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The Story Behind the France2 Christmas Animation


Geraldine Karolyi has an inspiring story to share about the creation of the amazing Christmas animation that featured on French National Television.

Geraldine writes:

I would like to tell you that this project was a really amazing experience.

If you have time, let me tell you about the whole story (sorry in advance for my bad english)

Everything began 2 years ago, when I was asked by a production company to create and to direct the new Christmas design for the main national channel in France: 'France2'. I asked my favorite animator Cédric Hansen to work with me. We were very used to do broadcast design for TVs, but both of us have always wanted to do 'real' 3D animation. That was a great opportunity: Cédric told me he would make it with Blender, even if he was just a "beginner" with this software.

The producers gave us very little money, and let us alone to do everything, just the two of us (!!!)… we had very bad moments, but still a very high motivation! We worked night and day: I wrote the scripts and designed the characters, while Cédric gave life to all this: what a terrific feeling it was...

The result was great: this was the first 2009 version and we were happy about it (but no comparison to this second 2011 version!!).

In Autumn, France2 called me back, but then they asked whether my own company, 17mars, could produce it. I was so proud! I decided to invest a lot in the project to get the best image. Cédric, my artistic director Brice Boisset, and I, had to form a team very quickly: but we didn't know any professionnal working with Blender!

After some email exchanges, we luckily met Michaël Guédon (Blender clan) who introduced us to other Blender men : Dono, Paul Sajzner and Denis Parrot. We really appreciate this community: everybody was very enthusiastic, worked a lot, with passion, during 2 months.
This year, we were 7 instead of 2!!!

I am very proud: proud to have worked in a great state of mind, and proud of the result! But that was also a team work and in this respect I'm also proud to be a producer who prefers to pay the appropriate people to get a good result rather than to earn more money.

I hope we'll manage to develop animation, this is our ambition. We plan to produce a short film/series for TV, and I hope this experience will help us. I'll go back to the channel in January to plan all that, and try to get some money…

That's was a Blender story… I hope it is not the last one.

_Geraldine Karolyi

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


  1. Impressive work ! Thanks for sharing.... Is it planned to do like a making of ? (I think that the entire blender community could use your feedback) ?

    Congrats again for the work and for this first (I hope of many) ad done with Blender for a National TV!

    Ps : Je suis juste déçu de ne pas avoir pu la voir en direct... :'(

    • ça passe a l'antenne jusqu'au 3 janvier si je dis pas de betises, faut regarder avant 8h parcequ'apres il n'y a plus de pub...
      Donc , tout n'est pas trop tard...

  2. Nadir BOUCHERIT on

    Superbe travail ! Merci de l’avoir présenté… et de
    provoquer ainsi des réactions.

    J’ai connu Blender, cela fait plus de deux années. En fait j’ai
    découvert avec la 3D. L’enfant qui sommeille en moi s’est vu capable de faire
    des dessins animés. Mais l’austère adulte que je suis devenu s’est résolu à
    faire des simulations de réactions chimiques et d’interfaces solides/liquides.
    En effet j’illustre mes cours sur la corrosion par des animations Blender. Cela
    impressionne mon auditoire, mais ça ne me comble nullement. Je veux toujours faire
    un court-métrage artistique et de qualité. Est-ce si difficile ? Quelles
    sont les étapes clés ? Existe-t-il des réseaux de collaboration à travers
    le net ?


    Nadir d’Algérie,

    • Nadir, si tu est intéressé, j'ai crée un petit espace Algérien pour la communauté Geek algérienne, la bas tu pourra échanger, discuter, et s'amuser... en parle de Blender souvent et plein d'autres choses... c'est un groupe sur facebook:

      Soi le bienvenu :) !

    • Yeah, me too. It's interesting that the people who apologize for bad english usually have better english than some native english speakers.

  3. Lol my inglish is bad too.. but hem! ..
    Thank you Géraldine for your ambition and the big work you ever done. Your work is near the fondation do (Elephant ream, Cintel, Big buk bunny) and i'm shure this vidéo and your futurs movies will be fine at all (je rajoute des fins de mots que je comprends à peine LOL). Thank's for all and for the good moment passed at looking this Beautifull vidéo.
    A spécial thank to Mickael (bibi chef Lol). ++

  4. To all the French commenters: thanks for your enthusiasm, but please be so polite as to not only reply in French. Please remember that this website is in English, and always provide a translation. Thanks!

    • I'll start the process (colloquially):

      @3895e8b00a0f473361efeab0bafef17e:disqus : " Ps: I'm just disappointed I can't see them on air ... : '(

      @3fe9582a92e68c546b1cd43f477b5249:disqus  :   They're on on the air until January 3, if I'm right.  See them before 8am because afterwards there will be no more pub ...
      So, it's not too late [email protected]:disqus :Great job!  Thanks for presenting it and ...  getting reactions.
      I've used Blender for over two years.  I discovered it when I discovered 3D. The child in me wanted to animate cartoons, but the sober adult I became needs to simulate chemical reactions and the solid / liquid interface.  Indeed I illustrate my lectures on corrosion with Blender animations.  It may impress my audience, but it doesn't satisfy me.  I would like to make a short film with high production values.  Is it so hard?  What are the key steps?  Are there any appropriate networks on the net?

      Thank you,

      Nadir from Algeria- and that's all I've got time for at the moment.  If someone would like to correct any of the above, feel free.  I've tried for colloquial english rather than a strict literal translation.

      • Here's some more.  I hope the formatting works better this time!

        @5c5604f262b958bcb65cb22d61a84d34:disqus Nadir, if you're interested, I created a small area for Algerian geeks, where you can share, discuss, have fun ... talk Blender and other things too ... it's a facebook group:

        You'd be welcome:)!
        like [email protected]:disqus : Frankly, it rocks.  Blender on national television, [email protected]:disqus : wow!great story ... bravo!beautiful example of motivation ... I'll have to get moving too, it will be my resolution for 2012!

      • Rude, really? It certainly wasn't intended that way, and if I re-read my comment I can't find anything rude about it. Maybe it's a language thing.

        Still, this is an English website, I expect people to respect that.

          • I didn't say you disrespect the site. You're missing something in the translation, I'm afraid. The issue is that this is an international community, and by replying in French you make it impossible for other people to join in the conversation. That's why I have to insist on using English.

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