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Eye candy: Tears of Steel

Thursday, September 27th, 2012 | Posted by Jim Thacker

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“Why don’t you just admit you’re freaked out by my robot hand?” begins Tears of Steel, the Blender Foundation’s latest open movie – before promptly jumping 40 years into a future controlled by giant killer machines.

Produced by a team of less than 20 artists over a seven-month period, the 12-minute live-action short was designed to validate the idea of an open-source visual effects pipeline.

All of the digital effects were created entirely with Blender and other open-source tools.

One hell of a blast
And it’s a pretty impressive calling card. There are a few rough edges here and there, but the set pieces are spectacular, the robots suitably bad-ass, and director Ian Hubert – who previously worked on indie sci-fi flick Project London – neatly balances action, humour and the strange boy-girl love story at the heart of the movie.

Overall, it looks as if everyone who worked on the movie was having a lot of fun.

Being an open-source venture, all of the 3D assets from Tears of Steel will be made available under a Creative Commons licence, although you can still support the project by buying the €34 ($44) DVD box set.

Blender users also benefit from the tracking, keying, compositing and colour-management tools developed for the movie, which are being rolled into the current public releases of the software.

Next stop, Hollywood
Tears of Steel also marks a step up in scale for the Blender Foundation. The film will be the first open movie to receive a Hollywood premiere when it is screened at an event organised by ASIFA-Hollywood tonight.

And the Foundation is thinking even bigger: it has confirmed its next project will be a full-length feature.

Visit the Tears of Steel production blog

Pre-order the Tears of Steel DVD box set

Download Blender 2.64 (Currently on Release Candidate 2)

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