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Video: Did it Done it


NeoGeo VideoGraphics is the company that created Blender. 15 years ago they created the following showreel - LONG before any of us ever even heard of Blender! What's your oldest work?

Joeri writes:

How long can you keep a tape in the garage?
Not too long. it will loose its color.
Showreel NeoGeo VideoGraphics.
For the blender fans: made by Ton, Frank, Joeri, Paul and Rob.
Made in 1996.

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. I remember this from the old Blender Tutorial Guide Cd-rom, which I believe you had a hand in writing, Bart! I still have my copy too. :P

  2. Amazing that not knowing that in the future blender will be born to served it true purpose as a free software.However it was made possible by all! "Happy birthday blender"!

  3. It seems a great moment to thanks everyone who has contributed to make Blender the great piece of software it is today.

    THANK YOU ALL!!!!!!

  4. Wow, this is really amazing!! I didn't know that there have been made such great animations in the very beginning of blender. It's creativity, which is much more important than tools and lots of features!

  5. Wow!! My first work was for my animation class three years ago in Maya 6.5. I was very proud of that, but every time I watch I see how simple and lame it was (the typicall bouncing ball, a small dome and a blue teddy bear-like caracther walking).
    A think it would be good to recover those old files, port them to Blender 2.5 and even re-render the scene or make a new version... just a though

  6. Cool demo reel. I remember some of those animations in TV shows, like the Beyond 2000 graphics. Didn't know they made those.

    If I could find it, I have a gears image that I made with software called Imagine from 1996. And I can't read them anymore, but I also have images I made with Turbo Silver 3 and Imagine from all the way back in 1990 on my Amiga. Unfortunately, Amiga disks can't be read by PC hardware. I think Turbo Silver 1.0 was the 2nd available 3d modeling/rendering software made for home computers.

  7. One of the first animations I did (I think around 2002) is actually still airing every night on television. The nightly Rosary on EWTN with Mother Angelica (which can be seen by most every human being on the planet with satellite TV) opens with my 3D rosary. I left Blender for years, but now I'm back. I'm loving 2.57.

  8. Nice!!! I have some really boring stuff from 1999, but nothing this nice, course I was using a DIFFERENT software package. I want to know how they did the head cut-away!! Is that an image map applied to the inside plane of the head?

  9. Groovy!
    When I first met Blender, I was able to carry it on a floppy disk!
    It was 1997.
    Before that I "worked" with Infini-D on a Mac, making a short animation that today would make me smile

  10. The oldest work I made in Blender and which I was able to locate on my HD is from March 29th, 2001. I'm shocked how far Blender has come in those 10 years.

    Sweet times...

  11. My first 3D animation was done in Maya, it must have been the late 90's. It was the seal spinning the ball on it's nose tutorial from the Maya literature, which I remember was like a set of encyclopedias. I have it on VHS here somewhere...

  12. this is 15 yrs old and i am ashamed of myself, well, just means I got to practice more and work harder at improving my skills, awesome video, i still have a floppy of blender 1.x somewhere in my desk along with tons of other stuff i wont throw away

  13. Great work and nice to see the initiation!
    I did my first animations 1988/89 for the "Eurografics Hamburg" but I have only bad VHS copies from that :-( (done with Symbolics, Even& Southerland, and Vax-Stations) Later some with wavefront on Iris. Oh dear, what a nice spirit that time... After 1993, by private reasons and bad market, I lost the "red line" and went back to traditional grafics. However: some year ago new steps with 3d: first with povray and then with blender, but no big projects for now. At this point: a very big THANK YOU for blender !!! I love it ! (and hope to make some great things with it in future)


  14. yes! I love this old showreels, they are funny from the point of what they
    show as state of the art and incredible awesome in the same time. Specially
    when you think about what hardware they where using.
    here is one of my favorites.

    I my self began with 3d studio 1.2 when I was 12 or so and my first
    animation was a u-bot in the underwater scene.
    I remember, I couldnt figure it out how to put the "bmp" =) sequence in to the avi file.

    Ps: check out how often they say - it's very intuitive and easy. I think, this is something we should not forget.
    (not just mentioning, but rather implement =)

  15. I've seen that before. Can't tell how long ago.

    Man, to think I've known about Blender and following it on and off, ever since before it's 1.0 release.
    And yet somehow I've never really gotten to explore it and actually finish a project. What a shame.

  16. Wow, the video is great! My parents gave me my first computer in 1996, ahaha, I did't know what 3D meant back then!!

    I done this 12 years ago, found it thanks to a super8 tape because that hard drive crashed.. . Older works are probably lost forever ( for the good of humanity and arts :P)

    @mastafrog: I think the link is wrong, youtube says malformed video id.

  17. I remember watching this in high school on their website back in 2005 when I first discovered Blender. Been an Blender Addict ever since.

  18. Gentleman German on

    Hah...totally remember this reel. Pretty sure I saw it in 2000 when I started with Blender. It is kind of amazing that certain parts of this reel still hold up today, and as a whole is a very solid display of what Blender could do back then. And here we are today, one company dissolve, one Open Source revolution and many GSoC's later, competing for top spot as an all in one solution, taking bits of Maya, Max and ZBrush and making them our own. Now even being used by SEGA for it's amazing node compositor.

    Raise your glasses to Blender, the little engine that could and in the hopes that someday it will become THE solution for production and video game companies alike. So much more cost effective and quickly becoming just as powerful.

  19. Really its a pitty that the old blend files are not laying around.

    Because that would be a challenge. Same setup 15 years go vs today.

  20. @oiaohm:
    I dont think the files would open.
    After NeoGeo the company NaN changed blender from 1.8 to 2.0. Focussed on game development.
    I'm a bit puzzled why 2.5 is not called 3.0.
    1.8 files could be opened in 2.04 but I doubt they would do well in 2.20. And 1.8 was already largely different from 1.48.
    I do have Morkramia2 and theRide files somewhere, but they don't open.

    Blender started on Amiga. It was than called Traces.
    Lots of things like F1 for loading and F2 for saving are intuitive for PaintDeluxe users.
    Ofcourse today most people have Microsoft intuition, where ctrl-v is the obvious choice for 'paste'.

    The head is a series of images texture mapped on lots of planes with a little distance offset.
    It was hand animated by Rob Haarhuis by moving the planes from layer to layer one by one, the images where provided by philips. Today this kind of animation is done by a machine like the MultiDiagnost Eleva itself.
    More cool rob stuff here :

    Cool. Creating blender we ( well Ton mostly ) also took a good look at TrueSpace.
    The whole "no buttons, no 4 split, work in space like you would with clay" idea in blender is from TrueSpace.
    I did wanted to work with poweranimator or maya 1.0, but it was as expensive as an sgi, and then we would have only 1 render license, but we would need at least 5.

    Yes the video is 15 years old, but the work you see is done by people who where using blender for at least a year and some for 5 years. Also, being in a company where you can ask the programmer what that button is suppost to do makes using it easier. Sometime Ton had to look in the code what the hotkey was for a feature that was not used for a while. And special needed features where written on site, with sometimes names that where made in the spur of the moment. Like slurphing. Slurp is dutch for sipping. I guess it was a nice name though, Bradley "GMUNK" Munkowitz is using the same name for the same effect

    Flying to earth in space was our #1 request we got from clients. That's why blender has a build in stars button.
    I even made a poly earth that was used over and over again. Later we got the textures. But today people just screen capture google earth :)

    thanks for posting Bart, nice to read the responses.

  21. Ah crappy 90s renders, they're so crappy

    My first works are tomb raider models made in metasequoia. They're gone now. first thing in blender was probably a fluid render.

  22. Most of performances in this show reel looks impressive for now days! I didn't thought that the first Blender had particles :)
    I think that it took to render not too much because some clips looks like it was made without RayTracing.

    @rorkimaru - maybe these renders looks old but it's not crappy! If you'll re-render some of them with modern builds and modern materials you'll find that it looks amazing but recognizable as those old short movies.

    Can somebody tell - is this NeoGeo the same company that created that awesome machines with arcade 2d games (mostly fightings)? I'm a big fan of these things :)

  23. Is the original master tape? Because the quality is actrually quite poor. I can do a much better digitization with my Xion digitizer.

  24. @olaf:
    The tape is a 15 year old vhs that i found in the garage. I dont think a better digitizer is going to help much. I also have a dv copy somewhere on a dvd that was taken from a betacam.
    But who cares? Maybe for the 25th birthday i'll try to find that in the big pile of move boxes on the attick.
    I also have some tapes from earlier wok that i want to digitize. But they are m1 tapes or something. Tapes that are not in a case or box... I have no idea how to read those.

  25. Outstanding animation for being done 15 years ago! My fist animation (which has long since been deleted) was of a spaceship flying through a city and was created using Caligari Truspace 2.0, I believe.

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