It’s Oscar season, and everyone is abuzz about The Best This-and-That and The Best So-and-So. But nobody is talking about The Best Blender Short Films. I work with Blender nearly every day and I realized that, outside of Blender Institute projects, I didn’t really know what other Blender-heads were making. So I searched the tubes. I admit, the superlative ‘best’ is purely SEO click-bait. The following are some of my favorite Blender short films discovered during my research.
Blender Institute Open Projects
The Blender Institute is the elephant in the room, pun intended. When it comes to Blender short films, they have a corner on the market.
Here are their projects, in order of release, not preference.
All of the Blender Institute’s short films are impressive, but my favorite is the Caminandes series. They’re pure fun, and most important, really show off the software. I was familiar with everything on this list except Elephants Dream, and while it’s beginning to show its age, it’s still remarkable. Many of the short films above, including Caminandes, traffic in slapstick tropes and Disney/Pixar cliches. Elephants Dream explores the surreal potential of CG with nuance. I recommend downloading it, rather than streaming, to see it as it was intended.
Independent Blender Short Films
Outside the Blender Institute, there are countless independent animators and small team studios producing excellent work. Here are a few of my favorite Blender short films:
One final video, not necessarily a short film, but perfect for it’s self-reflexive nerdery: