Tears of Steel

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Tears of Steel
Promotional poster
Directed by Ian Hubert
Produced by Ton Roosendaal
Written by Ian Hubert
Starring Derek de Lint,
Sergio Hasselbaink,
Rogier Schippers,
Vanja Rukavina,
Denise Rebergen,
Jody Bhe,
Chris Haley
Music by Joram Letwory
Cinematography Joris Kerbosch
Distributed by Blender Foundation
Release date
  • September 26, 2012 (2012-09-26)
Running time
12 minutes 14 seconds
Country Netherlands
Language English
Clip from Tears of Steel (1:10)
Full movie

Tears of Steel (code-named Mango) is a live-action/CGI short film by producer Ton Roosendaal and director/writer Ian Hubert. The film was made using new enhancements to the visual effects capabilities of Blender, a free and open source all-in-one 3D computer graphics software package.


Work began in early 2012 as the Mango Open Movie Project. The film is a combination of live-action and computer generated sets, props and special effects. It was officially released online for viewing and download on September 26, 2012.[1]

Following Elephants Dream, Big Buck Bunny, Yo Frankie and Sintel, the short movie is the fifth project from the Blender Foundation. Tears of Steel was created by the Blender Institute, a division of the foundation set up specifically to facilitate the creation of open content films and games.[2]

The film was funded by the Blender Foundation, donations from the Blender community, pre-sales of the film's DVD, the Netherlands Film Fund and Cinegrid Amsterdam. The film itself and any material made in the studio are released under the Creative Commons Attribution License.[3]


The short science fiction film is about a group of warriors and scientists who gather at the “Oude Kerk” in a future Amsterdam to stage a crucial event from the past in a desperate attempt to rescue the world from destructive robots.[4]

Technical information[edit]

The live-action footage was filmed digitally using a Sony F65 CineAlta digital motion picture camera. The finished film is available for viewing and download in 4K and HD resolutions, Dolby 5.1 audio and 2.35:1 aspect ratio format.

Filming was done in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.[5]

All visual effects, computer generated content and compositing work was done within the Blender software package.

The Mango Open Movie Channel on YouTube contains several videos explaining development and the techniques used by the team in making the film.[6] There is also a behind-the-scenes documentary by user Sutrabla entitled "Throw it in the Canal."[7]

On March 15, 2013, the computer-based film makers released the source material (about 5 times the length of the used materials) into the public using the CC-by license with the major restriction that images of the actors shall not be used for commercials. The material is available using the OpenEXR half float file encoding and makes up 4 TB of data for roughly 80,000 frames using a dimension of 4096 × 2160 pixels (see also Ultra HD). It is the intention of the releasers to ease future developments for the film industry and other areas of image processing by making available this noticeably large amount of high definition professionally shot test data that has not been seen until now.[8]

Improvements to Blender[edit]

As with the previous Blender Open Movie Projects, the Blender developers and community worked together to provide a movie studio style production work flow for the team. The results are a complete open source pipeline for visual effects work in Blender including but not limited to camera tracking, rotoscoping, compositing and color grading.

These features are available starting with Blender v. 2.64.[9]


The reviewer David Masters praised the film's visual effects while noting that the acting was wooden in places.[10]


  1. ^ Roosendaal, Ton (September 26, 2012). "Mango Open Movie Project » Blog » Tears of Steel Release". Blender Foundation. Retrieved September 26, 2012.
  2. ^ "Blender Institute". Blender Foundation. Retrieved August 16, 2014.
  3. ^ Roosendaal, Ton (September 24, 2012). "Complete Press Release" (PDF). Blender Foundation. Retrieved August 16, 2014.
  4. ^ Roosendaal, Ton (September 24, 2012). "Mango Open Movie Project » Blog » Tears of Steel Press Release". Blender Foundation. Retrieved September 26, 2012.
  5. ^ "Tears of Steel (2012) - Filming Locations". IMDB. Retrieved August 16, 2014.
  6. ^ "Mango Open Movie YouTube Channel". YouTube. Mango Team. Retrieved August 16, 2014.
  7. ^ "Tears of Steel - Throw it in the Canal - Behind-The-Scenes documentary". YouTube. Sutrabla. Retrieved September 22, 2016.
  8. ^ Roosendaal, Ton (March 15, 2013). "4 TB original 4k footage available as CC-by". Blender Foundation. Retrieved August 16, 2014.
  9. ^ "Blender Release notes for version 2.64". Blender Foundation. Retrieved August 16, 2014.
  10. ^ Masters, David. "Tears of Steel". Short of the Week. Retrieved February 14, 2014.

External links[edit]