“Sintel” is an independently produced short film, initiated by the Blender Foundation as a means to further improve and validate the free/open source 3D creation suite Blender. With initial funding provided by 1000s of donations via the internet community, it has again proven to be a viable development model for both open 3D technology as for independent animation film.After "Elephants Dream" and "Big Buck Bunny", this is the third Open Movie, organized around the promotion and further technological improvement of the full Open Source workflow around the creation of a movie project. The main animation software, Blender, is Open Source, cross-platform and more and more up the same level of functionality as much more expensive software, such as 3ds Max, Maya, Lightwave or Cinema4D.
This 15 minute film has been realized in the studio of the Amsterdam Blender Institute, by an international team of artists and developers. In addition to that, several crucial technical and creative targets have been realized online, by developers and artists and teams all over the world.
Edit: While the movie is high-definition and has intricate attention to detail, the story is a bit cynic. Without spoiling the plot, I have watched it to see if my kids would love it (like they loved Big Buck Bunny), but the ending is quite sad (even though there is a spark of hope left). But then again, at times I do complain about too many CGI movies trying so hard to mimic Pixar and drown the ending with moral lessons, like most US blockbuster movies. I do like to see some more 'alternative' themed quality CGI short movies arise. Good examples include Akryls (http://akryls.free.fr/), The Cathedral (http://www.platige.com/index.php?tu=27) or Pica Towers Pizza Sangre (found no 'original' link but you can find it on YouTube). They are all made with software such as LightWave, Maya or 3ds Max, but there are good results coming from Blender. The biggest problem: we are so used to see top-quality character animation, that anything that is only slightly less articulated is being criticized.