AiR: Blender, Elephants Dream

Published on September 16th, 2006

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Artist in residence September 2006 – March 2006

Elephants Dream is the culmination of the Orange Open Movie Project, produced by the Blender Foundation and the Netherlands Media Art Institute. The project was conceived to help develop and establish the capabilities of the Blender 3D open source tool for the creation of cinema quality animation.

Elephants Dream tells the story of Proog and Emo. Elephants Dream is a story with quick-witted dialogue, tightly designed architecture and unusual sound effects. The main characters, Emo (a cool young trumpeter) and Proog (a confused – or maybe not? – loner) are each stuck in a world of their own. At a certain moment they cross paths with one another. The oddball Proog cautiously tries to introduce his young friend Emo to his world. When Emo realizes that Proog primarily wants to push his ideas on him, this leads to a conflict between them. But can Emo survive in Proog’s world? And can they overcome their conflicts, or will they each go their own way in life?

Tygo Gernandt and Cas Jansen create two unique personalities that command the imagination, and carry the viewer along into a bizarre world that consists of a bleak wasteland with a tangle of cables and other alien landscapes, a living typewriter, an enormous elevator shaft, and especially a lot of very strange birds.

‘Elephants Dream’ features the voice talents of renowned Dutch movie actors Tygo Gernandt and Cas Jansen, as well as an original score by German composer Jan Morgenstern. The short brought together the talents of a team of artists from countries as diverse as Syria, Germany, Australia, Finland, and the Netherlands. In addition to the performances of the cast and creative efforts of the lead artists, Elephants Dream has had the assistance of hundreds of individuals across the world who contributed a variety of work such as programming additional functionality for Blender, creating textures used in some of the scenes, and providing international translations for the DVD release.

The files have been released on two DVDs with the movie in PAL, NTSC and HD formats, a making-of documentary, and all of the studio files. The DVDs were shipped in early May 2006. As promised, shortly after, the movie and database of source material is now available for public download as well.

The Orange Open Movie Project Team worked for seven months under the roof of the Netherlands Media Art Institute to develop the story, the animations and the production of Elephants Dream.

Elephants Dream is made with the Open Source software program Blender. Open Source software can be downloaded and used for free, and is completely open for anyone to improve and distribute again.

Along with the film, a DVD with the ‘making of’ will appear, on which the whole production of the film can be viewed, and Elephants Dream will shortly be found on the internet in a downloadable version.

Producers: Blender Foundation (Ton Roosendaal) / Netherlands Media Art Institute

Studio Orange team

Director: Bassam Kurdali (Syria /USA),
Art Director: Andreas Goralczyk (Germany)
Lead Artists: Matt Ebb (Australia), Bastian Salmela (Finland), Lee Cocks (Australia)
Engineering: Toni Alatalo (Finland)
Music and Sound: Jan Morgenstern (Germany)
Scenario: Pepijn Zwanenberg (Netherlands)

The film is shown in the netherlands Media Art Institute from March 30 – April 7 Tuesday through Friday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.
April 8 – April 28 Tuesday through Saterday from 1 to 6 p.m.
Entrance: 2,50 (students 1,50)

Thanks to

Filmfonds, Mondriaan Foundation and the VSB Fund
For more information:


Ton Roosendaal
Chairman, Blender Foundation
Email: ton(at)

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