Looking for Blender expert for tool chain development

I am looking for someone to help us build a tool chain for product image and animation generation based on Blender. We are a startup company located in the greater Chicago area and we are using a “virtual prototyping” approach to product design and development. We strongly believe in open source environments and envision ongoing support of the relevant communities.

We would like to extend the virtual aspects of that process to the back-end all the way to our web site. We envision an automated process based on Blender that would take, for example, VRML models from our SolidWorks engineering system, combine it with material and surface definitions for those products (various acrylics, steels, and metals), add certain images as surface textures, and generate still and motion pictures for our web site.

In the current phase, we would bulk render a subset of {all product models} x {all materials} x {all image textures} x {all lighting situations} x {all output forms} and upload the static results to our web site. We are prepared to use a rendering farm if the CPU time required for the rendering is found to be too excessive.

Long term we would like to develop mix-reality rendering concepts based on Blender that can run in near real-time. This is needed in order to allow our customers to better interact with our products in their individual living environments.

We do have the software and computer skills to do the integration but we need help with the Blender related tasks as we have no 3D modeling or rendering education. We have proven the concept with our limited abilities and now need help with tasks like these:

  • Automation of the process for exporting VRML models from SolidWorks and import them into Blender
  • Creation of a set of material and surface models for various acrylics, steels, metals, and black powder coats we utilize. We can supply actual products and also have access to material data especially from the acrylic manufacturer.
  • Pre-building certain model pieces that will not change for a while.
  • Creation of reference lighting situations for the display of our products like daylight, incandescent light, halogen light, and track/spot light.
  • Setting up render targets like static JPG files, short animations (cameras moves), and user controllable 3D images (like Quicktime VR or 3D PDF).
  • Establish a scripting environment that can iterate over the various models, materials, lighting situations and generate static and animated outputs.Drop me a note if you are interested in helping establish this cutting edge product release pipeline. Compensation of your work can be in money or equity or both. Also, please let me know of someone who might be interested in this.