Computer graphics productions for Cultural Heritage purposes suffer usually from limited budgets. The optimization of the production pipeline is therefore mandatory for squeezing the most from tiny economic resources. Cineca has successfully adopted a production pipeline centered on Blender since its first educational short movie, “Apa the Etruscan”, further improved with its spin-off “Ati”, about the Southern Etruscan region and the Temple of Veii. The availability of Cookie Flex Rig characters cut significantly down the time of production, enabling to concentrate only on adapting them to the philological needs of museum curators. Improved production pipeline and ready-made character have been mixed with less modeling and more laser data acquisitions, helped in this choice by new released open-source 1.3.2 Meshlab tool and its better integration within Blender.
The presentation also covers our experience in setting up our render-farm, planning, driving and supervising the production, and managing people collaboration in a geographically distributed team. While coming from a specific field of application, our experience share many points with a general low-budget production, so we hope the presentation could be of a general interest.