Open Source Entertainment

By Chris Josephes
June 27, 2008

What would you rather see? A cute, inquisitive robot that makes cubes of trash, or a furry rabbit that was rendered entirely with open source software?

For some geeks, that's still a tough call. Robots vs Open Source? Rendered fur vs Newtonian physics in space? Did I mention that the robot makes cubes of trash? Did I also mention that the open source movie uses the Creative Commons license?

Well, the choice doesn't have to be exclusively one or the other. The open source movie I'm talking about is Big Buck Bunny, which is a 9 minute short that was created with Blender, and rendered on the Sun Grid utility service.

You can download the video, stream it through YouTube, or purchase a DVD or Blu-Ray Disk of the finished movie. Since it has a CC license, you're free to distribute it yourself as long as the original copyright information is kept intact.

I couldn't easily find out what the plot of BBB was from the website, which made sense, since a lot of open source projects always have incomplete documentation (Okay, I'm kidding). It's a cute movie about a bunny, who must use his creativity to deal with a few varmints causing displeasure around the forest.

Watch it, share it, and feel free to spread the word. And if you're a coder or animator, use this as your inspiration to see what sort of work you can create with Blender, or how you might be able to contribute to their coding efforts.

As far as tonight goes, I'm going out to see the robot. The robot that makes cubes of trash. And has cool tractor treads for feet. And communicates with vocalizations despite the fact that a wireless network protocol would be much more efficient.

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