You're blocking ads, which pay for BlenderNation. Read about other ways to support us.

Sintel Documentary


Ali Boubred, an independent film maker from Amsterdam, has followed the Sintel team for well over a year, and witnessed them on their good and their bad moments. The result has been compiled into a fascinating hour-long documentary that is included in the Sintel DVD set. Ali has now also published the documentary on YouTube:

About the Author

Avatar image for Bart Veldhuizen
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. A well put together documentary. Thanks Ali.
    Re Sintel it is slightly disappointing to hear that once again not settling into a workable script was a cause of significant time slippage. Also that the detail was overly ambitious for the resources. I wont pretend to say this is anyones fault or I could do better but surely to focus on something quite simple but achievable and then to add extra detail if there is time is preferable than to be complex and open ended leaving you trying to get enough finished so that the audience can understand the story.
    I hope it can work better next time. :)

  2. I watched this on my dvd too. I really like the documentary. Maybe even more than Sintel. Maybe because the documentary didn't make me cry :P. Even though i know that was what your goal was.

    definitely worth watching.

  3. @Big Fan

    I agree with you. I am not a big fan of this recent film for various reasons and feel that personally Big Buck Bunny was much satisfying as a film.

    Does anyone know if BBB suffer from any of the same issues that Sintel had to overcome?

  4. From what I saw in this documentary the ambition for Sintel was way over the top.
    Big fight scenes, fantastic concept art for a whole city etc, incredible character and prop detail, layered and complicated/deep epic story. However people also not getting stuck in...conflicting aims and interpretations...changing content... uncertain style..scrapped shots, reworked shots, added shots, extended shots...being distracted and demoralised with technical criticism from the community while under stress...the difficulties of unfinished software
    It was never going to happen...someone should have culled all this unrealistic stuff early on.
    From what I can glean the movie was saved by the extra people who Ton roped in the final third of the time..
    Ton said elsewhere that it just takes time to get going but I dont know.. these other people arrived and got to work in 2-3 weeks so the months that evaporated beforehand are somewhat hard to excuse in retrospect. Like ED, Sintel ultimately struggled to tell a story and after seeing this documentary you can see why. The art, music and the animation was of a fine standard but the story was very nearly failed to be told from the remnants of the foundering ambitions.
    I am trying not to be harsh but I think the overall strategy needs a review. The focus was far too wide and deep for the scale of the resources. These are short movies on a budget and people should frame their undertaking in that regard.
    I 'm not sure the community or the Dutch Film people would be that receptive of another one of these projects that somehow for one reason or another dont quite fire properly.
    Still well done everyone involved. Your hard work is appreciated and thanks again to Ali for the documentary. :)

  5. There was a story? :)

    'Being harsh' is just honesty. There's no crime in that. We all want Blender to do well.

    Technically, these films (elephant, bunny, sintel) all showcase Blender well ...but Blender is not being promoted as well as it could be with these poorly executed stories. I certainly do not want to belittle the artists that poured so much effort into these but the stories seem really immature. For most people, the films are not worthy of being watched more than once.

    Filmmakers are successful by studying STORY. These films look like they have been inspired only by studying video game play and simepl-minded action/effects films that would entertain a 12-year-old boy. I'm hoping there is more maturity in the stories of future films.

Leave A Reply

To add a profile picture to your message, register your email address with To protect your email address, create an account on BlenderNation and log in when posting a message.