The most recent film produced by Blender, an open source 3D video editing program, to showcase its abilities is Sintel. This is the third such film, following in the footsteps of Elephant’s Dream and Big Buck Bunny.

My review and the film following the jump.

Sintel takes on a new style of film, with a setting like something out of many contemporary fantasies, and for the most part does well with the genre.

Indeed, the scenery and characters mostly are beautifully rendered. Although it may not quite reach the same standards that many commercial studios reach, especially in movements such as walking or the spreading of a pool of liquid, the static objects were well above my expectations. I quite liked that the dragons in the film looked much like a Balrog from Tolkien’s stories, and quite well rendered at that. Unfortunately, the defects are the things that I can’t help noticing the most. The main character’s movements tended to have an odd look, almost like a marionette, and as I mentioned before, the spreading liquid I mentioned (blood actually) just looked wrong.

The story was not such a mix off good and bad, unlike the actually imagery. To me the story fell flat. The storyline was predictable, over dramatic, and evidently drew heavily from other similar works. The relationship between the main character and her dragon attempted to play the viewers emotions, and frankly did a poor job at doing so. Although I know that the project is not made for the story, but rather to show off the features of Blender, it seems to me more likely that viewers will become interested in Blender if the story draws them in, and leaves them wanting to know more about how the film is made, much like the reasons why people watch commentary. Perhaps they should consider converting a public domain short story into video form, there are plenty of old short stories now out of copyright as well as stories under creative commons. A nice science fiction story from the late nineteenth century could certainly allow them to showcase and still have an interesting story, and plenty of those are available without copyright restrictions.