World Building

Bruce Branit's World Builder is a great example of a short film with no dialogue. Its perfect for my class, because that's our first narrative assignment. However, its also a great visualization of the sort of world building that goes into 3D animation and game design. We don't cover this in the class- although I'd love to- but it was a great way to introduce other directions that interested students could pursue a career or just a further exploration in film.

Unfortunately, it makes the controls of Blender seem even more woefully inadequate...

World Builder from Bruce Branit on Vimeo.

It reminds me of an idea I was talking over with some of my colleagues from the Shanghai Student Film Festival about teaching a video class entirely in Second Life. The students would spend the first part of the course learning about 3D design. They could build and design props, sets, costumes, and characters. Perhaps develop a second life movie studio and set. In 'first life' they could learn the basics of film-making; the cinematography, lighting, editing, and sound. Then in the second half of their course they could combine those skills towards the creation of more complex machinima videos.

Speaking of which, check out this amazing community project from Urangan High School in Australia. They've raised over 50K for a two year project exploring 3D animation and video. You can follow their production blog to see what they've done and where they are going.

Finally, I haven't tried it out for myself yet (I haven't touched Blender in a few years now unfortunately) but it looks like Juan Pablo Bouza has developed a free character rigging system to help make quick human figures for your productions.

Link for World Builder via The Why of it All. Thanks Ken!


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