Pencillati Studios has been a part of the Indian animation industry for the last three years. With mostly gaming and character design projects under our belt, we have decided to produce an in-house film to showcase our strength in the area of animation film production. The uniqueness of this project lies in the fact that we have chosen ‘Blender’ as our primary production tool. It was relatively new for the traditional software users in our team.
As we started from scratch learning new tricks and unlearning old ones, we came across some very exciting and challenging scenarios.
Blender is an open source software developed by Dutch animation studio Neo Geo in 1995. It has since then, amassed a large support community. Blender was selected as the production tool because of a host of reasons:
- Cost-Efficient returns: Being an open-source software, it reduces the budget needs. This allows us to refocus on acquiring a talented team of artists, thereby, saving up on the clients’ time and funds.
- Availability of range of options: As compared to the more traditional software out there, Blender has more tools within reach. It is the proverbial “Jack of all trades” software.
- Availability of Community support: Being an open source software, it has a large community of users to draw reference from and put forward queries to.
The collection of such properties made it the perfect tool for this specific project.
A 3D film completely made on Blender had not been part of our annual plan for the year 2015-16. It was only during the latter half of last year that we began giving shape to the idea. The studio had primarily been working on full production of gaming projects and it seemed like the perfect time to increase our skill set with a new software. We wanted the project to be a learning experience resulting in a high quality production.
Once we started out, Blender was easier to adapt to than we initially thought although we were accustomed to the preexisting pipeline. There was continuous support from the online community. Even on a functional context, the experiences boosted our efforts. For example, visual quality of Cycle Renders and multiple alternatives available within the software were at par with our benchmark. The best part about Blender, was that a designer with not much specialization in 3D can still do some great explorations on it.
Old Habits Die Hard…
As with any new trick, Blender did not come without its own learning curve. This included the unavailability of the usual tools, for example the referencing in Blender requires more effort as compared to the traditional software. On the other hand it had the availability of few advantageous options, for example, the Corrective Blendshapes of blender are more effective than other software.
Our aim was not to change our entire pipeline to a new software, but adding a new software to our skill set.
It was a leap of faith; one which has paid off in all respects.