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

Interview: William Reynish, director of Whole


RenderStreet talks to William Reynish about Whole.

Sorin Vinatoru writes:

Recently graduated from The National Film School of Denmark, William Reynish released his bachelor film Whole, that took one year to produce. Marius Iatan got William to reveal the project’s spicy moments that were put together in an amazing interview on the RenderStreet blog;

Marius Iatan: How did your professional skills evolve up to directing animation films? What would you choose instead, if you had to pick a different path?

William Reynish: I was always into animation. I grew up drawing a lot, and I liked to act. Animation is the natural combination of those two things. I worked as a character animator on other Blender projects such as Big Buck Bunny and Sintel. An alternate career would be in software. I am passionate about software design.

Marius: How long did it take to create Whole and what were the project’s milestones?

William: From initial concept to final film, it took a year. We went through a process of scriptwriting that took probably three months. In the start, the story was supposed to be about Ayahuasca, the hallucinating drink of central America, but we found it was more interesting to use drumming, because we can recreate it on film better. We also changed the setting from a jungle in Ecuador, to a European city. This way, we get a greater difference between the two universes in the film, and most people relate more to the city too.

Then we went through a process of building puppets and models we used as a starting point for the 3D. For the models, we used to create 3D-printed character models which we built the environments around.

We then spent the next months photographing these sets and organising them, before mapping them into 3D using the UV-Project modifier in Blender. For rigging we used Rigify, Nathan Veghdahls’ excellent rigging system that comes bundled with Blender.

Next was animation, where we split up the shots between animators. Each animator made a list of shots he/she would prefer and then we divided up the shots so each animator got something they’d like. This went on for six weeks.

Then we went to rendering where we used RenderStreet’s rendering service. We went through and packed the files and readied them for the farm. We used the great Cycles rendering engine which is very easy to use and requires very little tweaking. We used the branched path tracer which is the only practical way to get clean results with SSS and volumetrics. As time went on, I got more used to how it works and how to set the samples correctly. This took some time to get used to after having used regular path tracing with only one sample setting.

Eventually we downloaded everything, and combined the shots in Blender’s VSE, and then exported it to grading.

On the side, our amazing sound designer, Philip Flindt worked on the audio side. There’s so much you can do with sound that tricks you into thinking there’s more in the film than there really is. It’s amazingly important, yet many animations and film only treat sound as an afterthought.

Read the full interview with William Reynish on the RenderStreet blog.


  1. A movie done in blender, and it has a story that is not total nonsense, looks visually good, and is well animated and edited?
    really, blender community needs more projects of this level.

  2. This image is an amazing render of a human face!!

    I must say it has some flaws and obvious non-photorealistic parts... But overall it is quite well done.

    Kudos to the artist!

    So let's read what the article says... hum... uh, oh... well, I'm sorry, folks... :-)

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.