Here’s another impressive example of the power of open content: Janus Kristensen has converted Big Buck Bunny to a 4K, 3D, 60FPS version, and rendered everything on BURP, the online rendering platform. The project took 3 years to complete and today Janus shares all his results and files. (The header on the project’s homepage has an awesome easter egg by the way ;-)
A little while ago there was a lengthy discussion about the possibility of rendering movies via volunteered spare CPU cycles on Internet-connected computers. That whole thing slowly turned from idea to reality.
To really test out the idea, though, we needed something big, something furry, something with… butterflies and squirrels.
The reason I’m posting here now is that today I completed something that has been a bit of a spare-time project of mine for almost 3 years now: re-rendering Big Buck Bunny in 3D stereoscopic high frame-rate quad-full-HD on the online renderfarm BURP.
Needless to say this has been a massive undertaking. The movie consists of almost 130 scenes, each of which had to be individually analysed, converted, fixed, rendered, composited and finally encoded to produce the output video files. Many of the scenes needed a lot of work simply because the Peach team had oftentimes been using tricks and stuff that works well in 2D but doesn’t work at all in 3D stereo, or because animations that worked smoothly for 24 fps created madness and hell in 60fps. 3D stereo has different requirements to the source material than normal 2D video has – for instance DoF that is used to guide focus in 2D needs to be toned down a lot for 3D because people need to more freely be able to chose where to put their focus when they view the scenery in stereo to make it believable. Similarly, motionblur works differently for 60fps movies compared to 24fps movies. Even just rendering in 4K by itself puts some nasty requirements on the processing power and storage required for handling and working with the movie: the final output was around 3TB of raw EXRs but intermediate representations used up a disk footprint of almost 35TB (raid and backups included).
Blender Foundation originally made the movie available under the CC-BY license and this new modified version that goes under the codename “Sunflower” is being made available under CC-BY as well – including .blends, EXRs, PNGs, MP4 files and much more. There’s a couple of less popular file formats (like 4K anaglyph) still encoding but the rest is all here.