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3D Miyazaki Tribute Made with Open-Source Software

French 3D artist dono employs open-source 3D creation suite Blender, Photoshop alternative GIMP, 3D renderer Octane and free compositing software Natron to create stunning 3D backgrounds from legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki’s beloved classic films.

A stunning short film tribute to legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki has been making the rounds on the Internet this week, and if you haven’t seen it yet you should definitely check it out. But the real news is that the short film, which places 2D elements within gorgeously detailed 3D backgrounds, was made entirely with the use of open-source technology.

French 3D artist dono (Hi dono! If you’re reading this, please get in touch -- we have a ton of questions about your work.) is a longtime member of the Blender community, users of the free and open-source cross-platform 3D creation suite. Blender supports the entirety of the 3D pipeline -- modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing and motion tracking, even video editing and game creation. Advanced users can employ Blender’s API for Python scripting to customize the application and write specialized tools, which are often included in future releases. dono used Blender to create the short animation, along with the open-source Adobe Photoshop alternative GIMP, 3D renderer Octane and free node-based compositing software Natron.

The animated Studio Ghibli tribute recreates the environments from several of Miyazaki’s most-beloved films -- including from Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, Kiki’s Delivery Service and My Neighbor Tortoro -- in 3D, then composites the characters into their new environments:

This isn’t the first time dono has wowed the 3D animation community: his 2011 animation reel made a splash, even earning admiration from Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich.

(via Vimeo Staff Picks)

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.