Blender – 15 Days Later – Open Source is Home

First question that most have is,

“What is open source? You mean free?”

Yes, it’s free and more.

Open source means that not only are you given the product, but you are given the blueprints as well. If you need to make changes, you have the ability to go in and change the software yourself (or find someone to do it for you). Thousands of copies/variations are out there floating on the Internet. Some flavours are simplified, some complicated, all are customized to various degrees. This means that even if you loose your copy of the product, another copy can always be found…    somewhere.


Web developers are very familiar with this concept, as may of their tools are open source. Some may use commercial software but, in the end, the media itself is open source. You only really need a text editor to do most everything for the web.

Some common things I hear whenever I mention Linux, Gimp, Blender or virtually anything that is open source:

“Because it’s free, it must not have powerful features.”

Over the past 6 years I have probably spent $15,000 on software. I own licenses to multiple versions of Photoshop, yet I still use GIMP because it loads super fast and I can install it on all my computers, or any machine I come to contact with (yes, it was me who installed it on your PC). There’s an unbelievable amount of online support from all over the world, and more tutorials than anyone could ever ask for.

“Linux is complex and the interfaces are confusing.”

Most open source software, in the beginning, can be pretty crude. That being said, most of my multimedia applications have been around for a decade or two, and most of this software is pretty finely polished nowadays. All the open source applications I use are MUCH simpler than the commercial counterparts. In many cases, this simplicity was the primary reason I migrated to many of the free tools. As an example, look at how effectively Blender lets me scale the entire interface. I’ve personally never seen something like this. As for Linux being crude, take a look a this UI demo.

“Gimp, Blender and other open software is buggy.”

I honestly don’t see a difference, though if someone twisted my arm… I would say that commercial software tends to crash more on me that the open source counterparts.  This could be due to the fact that most of my commercial software is on Windows (sorry Microsoft) and that Linux is known to be more stable and recover well from crashes.  Problems are bound to happen and, because open source can be altered, problems are never true show-stoppers. You are probably not alone if you are having trouble, so the answer is almost always already out there to be discovered.

“No professionals use open source software.”

Take a look at the following image.


Darwin by David Revoy

This was created by David Revoy, an artist that has been using open source software for 100% of his work. He uses GIMP, Krita, MyPaint, Blender, all running under Linux. While it used to be a pain to find compatible hardware for Linux…   it’s pretty simple nowadays. Personally, I find that nearly all my devices (including my Wacom drawing tablet) were working without having to download or setup drivers. Real *cough* plug-n-play.

David shares why he chose to go to open source, back in 2009.

Am I happy about this personal choice ? Yes 🙂 and I can without any remorse put my old software license in a box for long term storage, just to show to my ( hypothetic and not yet existing )  grant-children what were …. the proprietary 2D software I started with.

To become more familiar with David Revoy’s work, I highly recommend purchasing his “Chaos and Evolutions” DVD.  If you can’t afford the purchase right now, he’s made the video available on Youtube. He’s using some of the software mentioned above, including Alchemy (tool that Android Jones assisted the develop of).

As I mentioned before, I’ve easily spent $15,000+ on software over the past 6 years (since going independent). I’m putting energy into open source tools because of my own personal issues with licensing commercial software, as well as issues I’ve witnessed my clients struggling with.

I am not saying that commercial software isn’t needed, I’m just saying that it should not be the foundation of a creative production. If the core of a project is open source, this means that all the base products will be available to everyone on the project. If animators want to do a bit of audio testing with their animations, they have Audacity to do some light sound editing of their own.  If a project manager wants to make some slick diagrams in Inkscape, a tool is available to them without spending a few hundred on Adobe Illustrator.

Please keep in mind.  These software are not trying to clone commercial software applications. They have developed and grown over the years, based on feedback from users all around the world. There’s always a learning curve but, like when you learned touch-typing, you’ll be zipping along faster than before, once you get over the initial hump.

Not convinced? Perhaps you have preconceptions based on what you saw 5-6 years ago.  Well, I’m here to tell you that times have changed. Checkout Vimeo and Youtube for some tutorials and you’ll be amazed at what you find. If you’re fortunate enough, perhaps the Vimeo video has a “Download” option available. If that’s the case, then you can save a local copy and watch the video in VLC, where you can use the “[” and “]” keys to control the speed of the tutorial.  I typically run at 130-150% of normal speed.  😉

If you’ve got your checkbook out, you might want to support the current Krita Kickstarter. They’re planning on adding animation functionality, amongst other features.

Capturing Movement w/ Connections Overlayed

Was just introduced to this…

…and through watching this…

…am guessing they used Brekel and for sure they used Houdini.

Test Renders in Arnold / Maya

Some digital landscapes from Lee Griggs, rendered in Maya with the Arnold rendering engine.


A TON more can be seen here, just make sure and full-screen them.

Interview w/ Noah Bradley

Artist Noah Bradley says it’s OK to go to art school, but only if it’s free. He feels that the debt that art school creates for artists is hurting them. Artists don’t make a lot of money yet art school can be incredibly expensive. He has even refused teaching at universities, however he does perform online training classes. I came across this interview while reading a thread on creating art that impacts the world.

Inspiring Places to Live


I am going to need to invest in some more rope… and maybe a few sets of monkey bars.  See more at:

22 Dreamy Art Installations You Want To Live In.

thx Lainer!

Some more home improvement ideas via Jen Bobcat Conway!

Dog's home under the stairs

Yoga Like a Jedi


Yes, believe your eyes. The yoga art to trump all yoga pose charts. Scanning through the illustrations I thought, “This guy knows his yoga… and his Star Wars!” As it turns out, he really does. Rob Osborne was inspired to do this collection after practicing yoga for a few years himself. Looking at my blank walls, I see a great spot to fill in with some lines of action. Prints can be ordered on Etsy.

My Old Toronto Neighbourhood


Saw this post on a graffiti artist in Toronto. ANSER’s work in a few different spots on or around Sterling Rd. When I get a chance, I gotta find the photos of the other work he’s got hidden on Sterling.

Along with this, there’s a link to photos from inside the big abandoned building that was across the street for me. If I had known there was all this beaufitul art inside, I would have tried a little harder to get in. I think it’s an old GM building.

Detroit’s Lookin’ Good

A visit to a friend in the Fisher building, followed by a walk up Woodward to the Detroit Public Library.

Of all the libraries I’ve visited, this is my favorite. History with some some welcome upgrades.

Moments Gallery

Today we visited a new gallery downtown. I took some video, which I will have to re-record, as the location is pretty deserving of it.

An interesting story…

The owner used to own 18 Rogers locations. He sold them all, then went off to travel India for a year, collecting art. Now he’s slowing moving the art over here to a restaurant that he’s opening up. I expect there will be a more complete article coming in the future.

Burning Man Alternatives?

Can you really replace the salt flats, or the stationary art, or the mutant vehicles?  I’m really not sure, but certain variables have me considering alternatives to this…   alternative culture event. Last year was the first time Burning Man has sold out, which has had the organizers implementing a lottery system, which means that not everyone who wants to go, will get to go. I think this video summarizes most of my feelings pretty well.

A new friend of mine, that I met at a Decompression party here in Toronto mentioned Boom Festival in Portugal.

I was just told about the Lightning in a Bottle music festival in California, around May.

The Rainbow Gathering(s) which occur all over the world.

Another festiva-…er… “republic” that I have come across (thx Mackenzie) is called Kazantip and is apparently the largest rave in eastern Europe.

WHOAH… ok, that was NOT work-safe viewing. Also, not sure how comfortable I would be partying it up with a bunch of Russian mobsters.

There’s also Shambala, Ibiza, Movement in Detroit, the Winter Music Conference in Florida and others (that I’m either forgetting or haven’t yet discovered). However, I don’t expect to find anything that will compare to dancing on a two-story pirate ship while visiting 30+ foot sculptures in the desert. Though music can be a large factor in these festivals, there’s also something quite amazing about the absolutely silent locations you can find on the playa at Burning Man.

Oh boy… what to do. :\

Musically Drawing

Here’s one entertaining way to help train yourself to read music… as well as provide a little subliminal programming…?

Anomaly H2O – Digital Artist Gathering

This Saturday, Oct 30th CGMovement presents another Anomaly.

Anomaly H2O is a dynamic showcase of talented artists from across North America, a fusion of an art workshop and party that brings 2D/3D artists together to share inspiration and creativity. Come prepared, this event features some of the most talented artists, showcase live art demonstrations, and keynote speakers across North America. This is THE opportunity for artists mingle and exchange ideas from this lineup of artists as well as from everyone attending.
I’m really looking forward to being inspired, once again.  The list of artists is amazing. I will be posting some photos, afterwards…   though wouldn’t it be better to see the demonstrations in person?

Animated Bag Monsters

Ever walk over the subway grates and thought, “Wow, there’s a lot of wasted energy here that could be harnessed for the good of all mankind.”


Well I have… kinda…. sorta… not really.

Joshua Allen Harris seems to have found a very clever way to use this unused pressure.

Indy Art & Bike Theft

Cecilia and I went to The Whip for Jenn Brisson‘s art gallery showing.  As always, the walls were covered with dreamy/freaky characters. I couldn’t resist getting one to take home! I bought the red puppeteer in the middle.

The bus ride home was comfy. We both looked forward to catching up on sleep.  However, once home I realized that I forgot to pay my bill!!  I decided to take advantage of the non-rainy day we are having and rode my bike back to The Whip.

I stepped inside for less than 10 minutes, paying my bill and saying quick hellos to those that missed during my first visit.  I came back outside to see that my unlocked bike was taken advantage of.  No, it was just taken.

This is the second bike I’ve had stolen.  First bike was my mountain bike which I managed to track down (thief posted it on CraigsList.org ROFL).  My mountain bike sits in the garage and I primarily use a “beater” bike that I picked up for about $100.

My mountain bike was locked up, but I left my beater sitting there because I thought I would be in/out. Jeremy just stopping in somewhere quickly?  Hah… HAH!  Idiot.

Alone for 10 minutes.  Gah.


Lil puppeteer trivia for ya. You know the plant in Little Shop of Horrors? Ever wonder how the lip sync of the plant looked so great?  I just found out that they would film the plant talking and singing in slow motion, 12 frames a second.  Later they speed up the film to 24 frames a second to return it to normal speed.  More info on Fast-Rewind.

Daily Digest / 2008-11-11

Story of Stuff: An anti-consumerist example of how to make your point simple and easy to understand in a simple visual way.  #


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