illustrator , concept-artist


Published the 30 september 2010 in Art-direction and projects with tags : Blender, video, open-movie, cc-by

Sintel, the full short. High res 1080p available on the youtube option. 


Sintel is an open short movie produced by the Blender Foundation.  I worked on it as an Art Director from February 2009 to September 2010. Official website

Description from the official website : "Sintel" is an independently produced short film, initiated by the Blender Foundation as a means to further improve and validate the free/open source 3D creation suite Blender. With initial funding provided by 1000s of donations via the internet community, it has again proven to be a viable development model for both open 3D technology as for independent animation film. This 15 minute film has been realized in the studio of the Amsterdam Blender Institute, by an international team of artists and developers. In addition to that, several crucial technical and creative targets have been realized online, by developers and artists and teams all over the world.."

Art direction

Many concept-art and artworks were necessary to capture the epic and fantasy feeling I wanted for Sintel. Here is a sample of the one remaining in the movie.
My tools were Gimp-painter 2.6 and Mypaint 0.6 on Linux Mint 7 Gnome 2.0. 


Sintel design

More design for Sintel


Sintel portrait

Sintel (old) portrait

Chicken , ballpen quick concept

Hienna, creature on her journey

Ishtar birds

Snow fighting previsualisation. On the original script ; four guardians were waiting for her

Shaman hut, external design

Shaman hut, interior

Shaman hut, previsualisation for the ambiance

Sintel , in Ishtar city, watching the Ziggurat

Ishtar city ; building renovations, and various overlays of architectures era

Ishtar building design

Ishtar alley , design for the first scene. Top view was choosen to show the spacial distance of elements. Grid and dirty waters of Ishtar were removed for technical reason.

Sintel bedroom ; first concept

Sintel Bedroom ; detailed concept at night

Concept for an Ishtar street with markets

Color previsualisation for the 'chicken hunt' scene

Concept of the Ziggurat main city abandonned temple

One of the first early illustration artwork of Sintel ; showing the key story elements

large mate painting ( in the movie , used on background when Sintel is on the top of Ziggurat )

Ishtar city doors

Previsualisation of the bamboo forest , a step of her journey

Concept for the dragon cave

Concept for the dragon cave

Concept for the dragon cave

Concept for the dragon cave

Concept for Ishtar poeples

Concept for Ishtar poeples

Concept for Ishtar poeples

Concept for Ishtar poeples

model sheet of the dragon

Concept for the dragon

Concept for Scale , baby

Previsualisation of Scale , Baby

Scale ; more research

relation size between adult and baby dragon

Various speed rough done in production to communicate with the team ; 

Concept for guardians weapons

Shaman accessories , details

Sintel knife

Ishtar flags , illustrating old religion wars,  design


 Alexandre Prokoudine interviewed me on his website Libre Graphic World about Sintel. You can read the interview here.

More on the DVD

All the source of the project are available on the Blender e-shop . You'll find on the 4 DVDs hi-res artworks, work-in-progress, and more. 

sintel bonus dvd 01
Here is a preview of the DVD-Rom gallerie , with unused artwork

sintel bonus dvd 02
Here is a preview of VIP in the DVD-Rom , showing how artworks where made.

sintel bonus dvd 03
Storyboarding, colorboard, and other tools

sintel blender org frontpage2

Buy Sintel on the Blender E-shop

Creative Commons License


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friday 01 october 2010, 07:49

wonderful inspiration!!

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2. Monica

friday 01 october 2010, 11:11

It's Amazing! Congrats for the great job, i'm looking forward to my copy of the dvd! Greetings from italy!

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friday 01 october 2010, 17:19

Muito Maravilhoso trabalho eu me emocionei muito,meus parabéns, sem palavras... (portuguese, PT-BR)

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4. Slug45

friday 01 october 2010, 22:18

Really great work!, looking forward for all the extras : )___

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tuesday 12 october 2010, 10:01

I just started messing around with Ubuntu, Gimp and Mypaint inspired by what I've seen in your DVD Chaos and evolutions, and I'm eagerly waiting for the box set for all the extra content! Thanks for all the effort you put into showing other peoople your techniques, for sharing your art and for being such a source of inspiration!
thursday 21 october 2010, 13:40

Thanks for all the feedbacks about Sintel ; the team got a lot of them, and I was fortunate to did a projection of the movie yesterday evening in my city of Toulouse with the ass. Toulibre as well as a talk about it. I hope everyone will receive there DVD soon and enjoy the bonuses :)

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7. opeter

friday 22 october 2010, 19:46

Fantastic work! I love the movie and I love all you concept illustrations!

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friday 29 october 2010, 05:14

Hi David,
I have been following your blog for awhile now and I learned about MyPaint from your tutorials and discussion about it.
This Movie is amazing and I hope there is plans to continue the story. I hope to order your DVD: chaos and Evolutions soon.
Have fun ant the Blender conference!

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9. broomerang

saturday 06 november 2010, 03:42

Depressing ending. What would it have cost to have the baby dragon imprint on her for the last 3 seconds. (Before she commits suicide.)

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10. Salad

tuesday 21 december 2010, 10:33

Killing off her very own baby dragon! My three daughters watched this accidentally (over my shoulder, they just LOVE dragons and the lot), and they were totally devastated! They cried for minutes! Lucky for me (and you) you hinted at a second chance with Scale's baby...

I'd say: great work.

wednesday 22 december 2010, 18:49

Thanks , our director and scenarist ( Colin Levy, and Esther Wouda ) did a great job to not have a predictable ending. I'm happy it still works.
Sorry if it makes children cry :) Here I did the concept drawings, and helped into visual choices ; I'm happy they liked the cute baby dragon.

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thursday 10 february 2011, 02:37

Amazing use of open source programs to produce a fantastic story. It's amazing what the Open Source community can do when given the chance.
sunday 13 february 2011, 15:07

Thanks Dennis for your comments, and about your article on your website ( ).

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14. NativeTexan210

thursday 23 june 2011, 04:31

It doesn't just make kids cry it nearly made me cry...and I'm a 26 year old guy.

My only thought was "I would have curled up next to scales and let the cave-in take me as I lay next to my friend"

But I also have a 2 year old black lab that I love to death that I know I will end up bawling like a little girl when I eventually have to put her down. :(:(:( Even the thought of it...nearly 15 years from now...makes me start to tear up. :(

Sad film...but oh so great. I probably wouldn't have been nearly as great without Scales' death.

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15. Adam DeLay

wednesday 24 april 2013, 16:18

This made me sad :(

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16. John

thursday 25 april 2013, 04:15

Amazing story and animation !!

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17. kyle

friday 17 may 2013, 17:32

art is nice your writer suck dick though. went out of you way to make it a sad story for no reason. thats not a twist, or good writing, just fucked up

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18. jules

friday 17 may 2013, 17:50

c'est génial se que vous faites

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