Big Buck Bunny builds a better Blender

Big Buck Bunny is the colorful product of the Peach open movie project: an animated short released online and on DVD. But in addition to the 'toon itself, Peach has produced an altogether different yield: improvements to the Blender 3-D modeling application. Like its predecessor Project Orange, Peach pushed the open source tool forward with the demands of a real-world media production, in a way that hobbyist usage cannot. Could other free software projects use the same model?

Peach was the second such project in Blender's history; the first was Project Orange in 2006, which developed the short film Elephants Dream. The Blender Foundation organized Orange and co-managed it with a commercial animation studio that provided office space and half of the production's budget. Peach was paid for entirely by The Blender Institute, a new offshoot of the Blender Foundation that maintains a permanent studio and office in Amsterdam. The Institute is already hard at work on its next project, a 3-D video game featuring characters from Big Buck Bunny, and has subsequent projects mapped out through 2010. It finances production costs and staff positions by selling advance orders of the finished product, as well as providing Blender training and contract work.