As far as open source being the future, well guess what, no open source project exists in either situation that would have enabled WETA to work this way. Once again I would wager (actually I know) this is not an isolated incident. So please do tell, *why* people are ignorant and need to 'wake up and smell the OS coffee'. I don't think that you can really with any authority state that the industry really dosnt know what its doing without having deep insider knowledge of it, otherwise the implications you made are just rude and offensive. I will wager (once again) that you don't have any such knowledge.
Zarf, I had a conversation similiar to this on Elysiun a while back. For some reason, Open Source is considered the savior for people. They quote projects like Linux as the proof this works. Without getting into a huge flame war here, *companies* did not start going with Linux until they had tangible support. Redhat (and others) were instrumental in getting this to happen. Outside of hobbiests and education, no one was going to go with a product unless support on some level happened. Outside of the fine Blender manuals and the "cowbook" what documentation is there for blender? The user documentation project? Ummm...how many people are actually modifiying that? It's a good starting point but a skeleton at best. The tutorials? Ummmmm..... how many companies are going to say "yeah, go to http://www.geocities.com/coolBabyRibs
and look at this tutorial for training on ths feature"? Yeah, I'd bank my company on that professional looking training method
It is a matter of conventions and public relations. I keep hearing how Blender kicks all this butt and other companies are stupid for not using it. Okay, for still images I cut some slack on this. I've seen some images generated from Blender that are up there with other packages. But what project can we point to that set the standard for blender as a professional standard animation and rendering tool? I remember Lightwave came into my view in the early-middle 90's due to Babylon 5 using it. I've seen snippits of animations posted as "finished work" but outside of Ton's "demo reel", what can we tout as "the standard".? The put up or shut up attitude is prevailent in the world. A team driven animation project (let's call it "Tuf Guy" for the sake of this discussion) needs to be created using Blender's latest technologies as advirtisement. This needs to include actual story tellers (all the animations I see have very little plot) as well as the technical artists. Until his happens, Blender will have no quick answer like "it was used in Babylon 5" to DEMONSTRATE it's usefullness. How many job ads do we see now-a-days that say "demonstrated knowledge in..."?
I also think the user community is too sit back and do nothing here. I could say selfish (what can Blender do for ME) but I think the community is too good for that. Yes, the core developers kick much butt. But look how many people are registered on here and elysiun and how many actually contribute stuff? The ratio is horrible. I tried to get an effort going to come up with a more formal training method for Blender learning a while back. *I* offered to do most of the hard work, editing and delivery method if the artists would supply the material and ideas. Do you know how many people responded- 1. And he hasn't written me back since I replied to him privately giving him my work email. Even if one is an artist (not a coder) does not mean that shields one from responsibility to help out. Artists are exactly the type of people to know how to create something. Unfortuanately, they are not always the best to COMMUNICATE these ideas. Hence why I tried to propose central writers (like myself) to take the artist's knowledge and form USEFUL CONSISTANT training. Yet everone sits back and waits for someone else to do it. I've been stuck at an advanced beginning level of blender (using it since 1999) because of the lack of consistant training.
Successful Open Source projects (there are many more failuress than successes) only work when the userbase is proactive. Some can code, some can write. Most have ideas. There is no excuse for people to not contribute SOMETHING (except bitching). Blender's problem right now isn't the tool, isn't the people helping now. It's the rest that sit back, complain and don't lift a finger to help out. Then complain about the problems and don't offer solutions and take ownership. I see a problem with training, I complain about it. I tried to help. I hear crickets in the response to this. Donations are fine and help the coding but there is so much MORE that can be done. That shouldn't be the high bar for contributing to Blender. That should be the MINIMUM!
Okay, I'm feeling slightly better now. I felt you were making excellent points. Excuse my rant.