Come see Bassam Kurdali this Thursday night at 8pm talk about Elephants Dream, the world's first "open" movie, made in the Netherlands in 2005/2006 by an international team of artists and coders. The presentation will show how a 6-person team made the 11 minute animated short with a pipeline completely built from open source tools. The production history includes details about story development, visual design and the obstacles and solutions developed for the film (including insanely long work days).
From the technical perspective he'll talk about some of the tools we used for organizing workflow, saving versions, render-wrangling, texture and paint, modeling, animation, rendering and editing. The more in-depth discussion is in the Animation/ 3D software side, explaining the animation and character rigging, rendering and compositing tools.
Bassam Kurdali is an animator and filmmaker whose work draws on the tools of free and open software. He directed the collaborative short, Elephants Dream, which in 2006 received both the Webcuts Special Award and the UK Linux and Open Source Award for Best Use of CGI. The first open movie project, it was released under Creative Commons licensing and distributed together with its component data, made available for learning, remixing and re-use. Bassam has also received Blender's Suzanne Award for Animation, granted for his work-in-progress, MiniTru.
His work has been shown at the Ketelhuis Theater, Amsterdam; Netherlands Media Arts Institute/Montevideo Time Based Arts; SIGGRAPH Open Source Pavilion; and numerous Blender Conferences. It has also appeared in such publications as The Wall Street Journal, 3D World, Linux Magazine, Het Financieele Dagblad (Dutch Financial Times), and on German and Argentine television.
Bassam has given workshops, tutorials and presentations at SIGGRAPH (United States); Blender Conference (Canada, Netherlands); NMAI/Montevideo (Netherlands); Free Software Conference (Argentina); and at HISC, the Higher Institute for Fine Arts (Belgium). He is a regular contributor to 3D World magazine, writing on free software technique.
Born in Aleppo, Syria in 1973, he trained in the United States as an electrical and software engineer and holds a B.S.E. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.