‘Open Movie’ 3D Animation and the Business of Free Culture

Location: E145 Level: Novice
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Developing a 3D animated film is surprisingly similar to making software, with analogs to version control, issue tracking and even source code (production files). This talk addresses the goals and benefits of ‘open movies’ as a continuation of the free/libre open source development model into the realm of media production. Bassam discusses the recent work of experimental animation studio, URCHN, showing through code, images and video (eye candy!) how free/open source software can be used to build ambitious animated films organized around access rather than artificial scarcity, and how beyond the films, they deliver the audience an entire production pipeline using Blender, Python, Linux and more.

Bassam Kurdali


Bassam is a 3D animator/filmmaker whose 2006 short, Elephants Dream, was the first ‘open movie’. It established the viability of libre tools in a production environment and set precedent by offering its source data under a permissive license for learning, remixing and re-use. His character, ManCandy, began as an easily animatable test bed for rigging experiments. Multiple iterations have been released to the public, and Bassam demonstrates him in the animated tutorial video + short, The ManCandy FAQ. Under the sign of the urchin, Bassam is continuing to pursue a model of production that invests in commonwealth. He teaches, writes and lectures around the world on open production and free software technique. Raised in Damascus, Bassam trained in the United States as an electrical and software engineer.


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