of the movie around the hardware / software. If pixar wanted to use Blender for one of their productions there’s no doubt in my mind that it would look a lot like their other films… maybe with fewer flashy technical perks, but it would still have the same gloss and polish their other stuff has. They would just apply that to areas where Blender is better suited for it.
If people REALLY want to push Blender forward as a production tool for animation… there really needs to be a strong focus on the animation / editing / cinematography skills of the userbase… the software is strong enough for that by far right now.
PS: sorry if i sound a little looney, i’m currently sufferning the worst flu/cold thing i’ve ever dealt with in my life and it may very well be damaging my sanity. That’s just the way i see it
EDIT: and i guess to answer your real question, I’d have to say that Blender will probably see the same growth in both the software and the userbase, and we’ll see more and more ambitious projects being made with it. There’s already one feature length film in production right now and there’s got to be some other features brewing in the heads of some of the userbase out there. So yeah, i just see a huge growth in Blender use in feature production… If you think about it, it’s the perfect Indy Film fodder… animated films, if you can do them with a small enough team, cost next to nothing compared to even a cheap live action film. The only difference is the time it takes to animate and render vs acting it out live and filming.