The Blender Foundation‘s new animated movie Sintel has been doing the rounds for a few days now. Like the earlier two films (Elephant’s Dream and BigBuckBunny), this has also been created using the open source 3-D animation suite Blender and a whole host of Open Source software and tools. Like a lot of other folks, I went ahead and watched it on youtube, enjoyed and liked the way things are progressing. Sintel is no Pixar magic, however it represents the impressive improvements that have been achieved for animation graphics using open source software.
However, the fun did not end there. Zoyd (a fellow pluggie) and I were talking on IRC and he mentioned that they were collecting subtitles for Sintel in various languages. I had never worked on anything remotely similar to this. Discussions were on at the Blender Artists forum and the translated subtitles were being collected there. The English subtitle file had the handful of dialogues that one gets to hear in the film. The chunk being a 4-5 line conversation between the young Sintel and the much older Shaman.
Being a fantasy film, the tone of the conversation was inclined more towards an old worldly mode. Shaman being an authoritative and wiser figure, it was easy to identify him as a patriarch in older B/W bengali cinema. These characters mostly performed by the legendary Chabhi Biswas, Pahari Sanyal, and Kamal Mitra had a distinctive manner of constructing their sentences where the noun and adverbs were placed at the end of the sentence with some archaic words thrown in. The translations were posted to the forum.
Unfortunately, I could not see the subtitles live in action. Mplayer and xine could not render the Bengali text and Totem running on my Fedora boxes refuses to show any kind of subtitles, not even English (need to explore on this, any pointers would be very helpful). Finally, Karunakar got it running on Lenny and shared a screenshot. Albeit short, but it was a fun experience and I would love to do more of this.
One can view the subtitle transcripts on the official youtube.com video as well, by clicking on the ‘Interactive Transcript’ and then choosing the appropriate language from the dropdown menu.
More about the film here: http://www.sintel.org/about/ and it can be downloaded from here: http://www.sintel.org/wp-content/content/download.html