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How to do movies using Blender and Playstation 3s

category: offtopic [glöplog]
Is it possible to use a number of PS3s to render models and animations in Blender? They'll have to be old school PS3s of course, the ones that allowed installing Linux, I'll have to see how many I can pick up on Ebay, the hard drives will be a bit worn, but - besides all that, ASSUMING I have the money, is there any free/open source software that'll allow me to render ACROSS PS3s? I'd like to use Blender's own renderer or Yafray (from what my current knowledge allows me to say). And of course, also use their disk drives in a distributed fashion to store the renders.
So - is there any way to use the Cell processors to render in distributed fashion?

Sure why not.

There's also Loki: http://loki-render.berlios.de/

You'd get more bang for your buck with other hw as PS3's with old firmware are relatively valuable because of their warez capabilities. But you probably know this already and there are of course benefits too. Like them maintaining their value better than some generic hw (if you wanna re-sell them after the project is done or whatever), coolness factor, ability to play PS3 games..
coolness factor

added on the 2013-05-24 11:49:33 by okkie okkie
didn't a company already do this? wasn't it pixar or smth cos i remember renderman was used... (so, building a ps3 render rack that is)
coolness factor


Hey... Using a bunch of off-the-shelf video game consoles in a cluster to do some heavy 'puting is cool as fuck!

And from a marketing perspective... Ask people to check out an animation you did with a cluster of PS3's and I bet a couple will. After all, Sony has spent gazillions of yen in marketing to make "PS3" have a positive connotation. Ask people to check out an animation you did with a generic linux cluster and all you'll probably get is some jerk going on a rant about how much he hates OSS.
why using ps3s. the cell? lol. if it's about graphics only, perhaps a cheap pc graphics card "compute" cluster would perform rendering faster.
added on the 2013-05-24 14:06:44 by yumeji yumeji
Yeah, I doubt that the PS3s can give any reasonable computing power per watt (or per cost for that matter) compared to modern hardware.
Still, considering that sceners like doing strange things with obsolete hardware, this is perhaps not a bad idea! :)
added on the 2013-05-24 14:20:26 by Sdw Sdw
apparently RAM is quite the bottleneck

buy a bunch of raspbery pi's or alike!
or do what izard/inque does. become sysadmin somewhere (e.g. a school) with n computers at your disposal and have them calc when idle or overnight :P
happily: You don't get it. I have (fledgling) plans to take on Pixar from my home!! I know, I know, I must be mad etc., but I damn well WANT to give it a try. If I can't do movies, at least let me try for TV resolution, or Youtube resolution (so the whole thing never leaves a PC), but I WANT my stories to be told. I WANT to create something on the quality of Brave, animation wise.
You've probably guessed from my other post about Epic and Smash, that going to that movie has fired up my creative cells yet again! :), and it has, and I see no reason, other than money, why I can't give it a shot. This will have to be something fairly major, where I will have to hire modellers and texture artists etc., so I 'll probably have to look around for venture funding, so..... well, I WILL!! It would go much easier for me, if I can offer a venture guy a concrete idea of WHAT software and hardware will be used, and what techniques WE can do which noone else major has done yet.

....and of course, the animation will have to be done using Kinects for mocapping, so.... just in case nothing ELSE kills me, this, for sure will! :) (when the modelling etc. is done, and we realise the movie can't be made cause I didn't check if there was any FOSS which would do Kinect ;) ).

yumeji: thanks for the suggestion, but can you tell me what software I can use? :)

Maybe I should just damn well wait for the PS 4 to come out! :) It's going to have 8 GB RAM apparently. Does anyone know whether it will allow installing Linux?
Good luck bitnaughty and let us know how you get on - I would be very interested in your war stories with VCs. I've been trying to raise a few million for a business for a couple of years now and had no luck with VCs or Angels (we dont have serious Angels in Poland - they are small time) or investment funds. Bottom line, they are investing less and less and now want a firm that is established is already selling and can offer 3.5-10x (especially VCs) in return in under 3 years.

In the end I have found European funding in conjunction with bank loan is a way forward though there are still catches.

My biggest advice with VCs : make sure your ROI and business plan numbers are at least as well researched as your tech.

added on the 2013-05-25 20:25:01 by auld auld
auld: It is just for people like you that I made (well, collaborated on) this site: www.webmeeters.com . Check it out. I've been looking for funding for *it* for a long time now, but no luck yet. It's primarily for the creative community, such as people like you, who my heart goes out to, that I had in mind when making it, and yes, of course I envisioned that one day a demoscener would come along who I could help :) I don't guarantee anything, but how much does it hurt to make a post? I just want more activity there, for financial reasons yes (I get, like 2 cents for each page view, if that), but also for self-satisfaction - for someone to just EXPERIENCE what I made for them.
Oh and please don't tell me the gfx are crap, I *KNOW*! :)
By the way, how do you COME UP with how much money your project is going to make? *How* do you tell the VC? I'm VERY interested in the answer to this.
auld, are you there? did you read my message?
Hi bitnaughty. Its an interesting idea your site. It seems aimed at virtual teams of people working for 'free' to produce a prototype of an idea and associate a business plan with it. A formalised version of 'hey guys I have a great idea for a game'. I wish you luck.

I cant personally make use of the site as a) I dont need a team, b) the business pan and financial models are 'private' so wont go online.

How do you talk to VCs? Cant say Im an expert as they all say no so far. I know this though. In presentations they seem to want three things: to know the idea, to know the financials (TAM, SAM, SOM and EBITDA are the big numbers you need) and to know the ROI. They then want least risk by picking existing companies that want to expand (ie already have sales). Thats the bitch.

As for how you come up with money, I did thirty pages of financial modelling and then hired an accountant to do profit and loss etc. I'm told this is excessive so probably a few dozen pages of modelling is sufficient.

The big surprise is they dont care about business plan (seems counter intuitive). They care only about the big numbers, the business plan is for YOU to be sure when you sign that you arent giving away the baby with the bathwater and you can deliver.

But you are better off asking someone who succeeded with VCs I think. Me, I'm going euro funds + bank loan. Which means I dont give away the company.
added on the 2013-05-27 16:20:00 by auld auld
Hey auld,
What are TAM, SAM, and SOM? I know what EBITDA is, so no hand holding needed there :)

And what is financial modelling? Any good webpages you can point me to?

Your situation is just the same as mine, here in India. These guys want a *precedent*, someone who has already *done* the idea before them, which belies the whole point of *being* a Venture Capitalist. I've filled out countless forms on the web, talked to 1 guy in person, and on the phone with someone else, it's all come to 0 so far. These guys are some really DUMB motherfuckers, and the less I associate with them the better, but of course that's not possible!

It's interesting that you say bank loan - with that, of course, the bank doesn't take equity, as you point out, but with a VC, the money that they'll take could, over time, very well be MORE than the bank - they glamourise and publicise the whole "starting up" process to hide this fact! This (bank loans) is something I'm going to start spending some TIME on, from now on - let's *see* what is out there! :)

What exactly is a "euro fund"?

By the way, best of luck to all other demosceners who are going the entrepreneurial way. The brains and talent in the scene are amazing, and if we have some $$$ backing us, I think there'll be miracles in PLENTY out there! :) Who knows, maybe the next Kinect maker is right here, on this forum! :)

Please confirm that you read this message (auld).
bitnaughty: all it comes down to is this: you have to persuade people that whatever you plan to do, it's going to be (financially) successful. If you can persuade them,

If it's a product you're making, you can show them research you've done, showing how many people bought some similar product at what price. Then you can show how your product can take over the market, and therefore how much money you can hopefully make.

If you're going to make an animation, it'll be much harder. Lots of guys can model and animate, but that doesn't mean you have a hit film once you have some money. If I was investing money in a possible film, I'd want to know the people involved have made films before, and have had plenty of success. No way would I give somebody some money so they can learn by trial and error what works in the market.

Also, what sells is a really good story that entertains people, not the hardware it's made on. If you're selling it because it's made on PS3s, you're not going to get any interest.

Personally though, I'd avoid VC anyway, unless they were going to give me so much money I wouldn't give a fuck what happened to the business or perhaps if I needed large amounts of cash for something.

A business loan is more appealing, but remember the bank won't just "give" you the money. They will usually secure it against something - usually your house. If the business fails and you can't pay them back, they take your house instead. Be very sure you know what you're doing if you get a loan like this ;)

There's another way though: fund it yourself. This is what I'm doing. I worked a regular job, and learned my current trade (coding) in my spare time. Then I started selling apps, and built it up to the point where I can afford to work 100% for myself. This way I don't have to give away the future I'm trying to build, and I don't lose my house if I fail badly (worst case I'd have to find a job again).

If you're doing animation, I guess you could do lots of short (like 30 seconds) clips, put them on youtube. If they're good enough, they'll be popular, and you can earn some money from advertising. Build that up, then approach some big media companies, see if they're interested in a series of say 5 minute cartoons - hopefully this gives you enough work / money to start work on something more serious.
added on the 2013-05-31 11:09:16 by psonice psonice
pouet - the place for good and honest business advice. <3
added on the 2013-05-31 11:26:14 by v3nom v3nom
Pouet - demos, flamewars and business advice :D (What the hell happened to the end of that sentence in my post above? Anyone seen it?)
added on the 2013-05-31 11:51:14 by psonice psonice
Animated feature films made by one person alone are nothing new, really. This thing is 6+ years old. This other film, Sita sings the blues is actually quite good, won some awards, gained recognition and was mostly made by one woman. So it's possible to do this, you don't even need (much) money, but in the end, there is no substitute for patience, diligence (3+ years at the very least) and a wide range of talents to make a product that is technically and emotionally satisfying. Do you have what it takes? There's no sign of that. You sound like some very young person overwhelmed by his own "awesome" ideas.

(Also, movie financing is a complex and convoluted thing in itself. A hilarious patchwork of funds and bonds and "loans" and stupid German money. Many options are most likely not available to you. If you are not just pipe-dreaming and actually have the skills and determination, start with something small, put it on the net and gain some recognition. There have been some examples of people getting contracts from successful youtube videos. So again, it's possible. But it takes a lot to make it happen.)
added on the 2013-05-31 13:04:04 by tomaes tomaes
psonice: Of *course* I don't want to just use PS3s! My main role in the movie WILL be writing the story! Modelling is not one of my skills, but, coming back from Epic, I just know that I want to be involved in the creation of something like this, somehow (If that means I just get to circle the building the animators are working in a couple of times, then so be it! :))
I've got a lot of stories circling in my head, just basic ideas for the most part, I'll have to work on them and see what kind of 1 and 1/2 hr. to 2 hr. scripts I can develop them into. But the basic thing I want is for them to *come* to something. Naturally. I want to see the movie EXIST, that's my *PRIMARY* motivation.

Is it really possible to get money from putting videos on Youtube? I talked to a friend of mine a couple of days ago who *has* put some videos up, and he says they pay very little.......?
Are there other sites? What about Vimeo? If I could make experimental movies and get PAID for them, not a lot, but enough for my daily expenses, well, that would be the biggest revolution in the history of mankind since fire! :) Any tips?

I'm curious to know exactly what you mean when you say:"fund it yourself". If I want to put ads on TV here in India, it would cost Rs. 3200 for 10 secs (for one particular channel). So, for a reasonable campaign, it would take, at the very least, a couple of lakhs. Is it possible to make that kind of money from apps? Me, I've put my energies into learning Web stuff, the idea is that EITHER I make money from ads, from sites from my own ideas, OR I make sites for other people, for money (but that would never be enough to go into business.) I STILL haven't broken, to do the latter, but the tension is HIGH, let's just say I would like to make $$$ starting NOW, in the Bitnaughty home. There are sites like Freelancer.com, where I would have to go, if the former absolutely doesn't work out, but those sites are really the lower end of things, they are all the shit that the Americans throw at us that they don't want to do themselves, and I really can't imagine myself doing that kind of work.
Apps means learning Objective C, doesn't it? (for both iOS and ANdroid?) I'm still coming to grips with Javascript. Wish me luck :)
bitnaughty: have you written any movie scripts before? Because writing a script is a *LOT* more than just having an idea for a story. You also need the skills to build believable characters, create interesting and natural dialogue, and a whole lot more. If not, you're the guy with the awesome idea of a game but zero real experience, and you should start filling in that form gargaj linked to ;)

If you seriously want to get into script writing, best way is to get a job on a writing team for TV or something, so you pick up the actual skills you're going to need.

Or, yes, write some short things and put them on youtube. It doesn't pay much per view, so you need a whole fuckton of people watching it to make any real money. But that will happen if you're good enough ;) And yes, if you're really good, you will get noticed / hired.
added on the 2013-06-02 21:51:19 by psonice psonice
psonice: Try not to indulge bitnaughty - he's quite literally all talk and he's been doing this for years - getting excited about something, then hassling other sceners to create something based on his derisive ridiculous ideas. Here's a theoretical script:

1) bitnaughty sees something technically impressive
2) bitnaughty gets really excited.
3) bitnaughty forms his latest "what if?" thought.
4) bitnaughty applies poorly conceived monetisation strategy to said thought.
5) bitnaughty opens a thread on pouet or nags people in IRC about said idea, however refuses to put any effort of his own doing into it because he's "not a genius".
6) bitnaughty gets shot down.
7) bitnaughty slumps back in his seat.
8) bitnaughty goes on youtube and surfs idly.
9) bitnaughty goes to step 1.

Honestly he's been doing this for years - trying to assemble a "demo team" to put together a demo for him or work on a newfangled business idea, he has a terrible grasp of the fundamental nature of the demoscene and its meritocratic ways. If he created a single thing - even a fucking modified ShaderToy or a few tunes, I'd give him a chance but he's consistently out for a free lunch.

I think this image sums up bitnaughty, and it was from back in 2005 at the first Sundown:
BB Image

The look on my face from back then still resonates now when bitnaughty has caught my attention.
added on the 2013-06-03 06:11:55 by rc00 rc00
bitnaughty: I have a story if ya want it !
added on the 2013-06-03 07:00:07 by panic panic


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