The Blender Foundation (stichting Blender Foundation) is a non-profit organization responsible for the development of Blender, an open source program for three-dimensional modeling.
The foundation is noted for having produced the animated short films Elephants Dream (2006), Big Buck Bunny (2008) and Sintel (2010).
The foundation is chaired by Ton Roosendaal, the original author of the Blender software. It is funded by donations from entrepreneurs, companies, and the community. One of the foundations goals is "to give the worldwide Internet community access to 3D technology in general, with Blender as a core".
The foundation provides various resources to support the community formed around using and developing Blender. In particular, it organizes an annual Blender Conference in Amsterdam to discuss plans for the future of Blender, as well as staffing a booth to represent Blender at SIGGRAPH, a large conference on computer graphics. Donations are also used to maintain the Blender website, as well as hire other developers to work on the Blender software.
The Blender Foundation has organized several community-driven "Open Projects" through its affiliated Blender Institute program, including several freely-licensed films and a free, open source video game . According to the Foundation, these projects are intended "to validate and improve the 3D open source content creation pipeline with Blender". Each project was created using the Blender software and released under permissive license terms, along with the source material. In addition to demonstrating the capabilities of the software, the Open Projects provided detailed production material (sketches, tutorials, textures and models, etc.) to serve as examples for the Blender user community, as well as finished products that could be widely used for other purposes.
On 18 May 2006, the Blender Foundation released its first film, Elephants Dream.. In response to the success of Elephants Dream, the Blender Foundation established the Blender Institute to support future software and content development projects. The Blender Institute operates out of a studio within the Entrepotdok building in Amsterdam, where the Blender Foundation is also located, and is headed by Ton Roosendaal.
On 10 April 2008, the Blender Institute released its second film, Big Buck Bunny. Based on the movie, the Blender Institute released its first Open Game project Yo Frankie!, in November 2008.
On September 30, 2010, the Blender Institute released its third project, Sintel.
On October, 2011, Concept/Script Development began for Blender's latest open film project under the codename, "Project Mango". Contrary to Blender's previous filming projects which were 100% computer graphics, they will be combining the computer world with the real world, shooting real life footage with donated Red Epic cameras. The project is scheduled to be released somewhere between August and September of 2012.
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