Apparently, my secret PAX swag this year was mono; so I've been home sick all day trying to cope with my latest bout of disease. Delightful. So, I've spent part of the day semi-conscious, clicking on random links and exploring the tubes. I happened upon this page, which led me to what was probably the saddest animated short I've seen since Kiwi!.
Sintel is about a girl and her dragon. It's about 15 minutes long and--I'm going to warn you--fairly tragic. But, it's a beautiful animated short film, and the graphics may have you drooling.
I'm going to embed the video below, but you REALLY should view it full-screen and in 1080p if you can.
Sintel was created using Blender, a free, open-source creation suite which includes animation, modeling, shading, rendering, etc etc! It appears to be an all-inclusive package for creating animations. I haven't played around with that kind of software since Bryce 3D and Poser 4 (this was in the '90s, if you have no idea what I'm talking about), because there aren't really any accessible programs these days (or even back then.....) that won't cost you an arm and a leg. Blender looks like an exciting and easy-to-use package that amateurs or those interested in animation with small budgets can easily procure.
In the first few minutes of Sintel I imagined more artistic and creative DMs using Blender to re-create D&D game fight scenes or to create a video to set the stage for an epic battle. I also thought of Final Fantasy cut-scenes and it looks as though Blender could easily be integrated into low-budget game projects. I'm excited to check out Blender just to see what it can do!
Are any of you animators? Would you recommend Blender or are there other programs that you'd recommend instead? What did you think of Sintel's graphics?