Jonas Dichelle and Luca Rood are a delight. They’re such fun to talk to… especially when it comes to a cool event that they organize, Nodevember. It’s an annual event (in its second year) where artists celebrate the awesomeness of nodes throughout the month of November. Think of like Inktober—or maybe bettter, NaNoWriMo—but for art generated with nodes.
Of course, to be a part of Nodevember, it’s probably a good idea to understand what nodes actually are. A lot of digital are familiar with a layer-based approach to work, as you may find in GIMP, Krita, Photoshop, or sheets of acetate. Layers are great and over the years, they’ve gained more and more functionality in digital applications. However, they’re still limited by they’re stacked-style organization. A layer at the top of the stack necessarily affects all of the layers beneath it.
Nodes work differently. Instead of having a block of data that automatically affects blocks below it (like layers), nodes systems can have multiple inputs and each of those inputs can run through a series of logical operations en route to one or more outputs. And the really cool thing is that this way of working is entirely non-destructive and procedural. Not only does it mean you can easily change how your art looks without irreversibly changing your input material. It also means you can more easily change and animate.
Nodes can be used in all manner of artistic applications, from 3D and VFX to audio and game design. To get an idea of what can be done, just have a look at the #nodevember hash tag on Twitter or Instagram. It’s really incredible stuff.
Of course, Nodevember isn’t the only thing we talk about. After all, the whole event was born at the 2019 Blender Conference. Both Jonas and Luca are active Blender users, so we also took some time to talk about Blender, open source development, and how so many developers of creative open source applications started as artists who needed a feature.
I had a lot of fun talking with these two, and I’m excited to where they go with their event in the future. In the meantime, were still in the month of November as I write this, so head on over to Nodevember.io and see if there’s a prompt that you find interesting!
Jonas Dichelle is a 3D artist and Software Developer from Germany. He has more than 10 years of experience using Blender as a self taught 3D artist. He started using Blender to work on personal projects like short films while still at school. While doing so he started learning Python to improve his art. Currently Jonas works as a freelance 3D Artist, Software and Web Developer when he isn’t organizing Nodevember.
Luca Rood is a 3D Software Developer, Technical VFX Artist, and Open Source nerd, with over 10 years of experience in 3D VFX and software development.
His software development has been largely related to Blender, primarily focusing on improving the physics engines. While working at the Blender Foundation and Tangent Animation, he contributed to such productions as Agent 327 and Next Gen.
But his Open Source contributions go beyond writing software, and also include expanding the Open Source landscape, with initiatives such as the General Asset License.
He now organises Nodevember, a yearly event on procedural creation, and is working on educational content with Creative Shrimp. He also hopes to kickstart some exciting new FOSS projects in the near future.
“I make stuff. I make stuff up. On occasion, I stuff-up what I make. I don’t do much stuff with make-up… though I’m not above trying. I work in all kinds of media: words, animation, ink, coffee, wood, video. And, of course, I’m really passionate about open source and open content, so that’s what I talk about in this show. Books I’ve written and other creative experiments I’ve made can be seen on monsterjavaguns.com.”