credits: Dalai Felinto, Mike Pan (Blender) and Sherman Lai (post processing)

 It’s available on Ted Talk the presentation from Dr. Pauly on the ocean’s shifting baseline. The key idea is that we need to stick to a baseline in order to develop a more reliable feeling on the changes that are happening.

But what happens when we can’t see the baseline? In this case the use of simulations – films and images – can be of great help. In the final slide of his presentation, Dr. Pauly showed an image to suggest a simulated ocean in 2010. You can see this at ~ 8:12.

This is not one my favourite works, but it’s an important one. This image was made based on a still from the first animation made in Blender I worked on, back from early 2009: The Life in The Chesapeake Bay. It’s nice to look back and admire how many chances to improve my work I got.

To work with science communication is a thrill, and to have this work recognized really makes my day. Note that this image is not being used only to illustrate a particular ocean scenario. The image is there to make a point. To reenforce the role of art in the understanding of our lives.

. . .

And yes, it’s always great to spread Blender around the world, even when people are unaware of it (I was going to do a screenshot from the Blender file but I can’t find it – it took TedTalk way too long to make the stream online available 😉


A belated thank you for Villy Christensen, Sherman Lai and Mike Pan for the opportunity of doing the  original project together. And for York University and the unexpected strike in late 2008 😉 God and his crooked lines, go figure.

Welcome, I’m your Oracle. What would you like to know?

Those promising first lines announce what is to come. A virtual avatar who will walk you through a journey of knowledge and discovery.

This was our first take, a prototype if you will, in creating ways to communicate global data on the ocean possible futures and the scientific models underneath the predictions. As part of the NF-UBC Nereus Program.

If you wanna learn more about the science underneath the project, and the whereabouts, go check the official press-release:


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It’s common during a production to have your own copy of blender in your repository. It can be a stable blender that your production relies on, a snapshot from the current svn or, also common, a patched Blender prepared specially for your project.

In projects using the Blender Game Engine this is even more crucial. The blenderplayer should be kept as part of the deployment process of your project.

I recently started to love and hate the use of svn:externals with svn exports. This is a handy (and sloooooow) setup that allows you to create a release folder with files gathered from all over your svn production repository. So you can work as you would in your production folders, and when you want to send a snapshot for a client you simply do a svn export from the ‘release folder’ (a folder smartly arranged to have only the production files you need (kept in sync from the production folder) and even some extra files that are to be used only for release (e.g. icons, readme.txt, runme.bat, …).

The problem I just ran into is that not all blender files are automatically added to your svn repository. As tricky as it sound, some files (i.e.  the .so files from the 2.62/python/lib/python3.2/lib-dynload folder) are not added automatically when you do svn add (either from a command-line or from svntortoise). This concerns Linux and Mac users.

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