Wednesday, July 13, 2011

More Morpho News and Blender for Dummies

Earlier in the week an email was sent to me from Christian Vargas, the Animation Director at Morpho Animation Studios. Included was a set of pictures that had been taken of the book "Blender for Dummies", which many of us Blenderheads know had been written by Jason van Gumster.

Jason had asked Morpho Animation Studios to render some images for him so that these could be included in the book, since the studio does use Blender of course, however the difference is that again the rendering was not done with Blender, instead Pixar's Renderman was used. While the book did in fact list Morpho as the creator of the images the caption did not reveal how the image was rendered, until now.

Another little known fact and example of how RIBMosaic and Renderman is creeping into media and professional content creation.

Earlier in the year I had the pleasure of viewing the images by Morpho and sadly I had not known about their inclusion into Jason's book, let alone the fact that Jason was in close contact with Morpho Animation Studio. Just goes to show us all that in the Blender community we are all linked together and you never know just who knows who, somehow little surprises like this pop up and make you smile. Good job guys!

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Morpho Animation Studio

If there was ever proof that Blender and Renderman can produce real world imagery this would be it.

One little known studio in Costa Rica is making cartoons using Blender, which in the entire spectrum of small animation houses is not a big deal considering they would not be the first to do so. However the first they do have is that they are not using the internal renderer, instead they have opted to use Pixar's Renderman and are using RIBMosaic to do this. It is not a new thing either, they have been using these tools for well over a year and I have been in contact with them for some time. My relationship with this studio started with Daniel Salazar, also known as ZanQdo to the Blender community. He knows one of their employees, Christian Vargas, and told me about them during the middle of 2010, so I emailed him with an expressed interest in what they are doing. Since then some of us associated with Blender to Renderman have helped them out whenever they needed it and thus I decided to shed some light on this studio and what they are up to.

One thing to note though is that this studio is not just some small studio that is trying to break into the industry. While people in the USA or elsewhere may not be familiar with them, their work in the Central America region has been seen by millions. They have done TV ads in addition to other services and one commercial in particular is for Cartoon Network, which features 3D versions of Dexter, the PowderPuff girls and other CN icons. Other clients include Sony, Microsoft, Kraft and Subway. Are they established? I would say so.

Their first work in TV series using these tools is titled "Grandpa's Robot" which was directed by Christian. Due to NDA's I am not at the liberty to disclose anything sent to me, however from what I have seen has blown my mind, including stills from their next series in development.

"We have been working a lot lately. Right now we are really busy working for a videogame company in LA. We have been hired to develop 3d animated assets for a facebook flash based game. It includes creatures, cities, military units. Pretty fun stuff.

On the other hand we keep working on our properties "Grandpa's Robot" and "Poison Squad" We have been working a lot on this TV series with some writers from NY to polish the stories. This year we presented Grandpa's Robots at Kidscreen and it received good reviews from the audience. This year Gustavo is going to MipTv in France to present the TV series. Hopefully we will find somebody interested." Christian says.

Morpho does have a Vimeo account and here everyone can look and see exactly what it is I am talking about, such as a preview of "Grandpa's Robot" as well as other demo videos they have done.