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New Free Software Foundation video made with Blender

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Bassam Kurdali and Fateh Slavitskaya  created the new promo video,'User Liberation', for the Free Software Foundation.

We partnered with Urchin Studios to make this animated introduction to free software. Urchin made the video with all free software. People have been looking to the FSF for thirty years for explanations about the importance of free software. We want to make more videos like this, and other materials, but they cost money. If we meet our annual fundraising goal of $525,000 by January 31st, you can be sure there will be more great projects to come in 2015.
This is the biggest fundraising week of the year, and we still have a ways to go if we are to meet our goal by January 31st. Please show your love for this video by making a donation or becoming a member today.

Of course, you're encouraged to download and share this video! (see page below for links)

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.

15 Comments

  1. I really like the visual style. Especially the car brake light streaks and how they included parts of its own production process into the actual video. Very meta.

    As someone who has been part of the free software/open source community for nearly 20 years now, I consider Blender to be one of the top 5 most successful open source projects ever with one of the best communities. Kudos to all of you because you all help make that happen.

    • To me, Linux and Blender are the top most amazing software produced by the open-source world. It's hard to say which is more impressive than the other... since one is a huge quality OS, and the other a commercial grade 3D animation program with nearly every feature you could want.

      • I struggled to play this openly encoded WebM video on my iPad for 30 minutes before giving up. I was thinking how this wouldn't be such a problem on Ubuntu. ;)

  2. Beautiful work, absolutely loved this! Free software is slowly starting to replace proprietary software everywhere... and maybe someday, FOSS music and movies (like those made with Blender) will replace Hollywood's stuff too!

    • I'm not sure why FOSS would have to replace Hollywood stuff, rather than just complement it. No more than how indie games isn't erasing the major game companies--they just offer an alternative that complements the other option.

      Though, I'm not sure just where exactly FOSS is slowly replacing proprietary software "everywhere," either. I mean, I like FOSS and its growing support, but let's not our support of FOSS exaggerate our view about it here.

      A relatively small percentage of studios out there use FOSS in a predominant way. We're simply seeing more smaller companies emerge, who use FOSS more. But they're not replacing the bigger companies--they're just co-existing next to the larger companies.

      I use Blender daily, I love Krita, and I think Natron's showing some promise, but still, we're without any true open-source alternative for ZBrush, Marmoset Toolbag, Unreal Engine 4, Keyshot, Substance Designer, MARI--just a few other tools that I or my colleagues use daily. Again, Blender is a complement--not a replacement.

      Blender is gaining more respect, particularly among smaller studios on a budget, but it's still, most studios (large and small) aren't giving up Maya and Max anytime soon--Blender doesn't carry all the latest file format support and compatibility with industry standards as of yet.

      Where FOSS gains an advantage is that is does allow more kinds of people a shot at creative direction. It does offer the world more opportunities to see more people having access to creativity, which means we will see some impressive things sometimes.

      But still, most of our community are amateurs, at best, and FOSS itself isn't becoming the software that's "replacing" the industry standards. It's just another option, one that relatively few people will make the best use of--just like in Hollywood.

      • Mircea Kitsune on

        It's not completely replacing it, especially not anytime soon. I just feel that FOSS software gained more attention and respect over the last few years. Like professional software groups often opening up their software (even Notch wanted to open-source Minecraft if Microsoft didn't buy it), Steam getting Linux support, many prestigious servers using Linux, etc.

        Overall you're right though: There is a lot of both open-source and closed-source out there. Just that IMO, the balance has gotten somewhat better recently. And if it's happening for software, maybe someday (20 or so years) there will be a transition for media as well... like some Creative Commons movies being played in theaters.

  3. Decent animation, in terms of animation. But frankly, as much as I like FOSS, this was sheer propaganda.

    Back in the older times, the code to computer programs were pretty openly shared, but truthfully, companies starting locking the software to their own work--not so much the work of others.

    Some companies might have exploited some work, mainly by copying work into their own work. But generally-speaking, your work was your work, and that's always been the law of the land. If you created a program, and if you wanted to lock the source code away, there was no crime in doing such.

    There was never anything to stop people from freely sharing whatever they wanted to freely share--GNU was born to preserve what was already happening. If you owned the work, you could do whatever you wanted with the work.

    You could make it proprietary and you could go with an open-source route--nobody's forced you to take one or the other. The only problem is, when proprietary software grew in popularity, they worked with other proprietary software and grew as a commercial-ready option.

    Most people simply didn't (and still don't) want to deal with the hassle of source code. They want a ready-made, GUI-based, tidy solution. People had a right to offering COTS (commercial off-the-shelf software) just as much as people had a right to offering FOSS.

    • I love FOSS, but sometimes, all the agenda-pushing and politics surrounding it gets is a bit too much. FOSS isn't some savior to the freedom of mankind. It's simply an alternative--a nature of alternative that's always been possible.

      Nothing commercial has ever been hindered the nature of people simply releasing their own work freely and openly. It's made it harder to use FOSS at work, but still, streamline commercial solutions have changed the world, just as much as anything FOSS wants to claim.

      Without COTS, we'd have no GUIs, which were born out of a natural need for everyday users who didn't want to deal with typing in command lines all the time. Even most FOSS operating systems today have taken on GUIs. COTS pioneered many functions we now take for granted as simple and standard.

      Competition drives the bulk of innovation, and the "competition" between COTS and FOSS is no exception. As much as people like to vilify COTS, even FOSS owes a great deal to what innovations COTS brought the world--and vice versa.

      The solution here isn't for FOSS organizations to villainize the nature of COTS, but rather just talk about the history from both perspectives. COTS has seen its positive and negative moments, but so has FOSS.

      • Harry Underwood on

        The key difference is this: while COTS' positive and negative moments in profitability are directly related to whether it can be available to the public at all (binary or source), FOSS' positive and negative moments are not. And thank goodness we have that separation in FOSS.

  4. Bassam Kurdali on

    Wow, nice to see this here! Funnily enough I was just about to post this when I saw it already up. Great work Blendernation and happy 2015 to all!

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