Sintel 'Lite' - Cycles version for 2.61 available

(Please see post on page 8 for Cycles version details. Not on Blendswap yet.)

The idea is pretty straight forward – I’m making a ‘lite’ version of the Sintel character file for testing purposes.

As it was, sintel.blend opened in 2.56a (trunk, not render branch) and re-saved came to about 71mb. There was also about 1.25gb of textures, mainly from using .png files for the film. Not a particularly friendly size for downloading, copying and generally moving about the place.

So far I’ve trimmed the file back to about half it’s size by simplifying things, removing data that was not particularly needed and so on. The textures are now smaller resolution compressed jpegs at a bit under 3mb. Could be a bit less but overall that’s a good start. The file also renders quite fast now with a non raytracing lighting/compositing set-up. Again, this file is mainly intended for testing animation, hair simulation and that sort of thing, not high res poster stills.

From here the plans are to fix up some flickering here and there so it won’t distract in the tests, tidy up as much other data as I can and then start importing/linking actions from a couple of shots to test the rig is still effectively intact. A quick play with some posing suggests that there shouldn’t be too many problems with that, but I wasn’t an animator on Durian so I’m not entirely sure what 100% functionality would be anyway. It would help a lot to have the rig working with those files, but I hope to practice some animation this year so it’s personally no biggie. If I get sidetracked I might update the clothing textures here and there, but that is of a pretty low importance.

So, when finished there should be a character (same cc license as the film obviously) that is ‘production’ based for testing new code/features/work flows that is still convenient enough to download and work with – ie a compressed download of 15 to 20mb for .blend and textures looks possible. Doesn’t make much sense to post any .blend files just yet because at this point I plan to test and change things regardless.

Please excuse the boring test pose of mine, but you get the idea:

Cool idea. We will all benefity from having a “portable” version of Sintel. It’s interesting to me that you want to practice animation. Your texturing skills are so awesome it seems you would be more valuable than an animator already. Oh well, I guess we all want to master everything. :slight_smile: Good luck and thx for sharing.

I selected a shot animation at random (from the chicken run scene, 03.4b if you have the files) and it seems to work fine. Well enough for running a set of tests anyway.

On a quad core machine of respectable but not mind blowing stats this took around 30 seconds per frame to render with FSA, probably about 18-20 seconds with regular AA. I figure that is a reasonable trade off time for a test file, but might keep digging for speedups. A reasonable portion of that time is hair related. Motion blur is something I’ll add later when specifically testing motion blur with things.

@3dementia - I certainly intend to keep modelling, texturing and so forth, but I do like getting stuck into all parts of the process.:slight_smile:

About time to put a version up as progress will slow when I get back to work next week.

2 versions for upload depending on what you have for archives. is handy and open source, but for windows only as far as I can tell.


Quick rundown: (differs from sintel.blend on DVDs)

Layer 1 – High res meshes
Layer 2 – Hair
Layer 3 – Proxy meshes

Layer 10 – Collision meshes for hair

Layer 11 – Character rig
Layer 12 – Lights, camera, ground

Layer 20 – Everything else (ie rig widgets, things to be sorted, etc)

So basically to render you want Layers 1,2,11,12 which is how the file comes.

The file could be better organised still, but at the moment it wouldn’t decrease file size or render time significantly. Might be able to get it slightly cleaner for bug hunting / testing, but it should be good enough for now.

The next step is probably building up a companion file of actions to link in for the rig by selecting a few from the Sintel dvd. Of course, if you have the dvd then you can link/append some of the animations already. I’m not going to pluck all of them out because there isn’t much point, but a range of fast moving (running, jumping), subtle (facial movements, walking, standing) and so on.

If this becomes popular I might need mirrors but for now it should be fine.

Side note - when did keys 1-0 become a duplicate of the number pad instead of layer shortcuts? Might have to report that.

What a freebie!

Awesome thing we just needed!..Let me play with.

Nice work Ben. Much needed.

Cheers guys. Now that I think about it, the Durian files haven’t really been published online yet have they? Up to Ton I guess.

Another test with the bamboo sequence. Will try some facial animation stuff next but it all seems fine so far.

You can now delete an object from a scene that’s used as a bone shape if you want to cleanup layer 20.

Wrote a little operator that lets you toggle the bone shape object in/out of the scene by selecting the (pose)bone and running “Toggle Bone Shape” from the spacebar menu.

Of course if you need backwards compatibility with pre-2.56 this isn’t such a good idea since older versions don’t increase the user count on non-linked bone shapes so they won’t survive a save->load cycle but just opening a .blend in older versions should be OK.

import bpy

class POSE_OT_bone_shape_toggle(bpy.types.Operator):
    bl_label = "Toggle Bone Shape"

    def poll(cls, context):
        if context.area.type == 'VIEW_3D' and context.mode == 'POSE':
            return context.active_pose_bone is not None
        return False

    def execute(self, context):
        shape = context.active_pose_bone.custom_shape

        if shape is not None:
                return {'FINISHED'}
                return {'FINISHED'}

        return {'CANCELLED'}

Thanks Uncle Entity. I want to do a bit more checking that I haven’t ripped too much out of the file already, but that should come in handy. I think everyone on Durian commited changes to sintel.blend, some daily, so I’m not sure any one of us knew the file inside out.

Hi Ben, would you also add more options like ik, fk visibility?

Err… forgot to mention that the bone shape object stays in the .blend – it just isn’t linked to the scene – so as long as it has a bone ‘parent’ you don’t lose it.

@AKIRA_B - looking into it / getting help. Its mainly a python thing from what I can tell.
@Uncle Entity - thanks for clarifying.

Shaved another 5mb or so off today (so much random data) and did some renaming to get things a bit neater here and there. File size seems to differ with what build of Blender I’m using. Might post some updated files tomorrow.

Really Awesome Work! Although I think she could use a little more fluent movement as she looks a bit flobby at the moment I don’t animate yet so forgive me if I am wrong! but otherwise it’s really great! good Job!

Genuine update post! Same file setup as last time.

zip = 11.4mb 7z = 6.1mb again, no difference in the archive contents.

The major difference in this one is thanks to Nathan (Cessen). The rig ui script has been updated for 2.56a+. Apparently it was easy enough, but still beyond me for the moment. This means that all the functionality for the character that we had for Durian should now effectively be there. IK/FK, facial controls, etc. The rest of the changes are mainly me cleaning out more data, renaming things a bit more consistently, a few minor mesh and texture cleanups and so on. Nothing particularly noticeable in a visual sense, but hopefully there is a bit less to potentially go wrong when testing. Making it easier / clearer for testers and developers is the goal.

Don’t think I mentioned this already, but if you have the Durian files and you want to rerender scenes it would be best to use the original Sintel file. Apart from the obvious visual differences, I’m guessing a lot of the constraints for her holding props (like the two staffs, bowl, etc) won’t work without fiddling. In a practical sense for this version of the file, that means that the animations to test from the Durian files (for hair sim, etc) are a bit more limited because she is often holding something. Not too big a deal though, still plenty to work with for that sort of thing.

Not up for doing much documentation tonight, but the main thing is to look for the facial shape controls by selecting (example) the cheek bone, looking in the ‘N’ panel in the 3d view under ‘Rig Main Properties’. ‘Rig Layers’ is there as well, but these should open when the file does anyway. If not for any reason, try running the script again.

That more or less does it for updating / minimising the character file for now. Next will either be some testing or working out a mini version of the folder structure we had to include with the file. A bare bones environment, a prop or two, a file with some animations to link in and a comp file. Just to quickly test linking and proxies, etc.

Any queries / suggestions / notes etc post them in this thread. I’m starting to check in here more regularly again.


Thanks for your work!

I’ll look into the file and see what tricks I can learn from the way it was set up.

Thanks for making this lite version, it loads very smoothly in 2.56a

The rig is extremely different from the kind of rigging i’m used to, there are lots of new things to learn for me.

I find it a bit strange that translating the hand does not seem to move the arm, to move the arm you need to translate the biceps control instead, does not seem as intuitive as other rigs i tried, but maybe there’s something i didn’t noticed yet.
The AutoIK does not seem to do anything too.

I’m not yet understanding how all the facial controls are working (seems most of them are not doing anything to the face if i scale/rotate/translate them) but i’ll eventually will figure them out.

(oops missed the

Not up for doing much documentation tonight, but the main thing is to look for the facial shape controls by selecting (example) the cheek bone, looking in the ‘N’ panel in the 3d view under ‘Rig Main Properties’. ‘Rig Layers’ is there as well, but these should open when the file does anyway. If not for any reason, try running the script again.

thanks for pointing it :wink: )

thanks for sharing your .blend with us :slight_smile: i have just downloaded it to take a look at the rig itself. I am trying to rig up something myself so thought it would be good practice for me. i noticed the clothing isnt attached directly to the armature? i was really confused when i saw it but i am curious to know how its done. could anyone give me some pointers in regards to how you weight painted it? it all moves really smoothly :slight_smile:

how you weight painted it? it all moves really smoothly
most of it (clothing anyway) is using mesh deform - Basically you weight paint a much simpler cage mesh and then bind the higher poly parts to it as a sort of guide.

The AutoIK does not seem to do anything too.
I see you posted an edit after reading a bit closer, does it all work ok now?

Another side note to make it clear - I didn’t rig the character. It was mainly Nathan (Cessen). However I can probably answer a fair few questions if he isn’t checking the thread personally. Which I don’t specifically think he is.

Hey Ben,

Cheers for setting this up. I was having some fun playing around with this earlier. It’s great to have a cleaned up version that we can easily use for other projects (testing included).

Keep up the good work! :slight_smile: