First blog post – Why Blender?

Working in TV post production has many challenges, and there are many ways to solve them. Many of my colleagues choose to throw money at these problems, paying for Adobe creative cloud licenses and putting up with limited solutions. But I chose another route.

In July 2006 I uploaded my first foray into Blender animation, a simple array effect. I needed to cut my teeth on a simple effect as my employer was asking me to produce a somewhat more elaborate VFX shot for one of the most popular TV shows in Australia.

Australian Story is a well loved documentary series recounting the hardships of the Australian people. I had produced some shoot out recreations and gun fire for earlier episodes, this time however they were proposing a much more challenging effect. The Nias Island Sea King crash saw the crash of a Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Westland WS-61 Sea King helicopter in 2005 and Australian Story wanted to recount the tale.

They asked me to recreate the crash, no problem I said…. I actually said that without knowing how I would do it or with what tools!

I knew that Adobe After Effects wasn’t up to the task at that time, as it did not have the ability to import or animate 3D models. And I couldn’t fall back on the old Amiga that I had sold 10 years earlier. What to do?

I went on line and searched for free 3D animation tools… and found Blender 2.4

blender-2-42_2

Ahh, the good old days of horizontal tool bars.

I whipped up an animated helicopter with an online model of the Seaking. And to be honest the hardest part was texturing and decals. Sadly the only remaining media is this lores Youtube clip. Fortunately or unfortunately the episode never made it to air, because reasons.

helicopter

Since then I have been finding any excuse to apply interesting techniques with my Blender skills.

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