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Video: Battle


By Jean-Gabriel Loquet from the French Blender studio Onirixel. I talked to him about this project.

Are you the dancer? :)

Ah no, no. I couldn't dance for my life. Two dancers were involved on this project : TimBot for video and Adil for mocap.

Which elements the video are CG? Just the dancing robot?

Yep, only the dancing robot. The other robots are the fantastic props of Elie Cinqpeyres from Mix'Art Myrys, the set is Mixart's warehouse.

Can you tell us something about the motion capture process?

Well first thing is : if you want to send mocap body sensors flying into walls and ceiling, trying to record breakdance action is probably one of the most efficient ways.

The import into Blender was seamless and just pure happiness.

Actually; it was both fun and painful. Fun because the process is still amazing to me, and the import into Blender was seamless and just pure happiness. Painfull because the breakdance moves were really tough on the system, which was the magnetic kind : very noisy and glitchy. Biggest trouble was the actual floor level which was not sensed at the same height for each hand and foot. Most mocap was unusable without days of post-processing, so we had to fall back to the old CMU database to complement our own data.

Any other background info about this project?

Yes ! This project was made for fun, and for showing-off at a business event in Toulouse, France, called "La Nuit des Réseaux" : it was screened in front of 600 people last week. Most kinda liked it, some weren't looking in the screen's direction ;)

It was a no-budget-no-time project, as it kind of shows through. Concept, mocap, shooting, vfx and postproduction : all was done in two weeks and on top of our regular work.

The whole thing was done in Blender : modeling, animating with the cool new mocap tools, and camera tracking with the Tomato branch. I would have rendered the vfx with cycles but the schedule being so tight I didn't have time to go all the way around it and eventually relied on Luxrender which is excellent and that I know better. Video filtering, editing, and color grading : all was done in Blender.

I'll try and make a small making-of video in the next few weeks.

I'm happy we managed to come up with something complete and watchable on time, but also a bit frustrated we didn't have time to deliver something more polished.

Please tell me something about your studio, Onirixel

Onirixel is a small (and very young) CGI Studio in Toulouse, France, a gathering of freelancers.

Just a word on Onirixel to finish : we are a small (and very young) CGI Studio in Toulouse, France, a gathering of freelances. We do still images, 3D animation shorts, vfx, motion design, video postprod and interactive 3D. We use only Blender for production, and open source render engines.

I'd like to take this opportunity to once again thank the BF and Blender developpers for their amazing work.

Thanks for watching (and reading). I'm gonna go and try to learn breakdancing now..

About 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 ;-)


  1. Very cool indeed. I'm itching to get into camera tracking...just not enough hours in a day to do it all :) Thanks for sharing!

  2. you guys should give a tutorial on this with does and donts
    and how people setup a makeshift mocap at home
    It would be awesome to mocap at home on budget with blender

  3. i think the japanese automobile industry will be very dissapointed at their robots that can only dance like a robot ... while blender robots dance like a dancer ... hahaha : ) 

  4. Toulouse powwaaa ! Good job Jean-Gabriel.
    just a thought and little critissism here and there : I found dangerous to use a so reflective shader for the robot.Also robot with white point and black point get a bit too contrasted in the compositing :)

  5. I think it's awesome and perfect until 1:09, after that the robot does seem to lose touch with ground/ sink in sometimes.
    Great work, great music n dancing!

  6. Jean-Gabriel LOQUET on

    Thanks a lot for all the cheer guys ;) !

    I really, really know it's very far from perfect, but it's the best we could come up with before the deadline.

    @3d9c55bec81828de1f746b4b429a4be2:disqus : I'll make a short making of in the next few weeks ;)

    @185a2f1f08a5459e3418a1fc0b079844:disqus : yeah, Toulouse pawah :D !! I agree with you about the reflective surface, I originally aimed for something more diffuse but it was too noisy and took too much time to render (no time to do it at home and no budget for a renderfarm) so I had to tradeoff between compositing and rendering time and a more reflective surface was one solution .. but it was indeed hard to composite .. 

    @69c5e22ce366d3225bc977fa534b4b77:disqus : that's true, it's because of the mocap bad floor reference we didn"t have time to fix :/

    Thank you all and keep on blending ;) !


  7. Lawrence D’Oliveiro on

    Just to compare how far things have come, go back and watch the original “Jurassic Park” movie from 1993. That used a mixture of CGI and models for the dinosaurs, and for the most part, it is easy to tell which is which, because the CGI animals simply do not behave as though they are subject to gravity.

    The first thing that struck me about the video above is that the robot is very much moving under gravity. That’s how realistic it is. And it wasn’t done on a 60-million-dollar budget. :)

  8. Nabil Stendardo on

    Interesting. Would be even more realistic if the reflections on the robot actually "reflect" the environment rather than just white light.

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