Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas! A gift from us... to you.

Well it is that time of the year and this year I decided to release the Widow Pipeline as a present to the Blender and Renderman communities. Yes it is true you can get these all on the sites themselves, however some tools are not so well known. So now everyone can use the same tools we are using for the short film "The 10:15" (aka Project Widow).

Widow Pipeline I for Linux tar archive

(of course this was not without it's own technical problems.... torrents did not work, now just a single tar archive.... sigh)

This release is built for Linux, since much of the team uses that operating system, also some of the tools are built for Linux and would require some work to get them to build on Windows or Mac OS. Shrimp for instance is modified specifically for this short, WidowShade was a heavily modified version of ShaderLink, something that took close to several months to complete before Shrimp was brought into the pipeline.

This release is similar in fashion to the BRAT release in 2009, however the difference in the release is that where BRAT was meant for a more general installation on multiple operating systems, with a wide variety of tools and example files, this release is more specific and designed to fulfill a specific role : to be the basis of an open source production pipeline. This release is also using older tools rather than bleeding edge, simply because of stability and the fact that at the time of this writing there is still much to develop to get a stable pipeline using Blender 2.5x and RIBMosaic.This is the result of over a year of work developing a stable pipeline so that “Project Widow” could be completed and the hope is that people will be able to use this as a starting point for their own projects, or using this to learn Renderman with Blender.

Artist Tools

Blender 2.49b (both 32 and 64 bit)
Shrimp (Widow build)

Blender Scripts and files

RIB_Lib Database (blend file with entire RSL LIB for linking)


Entire shader collection used for “Project Widow” (as of Sep 2010)
Surface, Displacement, Imager, Volume, Light and Diagnostic shaders

Pipeline Tools

Shotgun API 3
WVTU (Widow Version Thumbnail Uploader)
WidVerTU 0.3 (dev version of GUI WVTU)


RSL Lib 0.1
OpenColorIO 0.6.1 (Sony Imageworks color management library)

There is also something to find in this torrent. It's your present. It is a pretty complete collection of pre-production images, as well as R+D renders and test beauty shots. There are also some screw up images, some test blend files, as well as older images from the past to show just how much has changed in the past 5 years.

There is also the BlenderCon 2010 technical paper that I wrote, considering that this very pipeline is the one described in the paper.

Now to get back to the StarWars marathon on SpikeTV.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

RIBMosaic : Now part of Aqsis


I am sure some of you are thinking this. Yes, it is true. RIBMosaic is now a part of the Aqsis project and the current official "home" of the new add on.

The back story goes like this. Eric Back emailed a certain select few last month (around the time of the last post here) and told us that he would no longer be developing the recoded Blender plugin. He was "orphaning" the code as it was on Sourceforge and anyone could come and pick it up. Knowing that RIBMosaic was important for Aqsis it was decided that the developers would adopt the code as it last was and continue development with the intention to bring Aqsis closer to Blender.

From the developer mailing list :

Eric has given his agreement that this should be the 'home' of RIB Mosaic now, and understands that we will focus on the integration of Aqsis specifically into Blender, while endeavouring to ensure that nothing we do will intentionally preclude support for other compliant renderers. We as a team will probably not be able to focus any effort on supporting other compliant renderers, beyond possibly testing regularly to ensure that existing functionality still works. Of course, we will assist and encourage anyone who wants to work on support for other renderers should they wish to do so within its new project space.



In a way this would be a "RIBMosaic for Aqsis", while other developers could make a RIBMosaic for say 3Delight, or AIR or even PRMan.

So now RIBMosaic is now a part of Aqsis and will be packaged with the renderer from now on. A lot still has to be completed and there has to be some serious testing done in order to accomplish this in a timely manner. In order for Project Widow to continue, the tools need to be upgraded as well, it was bound to happen and now is the time.

Thank you Eric for bringing this idea to full steam, without your efforts and help it's hard to imagine being this far by now.