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Tutorial: Blend That Film Episode 1 - Cloning


Blend That Film is a new show on how to use Blender as a tool for low budget film making. The entire show is produced using Blender and is a one man effort. Tom Jelfs is looking to teach you that you don't need to shell out for expensive compositing packages like Adobe After Effects to achieve effects that you can easily produce entirely with Blender.

Episode 1 - Cloning focuses on compositing of live camera footage and doing the masking with the RotoBezier add-on tool.





  1. I believed that studio in the background was real until I saw the pixelated edges around his body. :P Nice job! It was very informative. I've been trying to convince people for a long time that Blender is just as good (if not better) as after effects in VFX.

  2. Really informative tutorial - perhaps a little fast for new blender users. Perhaps you should link to some of the getting started pages that are around for Blender to bring people looking to switch from their current pipeline up to speed.

  3. Blender is different than After Effects. There isn't really a need to compare them because Blender is node based and After Effects is layer and timeline based. They do different things well. After Effects would be my go to for compositing muzzle flashes and explosions and for greenscreen work. Blender is my go to for 3d into live action compositing.

  4. Great. Thanks.

    I have a question though:

    at around 4:51 we add a rather detailed spline to the hand and pen. At around 5:00 there is this huge mask all around. This huge mask is use to create the final clip in the compositor. In the finished clip the pen and the hand are, I think, also using the detailed spline. How did it work with such a huge mask? How many splines can I add to do the rotoscoping that way?

    BTW: I didnt notice the virtual studio. I thought it was real. I did notice his sudden dresschange though :). I'm very eager to see more info on doing film stuff. Thanks.

  5. As some of you may have read from me in previous postings, I think Blender should compete head to head with the two best 3D apps Max, and Maya. I've even had numerous people debate me on that subject, although I never understood why anyone wouldn't want Blender to be the best. But I have to interject a little reality into this Blender versus AE discussion.

    After Effects has literally hundreds of built-in, and third-party effects. Blender really has almost none. Anyone who thinks Blender can really compete in that area doesn't own AE.
    I do like node-based compositting, so Blender does have a good design, and as I pointed out in my lengthy tutorial series, 'Rotoscoping in Blender', here:, there are some things you can do in Blender, but it's not always easy.

  6. Great vid. a little fast, I'll have to watch it a few more times to get some of the finer points, but I'm looking forward to more tutorials.

  7. To think Blender can compete with AE is to be honest an expression of not knowing AE.

    To make Blender similar to AE it needs first:

    - On-screen motion path
    - Pixel Perfect positioning of objects/textures
    - Accurate realtime on screen rendering of textures like in Gimp
    - Realtime output of the compositor node into the camera view
    - And Plug-Ins

    The complete workflow in Blender is not build for the work you do in AE.

    But this does not mean you cannot use Blender for motion graphics at all
    but it is not an AE clone.

  8. You are standing out from the crowd.
    I was never really interested in compositing with Video as nobody
    did a clear and comprehensive tutorial about it
    But you made that first tutorial short sweet and to the point
    with a nice final result.

    I will definitely give that a go.

    Keep it up.

  9. It would be great if you'd provide the footage (image sequence) and/or blend file on dropbox or some other file site so we could try it out ourselves.

  10. It's funny how simple you made it. I was assuming that you'd outlined the woman and created an animated matte of her (including that nasty soft, feathered section at the end of her hair) and used that to cut her out of one clip and composite over the other. Just keeping the camera locked and only worrying about where they overlap is brilliant! As others have said, I love how clear and succinct you kept it while still having great production values. Great work!

  11. @Christian Lehmann

    He used keyframes to animate the mask so that it moved with the actor in the scene. That makes it easy to have 2 clones occupy the same spot on the screen at different times. I agree that he went a little fast, but I for one did notice the CGI studio (it looked just a little too smooth to be really real to me). Still, a wonderful job, and way better than anything I've done in Blender. Looking forward to the next episode!

  12. @cekuhnen

    Surely this is not about competing as open source software could probably never compete with those high profile commercial software given the budget, time, & professionalism. I'm sure most of us realized that. However, the competitiveness is mostly technical. With clever use, end results can be just as good.

  13. Nice tutorial. I will say at first I thought if a one man out fit could work in a studio that big and "CLEAN", was amazing till I saw the computer screen jitter @ 0:22-23. then I thought that it was nice to see I am not the only one who is stuck in a small space.

    Great tut by the way. I am happy to see how efficiently blender handled this type of work, as I assumed that it would take a whole lot more work to get done. NICE!

    Your approach could have bee slowed down a little as other have said, because if one is just starting out they would have had a hard time to follow.

    Blender vs. AE is a joke sorry. You can do similar things with each program, but it is not realistic to say that blender can compete with AE. Just my experience. But they do work beautifully together and I think that if blender could get tighter integration with AE as C4D then we would have a winning combination for small studio set ups.

    The mango project though I am sure will give blender greater abilities in compositing and VFX so I look forward to the future of Blender as a good all round tool. Blender is really a Jake of all trades but a master of none, in my opinion. Still great work man. Look forward to hearing more from you. :)

  14. I'm adding a "keep on with good work comment"!

    This is awsome, this is needed, this is well explained and perfectly done.



  15. Note: It's not just a question of white balance that the lighting on both scenes didn't match. It's also (and primarily) a question of exposure (determined by the combination of lighting, aperture, shutter speed and gain). Note most consumer-grade video cameras (e.g. my Canon HF100) do not have a manual mode (although some might have exposure locking) so getting the same exposure in both scenes requires fiddling with the exposure compensation. Video-capable DSLR cameras (such as my Canon EOS 550D, or the more expensive 5D mark II) often have this feature.

    Other than that, good tutorial.

  16. Aldi,

    in certain areas sure in all with the same working speed I do not think so.
    At the end Blender itself matures more and more and gets more powerful
    and thus can do tasks you do not really need AE for leaving AE or Maya etc
    more to those tasks Blender simply cannot serve.

    This is also Blenders entry ticket into the pro market.

  17. I am glad more people are starting to use blender's compositing. I am excited for project London, but it would have been cool for it to have been composited In blender too.

  18. Thanks for the video tutorial.  I have been using Blender now for over ten years and am just now getting into using it for video.  Your tutorial was very good but I had to watch it over and over to pick up on all the info that you presented.  Even had to stop the video over and over just to make notes on what you were talking about and not miss anything.  My suggestion in future videos is to simply slow down your presentation.  It was just way to fast to get it all the first time out.  Other than that I look forward to being able to create what you have shown me here.  Keep at it.  It's good stuff.  

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