Sintel, the Durian Open Movie Project » Blog Archive » Scene 01 Layout

    

Scene 01 Layout

on January 31st, 2010, by Colin Levy

Over the past few weeks I’ve started doing “Layout” work for Sintel. Layout is the stage where we figure out the basic character blocking (in this case choreography), camera angles and movement, as well as the timing and rhythm of the edit. At this point the sets and environments are also roughed out in low-poly form. The design of the environments greatly influence blocking, as well as composition/shot design.

Much of these decisions have already been sketched out in storyboards, but layout makes the parameters of sequences much more concrete.

Here is what the opening scene currently looks like:

Much is subject to change. (Especially the first shot.) Predub sound by Jan Morgenstern. I welcome your feedback!

–Colin

158 Responses to “Scene 01 Layout”

  1. Gwilwileth Says:

    First ! Awesome work !! =D

    Keep it on !

  2. epsilorn Says:

    I find difficult to judge from something this raw. It seems really good to me, the only shot I don’t get the meaning of is when guard feet are filmed for such a long time.

  3. Ankit Pruthi Says:

    Everything looks great so far. But i have one critic – Is it just me or the action is quite slow and could have been faster??

  4. Alexander Carby Says:

    This animating/layout really does draw me in as a movie (despite it’s appearance) I can imagine why it’s helpful to make all those creative decisions at the early stages. Terrific stuff Colin (and co!).

    Nothing kills the process and morale more than rendering something for the third time because it wasn’t thought out right

  5. Kintaro Says:

    at 1:03 since you enhanced the walking towards Sintel, it would be cool if instead of throwing a rock, she did some kind of leg sweep to spin jump standing up and then while he was falling impale him into the ground. But it also depends on the emotion you want to carry there I suppose, as an act of desperation or one of focus and determination.

  6. MuMu33 Says:

    Howaa! Very violent for a cartoon movie. :D
    For a first layout, it’s great.

  7. Month3d Says:

    awesomeness :) really looking forward how this turns out in the end :)

  8. bautz Says:

    Wow, wonderful work!
    But the action seems quite slow also for me, especially at time 0:37-0:41

  9. ITrAB Says:

    Ooohh, i can’t wait for detailed renders of this! Detailed eye shot when Sintel is getting nervous xD It must be epic! If not, I don’t buy it :P

    @Ankit slow first scene = epic ending :D
    @MuMu33 you’re not watching anime right? xD

  10. Consideringthepickle Says:

    The rhythm seems pretty good. The choreography is really cool. There all on a flat plane though. It’s not a very dimensional fight in terms of high ground and low ground so it doesn’t necessarily give off a big epic feel. It seems more a grueling struggling fight at the bottom of this valley… which is perhaps what you’re aiming for anyway, just a little unexpected for a big epic movie opening.
    The opening shot seems cool, but its really slow, and its sort of screaming Hey, I’m an establishing shot, look at me! It sort of sizes the entire scene up right from the getgo too. This may sound absurd if you’ve done a lot of work on the mountains already but sometimes not establishing the scene will make it more exciting and epic… To do the entire scene from ground level behind Sintel would really put us into the action and create a sense of What’s hiding and waiting beyond those mountains? rather than oh we’ve already seen the entire mountain range and she’s in the middle of nowhere fighting 3 guys.
    I just saw JAWS for the first time this week. It’s not really a movie you’d think to look for inspiration from for this type of project but the cinematography and the way the story unfolds is done brilliantly with a stroke of genius, and the shark isn’t actually seen until like 2/3rds of the way through so it really creates an ominous sense of buildup to what’s underneath that water and I think some of that technique could be adapted here for Sintel in some ways to make it even more epic.

    Anyways, just some suggestions. It’s looking pretty cool. I like the part where the guy eats it over the cliff and the way she takes out the last guardian, although it seems like she loses her weapon a little too easily and then the guardian seems to approach her way too slowly… Maybe you could speed that up and possibly have him actually jab the ground as she’s rolling to dodge him a couple times before she manages to hit him with the rock. It would make it more believable and exciting, and it’d be kinda cool if its so fast you don’t quite know what just happened, you just know it was awesome and you have to go back and watch it again after the movie’s over.

    I think it’ll look really great with like snow flying and facial expressions and everything. Quick close-ups on faces would be really cool in the middle of this.

    Although zombie Sintel is pretty creepy awesome lol
    Great choreography and nice pass!

  11. Roy Says:

    The opening shot is great and draws you not only into the environment but the action as well.

    But I agree with Ankit Pruthi that the fight looks a bit slow. For instance in 0:52 the red guy does nothing instead of attacking Sintel from behind. Moreover, it’s not clear why she loses conscoiusness at the end. She wasn’t hurt in the fight – at least not obviously. And where is the fourth guard? But maybe the latter two points will be revealed later in the story.

  12. Sympodius Says:

    Whoa. That looks intense and intriguing. I think that’s the exact right feel for the opening.

  13. pb Says:

    Looking good Colin. Looks like you have it mostly in check but one thing to keep an eye on is the ‘waiting around’ of the other characters not immediately involved in the fight. That can be annoying and unbelievable in some action movies – “Hey, I see my buddy getting the crap hammered out out of him… anyway, I’ll just stand around, wait for a bit and I’ll only engage in fighting once my buddy’s stunned or dead.” Realistically, they would probably all attack her at the same time to increase their chances of succeeding. Not being seen ‘on camera’ or being preoccupied with something else (picking themselves off the ground, for example) are ways around this.

    Once place I’d expect them to react quicker is when the first bad guy gets killed – the reaction of his companions seems a bit slow. That said, this is just the layout stage so maybe facial expressions, etc. may lend more to how this eventually plays out. For example, in the opening close-up of the fught, facial expressions could indicate to the viewer that the bad guys are thinking, “Hey, this is only one puny little girl – only one of us could take her.” Once the first guy bites the dust, the other two change their facial expression to think, “Oh oh, this isn’t going to be so easy – she’s a tougher cookie than we expected!”

  14. MuMu33 Says:

    @ITrAB: I’ve seen a lot of anime movies but I wanted to say that the design of this one is so cute (I speak about the main character) for violent anime.

    PS: I don’t know why but whenI clicked on my RSS flux the inputs text were already completed by the data of another person named rebecca. Be careful!!!

  15. erik90mx Says:

    God!! is realy great, and only one question… there will be blood in this film?
    because honestly I did not expect this (although it is true that blood is now calling the attention of many young people)I sincerely have no problem but my little brother and other children are very “special” with these things (more the parents)

    Is a good job that are you doing here, I hope everything goes great!!

    Greetings

  16. Etienne Says:

    Pretty cool.

    I will restate comments I already read:

    1) Faster. We should watch the fight seen and have to go back and rewatch it again to grasp all was happening. Watch the movie the Last Samourai for a nice fight (the one with Tom Cruise near the end of the movie).
    2) May be keep the surprise and don’t show right away that Sintel is fighting near the edge of a ravine. We should discover that while the bad guy go down.
    3) Sintel is too easily disarmed. Should be more epic.

    Other than that, it’s really good and look promising!

    Keep up the good work!

    Sorry for my English! :)

  17. gh Says:

    Thanks for keep sharing the workflow, the steps of the production. Very educative!

  18. MeshWeaver Says:

    pretty interesting :) i remember seeing the storyboards, and not really understanding what was going on…lol

    “Here is what the opening scene currently looks like” – you mean, it might change again? :)

    GO DURIAN TEAM!!!

  19. Riboshom Says:

    “Sintel is too easily disarmed. Should be more epic.”

    Maybe that’s explainable by the facts that this is 4vs1, that sintel is not used to fighting in cold climates, that the guardians are supposed to be the bests of the bests?

    Outside of that, that would make a good scene!

  20. Riboshom Says:

    Also, since this scene is 1:45 long (1:30 excluding the intro), how long do you plan the movie to be?

  21. Fredszaq Says:

    Cool !

    But, as it has been said before, it is a bit long and not enough active sometimes.

    a few remarks :
    - at 0:52 , the red guy is just behind sintel and not doing anything whereas he could easily kill her as she don’t see him.
    - I think it would be interesting to add fighting sounds at the end of the first shot (aprox at 0:15 when we see for the first time the the place of the fight, and gradually increase the sound)

    and, as Etienne said, sorry for my English^^

  22. Revolt_Randy Says:

    I’ve skimmed through most of the comments, and obviously watched the video. I think it’s looking really good so far. Bear in mind, this is just a rough draft, they are just blocking things in right now. Yes, maybe it is lacking some really fast actions that happen faster than the eye can see, but it’s also lacking other things. For instance, everyone appears to be sliding around, no one walks. So I am assume there is alot more to be added after the inital blocking is done. Then again, maybe I’m wrong and this a ‘Disney on Ice’ production, LMFAO….
    Keep up the good work!!!
    Randy

  23. Buttons Says:

    What is the purpose of the short squares sticking out of the ground? Like some sort of visual coordinate system?

  24. Jacob Valenta Says:

    Thank you so much Collin! BTW i am satisfied :) love the progress that is going on over there at the blender institute :)

  25. Paulo Bardes Says:

    I didn’t read all the comments so sorry if I’m saying something repeated…

    -The first shoot is good, but the camera isn’t moving organically, maybe it needs more rotation, it can looks like it’s been held by a helicopter or something like this.

    -The fight can be a little bit faster, and in 1:15 why does she roll over the guy?

    -Congratulations all the rest is awesome, especially the camera angles.

    Good lucky guys an sorry if I made any English mistake. (I’m from Brazil)

  26. wo262 Says:

    hahahha. suzzane to him face. i would be nice see some easter eggs in final movie

  27. DwarvenFury Says:

    I agree that it seems a bit slow, at the moment. Also, instead of the rock, couldn’t she just throw snow, like Indiana Jones does with sand in Raiders of the Lost Ark, to disorient the guardian? That might make it seem less serendipitous in that she just so happened to end up with a loose rock within arms length and instead highlight her resourcefulness. Just a thought. ;)

  28. Peter G. Kovacs Says:

    I can’t say anything about the timing or about the easy disarming, I just not understand the violence what you hold in your movies. I thought you made one with the bunny, and you an go forward with new theme. Sorry, but I can’t understand this tech-demo with this content.

    Sorry for my bad English

  29. wo262 Says:

    are you going to animate the slashing through cloth and flesh ?

  30. anonymus Says:

    Needs more epic.

  31. Knut Holmberg Says:

    It reminded me a bit of Yojimbo, and it doesn’t get much more epic than that.

    I suppose that the poses of the guardians will make it more realistic, showing how hard it is for them, to all attack that one person at the same time.

    And they are standing on ice, are they not, slipping about? Making it hard for them to do anything coordinated. And that’s why it is so slow too?

    I thought that Sintels neutral, dead, face was rather effectfull. A girl with bigger problems than those guys.

    It works as an opener. It catches one’s attention, making you wonder: What will come next?

    Good luck with the rest!

  32. Knut Holmberg Says:

    Only one thing more…

    If it is on a frozen surface, where did the stone come from? Icelump perhaps?
    Beacause it is a very handy prop lying just where it is needed, and wasn’t that lucky?

    And if you are looking for inspiration: “The Four Musketeers”, (1974) has a intresting fight on a frozen lake. (Though it is a bit more on the funny side.)

  33. Kinhe Says:

    Great Work!! :D
    Keep it on !

  34. tin2tin Says:

    Looks really good! People, you have to be aware that there is a difference between blocking and editing.

    Two things I noticed one is the opening shot. If you want to establish the area/mountains try to merge it with the action – like a fast paced chase ending up at the edge. This will allow you to cut round the action and establish the mountains. Anyway I’m happy to see that the similarities with the opening shot of Blade Runner isn’t that obvious now as in the animatic.

    Another thing is when Sintel falls that it is less dramatic when she falls parallel with the edge instead of towards the edge. That would leave her with no escape route.

    One more idea – if the landscape is snowy Sintel could grab a icicle hanging from the edge and throw it as a spear in the face of the attacker.

    Anyway, great work!

  35. Paulo Bardes Says:

    @anonymus

    Ton’s accent is awesome

  36. Danny Piccirillo Says:

    Those first shots should be more sweeping and not so much at one steady pace

  37. Richard Says:

    Re-watching it, the red guy goes flying off the cliff. It appears that Sintel has superhuman strength, as no one her size could cause someone else almost double their size to be thrown like that.

    I think it would be be better to have him slide, then stumbles which loses his balance and then falls. You could also have him grab the ledge and attempt to climb back up while the other two are still fighting.

    But to me, it seems the red guy is kind of stupid. He barely does anything during the battle and put himself into a very vulnerable position where he should have seen Sintel’s kick coming.

    Other then that, it looks good. Can’t wait to see the final. As someone else mentioned, have long is this film going to be? I don’t think it has already been mentioned yet.

  38. RNS Says:

    It will be a great fight. eh-eh-eh-eh

  39. Colin Levy Says:

    Hey guys, thanks for all the great comments and suggestions. I’ve just edited a tighter version of the fight, shaving off a bit more than 10 seconds, and it already feels better!

    As for other thoughts regarding choreography, there are some very good ideas and points. I think some things will improve once we move to animation.

    I think I’ve got some ideas of what to work on if I have a chance to come back to this scene!

    Thanks much.

    –Colin

  40. Max Says:

    I liked the version in the video. The animations look nice so far. The camera angles are chosen nicely. Can’t wait to see it in the final version.

  41. kernond Says:

    Great start!!

    I agree with some other comments in that the pacing seems a little slow. I think the entire shot could happen in about than 30 seconds. I like the cut from the establishing to the beginning of the fight. Good energy there, but it seems to quickly fade. If that initial pacing could be maintained it would help.

    On the camera fly-in from the beginning, maybe the movement could be done as if it were from a flying dragon POV (subtle rolls, drift, etc.). Clearly, the dragon hasn’t been introduced yet, but it might be a nice way to add some subtle connectivity to one of the key characters and it might be a nice artistic way to connect to future parts of the movie. And MAYBE it actually is the dragon flying around, but he’s not interested in them at t his time and they fail to notice him because of the fighting. Perhaps in a future fight sequence, the camera approach is similar however, this time the dragon gets involved adding a whole new dynamic to the event. Viewers might not expect this because they might remember the opening sequence and feel that it’s just another similar camera fly-in.

    Just some thoughts. Great progress! It’s exciting to see this develop.

  42. Elcrapocrew Says:

    FANTASIC! I Love the timing and the pacing, the opening gave me a great sense of scope. I am reminded of Jason and the Argonauts or Clash of The Titans with their grand sense of scope and feeling like you are in another time.

    I am continually amazed at the work you guys are doing. Good Job! If this is any indication of the final polished version, I know we will all be completely blown away.

  43. Elcrapocrew Says:

    PS : )

    That opening would make an awesome title sequence IMHO.

  44. Torksu Says:

    it looks really awesome! though I agree with Ankit Pruthi, the action is quite slow. But I assume this is just so we and the durian team can follow the action better, right?

    keep up the good stuff! this is really the kind of movie that I had hoped for as the new open movie project!

  45. Eemo Says:

    Ça a l’air pas mal, mais ça semble parfois un peu mou. C’est peut-être un peu rapide, quelques petits effets d’arrêt sur les yeux, ou de ralentis, seraient les bienvenus.

  46. TheTinyToon Says:

    Hey Colin,

    nice to hear that you already work on the comments – I was gonna write slow and more epic, too, but didn’t want to bore you… urm… awww, snap.

    Anyway, it’s hard to judge without knowing the story, but the scene lacks consistency. If Sintel should be unexperienced and just lucky defending herself, she is way too strong. If she should be an experienced fighter, than the scene misses more epic speed. You don’t have to push it up like the maniac we-are-on-speed action movies we see today (transporter 1-3, e.g.) but keep it more eastern style, like Jackie Chan’s movies (which already have a nearly over the limit tempo). After all, that’s what the audience is used to.

    On the beginning: how about the camera rushing very near and with lots of motion blur across the mountains. During that, you could have the introduction text (“The Blender Foundation proudly presents…” … “Sintel” … ). Then the text rushes out with the last near mountain and the camera is right on focus of the plateau.

    If you really want to do the fight epic, the action should already happening while the camera is floating around the mountains, maybe echoing some faint fighting noises to build up tension (don’t know if that was your intention all along, hard to see from the current version).

    Then, in the cut from plateauview to fightingscene, how about concentrating on some detail images of weapon fight and the bad guys, leaving the audience unclear of the real hero at first, not knowing who the bad guys fight against? Then view the bad guys from behind, rotating the camera around their backs and then revealing Sintel. That would also build up tension.

    And then to the real fight – as already said: a lot more epic or a lot less, depending on what the message should be.

    Don’t get the critique wrong, I’m an ass when it comes to criticizing. ;D Have a great start in the week up there.

    Oh, Reminds me: Are you still open on the Friday/Saturday visits of total annoying guys like me?

  47. Victor Says:

    Loving what I’m reading so far.

    Watching the development of this has given myself and a co. Blenderer to work on a large project (rendering an animation of some form in the City of Tar Valon from Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time).

    Look it up on Blender Artists (search “Tar Valon”) but so far.. I’m loving what I see!!!

  48. Holmen Says:

    I the most of it and it seems the things I thought of already been pointed out.
    Throwing a rock seems like a cheap move, something you do if you fight dirty like a antihero could do.
    Maybe the sun could raise over the mountains and temporarily blind the guardian so that she has time to move.
    Or the clouds could scatter.

    I really am looking forward to this epic movie, and I hope all goes well for you guys, and girl.

  49. MTracer Says:

    Even at this early previs stage, the onscreen injuring is quite disturbing. I’m really disappointed. Please keep blood of camera, just hint at it, keep it PG. Please.

    Please.

  50. Quyryzthyam Says:

    parabéns, tá muito bom mesmo
    =]

  51. Lets All Pretend Says:

    Really cool! Love what you folks are doing.

    Agree with some previous posts:

    1. Long establishing shot. What motivates it?

    Tip 1: A bird’s eye view establishing shot could use a bird, or… a dragon.

    One way to bring the viewer into the distant fight is by having the audience follow a hawk, vulture*, or dragon as it hears the clang of weapons in the distance, then leaps of a cliff to investigate. Only wingtips could be revealed, especially if a dragon.

    The bird/dragon could also be used as a reaction shot to break up the fight (lurching back at a particular strike and/or kill if a bird, or if dragon, a close-up of a reptile eye that disappears into the blowy snow with a screech at the fight’s finish).

    You could repurpose the dragon rig for this, and add only minimal animation.

    Now, more EPIC establishing fly-into Sintel’s fight, with motivation. Plus you could roll credits over it.

    You also foreshadow Sintel’s affinity for, or tie to, dragons, that seem to be in the area (and being sold in town we later see).

    Finally, I *like* throwing a rock to trigger the last kill (perhaps initiate more of a scramble by Sintel to make the moment feel more tense and life-threatening?). Back and forth cuts between Sintel and the henchman would accentuate that.

    Great finish to take out the last henchman. HYAHHH!

    Ultimately, go with what you feel. I’m sure we’ll enjoy it!

    Thanks for sharing (takes some courage!), and *best of luck* to you all.

    *Birds or vultures like Indian/Himalayan:

    Slender Billed Vulture
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slender-billed_Vulture

    Indian Vulture
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_Vulture
    Breeds on cliffs.

  52. Rod Naugler Says:

    Hmmm . . . flight around and through mountains with the sounds of a fight echoing through . . . Lord of the Ring: The Two Towers opening scene?

    I’d echo the other comments, specifically:
    1. Sintel shows a lack of fighting skill at the start, then too much at the end.
    2. Unexplained fainting
    3. only 3 guards?
    4. Red shirt belongs on Star Trek. :)
    5. Snow or Icicle instead of rock.

  53. Victor Says:

    MyPaint 8.0 was released on January, 29.

  54. tiangolo Says:

    Buenísimo! Muy, muy chévere!

  55. be200fx Says:

    so these guys can dodge flying knives but a bit of snow or ice does them in?

    How about the knife ends up being there instead of the ice, and she gets it into the guy’s eye (or knee). that ought to mess up his aim.

    Or maybe his aim is good, but he can’t keep up with her evasive maneuvers ’cause there’s something in his eye (ice, knife, whatever).

    generally needs more fight stuff: dodge, feign, misdirect. Not just swing and stab. Talk to your stunt director about techniques for fighting from the ground. No reason she can’t kick that weapon aside
    just ’cause she’s on her back. The back to the ground, legs striking, can be awesome. the basic idea is that questions of balance and reaction are solved: can’t fall over, and the earth is nice and solid.

    Also, it’s not clear why she collapses: Was she hit? Is it exhaustion?
    Epilepsy? The vapours?

    The dance floor scenery is great, though. Add a disco ball and a bee-gees soundtrack and it’s perfect :-) .

  56. Achim Luebbeke Says:

    What about when she loose the fight, after having fought like a lioness, but too weak to have chance, falling off the edge of the plateau, but landing on a cliff 5 meters beneath. The men consider her as dead and leave the scene. A scarf of her or something similar is hanging somewhere above her in a branch, which might serving as a sign for the stranger who takes her into a shelter where she recovers from her injuries…(at least that’s what I guess from the pictures you already posted)
    This is more believable and offers her later fights in town an even bigger triumph.

  57. Socceroos Says:

    Hey Colin,

    I believe you’ll already have this covered, and I’m aware I don’t know the full story for Sintel yet – but this first scene feels a bit out of place…. I mean, what is the explanation for her fight with three men in the middle of nowhere? Does that get explained?

    I’m sure it will – I’m just nervous about it since I’ve seen many of these kinds of movies made with really out-of-place scenes that are completely disconnected and not explained.

  58. Eric Jang Says:

    hmmm…

    good animation draft! But I think it isn’t “epic” enough for an intro. You can’t tell if its just friends sparring or a real fight to the death just by looking at the first scene. However, my statement is probably biased because I don’t know what the soundtrack + other environment factors are.

    keep up the awesomeness!

  59. Azmisov Says:

    I agree with considerthepickle in that the fly through at the beginning may take away from some of the epicness. Maybe the fly through could be less revealing, so you don’t actually know what’s going on, and then after the fight, do a backwards fly through. Sort of like WALLE, at the beginning. The first time you watch walle, you’re thinking, “where the heck are we?” and you have no idea what’s going on. And then you see the shot with walle picking up garbage and all. Then it does the backwards fly through with the walle title and you realize, “wait a minute, all those skyscrapers are garbage” and suddenly your at the edge of your seat thinking, whoa, what is this movie about!

    On that note, maybe instead of having it just appear with her fighting, she can be walking (or staggering after traveling so long) at the edge of the cliff, when suddenly, this guy appears in front of her. She looks up, and there’s actually four guys. They have a short tense exchange (all the while with hands slowly moving to weapons) before they break out into unexpected battle. That way, we know she is already weak, hence the fainting after expending all her strength. And you can keep the audience wondering where she is until the end of the battle when you do the backwards fly through.

    But about the rock throwing, I think its fine. I mean, come on, Odysseus killed trojan soldiers with rocks. But they were a bit bigger.

  60. Azmisov Says:

    Oh, I also like the idea that the guy that falls off the cliff hits a ledge some metres below. Tries to grab on to a branch or rock but slips and falls to his doom… instead of just falling

  61. Bmud Says:

    Needs more detail closeups.

  62. Web31337 Says:

    Peter G. Kovacs +1
    MTracer +1
    i really like the idea of open movie, I don’t really like how it’s represented.

  63. Web31337 Says:

    Like with Big Buck Bunny, well pointed.

  64. Eibriel Says:

    All shows great :D

    About the first shot, I fill it should be more slower, to make the sensation of scale of the mountains. And stop at the end to bring time to see the characters fighting on the ground…

    In general appear to be slow, but that is because have no music. With music will be WONDERFULL :D :D:D

    Keep on these wayy!!

  65. Web31337 Says:

    I was sitting and remembering movies without fight scenes… I clearly can remember none. Almost same for books.
    But there are still ones where fights are more of background than an actual scene, that makes things better. But when all the story is about fighting, blood and violence it’s usually is an epic fail. A fail of creators.

  66. D Says:

    I don’t think there’s need to repeat what’s already said. However, I have thought of some ideas that could improve the sequence – feel free to incorporate some of them or use your own.

    Just a few remarks on blocking/choreography:
    -Assuming Sintel’s leg got injured, she should at least lose her staff in attempting to strike Jack so as not to appear to lose it too easily.
    -Tension increases as Jack walks toward Sintel on her back, and Sintel cannot kick out his staff if there is more distance between them (at least a body’s length).
    -Throwing the monkey can be less dissatisfying if it was a comedic relief beat (music goes quiet as Jack goes “Ugh!”) followed by a shocking beat (Sintel kills him). Otherwise, do something other than throwing a monkey.

    I was also thinking about the opening shot. The way I saw it, it would have been a helicopter-like shot from a high angle focusing more on terrain and framing close to no horizon. Only toward the end when we see the characters does the camera begin to dive down and see everything in its place with the mountain peaks on the sky.

    Again, these are just my thoughts; try them if you wish, or good luck on your own. :)
    I think “throwing the monkey” should be the new expression of the day, followed closely by “jumping the shark”. :P

  67. munhu Says:

    firstly, i think its very premature to demand that it make sense in this scene.

    how on earth is her fainting supposed to make sense…you havent seen the full movie or at least its progression which will help piece together the story

    that bit is directed by the creators of the movie. unless and until you understand and know the story, there’s no basis for you asking for the “sense of it”

    secondly, i agree with those who say the shots take too long and there should be more speed to it. maybe this is just for “layout”…to figure the blocking as he said. the real animation work hasnt started yet, as he also mentioned

  68. Joe Hultgren Says:

    As far as the very opening I’d like to see more of Sintel where your setting up the scene. Like seeing her climb up the mountain. Either a shot of her climbing then switch to the mountain or vice-versa. Then start the fight scene

  69. Joe Hultgren Says:

    After thinking about it a little it depends on how you want your audience to react. Either knowing that Sintel is the main character or leaving it ambiguous until after the fight.

  70. Ohlin Says:

    Thanks for the update!
    I’m eagerly awaiting all of your posts and can’t wait to see the end result.

    These are the things that came to mind. First of all, I’d want to see a lot more reactions from the guards. Having Grey peer over the edge before he goes in for the kill to show his disgust for the clumsy bastard that fell off.
    Having a surprised expression on Red’s face as he realizes he’s about to fall off the edge. Also, I’d reuse Red later on as he could survive the drop (since we don’t really see him die), leaving him to recognize her in the wrong moment, or even as a comic relief as being the guard who always falls off something in a fight (like off a rooftop or into a well in the city).

    As for the opening shot, I guess it comes down to atmospherics, seeing there’s a white-out thing going on before she passes out makes me think there’s a blizzard going on, making the establishing shot harder to see with all the flying around.

    I definitely think she should get injured in the fight as well as being a tad bruised at the start, explaining her passing out afterwards. Just because she’s a tiny girl doesn’t mean she needs to be a wuss. Some blood-letting is always a good excuse to pass out.
    I’d also like to see her take a cloak or something from one of the guards (if she’s not already wearing one), because her skimpy outfit doesn’t really help her in that climate and makes her survival all the more unlikely after passing out.

    I’m just going to ask you not to add any acrobatics in the fights, as walking in itself is tough in snow, especially after being on the run for who knows how long.

    As for the what they are doing there, why she’s already got one of the guards weapons and so on is fine by me, as it’s supposed to be a cut straight into the action, as if we missed the ‘previously on Sintel’ bit…

    Since I’m new to the universe of animation and Blender in general it would be nice to get a little info about how long it took you to make this animatic or just general data like that. Either way, I’m sure this will end up looking superb.. Thanks for your time..

  71. Wingis Says:

    I think this preview already shows much of what Sintel can be. I’m really looking forward the next more detailled steps.

    The often commented moment in which you see the guardians feet will work mcuh better as soon as his feet and legs really move towards Sintel, i’m sure. In this stadium it looks a little strange.

    And i don’t understand the questions about the fourth guard, because in the establishing shot there are only 4 people on the plateu – Sintel and thre guards!

    The only critic is that i don’t really understand why she collapses at the end.

    And i also think it would be more epic if some battle sounds were in the air, during we approaches the mountain in the first shot.

    I’m sure that the team thought about this scene in context to the rest of the story and that it will be more than one of these “look, we are extremly cool-figthing scenes” in the final movie.

    Go on, Sintel-Team i can’t await to see more!

  72. Nemesis#13 Says:

    i’m a bit disappointed.
    i hoped this movie would be more than only action and entertainment through violence. also the concept “one girl wins against a group of violent men” is so outdated and unoriginal.
    sorry, no kudos from me

  73. Irve Says:

    A thought I had about the rock finding.

    Perhaps she might crawl slowly backwards in despair, find the rock under her arm. A rock! (closeup perhaps)

    Then as a final reflex throws it in his face, the spear misses, things go on as they were.

    Currently the watching-around seems a bit too obvious.

  74. Jean-Sebastien Guillemette Says:

    For everyone wondering about the opening shot.

    It needs to be long and slow like this, because well, it’s an opening shot :P
    We need to show the title, etc.. during the sequence :)

    Thanks for all the comments, it helps us!

  75. ralmon Says:

    We assumed this to be the opening shot. Or is it not? If it is, its not quite effective.

    The scene looks ok. Lot of stuff that we would expect for an epic film. High cliff, mountains, maybe large trees and boulders.

    The flying shot seems out of place and out of phase as a shot for establishing the fighting scene. I think A more direct approach would have been better.

    I have suspicions about the choice of weapons here. A spear is the least thing I expect in a fight by the cliff edge. I would have expect knives and daggers and such. I hope there is a reason why its there.

    Overall, it looks promising. Just some adjustments here and there.

  76. rogper Says:

    I don’t want to comment much, but here it goes some points:

    I agree with most people comments about the fact that there isn’t a apparent justification to Sintel faints. I guess the main reason of that is that she doesn’t seem to be hurt much in the fight… and after the fight it doesn’t seem that she walked long enough to faint of lack of strength.

    Another thing is the “trow sand to the eyes thing” (in this case snow/rock)… it’s a bit of chicle, I wold prefer to see a more elaborated/ingenious way of disarming the bad guy.

  77. JDob Says:

    Red shirts are supposed to die first. But on a serious note in response to Jean’s comment about needing to slow down portions of the scene because of titles (I guess it would be too distracting to have a big fight moment happen when a title is on the screen) one option would be to cut away to simply a title. That way instead of slowing down the action to display a title you can simply keep the action flowing without worrying about titles. This also allows you the option of not making the fight into one long fluid fight, instead making it smaller chucks of actions. But you do have limited time and I know we all want that filled to the brim with 3d goodness, just making a suggestion.

  78. Steven Says:

    this scène is interesting

  79. Demohero Says:

    Very good. It’s nice to see a development of a short movie. Keep up the good work Durian Team.

  80. OriginalBBB Says:

    For me there shouldn’t be a “pause”, or space between the flying cam and the fight, like if they were starting the fight at that moment. The flying cam is ok, but it would be more epic, more “trailer” if a flying knife, a kick, or somebody falling down is the thing interrupting the scene.

    IMAGINE the camera zooming form the mountains to a solitary flower or piece or green (not so green as it’s cold) or to be more realistic and less poetical, a piece or tree rut. Then suddenly run into this (or not) and fall near it. Before Sintel could stand up a knife or something else land in the snow very near. Sintel stands up and start the fight.

    Happy blending!

  81. Jacob Says:

    is it just me.. or do you picture the first scene to be at night. with a full moon?

  82. Robo3Dguy Says:

    Hey this is awesome! Keep it up, you guys rock :D

  83. be200fx Says:

    Cliche alert: the whole “fall down, wake up” thing. Why is it there? Does blacking out move the story forward? Or, is it just that no one thought about how to get from the dance-floor to the hut?

    If she falls because she’s hurt, then have her fall and crawl. It shows determination, indominatable will, and lets you leave a trail of blood to indicate the injury. If after a bit of that she blacks out, we at least know why.

    Another cliche to avoid: the serious wound that magically disappears.

  84. Haidme Says:

    Great preview! Really like the fight scene.
    You can make the guards to injured her a little bit in the fight. It will bring more suspense to the scene and the last shot, with her falling down will have more logical explanation.

  85. ScottishIan Says:

    Great work guys! I think keeping everyone posted on how the film is progressing is fantastic, but I’ve got to admit I don’t think I could deal with criticism from a whole community – hats off to you!

    Having said that I’ll add my tuppence worth….

    I imagine that because Sintel has a spear that one of the guardians is already dead and his corpse might be lying around somewhere in the final shot. If this is true then these guys have already seen one of their team go down and would take this little girl a lot more seriously. After all if you are going to pick secret mountain guardians you’d probably have ‘highly trained’ high up on your list and ‘easily beaten by children’ much lower down! The guardians don’t seem aggressive or skillful enough towards someone who is killing their colleagues, but I appreciate that the whole scene is still early stages, and I hope the final animation will inject a bit of pace and rhythm.

    The other question is who are we supposed to empathize with here? At the moment I feel a bit bad for these guys who are getting slaughtered! Perhaps if the audience is to get behind Sintel from the start then the first action should be her being hit or shoved to the ground by one of the guardians to show her as the victim.

    Once again though, brilliant work. If it’s any consolation for the criticism I think you can be proud of what strong reactions you are evoking in the community who seem to be justifiably proud of your achievements and mad-keen for Sintel to succeed.

  86. Lee Says:

    Hey guys thanks for all the feedback!

    Just to note, she will be injured =)

    Though if final animation isn’t able to show this properly (as it seems to have this affect right now), we will have a close up shot ready to edit in if need be.

    Thanks again for all you’re ideas, we’re reading them and taking them into consideration!

    Cheers!
    Lee

  87. Cornelius Williams Says:

    This is good work – i can really picture out how this movie will turn out

  88. JoaT Says:

    First minute, three bodies. What will be the bodycount for the whole short?

    I’m maybe getting old, but I think the violence will put this movie down. Like the fruit, this movie is certainly not for everyone.

    Remember, there are quite a number of people who found the destiny of the butterfly disturbing in Big Buck Bunny.

    Newsflash: It would be possible to make a movie every bit as epic and action packed also without killing involved. Check the works of Pixar or Disney if in doubt.

    With the chosen path, you might make this movie even more appealing for the teen audience (only ones that will be even mildly thrilled by this violence) by incorporating hardcore hentai pornographic scenes as well.

    Sad to see you did not pursue higher ground with the story.

  89. Psy-Fi Says:

    I’m astounded at the amount of people that keep asking for a violence-free film, given the initial target of the film as an epic short. I mean…it’s not as if anyone said they will be filming a Disney production, did they? Since I believe in democratic ideals, (respect for others’ opinion etc.) I will simple vote for gore and violence in the movie! ;) I hope this does not degenerate into a debate about good/bad. It’s just a matter of personal preference.

    Keep up the good work guys!

  90. Psy-Fi Says:

    LOLOLOLOL! Another vote for hentai!
    By the way, I love your music Jan! Keep it up!

  91. Jean-Sebastien Guillemette Says:

    JoaT: Thanks for your input! You’re totally right. We’ll rewrite the script. Now that we’re going full hentai porn on this we’ll definitly have a bigger market for our film :D Thanks for your constructive critics and suggestion :D

  92. John Fraser Says:

    I think–if it’s at all possible, you should have about 10 extra seconds of sintel wandering through the snow, or at least far-out shots of mountains, between 1:33 and 1:35.

  93. jan Says:

    Awesome.

    For sake of completeness, none of the posts that appeared here under my name actually originated from me. As some of you have noticed in the past, our WordPress (or some plugin, I wouldn’t know) occasionally pre-fills the input fields with the credentials of another user for some reason. We’re looking into this right now. When in doubt, keep in mind that comments from us are usually indicated with a blue background.

  94. Ben Says:

    Looks interesting, can’t wait to see more :)

    Just had some thoughts about the final disarm people where talking about earlier in the thread. This suggestion for a quick and dirty fix that should change the pace. Idea adapted from the pole axe manual: ‘Le Jue de la Hache’:

    Have the attacker start his last attack from his left. He does a large swing from his left to right forcing her to defend with a strong block across her body, so she ends with left hand up right hand down and out too her right (his left).

    All he needs to do then is take a small fast step with his right foot pivoting his body around on the spot while bringing the other end of his weapon up into the shaft of her weapon between her top hand and the weapon’s blade. This movement allows him too put all of his weight behind a very hard sharp blow that will knock the weapon out of her left hand (through the fingers, weakest part of the grip) and send it flying out to the left (her right).

    Her right arm will also fly out as she will remain holding it in that hand for a few heart beats before losing grip.

    It will need to be quick to be convincing, your best bet is to have a go and try it first, but watch out for widows as the disarmed weapon can fly :)

    Good luck with the rest of the project :)

  95. Dong Jum Ill Says:

    Please, please, please, stop animating the camera so much! It doesn’t need to be panning/rotating in every single shot! This is a mistake that so many beginner animators make (not saying the animator here is a beginner). Look at some classic live-action kung-fu movies to see how they operate their camera shots, please!

  96. Gryphon Says:

    A couple of things:

    I’m sorry, I had to take my sister to work, so I only read about half of the comments. If these have been addressed, I apologize.

    @Roy: Watch it again; at about 0:57, the gray guy slices through Sintel’s leg. That’s why she collapses at the end of the fight; I thought it was pretty obvious, but I guess not.

    @Richard: Seriously? That’s an ushirogeri kekomi (backward thrust kick). I could send somebody flying like that, and I don’t fight nearly as much as Sintel does.

  97. JoaT Says:

    There’s violece and there’s violence.

    Killing could be left out without affecting the story, at least from what can be seen here.

    But you do as you see fit. I’m clearly not part of your target audience anyway,

  98. Anonymous Says:

    Aweosmw collin keep it up !!!

    Go Durian Go !!!!

  99. Web31337 Says:

    JoaT +1 as well.
    Project developers team PLEASE READ this: http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/blog.php?b=2581 specially written for you about violence in the movie.

  100. BlendNMix Says:

    Honestly, who got the idea of a teenage girl making kung-fu as hero?
    It’s so 90′s

  101. jan Says:

    Web31337: I read that up to the point where you linked the Haiti earthquakes to too much negative thinking, or something like that (I’m paraphrasing here, the semantics at that point didn’t make a lot of sense to me).

    May I humbly suggest you take it down a notch? This is entertainment.

  102. Big Fan Says:

    Most of what my impression was too watching this has already been talked about by others.
    Bit slow and spinny, bit gruesome, bit wooden of waiting characters, bit confused rationale for action, but hey its coming a long…
    Dont lose confidence though and get bogged down trying to make it perfect for everyone’s opinion though.
    I think you are showing too much now. People have some idea of the movie and have given some early corrective feedback so now only report a little of progress.
    Tell your story as you wish and surprise us. :)

  103. bigbad Says:

    I wouldn’t change a thing. I love that she uses her wits instead of mambo jambo kung fu for beating those guys. I really dislike a way overpowered hero in the beginning of a movie. All heros start weak but get stronger.

    The way I saw this animatic.

    First kill was based that the guy under estimated her.

    Second kill was a lucky kick, even if I find it unlikely that a person would fall that easily from a hill like that. It would kinda be cool if the guy balanced on the edge and made it but a part of the cliff collapsed under his feet. In that way she was lucky of getting rid of him.

    Third kill is where she gets wounded and the guy has serious advantage but she throws snow/sand on his eyes and she uses her agility to quickly get up and kill him. A move that a bad guy would usually use in a movie but this time a hero does it.

  104. Riboshom Says:

    Why is it that the posts of Jean-Sébastien aren’t colored in blue, like those of the other members of the project?

    And as of that hentai thing that JoaT suggested…
    …that could be in the next movie! :D

  105. nathan Says:

    Hey Web31337,
    For some reason I can’t comment directly on your blog, so I’m responding here.
    I’m curious what you expected from Durian considering our mood board and the project description in the about page:
    http://durian.blender.org/mood-board/
    http://durian.blender.org/about/

    “Visual and conceptual appearance of a typical ‘Hollywood’ blockbuster or game trailer.”

    I don’t entirely disagree with your points, by the way. I think much of the entertainment we consume often has potentially harmful things that tend to go unquestioned, of which violence is only one. (Sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, classism, xenophobia, etc. come to mind.)

    But at the same time, I think it’s very difficult to make something that avoids all of those pitfalls without it ending up as totally unbelievable and as something that an audience has difficulty connecting to because it seems like too much of a perfect, manufactured world.

    Not saying that’s why Durian is designed as it is, of course. But it’s something I struggle to find a balance for in my own works.

  106. Revolt_Randy Says:

    This post has gotten way out of control!!!! The negative comments here are totally out of line. Comments like ‘too much violence’ and ‘if it will be violent, you might as well ad porn to appeal to teenagers’ are so stupid. The fact that someone linked the negativity of this effort to the disaster in haiti just boggles my mind. I’d like to offer a tissue to every crybaby that has posted here.

    I got to wonder, are these crybabies the same sort of people who managed to get Looney Tunes cartoons banned from tv? I watched those cartoons as a kid, and to this date, I have never dropped an anvil on anyone, never pointed a rocket at a pile of bird seed, and I have never offered coffee to someone and asked ‘how many lumps would you like’ with a hammer hidden behind my back to knock them over the head.

    If anyone has a problem separating entertainment with reality, then they should not be entertained and they should just go off and sit still in a padded room someplace.

    I thought the whole purpose of this project was to push the software to its limits and discover areas it could be improved. So, any users of blender that are offended by this effort, show your disgust with this project, and purchase yourself a copy of Maya or 3DMax. Show the open content world that you will not stand for this!!!!

    @Durian team, I will probably buy the dvd set for this film, but I will buy 2 copies if someone gets an anvil dropped on their head!!!!! LMFAO

    Randy

  107. [cool name here] Says:

    Just my two cents :]

    I agree with those who say the fly-in is a little out of place. I think the first few shots should be opening credits and/or scenery shots interlaced with mid-battle ones. It gives an “OH MY GOD!! I’M BLIND!! WHAT’S HAPPENING!?!?!” sort of reaction. :D

    Another thought:
    When the first guard is fighting her, have the other two arrogantly sitting with smirks. That would be better than the “One-at-a-time” attack rule (which is closely related to the stormtrooper effect) :D
    Or maybe have a fourth guard already dead on the ground. It would explain where Sintel got her staff.

    Of course, the last two suggestions are mutually exclusive.

  108. JoaT Says:

    Oh jeez…

    I grew up watching Looney tunes too. I don’t, nor have I ever resented any violence in them.

    There is, however, a slight difference with Looney tunes and this.

    The way this will be made is a bit more “realistic” in terms of anvils not dropping on anybody, and the people killed not rising up to try again in the next scene.

    I do enjoy a gory violence made well too, and as I am an adult I can watch pretty much anything I like in my own home. Seen it, pretty much to the extent it exists.

    I raised the point of the sort of violence this is heading not because I can’t stomach it, but because of the points I would consider if leading the development of such a short movie.

    If the purpose is to promote the possibilities of Blender as a movie production tool and to produce a Creative Commons film for anyone to use anyway they see fit, it will be bad for the end result to make it something not suitable for all audiences.

    We have already seen Big Buck Bunny and Elephants Dream used in a wide variety of contexts. And we have all cheered when informed of such sightings. The more graphic the violence is, the less exposure the movie will get.

    Elephants Dream was chritiqued of being too difficult to understand. Big Buck Bunny was chritiqued of being “not funny enough”, partly because of the way the animals were hurt in the film. I say “partly” because the intention was clearly to make a Looney tunes – type slapstick comedy animation.

    It is, however, an intricate form of art. Timing is everything, and people should not be left thinking of somebody get killed. Big Buck Bunny failed on that with the butterfly. It is unnecessary and cruel. Pretty much the same way ripping wings of a fly is. Of course, “it’s just a fly” or “it’s just a cartoon butterfly” are both valid arguments.

    The problem is deeper.

    Both are acts of premeditated cruelty. Both result in death and mutilation.

    And no, the issue is not something that makes me think of changing the 3D software I’m using. I actually don’t care very much whatever you do. I commented because I saw an opportunity to give something for the team to consider at this stage, rather than in hindsight.

    Rock on, Durian team. Wherever you take this to, I wish you all the best!

  109. be200fx Says:

    I love this open source stuff. All of Big Buck Bunny, for instance, is there for anyone to use. And what better use then Kumbaya: The Movie! Vast fields of furry woodland creatures, paws joined in a happy circle of Love. Singing Kumbaya, amid the flowers and glittering butterflies.

    And when they get to the end of the song… They sing it again!

    All it takes is one (one!) of the world’s precious Lightworkers to Do It For The Children!

    End War! End Hunger! Kumbaya NOW!

  110. JoaT Says:

    And one more thing: I really don’t get the people who feel the need to see every attempt to raise a question of unnecessary violence as some form of conservative whining.

    I have news for you: Humans were capable of violence and killing long before they descended from the trees. Spiritual evolution is commonly seen as a path towards solving our problems without those means.

  111. be200fx Says:

    JoaT: The script, and other material, for this production will be available in a few months.
    You can actually restructure the story according to your understanding.

    If you get so far as to actually enter production, I will (at minimum) support you with the purchase of a DVD, as well.

    I look forward to your retelling.

  112. Magic_Man_3d Says:

    +1 to most of the things already said. -1 to “too much violence”.

    I think you should have her politely ask them to give her their weapons and have one volunteer to jump off the cliff and the other two to pretend they got hurt and lay on the ground. This way there will be no “violence” and they can come back for round two.

  113. JoaT Says:

    Don’t want to rain in anyone’s parade here.

    If you think my points are not valid, ignore them.

    If you feel threatened by them, maybe it’s your own view of the world that needs adjusting.

    I said nothing about the violence per se, I merely raised a question of the necessity of showing the kills.

    Not because it bothers me, but because it narrows the audience of the end product.

  114. be200fx Says:

    “If you feel threatened by them, maybe it’s your own view of the world that needs adjusting.”

    Ad hominem. Nice. And a two-fer (abuse and circumstantial.)

    If someone can point to a story in the epic style that was improved by excising violence I would be grateful. I don’t think it can be done. But then, there may be an example out there that I’m not aware of.

  115. JoaT Says:

    be200fx: Abuse and circumstantial in what way? I was talking about feeling threatened by my views. This is the internet. People have different opinions. They also express them. If you feel threatened when someone writes something you don’t agree, maybe the internet is not for you.

    Besides, it was not targeted to anyone personally, you or anyone else for that matter. I have used “you” to write sentences in passive form. My excuse being that I’m not a native English speaker, and don’t know any other way to do it.

    “If someone can point to a story in the epic style that was improved by excising violence I would be grateful. I don’t think it can be done. But then, there may be an example out there that I’m not aware of.”

    Try Lord of the Rings – theatre version vs. DVD extended.

    Extended is more epic of them, and the percentual amount of violence is smaller than on the movie versions.

    To have a truly epic battle you need a rabbit stew moment to give it perspective.

  116. Philip Says:

    The scene is coming along nicely!

    Sorry if someone already suggested this, but editing-wise an interesting thing to try would be cutting between that big sweeping opening shot and short flashes of the fight up (maybe closeups or medium shots) until we arrive at the point in the edit where the fight currently starts. Not a groundbreaking choice, but I think it might work well here.

    And I think you guys are very much on the right track. :-)

  117. Anonymous Says:

    Don’t take it the wrong way, MTracer, but I would rather not have a the film rated PG and I’m sure most people here would agree.

    ED and BBB were great PG films, but I think it’s about time for something new with some action.

  118. be200fx Says:

    JoaT: LOTR is your example of a story that works because the violence was reduced?
    I’m just not going to continue this conversation. I don’t think we will get anywhere.

    Wikipedia has a nice writeup on ad hominem.

    Saying someone argues the way they do because they feel threatened is ad hominem, circumstantial.

    Suggesting that they argue the way they do because their view of the world needs adjusting is ad hominem, abuse.

    It’s the thought that counts. I don’t see where language comes into it.

  119. be200fx Says:

    On the role of violence in myth.

    Consider the case where our young hero meets the helper. Helper says, ‘yes I can get you into the castle. All you have to do is kill me and wear my skin.” So the young hero does exactly that, and things go as they should.

    The theme here is the child replacing the parent: The possibility of which is a major source of stress at a deep level. The myth teaches that it’s OK, the replacement is normal and expected. It also teaches that there is no going back or standing still. The world is there, as is, and you must enter into it.

    Myths tend to be deeply dark and violent. Parents die, children get eaten. They teach that shit happens, and it’s not your fault. An important thing to know.

    If Shaman tells Sintel that she has to take his skin, then (assuming the rest of the story supports it) this would make the story more appropriate for the young and impressionable, rather than less.

    If sintel has to kill the guards to pass, then she kills them. The guards are not free to negotiate, and she can’t turn back.

    Graphic violence, in the service of an artistic vision, is A-OK with me.

  120. Peter G. Kovacs Says:

    As I see there is one problem. Misunderstanding. I think a good movie creator don’t need to choose the most primitive and easy tools to show violence or make a good action movie. There was a lot of good movies in the world with good action-shots and good story. If you choose the direct way to show the bloody parts of the violence, build your scene around these elements. You have to know You can’t beat a Japanese teen-loved bloody action movie. This is not in our culture. I think. Going further, you can explain everything with “in the service of an artistic vision” but i don’t think this going fair with your supporters wasting animation time on making primitive fighting sequences. The industry left behind this “technical challenge” many years ago. The good animation is not a big deal almost since Maya 1.0. The violence is very effective on screen and the audience too. If you make it with on screen killing, people will not concentrate on other things. And furthermore you make a bad advertising for the software what you make. Mention the violence and a free software is not useful for the project. IMHO. And how can you answer other questions? Why did you made a animation short about people killing each other? How do you define your responsibility?” I can’t imagine to see this kind of tech demo on public events, on branded computers to show their capabilities. Not any kind of violence is artistic. I good fight scene is bout rhythm and not about the blood.

    But this is only my opinion. – Sorry for my bad English.

  121. jan Says:

    I should probably stay out of this, but I feel compelled to say this every time the topic comes up, so I might just as well get it over with now.

    As much as I can accept that some people are opposed to depictions of violence in any form, I ultimately feel that a lot of them have a rather narrow view of the range of narrative purposes it can fulfill. I realize this is anecdotal evidence as best, but I know several people (most of them born before 1960) who simply can’t endure graphic violence, no matter in which way it is delivered; they physically “feel” each body blow or shot as if it were directed at them. I understand that this can be a real problem for these people, as they are severely limited in the range of media they consume, even more so today.

    What I find interesting is that those people rarely make an attempt to understand how violence in a narration can take up fundamentally different meanings, depending of the context it appears in; instead, they tend to assume that people who can tolerate, and – given the right narrative frame – even appreciate more realistic depictions of violence must be either emotional degenerates, or just looking for cheap thrills.

    I think this is a dangerous fallacy. I think the ability to distinguish a depiction of violence that serves a tangible purpose in the context of a narration from one that just exists for a cheap thrill is actually a sign of sensitization, not the opposite. It’s a sign of media literacy.

    Don’t get me wrong: There are numerous instances where I find graphic violence to be entirely superfluous, self-indulgent and aggravating. You wouldn’t find me watching an Eli Roth movie. (You wouldn’t find me rallying for a ban on his movies either, though.) However, there are also just as many instances where the emotional intent of a work would be considerably weakened if violent acts would be just implied, handled off-screen, or unrealistically played down.

    When Durian is done and you still think in earnest that it would have worked just as well or better without any explicit violence, I can accept that. But to accuse it of becoming an accumulation of pointless slaughter after you’ve seen an early layout of the first few shots strikes me as a bit of a knee-jerk reaction, sorry.

  122. Web31337 Says:

    I’ve been expecting noone will take it seriously and doesn’t even understand what I meant.

    I’m quitting this thread.

    p.s. What I wanted to say also: a few weeks ago when I saw this project for the first time it made me remember a book I started to write in 2008. Thanks for inspiration, guys. :)
    Thanks for attention.

  123. Web31337 Says:

    and again +2 Peter G. Kovacs

  124. JoaT Says:

    +3 Peter G. Kovacs
    Quitting this too.

  125. Fury_jin Says:

    I don’t know what you’re gone add in the final shoot, but i give you the major things that bother me:

    -Sintel must have a large fur coat to resist in this cold environment, i assume she toke it off before the fight, but it would be great to see it fall form the cliff, or just stay there somewere in the background.

    -If there is snow on the ground, i don’t understand how some little pieces of rock can be on the top, maybe she found it with her hand under the snow (it will surprise her enemy even more)

    -I don’t understant why sintel pass out.. Some poison, her head was hurt, too much work with the sintel team?
    I mean you must give something pretty obvious to anticipate her black out. Blood loss, head hurt, or some magic protection spell from the dragon or the area she want to go in.

  126. Tri-State Says:

    Hey
    Glad to see some cool progress, although I was hoping to see something more from angela and the dragon modeling =)

    There has been a lot of rant about violance n’ stuff, that some are not comfortable with, but for me, I fnoticed an interesting thing – in this shot Sintel IS the most violent person, not the guards, and belive it or not, I actually thought that she is the main evil character, SO, that’s whay when she is down, I don’t really feel for her, I mean, those guys she killed seem way more likeble to me. NOW, if (and I say IF because I don’t know the full story), That was your intention and she really is a redhair evil bit*h, then kudos for you, cos it definately looks thath way. But if she is supposed to be a good girl fighting for her life against all the evil ods, then you’ve probably failed to show that proparly.
    Just my 2cents I wanted to say..

    Keep up the amazing work and good luck.

  127. jsguillemette Says:

    Hey guys!

    Just to give some feedback on some comments. Especially about her collapsing. No worries guys, there is a reason she collapse, it will all make sense in the end! Remember you’re seeing just a small part of the whole thing! Colin’s know what he’s doing! :) And yeah, she does get hurt during the fight, we’ll make sure it’s obvious in the anim! :D

  128. rogper Says:

    One thing about violence in movies I find interesting is that it only feels uncomfortable for a person that is passing by and suddenly see a bunch of blood coming out of a character and goes away telling that movies are too violent… The persons that actually See the movie know that usually all this violence is just to make it clear to us what is happening and to improve our experience and emotional connection.

    Let me ask you (the persistence violence topic persons) one thing.
    Which is more safe for children? Loony Toons or Dragon Ball?

    So in Loony Toons ( I love Loony Toons btw) we often see them shooting a gun to a character and the result is that it turns dirty and blackish and soon latter they are all OK and ready for more of this stuff. You can see that from the point of view that a children may think that it is OK to shoot persons because they will just become black for a wile.

    In Dragon Ball, when some one kicks Goku or Goku kicks or punchs someone, the hit person will bleed and evidence damage. You can see that from the point of view that a children will realize that it should not punch someone because it will cause significant damage to the other person.

    Now if the children does intend to cause significant damage to the other person… I don’t think movies or games or whatever media of the past and future are the ones to blame ;)

    Imagine a movie where a person push another and stole is money:
    “That money is my. Give it back, is for medicine for my son …he could die without it!”
    “I disagree, the money is now my, I shouldn’t give it back to you”
    “OK, let’s call our lawyers and wait 5 years to see who as the best lawyer”
    “Ok, do you want a bear?”
    “Sure, lets go!”

    It sure is peaceful, no violence at all and such, good message of resolving a problem without any violence of any kind :| …too bad his son will have to manage without medicine.

    Wouldn’t be allot better like this:
    “Give me back my money.”
    “This money isn’t yours anymore, do you want to fight about it!? Is that it?”
    “(In a strong and confident voice after assuming a fighting pose) My son needs the medicine. Your Kung- Fu is like yours lies… No Good! Come, I’ll teach you a lesson”
    …and there’s a fight, good guy now or in the end of the movie wins and we stay happy to have paid for the ticket :D

    Sorry about this ;)

  129. Psy-Fi Says:

    -I knew it would end like this…-

    My last comment on violence(sorry for spamming, but I’d like to share a few philosophical thoughts). For any Disney-style cartoon lovers, I simply propose “How to Read Donald Duck: Imperialist Ideology in the Disney Comic”, an excellent read! It shows how, in the context of a Disney-like, pieceful world, everyday violence (in every form, social, economic, psychological) is covered, ‘censored’, but not quite entirely. I really recommend it. I very much liked the analysis of be200fx, reminded me of Otto Rank’s “myth of the birth of the hero”, another excellent book for your spare time. In the end, everyone has their own ‘guardians’ to fight whether we like it or not. We can’t all act like the hero of “Trigun” (That’s a good example of an overly idealized hero. It really strained my suspension of disbelief and bordered on compulsive behavior). I will end this here since this is a discussion better suited to a philosophical forum, and the spammers are gone anyway :p

    For me, the underlying message is much more important, but I think the team has gone to great lengths to present and touching and compelling story and I hope it turns out right. I know it’s very difficult given the time constraints and the budget.

    For the injury: You can listen to her flesh being torn by the third guy,but visually it’s not very clear(Of course it isn’t, this is a rough version!). I’d love to see the edited shortened version, Colin, but I realize you can’t post every tidbit of progress in this blog..

    Keep it up!

  130. be200fx Says:

    Roger: You ask, “Which is more safe for children? Loony Toons or Dragon Ball?”

    I would answer, “The one that is true.”

    And my answer has nothing to do with “teaching violence.”

    The falling anvil stuff is funny, the labels on the boxes from Acme are cute, and the coyotes persistence is inevitable. The coyote is starving. Eat the bird or die. That is the actual violence, the real horror, that lies there.

    I think it is safe to show children that they are allowed to save themselves (bird), that they are allowed to feed themselves (coyote), and that this is accomplished through actions in a competitive world.

    I have not seen Dragon Ball, and have no opinion.

  131. Arystan Says:

    Wow!!!

  132. rogper Says:

    @be200fx:
    I like your answer :)

  133. Sofox Says:

    Great stuff.
    I’m holding back on my thoughts because I can be hypercritical when it comes to action sequences (even in “quality” Hollywood movies) and I’m not sure your production is in for it.

    There is one thing that stuck out though. In the establishing shot, the camera moves through the scenery, closer to the action… and then there’s a cut.
    I think it would be a lot smoother if there was no cut and the camera kept smoothly moving in on the action until we’re right in the middle of it.

    I think this is a good idea because it can create a good impact to see something go from far out and high, to close in and low without any cuts. It doesn’t happen much in real life, and movies don’t do it that often either (especially since helicopter cameras can’t get close enough to see a person’s pupils.)

  134. Giobbeforever Says:

    Good…great layout, keep so!

  135. RAMMSTEIN Says:

    lol she throws suzanne on the ones head :D

  136. Carlo Says:

    it seems to be very promising!!!! In my opinion it is only a little slow. maybe because there’s no dialogues. However you are a great team!!!!

  137. Olaf Says:

    Very nice action scene! Can’t wait to see the final version.

  138. David Says:

    I like it a lot. I only have a couple of comments:
    1. The ground is too flat which leads to point 3..
    2. When guarian 1 is killed, the shot switches to a view of #2 and 3 who appear very close to each other yet in the wide shot pre engagement with #1, they are spread quite wide.
    3. Guardian off the cliff guy would never position himself next to the cliff edge – its not like Sintel is going to try to escape by jumping….. If there was a rise in the ground that hide the cliff edge from view, then her round kick could bump him up over the rise and he slides down the other side and off.

  139. Lord of the Rings Junkie Says:

    I have to agree with what some others have said here:

    The fight is nice, but the action seems to be painfully slow. It’s almost as if you tried to put an anticipation phase into every move, but it gives the whole fight a very ‘you go, I go’ feeling when everything should seem very spontaneous and fluid.

  140. ralmon Says:

    Violence/No Violence. I had never commented on that because this is just a tiny piece of what would be the whole. I’m not against violence as long as the need warrants it. A story that needs to depict violence should have violence (like war stories, imagine “The Red Badge of Courage” without violence) in order to make it complete. A story that does not need to (like most romance stories and adventure stories), will feel cheap if too much violence is added. The decision whether violence should be included or not should depend on need of the story. If violence advances the requirements of the story, then violence is justified and would be an enjoyment to the viewers.

  141. Absolutely NoOne Says:

    Quick,zoom in on his feet so that we can seehis magic gliding powers!
    :)
    It’s GREAT!

  142. Anonymous Says:

    It is best to win without fighting. –Sun Tzu

  143. Haidme Says:

    Look at this fight scene for an example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKxOF_7fd-A

  144. Chad Says:

    I think the opening scene looks great. It gives mystery and remoteness to the location. Instead of having it just blindly follow a path to the location of the fighting why not give the camera a reason to travel in that direction?? Maybe like a snow raven flying over to the location, or maybe a mountain cliff flag that gets ripped from the wind in the direction of the the fighting? Have the action invoke the camera, instead of the action being invoked by the camera. :)

  145. Chad Says:

    maybe a shot of the wing of the bird moving in the breeze of its flight to a cut of the flapping of a bloodied piece of cloth in the wind from where the main character killed one of the guys before the camera had ever reached there? I’m not sure about the context of the story, but that would be kinda cool

  146. kopi Says:

    Why are they waiting for their turn to hit sintel? Is it a 1vs1:1:1 or a 3vs1 fight?

    Have you ever noticed in all the bad kungfu/action/whatever movies where a thousand guys attack a single person, only the guy who is attacking makes a move. The others move awkwardly slow or not at all – waiting for their turn!

    Well, you could say if they all attack her at once, they would probably kill her. But that is baaaad film-making. All attacking at once (all the time) would result in an awesome fighting scene in my opinion!

  147. Sonlitdark Says:

    Hey, sorry for the delayed comment. I haven’t been on the blender site in some time. I love where you guys are going with Sintel. I know the stress of working out priorities and can… well, suck. Especially when you are trying to put something out like this to draw attention to what you are doing. I think that given the time frame you are working under and the amount of people you have to work with, the progress shown here is phenomenal. Keep at it.

  148. telly Says:

    I little generic. Seen it before.

  149. Quinten Says:

    Durian team: thank you for all your wonderfull work. I love reading your post and updates, movies, screenies and all that stuff.

    I make a late post, so comments on the artwork are really not necessary any more. And I think everything has been said already – I’ll love to see what you were able to integrate.

    Just some short comments to the critics, such as Web31337 and Peter G. Kovacs.
    - you placed your comments in a weird place. This concept of this movie was thought out long ago;
    - “bad image” for Blender? I don’t believe so. I have full confidence in the Durian artists that they will show what Blender can do;
    - “you use shared resources for a bad project”. Hmpf, please think before you blog. Because, actually, the Durian guys are DEVELOPING and spending time and energy on those very shared recources that you can download for free afterwards;
    - and most of all: what the heck are you rambling about? Why do you fail to see the fun of this? The plain and simple coolness. :D

    I read “+2″ and “+3 Peter G. Kovacs”… if you will vote for someone’s post, please read it carefully: “Not any kind of violence is artistic. I good fight scene is bout rhythm and not about the blood.”
    Which, you must agree, is a perfect example of a condradictio in terminis. Moreover, if someone even saw blood in this scene he must have had a big imagination.

    And a post to Jan:
    “I should probably stay out of this, but I feel compelled to say this every time the topic comes up, so I might just as well get it over with now.”
    And I am glad you did. You show narrative skills and well-balanced thinking way superior than that of the critics.

    Keep it up!
    And if you have time, pls expand a little on the “tutorials” section of this blog. :)

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