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Durian update: 150 submissions, and DivX is main sponsor


durian_logoTwo great Durian updates just came in: they've received almost 150 submissions - 100 more than for Big Buck Bunny. I guess that participating in a Blender Open Project is gaining more and more attention in the CG world!

Also, DivX will become the main sponsor of the project. Among other things they'll assist in the online distribution of the movie which is no small feat. Before you ask: I'm pretty sure the Blender Foundation will also make the movie available in non-proprietary formats ;-)


About the 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 ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.


  1. As long as the assets are available, and there is the option to have it encoded with open format, there should be no problems.

    The advantage of having DivX to distribute the movie, it's that it has more chances to be seen all over the world, as DivX is well known (and not only because it allows people to store pr0n) compared to format like .ogg and others (What's X264?).

    Heck. There should even be a version in quicktime format that could be downloaded on iTunes directly to your iPod/iPhone (like the free shorts from Pixar)

  2. tyrant monkey on

    One good thing about using divx that I personally will appreicate is that most modern dvd machines play divx, I hate watching movies on pc, and prefer to do so on a tv

  3. X264 is an open source project aimed to provide the best mpeg4/h264 video encoder. And it IS the best available. You can use X264 for the web (flash player), for your ipod, psp, ps3 or wahtever.

  4. Keep in mind that the latest version of DivX encodes not only to H.264, but also within the MKV container. Given that I can sometimes settle for Open Standards if not Open Source, DivX is okay in my book.

  5. Love DivX!!! Great to see them contributing to this in such an awesome way!!!

    And 150+ submissions!!!! Wish I was one of them.... Maybe next project....... :)

  6. I'm not sure why people refer to anything h.264/mpeg4 related as Open Source, seeing as it's massively patent encumbered, those implementations violate them in territories with those patents, and we've already seen that the patent holders are sue-happy. I don't see how it can be considered an open standard when it's not possible to legally implement for many. There's a reason we push Theora.

  7. Can someone sell legally an animation he made when it is coded in DivX? Or rather he must pay for the standard?

  8. And (sorry for double post) it is legally to use without paying license fees for an example MPEG formats or other
    -non open- standards? Have someone experience with that matters?

  9. Not an expert on the subject, but I know there is an x.264 and a h.264. The general idea behind x.264 as I understand it was to remake the h.264 one (or something close to it) as open source.

    Something like that.

    As Ton pointed out though, the plan seems to be making many formats available, which was the same deal with Orange and Peach.

  10. @Jose Open source =! patent free. X264 is open source, of course x264 is using patented algorithms. Vorbis is probably the best audio encoder, but Theora, (the open source and (claimed) patent free video encoder from xyph) is far, very far to become a descent modern video encoder (in term of speed and quality ) probably because they can't use patented algorithm.

    Theora people are working hard on their encoder, but x264 people are also working hard (probably harder to be able to deliver a better encoder than giant companies such as sony, apple, or smaller one like nero or DivX)

    I'm for open software and open standards, X264 is heavily patent encumbered (I don't know if these patent are valid in my country) but it is open source and there is nothing else better, so I use it.
    Software patent is turd sandwich. X264 team have worked hard, not the Mpeg4 patent holders, and they can be proud to have coded such a great piece of software.

  11. @Ben H264/mpeg4AVC is a standard defined within the mpeg4 standard. X264 is the name of the encoder, it is h264 compliant. Just like DivX and Xvid are mpeg4ASP compliant.

    you can use any h264 compliant encoder, and read them with the same decoder. Just like the numerous mp3 encoders. (again the best mp3 encoder is an open source one : Lame)

  12. @Agile : probably depends of local jurisdictions, but if what you do with it remains private, you won't be in trouble.

  13. That was my point. it probably will not remain private, as I want to sell it online. In that case (it would be similar to
    mentioned before online distribution of Durian) it will take the air internationally on internet, so I am not going to bother from what country the users that download my creations will be. So, what standards are truly open and do not impose on me requirement to pay a fee for the company/organization that established the standard of coding???

  14. Given the number of people applied is far in excess of the number who will be accepted what do people think of having community contributions. For instance the Durian team has an idea that is shot down due to time constraints, could this then be released to a sub team to see what they can make of it. If it succeedsit could be added into the main project, making it even more awesome, if it fails no one has lost anything.

  15. @ Agile, I dont think on the user end it matters, now i could be dead stupid and not have a clue.

    What i thought was that when a format is not open it is more in regards to someone creating a application that uses that format or using that formats code to make another format would have to license or with the likes of flash, not.

    I dont think you have to pay a fee. But I would, if anyone want's to correct me, be interested in knowing i'm wrong.

  16. @ Tobin, Thanks for explanation!
    I also think that the format itself is the thing that is patent protected, not the use and commercial exploitation of files encoded in that format, for an example everyone that have on their commercial oriented websites
    .jpeg, .tiff, .png images or embedded flash files should pay a fee to a company that developed the file formats?
    Or we should take care of usage of formats that are encoded in Blender itself? - The movie in Blender can be saved in many formats, I hope that (according to the FAQ on main Blender site) the user can sell its creations and they are his sole property (and he/she can sell it freely) regardless of the format in which were encoded...

    And if the matter of licensing the format is on the program code side - The Blender is OpenSource, and its source code contain the procedures that allow to encode output in many file formats. So, it seems that this is legal too...
    Before the Blender became OpenSource it had these procedures, and was a commercial package - Then NaN company and blender developers were obliged to buy a license for use the file formats in their source code?

  17. @Agile : To Decode or Encode a proprietary format, you have to be licensed by the patents holders (like Microsoft, MPEGLA, Via Licensing, Dolby, Thomson Fraunhofer. ), usually you are licensed when you buy a software form a company who itself is licensed by the patent holders.
    But when you use open source software, you are not directly licensed, so you have to deal with le patent holders.
    It's a problem for Linux distributions, they can't include proprietary codecs in all countries due to patents laws.
    That's why Fluendo exist :

    Patents sucks indeed.

  18. heh, 264 like my name :D

    anyways, its great to see so many people are confident in their blendering abilities that they're ready to take on a large scale project in comparison to making an animation at home on your own. Good stuff!!

  19. @krs: I think the x264 VS Theora position has changed a lot in the past few months. I think the claim about Theora being very far to become a descent modern video encoder might be outdated.

    I'm no expert in the field so I will just refer to this comparison:

    and to this long thread about the topic:[email protected]/msg08335.html

    In any case. Good news for the Durian project, I'm happy this model of animation production is gaining traction. We will all be thankful for it due to the freedom of the content and the advancements in the techniques/projects involved.


  20. Tom (not Ton) on

    Great to hear. Sponsorship and submissions. Should be fun to watch it come together.

    3DMAGIX- sigh, that didn't last long.

  21. Tom (not Ton) on

    @ Wookie1 That's a pretty cool idea...maybe an "unofficial" sequel team could collaborate worldwide from home. That'd be pretty interesting.

  22. All of these formats confuse me as well.

    I'm still looking for a well encoded, high as possible res copy of Elephants Dream that will work on my iPhone, as that is what I always have on me.

  23. I hope DivX doesn't try to push their new DivX 7 format, which 90% of current DVD players can't use. That would be as useful as putting it back on VCR :-)

    It would be nice to have a video encoding session during the upcoming Blender Conference, maybe even by the DivX guys.

  24. Would love to have worked on this project. Unfortunately/Fortunately my wife and 5 month old baby would have missed me had I been accepted.
    Good Luck. Can't wait to see how Blender/the community benefits.

  25. I hope that divx does push Divx 7. Forcing h.264 and mkv support on dvd players. Now that would be a good thing right. They need to be Divx certified, so this is a great way to push the standard.

  26. @Wookie1

    What I would love to see would be more ability for the community to help out in the minor bits and pieces of the main Durian movie. For example, have the concept artists post sketches of background items that would be useful, then the community is given somewhere they can upload meshes and textures. Any that are good enough can be selected to be used in the movie.

    By having everyone working from the main concept art, you keep the unified style. By giving the team to choose which parts they want, you ensure quality. By allowing hundreds / thousands of community members to contribute (even if you only use 1% of contributions) we could achieve a level of detail and epic scale that would be very difficult for a handful of artists alone.

  27. i agree someone should set up a site for contributing ideas to the project
    that may or not be used in the upcoming film
    that would create a real feeling of an open community working together in an open source project

  28. It's good to see a little interaction between the opensource and commercial world.
    It's all to easy to become biased and limit yourself in ways you dint need to.
    Does anyone know if there will be 4k

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