The Nuremberg Blender Users Group (NuremBUG) had six people who wanted to go to BlenderDay and four who could actually make it. Thomas Hintz and Immanuel Günther did the first presentation on materials in Blender (they also wrote a book on the subject). It was also a workshop and all attendees did some practical work building materials from a real-world example. The results showed what Blender's internal shading and rendering system is capable about.
While the first presentation showed the current state of shading and rendering in Blender through a very practical example, the next presentation by Thomas Dinges (DingTo) was all about Blender's future in that area: Cycles! The speed and looks of the new shading and render system made jaw drops all over the audience. It was like all ah-and-awe whenever Thomas rotated the view and Cycles rebuilt the scene within a fracture of the time one would expect.
- Material Workshop Groups Material Workshop Groups
- Yummy Avocado Yummy Avocado
- Lunch Lunch
- Group Photo Group Photo
- Hostel Hostel
- Night Night
Same thing with the next presentation by Jeroen Bakker about his work on Blender's compositor. In his case, 'fracture of the time' can be taken literally as his work on tiling the calculations of the compositor gives you instant feedback even without OpenCL. That and the new options for color management and grading will make the Blender compositor even more professional than it already is. The redesign could be finished in October(!) if the project gets more funding. If you want to become a sponsor check out the homepage of the proposal. It's really worth it!
The first day of BlenderDay seemed to be all about showing off Blender's bright future and the insane speed of development. While the presentations on Cycles and the compositor redesign already left the rather nerdy audience very excited, the atmosphere became party-like when Sebastian König showed the current state of tracking in the GSoC (Google Summer of Code) Tomato branch. Just 36 hours ago Sergey Sharybin had added real 3D tracking to Blender and Sebastian could already show off several well-done tests like this "Candy Ride" which he created in about one hour on the train to BlenderDay:
Unfortunately Sergey and the developers of libmv could not hear the standing ovations their project got from the BlenderDay audience.
The next presentation was very different. Beat Reichenbach showed things in Cinema4D he thinks are better designed from the usability point of view than in Blender. Very constructive. Unfortunately there weren't more coders around to hear the direct feedback and suggestions from a professional user's point of view.
After the dinner break, Francesco Faranna from Breitbild VFX announced the winners of the 2011 BlenderDay award. Unfortunately none of them was part of the audience so the prices will be sent to the winners via mail. The list of the winners can be found on DingTo.org.
After that we all drove to the youth hostel where we stayed the night. Most of us went to a greek restaurant for some fun chatter before the exhaustion pulled everyone to bed.
The first day of BlenderDay 2011 was a really great experience. Meeting all those fellow Blenderheads from around Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands was just congenial, the presentations nearly made my head explode (in a positive sense) and the organization was 100% professional. Thanks DingTo for pulling it off!
There is also a photographic report of the first day of BlenderDay 2011 by Julian Herzog.