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TOSMI - One Week of Training Already Gone


TOSMI LogoFive days have already gone by and the first TOSMI is near its end. But hold on tight, although its near its end, its far from over, just read how hectic it has been for the last 3 days.

Theodore started Wednesday morning with the hard task of getting the trainees to go from basic or no experience in animation to actually animate something and understand the concept behind it.

Theodore - AnimationOur setup was to have a first introduction to animation, covering the basics and then repeat the same steps but this time covering the more complex aspects of animation.

Theodore messed a bit with the array modifier and most of them were thrilled when playing with it. We could see it in their faces, they just loved what they were doing and many of them showed a big imagination.

I was quite thrilled with the results, (again) we got amazed at how fast our trainees could pick up the theory and apply it to practice. They had alot of time for practicing and although they wanted to stay longer after the training it was impossible because we had to attend to another event called Upgrade.

Upgrade! Sofia
Upgrade! Sofia We had to pack ourselfs after the training to get to another facility close by where we would present the work done in TOSMI, talk a bit about ourselfs and actually show (quickly) how Blender works.

When we arrived at the small amphitheater there was still no one inside and we were able to set things up and get ready.
Our thought was that this would be something small with 10 to 20 people audience, at most, but many more came.

After showing our work on TOSMI we asked for the audience to ask for something they would like us to show in Blender. The answer was a Character, specially the monkey we talked so much about.
Sanu modeling Upgrade! At this point Sanu just load Blender and in five minutes he had a low poly version of the monkey head done. Everyone was just amazed with it and Sanu thanked the crowed with his cool Indian accent.

The event finished and we got to talk to some of the audience and see their reactions. I was blown away when this guy comes to me saying that he works for Ubisoft and how he loved our presentation and Blender itself, and that he would definitely get into the game-engine to see how it works, so that he could improve it.

Sofia so far has been the place of surprises, who would have guessed ....

Materials, textures and the Gimp
Materials Another day, another session, this time Sanu explained materials, textures, uv-mapping and how to unwrap a mesh.
Of course, this couldn't finish without our good old friend GIMP. Sanu explained how you could use GIMP, how it differs from Photoshop and its interface.

Half of the afternoon was mine, I had the time to show the first session on Compositing, explaining the concept behind 3D compositing with Render Layers and Passes and also covering the nodes window, how it works and some examples.

We were really tired at the end of this fourth day and couldn't wait to get to bed. The Upgrade event and all the work started to drain our batteries, but there was still alot to come.

Audio and Video Editing
Foley with ardour At a more advanced stage now, the trainees got their first feeling with audio editing, using Ardour and JACK. I consider it one of the most funny session we had so far.
The main subject was foley, grabbing ordinary house equipment and just make it sound like something else.

In our animation we have a car moving across town, so we needed to get the sound of a car engine working, with this said, a vacuum cleaner provided us with enough audio we could play with.

After loading everything into Ardour and also using JAMIN for some tweaking we got the sound of a car that appeared like a ferrari, everyone laughed a lot with this and it helped us keeping the moral up.

Me and SequencerIn the afternoon was time for some video editing where I showed the Blender Sequencer and Theodore showed Cinelerra. Most of the trainees didn't really like Cinelerra because it was clumsy, heavy and also buggy ...

First conclusions
Our first conclusion so far is that perhaps Cinelerra shouldn't be part of our training, no one really liked it and even Jahshaka seems more stable and a better option at this point.


  1. Very good job guys! Maybe you should just stick with Blender for the Video Editing (VSE and Nodes). I wish I could be there to help! Did you use the audio in the car animation inside Blender to make a movie?

  2. @ROger: Not Yet , today is the session for assembling everything, seting up animation from start to finish. If we have time we may probably add the sound tomorrow, after we have the first renderings and they are post processed with the node editor.

    As for cinelerra , the main problem is that a trainee has to know really good how editing works and why cinelerra has such a quirky aproach into things. Also another problem is that it is better t compile it for your machine and configure it via the cmd line, so most of the trainees were having difficulty with it. Concerning the blender sequencer, it is I think a more capable and user friendly tool once you get the shortcuts of blender, but still understanding editing is a major hurdle before you can use it.
    We would like to thank all of the participants, for their enthusiasm, their constant intensive attention and for all the hard and difficult questions that kept pushing us to do more and really explain blender in a fundamental but not simplified way .

  3. @Roger:

    Also, isn't Blender only capable of outputting video and image files for animation purposes? You'd still need a program like Cinelerra or Jashaka to combine your audio with your video, I believe...

  4. ...and there are builds, that give you those in other apps, too.

    Oh, I wish, I was there!

    Foley must be VERY funny :D

    I didn't really get it:
    The guy from Ubisoft:
    Is it Sanu, or didn't you say the name?
    And he wants to join the developers of blender, to improve the game-engine, did I get it right?
    That would be great :D

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