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Blender on the History Channel

19

boardgirl.jpgWe received many reports on the appearance of the Skategirl demo on a show called 'Modern Marvels' of the History Channel. As it happens, at Siggraph we ran into Randall Rickert, a Blender user who currently animates for the History Channel. As a former NaN employee he was one of the creators of Skategirl, so I figured I'd go ahead and ask him if he knew anything about this.

Randall writes:

It was pure coincidence that the production company that hires medssd made a Modern Marvels episode interviewing a researcher who used the Skategirl demo in his research. The producers wanted to show the real-time animation the researcher was using, and asked who made it so the creator could be contacted for permission to show it on TV. The researcher told the producers that the creator was someone named Randall Rickert, but he had no idea how to contact this person. I was not working on that episode, but I had worked with one of the producers on a previous one, so she recognized my name. She called me on the phone, very excited to ask me about my 3D content being used for research into brain waves for computer input. I had no idea it was being used that way, so I was as surprised or more so than she was.

I told the producer to contact Ton, since the content had become the property of NaN Holding b.v.. According to Ton, The Blender Foundation had a license to use the content to promote the Blender software, so the production company simply had to include a mention of Blender in the credits. They said they would also included my name and I asked them to include Reevan McKay as well, because he created the excellent character.

Your readers might also like to know that this was not the only Blender content seen on The History Channel. I believe I currently make 20% or so of all 3D animation for the Modern Marvels series, which is the most popular series on The History Channel, as well as an occasional special (single episode, often longer duration). I use a variety of software, but I use Blender more than any other.

As others reported, this researcher was working on a brain-to-computer interface and he was using his brainwaves to control the Skategirl. We're trying to get in touch with the researcher who is mentioned above. When we do, we'll report on how Blender is being used in his work.

About Author

Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-)