Project Gooseberry Launch Trailer and Crowdfunding

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The Blender Foundation, as part of developing Blender – the software we at Gecko spend most of our time using – has for several years now been producing short films to help drive forward software development by engaging with artists using Blender to find out what they need. Now the Foundation’s newest project is the most ambitious yet, and we’re on board!

The Gooseberry project launched yesterday (March 9th) at the South by Southwest Festival, and aims to write film history by producing the worlds first open-source feature film. Production will be split between twelve studios using Blender around the world, coordinated by the Blender Foundation in the Netherlands. At Gecko, we’re teaming up with art director Jonathan Ball (PokedStudio.com) as one of those studios. We’re very excited about the challenge of working on our first feature film and looking forward to starting work on it soon (we already produced one of the shots shown in the trailer above).

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The project is currently seeking crowd funding, and we encourage you to join in. Project Gooseberry is a one of a kind project – production data from the film will be shared with backers, who will get unparalleled access to the film as it’s being made, and after a limited exploitation window dedicated to remunerating those who helped make the film, the final movie will be released under a creative commons licence. It’s a unique project and one we’re very proud to be a part of.

Crowd funding for the project has just launched. If you’re interested in Project Gooseberry you can visit Gooseberry.blender.org to find out more and support the film.

Campus Party Workshop and Talk

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Last Friday Jonathan and I did a talk and a workshop at Campus Party Europe, a tech/hacking/gaming convention with around five thousand attendees, held at the O2 here in London. Keynote speakers at past Campus Party conferences have included Buzz Aldrin, Al Gore, and Sir Tim Berners-Lee – okay, we were obviously on one of the smaller stages, but it was very cool to be asked to come and present all the same. We gave a talk on the software we use for almost all of our work here at Gecko, Blender. The talk was recorded and live-streamed over YouTube; you can watch it below.

The workshop was great fun, it was really nice to see people getting to grips with our favourite piece of software. We looked at customising a simple character that I made in advance of the workshop, using blenders sculpting and texturing tools so that people could create their own unique characters.

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There were plenty of other things to see at Campus party, including 3D printers, a few quadrocopters and some interesting PC case-mods. We also caught a talk by Games Workshop founder Ian Livingstone on his career in the Games industry. Here’s some more photos from the days events:

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Spider Bot

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Look who just arrived at he Gecko office! The robotic spider from Ben’s book, Blender Master Class. Ben made a few tweaks to the model to make him printable and we sent him off to 3D printing company Shapeways. They printed out the model in their laser-sintered “white, strong, and flexible” material. He came out looking great!

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